Day #2 of Getting To Paris

April 13th, 2010

Right now, I am somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. Just finished watching the movie, “Up In The Air” with George Clooney. I think it’s kind of funny they showed the movie since it features American Airlines exclusively, and that is the airline I am flying. They served dinner, which included chicken with rice & veggies, a small salad, cheese with crackers, a dinner roll with butter, and a caramel brownie for dessert. I’m probably going to sleep soon since I need to try to adjust my internal clock for when I land. Jet lag is the worst for me and usually it takes me some time to adjust when I travel.

Today was fairly uneventful. I had a nice evening at the Wyndham Hotel in Dallas, TX last night. By the time I arrived at the hotel, it was close to 11p and the hotel restaurant had already closed for the night. The bar was open, but wasn’t serving food, which kind of sucked. I had a bourbon and coke, chatted up some ladies at the bar about my trip and went in search of food. The hotel had a little area where you could by snacks, so I got myself a Hot Pocket (HOT POCKET!!!) and some peanut M&Ms before retiring to my room for the night.

I slept like a baby, got a full eight hours of sleep, which almost made up for being up 32 hours straight the day before. I checked out of the hotel and was able to secure an iced latte and a fruit cup from the little coffee stand in the hotel lobby. They had some white wooden rocking chairs outside the hotel entrance so I sat down for a bit while I called my mom to let her know I was okay. After chatting with my mom, I started talking to the gal sitting next to me who was a flight attendant. I think they had actually been on my shuttle from the airport last night. Anyways, we all got on the airport shuttle and I was asking them where they were flying to that day. They asked me the same, then we started talking about my trip to do the Camino de Santiago and how cool Portland is. They were the first travel related recipients of the mini Moo cards I bought for this trip. Each Moo card is about half the width of a regular business card, but the same length. The card stock they use is a little thicker than normal business cards too. I designed these ones using their online template. Each one features a travel quote on one side and my contact info, including email and blog on the other side. They are small, inexpensive (100 for $20) and really neat.

I arrived at the American Airlines counter, did the self check-in and then waited…..and waited…..and waited for someone to check my bag. I finally went to stand in line with other people, only to have the baggage check guy come out about ten minutes later. It was a good thing I arrived at the airport early.

The TSA was quick and efficient and had no issues getting through security. I spent the rest of the time walking around the terminal trying to find a shop with an Ethernet cable. I managed to leave mine at home and the DFW airport has free connected internet. I never was able to find one so I just chilled out at the terminal gate, waiting for my flight. The flight to Boston was pretty uneventful. I slept most of the way. I did meet an interesting lady from Boston who I spoke with briefly about my trip as well. Carrying a book about the Camino de Santiago de Compostela has made me rather approachable and the end result has been some great conversations with people.

In Boston, I was able to satiate my desire for some Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and also find an Ethernet cable for the computer. It will come in handy later, I am sure. I didn’t have too much of a layover in Boston and as luck would have it, my flight to Paris was only four terminals over from where my arrival terminal was. Boston is a nice airport, with lots of options for food and services. I wandered for a bit, stretched my legs and hung out close to the terminal. I was also able to suspend my phone service with Verizon until I get back. I honestly don’t think I will use my phone while I am traveling, but I brought it so I could have the option. It’s a global quad band Blackberry Storm, so I can get it unlocked and buy a prepaid SIM card if I want. I’m not really interested in having call capabilities, but it would be nice to be able to text and use the internet. We’ll see what happens.

All in all, the trip has gone off with out a hitch. I’ve met some interesting people and folks have been very nice. Paris may prove to be my biggest challenge since I don’t have any language skills in that area. My last experience in Paris was anything but positive, but I am hoping times have changed. I know I have. I will be staying with a friend of a friend’s named Vincent. He has given me directions to his house and I look forward to meeting him. He does not have to work and has offered to take me around the city. I have high hopes of going to Notre Dame to offer up some prayers for my friend Paige and possibly go to the Rodin Museum.