Day 1 – Day 2 = March 12-13, 2012
Not much to say about this flight! Still, it gets its own post because I am nothing if not long-winded.
We got to Paris a bit late, and then began to run in circles. Q’s quote: “It was their goal in life to drive us insane after staying up for a million years.” First, the ticket agent at LAX told us NOT to walk from one gate to the other, but to take the shuttle train. We asked for directions to the shuttle train, verified that it was going to Gate 2D, and got on. (Remember, we are carrying small bags made of lead at this point.) I was very grateful for a seat on the shuttle.
The first shuttle train stop said it was for Gates 2F and 2G, so we stayed on… and the doors closed… and we went right back to where we had just gotten on. This made no sense. We knew we had to take the shuttle, so we stayed on for another try. Off went the shuttle again! One stop, again! We got off this time, asked for directions, and were pointed in the direction of Gate 2D.
Then we walked. We walked and we walked and we walked. We went through “Customs” (where they asked us nothing and looked at nothing, but did stamp our passports) and kept walking.
At this point, we noticed that on the other side of the fence we were schlepping along next to was baggage claim… the same baggage claim we had already walked past from the other side. Checked our directions again… yep, still going toward Gate 2D.
Well, we were going toward 2D in the same way that we were going toward New York City. if we continued in that direction for long enough, some day we would get there.
That day finally arrived! We could see Gate 2D! All we had to do was go through Security! A nice woman directed us to the second line to scan our stuff, but I outsmarted her. I went to the third line, which was much shorter.
Anyone who has ever been in a grocery store with me knows what happened next. I am cursed when it comes to lines. If I get into a line, it is guaranteed to have a shift change, a money drop, a person with coupons, or a completely obscure price check. I regularly turn to the hapless person in line behind me and urge them to switch lines while there is still time, due to the curse and all. I never bother to change lines, because I have learned that if I do, the curse will just follow me. It makes more sense to save the people I can.
Back to the third line: Not only did the line have a sneaky Disneyland-style turn in it, so the length was misleading (But wait! There’s more!), we also got some semi-elderly American travelers who had apparently never traveled in the modern world. The old man tried to walk through the scanner with his shoes on. The old woman sat in a chair with her shoes and bag and didn’t bother to get scanned at all, so the old man kept coming back through to get her. In a normal situation, I would have Ultimate Sympathy for these elders of mine, but I was a) missing a plane with b) a daughter who was dying to find a WC and c) … oh, there’s no c. As Quinland says (right now; she’s speaking as I type), it wasn’t such a bad situation. A bad situation is a little kid on your flight that won’t stop screaming. But I am dedicated to Telling You How Things Really Are or at least How They Feel to Me, so you get every little detail.
We made it through with minute to spare (that’s not a typo – I mean one minute). Q got to the WC, David asked if there was an ATM nearby and was told no, and we boarded. A bus. Yes, we boarded a steamy, crowded shuttle bus that took us to our actual plane. The irony? That long shuttle bus ride took us the entire way back that we had just walked. (We later discovered that the shuttle train had taken us in the opposite direction we needed to go; although it was in fact “a” way to Gate 2D, we had failed to ask for the shortest or most direct way, which is apparently what we needed to have done. Urgh.)
We got to be in the very last row this time. (We are lucky that way.) Quinland fell asleep the moment she buckled her seatbelt and slept the whole way through. David read, I tried to sleep, and we landed in Lisbon before we knew it.