07 Janvier (Juedi) - Saw one of these on the street the other day. They're about the same size as a Smart and almost as cute.
So here it is...our last day in frozen Paris. It's time to partir, just as we were starting to get used to the cold. Almost everyone has said that it hasn't been this cold in a long, long time. It must be that damned global warming.
Madame Perez called to say she would be about an hour early for the final inspection and the returning of the deposit.
We walked down to Saint Paul and got a taxi to Place d'Italie and Italie2. Of course, as we are wont to do, we struck up a conversation with our driver. We mentioned that we were going home tomorrow, and he gave us his number and said if we called him, he would be happy to take us to the airport. We're glad that happened because otherwise, Robb would have to walk up to Saint Paul, engage a taxi and bring him back to the apartment to pick up me and our baggage. This arrangement is much better. Beside, the driver was a very cute Chinese guy born and raised in Paris.
In Italie2, we covered almost the entire place. I thought I might buy a pair of shoes, but couldn't find any I really liked, including the ones made by a company with my name. I bought a nice scarf at Jules for half off because of the soldes. Robb bought another stocking hat. It's really nice. I saw a fantastic leather jacket that I would have bought in a heartbeat if I had seen it first. It was three times as much as the one I bought, but it was so much better. Ah well, I've already got three leather jackets, well two jackets and a coat, I don't need another one.
We returned to the apartment, just in time to greet Madame Perez. She is Irish and very nice. She didn't even bother to check the place, just gave back the security check and, after a brief chat, left.
Our last dinner was, of course, at Fontaine Sully. I had a great veal stew, and ate every last morsel. Robb had steak and fries. For the first time in a long time, I finished my entire meal. We said our farewells to the staff, took a last look around and returned to the apartment to finish packing.
Because of the latest "terrorist attack", Air France emailed us and suggested we get to the airport several hours early. We will leave the apartment around 07h00. That should get us there in plenty of time.
Of course, as a final slap-in-the-face, the internet was down when I tried to get on one last time.
08 Janvier (Vendredi) - Up at 06h00. Did all the morning stuff and made one final sweep to be sure we had everything. Just started taking the bags out, when Win (the taxi driver) pulled up. With all the baggage loaded in the back, we climbed in and took off for Charles de Gaulle.
We got to the airport in what must have been record time, easily found a luggage cart, and set out to find the Air France check-in counter. Naturally, it was at the other end of the building. Because we were so early, check-in was quick and easy and we headed for the departure gate. If you've been to CDG on the way to the US, you know you have to take a train to the terminal. It was fairly crowded. Once in the terminal, we passed a lot of stores, but only one place that sold food; it wasn't even a bistrot. We passed on that. Checked out a place where the geeks among us could rent time on a computer. All the stations were empty at that early hour. I didn't look closely, but I think the prices weren't too out of line for an airport. One hour was €2, I think.
We got to the gate where we sat freezing with over an hour to go before boarding.
Boarding began several minutes late. They started, but then stopped, but didn't tell anyone why they had done that. Once on the plane, it was freezing again because they had the heat off while they were refueling. Now, the plane had been sitting there for several hours, why wasn't that already done? We left over an hour late, so a lot of people with connecting flights, didn't make them. I wonder, do they compensate those people?
We were in the middle section of the 747-400. Seated next to me was an English girl who was going to Miami to work on a cruise ship. She was cute and very nice. She invited us to come over and tour the ship before it leaves port in Fort Lauderdale, but I can't remember her name, so I guess that's not going to happen.
It was quite cool in Miami and even cooler in Fort Lauderdale. It was about 19C in our apartment. The heat was turned on immediately.