Oct 7, 2011





Better late, than never


Friday, Oct 7, was a Friday like many others, but then it was not. It meant that by the end of the day we would be in Paris. Tom started his day very early, around 4am to be able to get home in time. My Fridays only start at 10am, so I got the last few items we wanted to take ready and made my way to school. My school day ended at around 1.45pm and I called Tom, who had just gotten off of work. So I told him that on the way home I would pick up some ham and rolls to make sandwiches for the trip while he would start lunch. When I got home lunch was ready and we sat down to enjoy it. Then, after cleaning up the dining room and kitchen we packed the last few things, Tom got everything ready for Pixie to be taken care of and we prepared our sandwiches. Later than what we had planned we closed the door behind us, loaded everything into the car and off we went. Our airport usually is a 20 minute drive, but Friday afternoon is a busy time, so we hoped there wouldn't be too muc  of a traffic jam.

Luckily traffic was just heavy but never came to a standstill and half an hour later we finally arrived at the airport, pulled into the charter parking lot and parked the car. From the parking lot it is about a minute's walk to the main terminal and we quickly made our way to the check in counters. I had done online check-in the day before and so we only had to drop off our suitcase. Only one couple ahead of us, so that was a breeze. Once we only had our hand luggage to take care of, we walked back to the ATM and got some cash before walking through security. A quick walk through the duty free shop and then we found a seat at our gate. I checked messages on the DIS and before we knew it, it was time to board the plane.

 We started rolling right on time and about a minute later we stopped again and were informed that we had to wait for our "slot" to be assigned. I was trying not to panic, but we only had an hour and a half at Frankfurt airport, and very often planes arrive delayed and then you have to cross this HUGE airport to get to your next gate. No fun! Luckily we only sat on the plane for about 10 minutes and then we were off. Once we had reached cruising altitude we were served our little snack, a Milka Tender. Milka is the brand name, Tender is the name of this particular snack. It's a little Swiss roll, filled with vanilla cream and covered in delicious, creamy milk chocolate. Since we had that nice snack we both ordered coffee to go with it. Well, it was like every airline coffee, hot dark coloured water with no taste. Add milk and sugar and you have very thin sweetened hot milk. Yuck! The Tender made up for it though. We arrived in Frankfurt about 5 minutes later than scheduled and since we had a parking position that was far off the airport we were transported to the main building by bus.

Takes about 10 minutes to be driven up and down the airport and then finally we arrived at our destination. We used the escalator up to the main hall and were happy to see that our connecting flight was leaving from the same terminal. So we had a look at the shops, paid a visit to the restroom and then it was time to finally get in line for our connecting flight. Boarding was easy and we rolled out on time and even took off on time. About 10 minutes into the flight we were handed our snack packs, which consisted of a small bottle of water, a cream-cheese sandwich and a Corny granola bar. They served drinks as well and we both got some Coke and then munched the sandwich and Corny bar.

The flight only takes about 55 minutes and it was soon time to prepare for landing. Just a short time later we were on our way to get off the plane and heading to baggage claim. We decided that I would wait for our suitcase to appear while Tom would go and check in with Hertz for our rental car. I was amazed that actually after only 15 minutes they started delivering luggage and our suitcase was one of the first to be delivered. I took it off the carrousel and headed towards the rental car area. And while I was walking there I saw Tom walking towards me, paperwork in hand. It was not even 10pm and we were all set to go! We took the first elevator to the parking lot and picked the wrong one.

Took us a few minutes to figure out that we were in the wrong place and another few minutes later we had found our car and were loading our stuff into the trunk. Tom fixed the GPS and we tried to put in the address, turns out the area is brand new and not in our GPS. Thank god, we had looked it up on google earth beforehand and knew where we had to go. While we were driving along the motorway I remembered that the gas station where we wanted to buy drinks at DLRP didn't sell adult drinks after 10pm. So around 10.30 we turned into a service station along the way and were greeted by a few French policeman doing a car check. Once they had realized that we were tourists we were waved over to the gas station, we went inside and found that they only sold soft drinks as well. So we just picked up two large bottles of Diet Coke and walked back to the car and started back to the motorway to get to our hotel. Around 11pm we arrived at our hotel, the Parks and Suites, Prestige Val d'Europe. We parked the car, grabbed the reservation confirmation and walked inside. There were two parties in front of us, but then it was our time to check in, which was quick and easy. Once we were checked in we went back for our luggage and made our way over to the elevator. We pressed the button for the second level and when the door opened again we got off. It was a bit funny because we were in suite 240 and all the numbers were below 100, but we were tired and longing for a place to crash.

Tried the key card, didn't work, tried the key card again, this time upside down, didn't work. So we made our way back to the elevator, thinking we needed to go back to reception when it dawned on us ........ the kids that had gotten off the elevator might have pushed the wrong button and we hadn't gotten off at the correct floor. Back into the elevator, pushed 2 again and this time we were right. We walked down the corridor, put the key card in the lock and in we went. The suite was nice, a seperate bedroom and a pullout bed in the living room, a small kitchen with all the appliances and a bathroom with enough towels to get us through a two night's stay. We unpacked, then had a sandwich and some Coke, watched a little TV and around 12.30am we finally got in bed.