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Thursday, July 30, 2009


I would like to report that we got to the airport in plenty of time and flew home with pleasant memories of out stay in Paris--I would like to, but I can't. As we were changing from the Metro (subway) to the RER (suburban arm of the Metro) on the way to the airport, Don had his wallet stolen by a group of pickpockets. Even though he had his wallet in his front pocket, they got it as he was entering the train and he didn't realize it was gone until the doors were closing.

He talked to the police in the airport because he wanted to file a police report but everyone kept saying "Air France will take care of it." Even though we arrived two hours before our plane was supposed to leave, it took forever to get through check-in and security. There was no time to talk to Air France about a police report; in fact, we were positive that we were going to miss our plane as it was. Then I got stopped for a separate bag check at security because I had this guy in my carry on bag:

It was one of the beadwork snakes that I had taken for the exhibit in Birmingham. I must admit, he did look like a sedated or dead real snake in my luggage.

As I was waiting for the agent to look in my bag, I told Don to run down to the gate and tell the Air France employees that we were in the airport but stuck in security. He did and they held the gate for a few minutes but told him they couldn't wait anymore. He ran back to get me just as I finished up with security and we ran for the gate. An Air France employee with a sign that said New York was looking for us and snagged us as we ran by. She escorted us partway to the plane and sent us down a stairway where another employee stopped us and said "Sorry, you are too late! Ha ha, just kidding." That employee escorted us to the gate, where the staff was waiting for us. One of the staff spoke with someone on the plane and all we heard was the word "desolee" (sorry). Our hearts sank but then the employee printed out boarding passes for us.

We headed down corridor to the plane but I was stopped one last time for a bag check. When we got to the plane, the Air France stews apologized and asked us to wait about 5 minutes because the cabin had already been "contained" and they needed to finish reconciling the number of bodies with the manifest. We were so happy to be on the plane, we just smiled and waited.

Our boarding passes had us separated into different rows and there was already someone sitting in Don's assigned seat, so the stews started moving people around in our compartment. Some family had originally gotten separated, so the parents got moved closer to their children and we got the parent's seats (together yeah!). We were very grateful that the Air France employees made a special effort to get us on the plane.

As soon as we landed, I started calling the credit card companies to cancel the cards. We got off the plane and went to collect our one check bag, where we got busted by an Agriculture Department beagle. Don had bought some cherries in Paris and we had planned to finish them at the airport but the cherries got stuck in my carry on bag in all of the drama. The beagle sniffed them out! Don was laughing that other dogs sniff out drugs but beagles sniff out food. All we had to do was turn in our handful of cherries to the customs people and we were on our way home. I got home to find that the knitting project that I had been rushing home to finish (the reason that we HAD to be on that plane) had been cut from the show and I didn't have to spend the weekend madly knitting.

So we had a good time in Paris, except for the last day. At least, Don's wallet was stolen on the last day and not the first.


  1. Thanks Adele
    I've enjoyed reading aboutyour trip. Got a big chuckle over the "dead snake" in your carry-on. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yes, it's funny now. I have been to France twice now with beads in my carry on luggage and gotten stopped by security both times.