There are more than a few folks who believe that I live far too much in my head. However, when it comes to spending seven plus hours on a flight from Minneapolis to Paris, this sort of living comes in handy. Delta flight 219 is where I found myself recently and ended up in seat 38C from MSP to CDG.
With all this time on my hands and with the upcoming US Presidential elections, I began reconfiguring the plane wondering how Air Force One might be laid out. Thinking, if you take out all these overhead compartments, galleys and seats, this is a huge space. Being about 6 rows from the rear door, I had a bird’s eye view of much of the interior and I was just steps away from the back galley.A kitchen is a kitchen right, well maybe not on Air Force One, but guess where I hung out for part of the flight? You got it, after “dinner” I was in the back hanging with the flight attendants.
Speaking of dinner; that particular evening it was chicken in some sort of red sauce over rice. For a moment, I felt the most sorry for the young lady who was sitting next to me. But then I remembered, oh right, she was flying home – to France, meaning the potential of having fabulous food again day after day.
I then said to myself, duh; I’m heading to France too and not coming home for 2 weeks. That thought made the chicken a little more edible, plus the glass of sauternes after dinner was a nice touch, not to mention the 3 glasses of wine before dinner and the gin and tonic back at the Delta Lounge at MSP. All of these diversions made the trip seem quite short. So short actually, that I didn’t even have time to read my latest copy of the Minneapolis/Saint Paul magazine. Again, I’m thinking, “Why did I drag this magazine all the way to France?”
Arriving at the Paris Airport (CDG), I was a tad weary, but surprisingly not hung over, and I thought, hey I have two hours to get to my connecting flight. This would give me plenty of time for a café and croissant, right?
Making my way to Terminal 2, I then remembered that when arriving Paris and traveling on to Nice, one must leave the secured area. This means that you get to go back through security. Then there was the small issue of not having my boarding pass for the next leg.
Sweat pouring off my forehead, and the kiosk not working for me, returned to the line thinking I could obtain the boarding pass at the counter.
Oh no, once I got about half-way through I had to get out of line, obtain the boarding pass from the gentleman near the kiosk, then get back in line. Where was he earlier? The minutes were ticking by, but I passed the time talking to a couple of ladies from the US (where were they from again?… oh it doesn’t matter). They were on their way to Tuscany for a week; a place to which they go every other year.
Forty minutes to my departure, a lovely agent walked by holding a sign that said, “Flights leaving at 9:35a”. That would be me, which meant I got out of the one line that I had been in twice now and into a shorter one for faster service. This maneuver put me back through security and to my gate with 15 minutes to spare. However, the flight was delayed by 1/2 hour so in the end, I had plenty of time. Except that first cup of coffee in France was delayed by 18 hours with breakfast at La Pitchoune.