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Our Magnificent Journey
Chapter 10
Israel, Paris


Carol and David and the ancient wall surrounding Old Jerusalem  

Day 22

Paris / Tucson

We slept well again through the cool Parisian night. The peaceful setting of the hotel, nestled snugly in a quiet corner on a hill above the Left Bank, amidst lush green gardens, lends itself to rest and reflection. Once a great carriage-house, the hotel is entered through a large gate, and one this gate is closed in the evening, the noise of Paris seems far, far away.


We enjoyed a delicious petite dejeuner at the hotel. Said bon jour to Marie – she is even more beautiful than we remembered her from our visit in 2001.

The lovely Marie, who manages le Hotel des Grande Ecoles

It is another gorgeous, sunny, cloudless, cool May day in Paris. We will miss the delightful breezes coming in through the open window, and the tall green trees and verdant garden below. We know all too well that we are returning to four fiery furnace months of southern Arizona summer.


Once Paris gets under your skin, there is no escape. It doesn’t matter how many times we have explored her charms, we will always feel like we did not have our fill. It is a place of indescribable beauty, history, art, food, culture, parks, rivers, shops, gardens, music, language and people.


As I sit in the garden writing these words, the small voices of young children at the nearby school singing French school songs, as young French children have done for countless years, are a symphony to my ears.

Packed and waiting for the cab to de Gaulle

I have come to the belief that today’s aircraft are modern time-machines. You enter at one time and place, and a few hours later, you exit into another place where time takes on a whole different dimension. In Paris, we often feel like we have gone back to a better time.


At 10:15am the shuttle arrived to take us to Charles de Gaulle. The ride through the Parisian traffic was nerve-wracking but we enjoyed chatting with John and Linda, our shuttle-mates from Pittsburgh, and comparing travel notes, and, surprisingly, the driver got us to the gate on time.


Continental Flight CO11 to Houston was delayed for 15 minutes but soon we were in our huge business-class cocoons. This is The Only Way To Fly. We settled in and prepared for the wonderful Continental business-class service.

Carol peruses the business-class menu

The massive 777 was airborne at 1:30pm, and Paris fell away behind us as we sped westward, flying the Great Circle. We left French airspace over the Channel at Calais and entered British airspace at Dover. We soon could spy the huge mouth of the Thames and traversed London from the east. Through the sparse clouds we could see much of England 36,000 feel below. Heading northwest we crossed into the North Atlantic at Glasgow for the long haul over water. Cozy in our snug Continental cocoons we watched “27 Dresses.” Passed south of Reykjavik Iceland at 4pm Paris time. Turned left at the ice- and snow-covered peaks of southern Greenland for the slide down into North America. Entered North American airspace north of Gander, chasing the sun at 630 mph. Shot southwest over Quebec and entered US airspace over the Great Lakes, on to Chicago, St. Louis, Little Rock, Shreveport and into Houston at 11pm Paris time, 4pm local time.

On a northwest course out of Paris
The ice, rock and snow of Greenland

We originally had a five-hour layover in Houston but we were able to change to an earlier flight (3 hours earlier.) YES!!


We obtained the last two seats on the earlier flight to Tucson. I sat between two interesting women and Carol sat next to a Tucson urology specialist. The 2-hour flight home to Tucson was relaxing and fun, and our driver Dennis was waiting for us. We arrived early but our bags didn’t. We had to pick them up on Thursday.

Back home in sunny Tucson

Dennis sped us home in good time, just as Warren was packing up some last things. We are so fortunate to have Monica and Warren in our lives. These trips would be difficult or impossible without them watching over the house and our pooches.


We spent the next couple of hours reuniting with Cody and Merlin, who were both quite happy to see us.


Thus comes to an end another incredible chapter of Our Magnificent Journey. What a terrific time we had with wonderful friends in the Land of Milk and Honey, and a brief stay in the magical City of Light…


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