Monday, October 21, 2013

Home to Tucson

Our flight home was from Paris Orly via London Heathrow into Phoenix.  We spent the night close to the airport in what is the French equivalent of Motel 6,  Premiere Classe Hotel.  It was as basic as you can get, but clean and inexpensive, so we didn't complain.  They gave us a discount coupon for a restaurant within walking distance, which turned out to have surprisingly good food!

An empty Orly airport with very shiny floors.

In our usual way, we arrived at the airport much earlier than really needed.  The car rental place wasn't even opened.  The airport did not have very many people walking around, except near the Air France desks.  We were flying British Airways which had no lines.  They weren't even sure they could check us in for our flight, as there was another flight leaving earlier than ours.  The supervisor was consulted, our bags were checked and boarding passes issued.  The airport has free WIFI, courtesy of Air France and Orange, a telecom company, so we took advantage of it, posting to Facebook and sending emails.

Heathrow is much bigger and busier, but I couldn't tell if the floors were as shiny.
We arrived in Heathrow 45 minutes late. Not a problem for us, as we had a 4 hour layover.  Realizing we had eaten our petit dejeuner before 6 am, we decided to have some lunch.  Wow!  Food in airports has really improved, or maybe it's just in some airports.   We ate at Wagamama's, who we had never heard of, but they served wonderful noodle  and rice dishes with loads of vegies, washed down with  Asahi beer.  Our plane was late leaving, so we were very glad we decided to eat.

Bill's lunch was delicious.
My lunch  was delicious too.  We didn't eat with the chopsticks, they were just for show.

The airports in Europe that we have been in recently, do not announce the gates for flights until about an hour before takeoff.  Then you have to go through passport control and security to get to them, and in the case of ours at Heathrow, ride the tram to one of the outlying terminals.  There is very limited seating, so there is a bit of a scramble for a chair.  When your flight is delayed, as ours was, some people end up standing for quite a while.

Our plane being prepped for the flight.  As we were loading, one of the men going into 1st class referred to us in the back of the plane as, "the warehouse folks".  We've been called worse!

Because we left in mid afternoon, flying west, the sun was up the entire trip.  Unfortunately, the cloud cover was heavy until we were over Greenland.  Bill stood at a window at the back of the plane to take pictures.  He also talked with two young Englishmen who were going to visit family in Arizona.  They were really excited about getting to see the Grand Canyon.  We were glad it was opened for them by Thursday.  Flying from east to west also meant our October 16th had 33 hours instead of 24.  Can you say Jet Lagged?!

One of Greenland's glaciers.  The fairly straight edge on the right is where it is calving as it meets the sea.

A sea inlet on Greenland.  It seemed to me there was much less ice and snow than the last time we flew over in October 2011.

 Amy and Andre met us at the airport for the drive to Tucson.  Andre was very pleased to share the backseat with me.  He kept either his paw or his head in my lap for most of the trip.  It is very good to be home!

These two people are very happy to be home.

1 comment:

Janice Bayer said...

I love Wagamaga. I wish we had them here.

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