Friday, October 7, 2016

It Comes to an End - We Are Home

This morning we left Le Pecq, Paris and France to make our way home to Santa Fe. It all started very early. We got a wake up call at 5:00am and we got showered, dressed and finished packing. We put our bags in the hallway at 5:30am and then headed to the restaurant for breakfast. We met Deanne and Dave for a last breakfast on the ship and then went back to the room to get our carry-on bags.
Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport
At 6:30am we headed to the bus for the trip to Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Before we got on the bus we had to identify our bags and then they loaded them onto the bus and then we were able to climb aboard. The bus left the dock in Le Pecq at 6:45am  and dropped us off at the airport where we met a representative from Viking River Cruises. She walked us to the terminal and then checked us in at a kiosk. We got our boarding passes and luggage markers. Then she directed us to the counter where we needed to turn in our bags and then head to security. At this point, we said our goodbyes to Deanne and Dave and a few other people we had met on the cruise and then headed off to begin our day in airports and airplanes. We checked in at the counter and then walked toward the gates. We turned a corner and went through an archway and encountered a snaking line to customs. We zig-zagged our way through the line and 40 minutes later we were at the customs window. This part was quick and then onto security. Security went faster, it only took us 20 minutes to get through. After getting our shoes back on and computers put away we headed for our gate. We had a few euros left so we stopped and got snacks and water for the trip. We arrived at our gate approximately two hours after arriving at the airport. So glad the Viking shuttled us early from the ship. At the gate, we only had to wait about a half hour before we started boarding. Thirty minutes later we were settled in our seats and the plane was heading down the runway.

The flight from Paris to Salt Lake City was to be about nine and a half hours.
So we relaxed and started reading. I finished reading The Monuments Men by Robert M. Edsel. We watched movies and TV shows, read some more, ate, tried to sleep, journaled, ate, filled out the declaration form, read and ate some more. They fed us a snack, lunch, another snack and then dinner. By the time we reached Salt Lake City we were both restless and ready to get out of the plane. In Salt Lake City we got in line and scanned our passports and got our receipts. Then went to the customs window and turned the receipts in and got through with ease. Then we picked up our luggage and then turned it back in just twenty feet away. I have to say that coming back to the States has never been easier. Usually, the TSA and Customs Agents are rude and grumpy. Today, though we had very friendly and helpful agents. The whole process took only 20 minutes and before we knew it we were at our gate for our flight to Albuquerque. I was glad about that because we only had an hour and fifteen minutes between flights and we made it to our gate with about 15 minutes to spare. On the flight from Salt Lake City, I read a little but mostly leaned my head back, closed my eyes and rested. We landed in Albuquerque about 30 minutes earlier than expected and thankfully our bags were one of the firsts ones out.

Once we had our bags we went out to the shuttle area for the bus to Airport Parking to get the car. We loaded the car, paid our tab and then headed home. It was 5:30pm when we got to the house. We unloaded the car, unpacked, took showers, ate a small meal and now we are headed to bed. It has been a long day and a great trip but we are tired and happy to be home. I really enjoyed Viking River Cruises. The cruise we took was Paris and the Heart of Normandy. Everything about the company was excellent. From the informational calls I made to the company to signing up and scheduling to them arranging the flights to the comfort and beauty of the ship to the excursions to the friendly and helpful staff, everything was perfection. We definitely will be using them again.


Elizabeth Brand said...

I just had to tell you how much I enjoyed your blog on your recent Viking cruise. I found it while searching for information on Saint Germain en Laye in early October but just now got to finish it.

It turns out you were just returning from your trip as we were leaving for ours. The same cruise! We did arrive a day early and stayed in Saint Germain and then stayed 8 more days, some in Paris, some in Strasbourg.

This was our third Viking cruise and I can tell you that the Rhine and the Danube cruises are just as amazing.

Happy travels!

Mark said...

Elizabeth, thanks for taking the time to read my blog and thanks for the comments. We definitely enjoyed traveling with Viking and we are taking another cruise with them next year - this time to Cuba and Central America.