|Just like Santa - we came to Paris from the North Pole -
After six months in China away from family - we flew to Paris for Christmas.
Saturday started simple enough - breakfast in our Beijing flat - then a taxi to the airport. Lulu had found two $800 round trips to Paris! They were Beijing to Paris - non-stop - on Air France. The flight was a short 10 hours - almost 8 hours spent over Russia. Our Boeing 777 was packed but Lulu somehow weaseled and empty seat next to me and it helped make it a pleasant flight. Since Air France is a sister company of Delta - we were able to go in the Sky Lounge - and also will get Delta miles for the trip.
Taking off in China - our plane traveled northwest on a Great Circle route that took us near the North Pole. Essentially - we were going around the world - the wrong way. After months of Chinese food - we chose the French dishes - one of beef and mashed potatoes - heaven for me. Our Boeing 777 has a really neat map system that gave you several options of tracking your flight.
Lulu slept a little but I stayed up the entire 10 hours - we arrived in Paris with the sun still up. It was very quick through customs. Since there is a general strike in France - we had booked a private car to take us into town. A black Citroen arrived - loaded our bags - and the ride into town was quiet and pleasant. In short time we were at Keiths (my apostrophe key is broke) apartment. More about the apartment later.
We played with the kids - had a light supper - and enjoyed hearing the latest. Lulu and the kids made some scratch cookie dough for the cookie workshop the next day. Then it was bath and bed time around 7 PM. Just an hour later Lulu and I were also skidding to a halt. We were in bed by 8 PM. We dozed off to the FSU Seminoles playing USF on TV.
Around 3 AM - I was wide awake wondering who won the FSU/USF game. Lulu had recorded it so we watched it thru. The Seminoles won! They had trailed twice by 13 and 10. At the end they came storming back with a stifling defense and won 66-60. The are now 11-2 and ranked 19 in the nation.
Keith has fiberoptic internet with speeds of 900 MBPS! That is the fastest I ever used. It is great for sending videos and watching our TV from home. We sure missed that in China.
I am wide awake - so I figured I would post a story - about this big adventure.
We left 14 degrees and wind in China. The worst part so the trip was from our building to the curb hoping we would get a cab. All of a sudden Lulu broke into a sprint - she saw a lone cab coming - he stopped - we were at the airport in minutes. We checked 4 bags and relaxed in the lounge. We touch down in Paris to 53 degree temperature. I taught weather for 33 years - and I was hard to convince the kids that it could be warmer in Paris than Beijing - when Paris is much farther north.
Son Drew and family will fly in soon. The Everhart 10 will rock the Christmas Week together in Paris - France!
|10 hours - 5000 miles - 7 time zones
|We sailed northwest - then southwest
|All those Russian cities - I knew very few
|8 hours over Russian makes me a spy
|4.5 hours to go - 2300 miles more
|We were so far north - Moscow was south.
|Pilots view - 473 MPH - 36,000 feet -
7 miles high
|Over water a short time - Poland on Left -
Sweden and Denmark on the right
|Over Germany - Netherland on right - even London
Luxembourg on left - Paris in sight.