Day 1 – LAX to CDG (Paris)

Day 1 = March 12, 2012

Our layover in Los Angeles was supposed to be approximately three hours. Originally, we had planned to have a mini-reunion with my family so that they could come and see us before the trip. We’d last seen my mom and Dan at Christmas, Dad and Ann in October, and Gina and the boys last summer, so it would have been fun if it had been possible. Luckily, we unanimously decided that it was probably not doable, because there would have been no way to pull it off.

Our first moments at LAX were fraught with despair. Okay, not really… but Quinland left her green hat on the plane. We hear that it was recovered by the cleaning crew, who gave it to a flight attendant, who pretty much disappeared with the hat. No one was able to track either of them down, and not for lack of trying. Quinland was disappointed, but not deeply disappointed. She has two other hats with her.

After checking in at the Air France counter and getting our boarding passes, we headed for the gate. We hadn’t gone 50 feet before we were stopped and directed away from the gate. We tried to figure out a way to get around – “Just go outside and then go upstairs!” – and, after a few false steps, made it to the security checkpoint. Almost. Just as we came up to the security guards, the police came and said they were closing off the area. Somehow the guards convinced the police to let us through (us being our family and a nice Canadian guy who had been detoured along with us), so we were the last people to get in.

This was my first time being full-body scanned. You have to put your hands up, just like in a holdup. Very odd.

The flight was delayed due to all its passengers being trapped on the other side of the police line, but we finally got to board. (Rumor has it that there was an unattended suspicious bag at the root of it all.) All the flight attendants spoke French to me. I decided it was my cool European glasses. We had seats in the rear of the mile-long plane. Row 65 and 66 or something, one row from the rear of the plane.

Q and I started out together to watch Despicable Me, but I switched with David after dinner so that he could have an aisle seat and stretch his legs. They both fell asleep, while I watched Groundhog Day, some Friends, some Glee, some Big Bang Theory; played Solitaire and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire; and tried to read. In between all that fun, I was desperately trying to fall asleep, but to no avail. For someone who is borderline narcoleptic, this was frustrating, but I was sooo thankful for the excellent video selections. (There actually were some recent Oscar-nominated films, but I didn’t want to watch them while I was so sleepy, since I thought I’d fall asleep and ruin the movie. Ha! Groundhog Day is just as funny as I remember it, though. “Be the hat.”)

I tried to get up and stretch occasionally, but by the time we landed, my leg and foot were bugging the heck out of me. But, no matter – we were in France! France, I tell you! The journey was almost at an end.

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