Monday, December 6, 2010

Back in the U.S.A . . .

I'm back home in the USA and by the skin of my nose. Wow, what a flight! When I woke up to snow yesterday morning I was a bit worried about the conditions leaving Tegel airport in Berlin. I even thought about researching a couple of hotels near the airport on the Internet before I left the apartment just in case?

We made it out of Berlin okay, but with the de-icing of both the plane and clearing of the runways, my flight was delayed just over an hour. So now my cushion of 1:50 hour layover at the Paris CDG airport shrunk to probably 30 minutes if that.   It was a full flight but I was amazed at how fast everyone got in and situated. The flight staff did an excellent job with helping everyone with their carry ons.

I had read of how bad the Paris CDG airport is for a layover and now I know why.  We had to exit the plane to a bus where we were driven to one terminal.  We exit that terminal, take another shuttle bus to the right terminal which I had noticed we passed on our way to this terminal.  There were signs to Terminal 2 E everywhere but that was the problem. :)  Finally hooked up with another passenger from my flight Berlin to Paris flight looking for the same terminal and we both managed to hail down the shuttle that was just about to leave to take us to our terminal.  I had to go through another passport check and security line to enter Terminal 2E.  I set off the alarm thing and had to get the once over by the detector wand. And the security person thought she saw something, so I had to open everything up. She never did find what she thought she saw. I couldn't figure it out either. Of course, I got embarrassed because I had my Berlin  Bear and Scottish sheep in there. :)  

Found my other passenger buddy and made a mad dash to a nearby store to get a replacement bottle of water for the plane ride since we had to get rid of our other bottle going through security again.  We then stood in this really long line to board a "full" plane.

Btw, I discovered that I had lost my nice aisle seat for one of those smack dab in the middle seats.  :( We were delayed again because they were waiting to load some additional luggage. Okay, I must admit that I didn't mind "that" delay as I'm sure one of those additional luggages was mine. :)

Usually with a couple of Dramamine for my motion sickness I can sleep like a baby on the plane. But for some reason I could not sleep.  And it was so warm on the plane. Maybe I got used to that cold Berlin weather a little too much. :)

Now the only saving grace on this miserable travel experience was the unbelievable hilarious guy from Belgium that was entertaining a group of us at the back of the plane near the snack tray and bar!  I think if it wasn't for the laughs we all got to while away some of those long hours my return flight home could have been one of those horrible travel moment memories. Funny how one thing can make all those other not so nice things go away!  In hindsight, I guess I would do it all over again to continue to enjoy the great experiences that I have when traveling. I just detest the "getting to" part. :)

I did the big no no last night. As soon as I got home I dropped my luggage, took a shower and went to bed. And I have to say it felt good to break that rule.

Thank you so much everyone for all of your great comments while on the road and for your welcome home!  I have today off and will be running my washer and dryer like crazy, drive my car to get groceries, pick up my mail and pay my bills, clean my house and then get ready to return to work and the real world tomorrow.

Ahhhh, it's good to be back home again.


  1. Glad you survived. I'm one who tries very hard to detour around CDG for some of the reasons you mentioned. Now, do when do we get to see a Hottie, Part Deux a la Berlin, post?

  2. Hi Kathy,
    I missed your last few days of travel since we were traveling, but I am glad you made it home with no major dramas. I have to agree with you no matter where home is, it always feels good to get home. I hope your adjustment goes well, as you head into the heart of the holiday season.
    Thanks for finally getting me to use twitter, though I am still trying to figure it all out.
    I also appreciated that you took the time to share your travel adventures with your readers.

  3. Hi M & Maya, thanks so much for your comments ...

    M, yes I'm glad to have survived too. :) I think I'm going to try to avoid transfer through CDG from this point on (if I can possibly help it) and if not I'm going to make sure I have at least 3 hours of layove time just in case. There were some equally fine hottie's in Berlin too but may not have enough photos for a decent post. Maybe I will be lucky enough to return and then I can do a deserving post to represent Berlin. :)

    Maya, I enjoy reading your tweets. I've been on it for a while and I'm still trying to get the hang of it. The thing I like about twitter is that it is sort of a combo of social/communication/information medium. Thank you for reading my blog and for sharing your experiences in Berlin. It helped to understand some of the experiences I had while there. It's a fantastic city.

    Thanks again girls.

  4. Glad you made it home safely. The Paris part sounds stressful; I've always heard that airport is crazy. Good luck with the jet lag!

  5. Welcome home, Kathy! Holy moly, what a trip that must have been! CDG sounds as if it was hell on wheels. I haven't had to fly through there in many years; I try hard to avoid it. Glad to hear you survived!

    Thanks again for all of your blog posts from the road, it was really wonderful to be able to travel along with you!

  6. Welcome home! I am not sure if I would have been so positive if I lost my seat and ended up in the middle. Glad you survived and you are home safely. I was starting to worry when I read about all of the snow.

  7. Hi everyone, thanks so much for your comments and welcome home...

    Annie, I'm going to try to avoid CDG as much as I can unless I'm actually going to stay in Paris. :) Or make sure I have extra layover time. I love traveling in off season but this is the first time weather affected my travel so it was another thing I learned for future trips. :) Day 2 of waking up at 1:00 am but I was able to fall back to sleep faster than the other night, so Im getting there with the jetlag recovery. :)

    Sandra,I dont blame you for avoiding CDG. I wanted to book this other flight and avoid CDG on this trip but I waited too long to book and the flight was sold out so I ended it with this one. It was bad but I think it could've been worse if I had actually missed my connection or if my luggage got lost. So I guess there is always some good in even the worst of experiences. But still I'm going to try to avoid transferring in CDG if possible. :) I'm glad you enjoyed my posts, I've read some of my more recent posts and I just get a big kick out of reading what was running through my head at the time.:)

    Girasoli, I was definitely not a happy camper about the seat thing and I couldn't figure out what happened because as I learned on ST I was pretty good about checking my seat selections right up until before I left and I know I had them locked in. The only thing I could figure out is maybe the ticketing person at the Berlin Airport did something. Or maybe it is one of those fluke things that happens. But I survived and now that I'm recovering from it I'm ready to go back. :) I was worried in Berlin too when I saw the snow early in the morning. It was coming down for awhie but it sort of slowed down the later it got so I think that helped. There was snow in Paris but not like in Berlin. We were delayed there because of 5 other connection flights that were delayed that had passengers on the flight. I was one of them. :)

    Thanks again girls. I appreciate your comments. Traveling is a lot of fun and I always enjoy myself a lot, but it is very nice to come back home too.

  8. I'm just catching up with your blogging from your trip. What an amazing time you had! I just loved your photos, and how you have embraced the Slow Travel philosophy. Your account here is a fabulous resource for visiting these areas of Europe (which happen to be on my bucket list). And I love your photos, too. Really great travel journalism. Glad you had so much fun, and thanks for sharing it all.

  9. Hi Terry, thanks so much for your comments and for liking my photos and blog posts. It's cool that these cities are on your bucket list. They are wonderful places to visit and experience. I've been working at the Slow part for the past few years and have been doing bette at that thanks to ST and all the experience travelers. It's fun! :)


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.