Oh joy, yet another flight to the states. Sure I may be getting used to the process of the international flight but I have yet grown to love it. Packing all my stuff the night before with the nagging in the back of my mind that I'm forgetting something, checking in online, making my way to the airport, checking my bags at the counter, going through security, and then waiting extra long to board because I was a good girl and got there on time, these are all things that I don't specifically enjoy. The whole ordeal makes me feel like I desperately need to bathe and by the end of it all, even though I spend most flights drifting in and out of sleep, I feel as if I have stayed up all night high on healthy mixture of caffeine, red bull, and gummy candies.
However this trip went as swimmingly as one could imagine. I walked up to the corner near my apartment in Paris and hailed a cab within only a few minutes. Sure the taxi driver may have been a bit bizarre, but frankly I think the trip would have lost that certain special something had the taximan not berated a fellow driver through a rolled down passenger window, or told me that "Obama bad, Bush good." And the man did manage to get me from point A to B for cheaper than I expected.
From there I went through the airport obstacle course and was only stopped because the jewelry box in my socks apparently looked like bomb material, but after searching my goods and getting the ok, I was on to my gate. For whatever reason the airplane gods were smiling down on me that day for I was put on a large international plane with only 60 other passengers. I'm not sure if it has been my getting there within the airport recommended 3 hours ahead for international flights, my clear adherence to security check procedures, or that I have checked in early online like a good girl, but whatever it is someone noticed and karma was kind. Due to the lack of passengers, I was allowed to lay out in a row of four empty seats and procure an uncomfortable few hours of sleep rolling around when one side became numb from the hard "cushioning". Sure I may have been behind a family with flatulent children, but I had numerous movies and tv shows to watch at my command and the ability to be horizontal.
Part one of my trip ended in Charlotte, North Carolina and I deboarded the plane onto American soil. The smell of fried food was in the air and the terminal was speckled with obese people. It felt good to be back home. Not wanting to feel like an outsider I bought myself a fried chicken meal at Bojangles which came complimentary with a 1lb biscuit, a body bag of super salty french fries, a giant soda, and sauce of my choice. I went with BBQ because it felt classier than ranch. However, after devouring three chicken strips without coming up for air, I realized that class clearly hadn't been invited and I perhaps should have gone with the ranch after all.
I boarded my flight from Charlotte to Denver with the sophisticated aroma of fried poultry clinging to my hair. The plane, unlike my previous aberration, was full and I had the pleasure of placing my bag in the overhead compartment a good nine rows behind me. What this meant for de-boarding I could only guess. I imagined it would involve some fist shaking and hissing as I squirmed past my fellow travelers and held up the rest of the plane. Luckily, the reality of it was much smoother and I was able to depart without sacrificing too much time or angering the mob passengers.
Grant parked the car and met me at the greeting point like the doll he is and the two of us lugged my baggage to the car where Ellie waited with anticipation. I had to play it cool so that she wouldn't develop any deep psychological scars regarding my absence, which was hard to do considering her bounding excitement. Luckily she calmed down by the time we reached home and I was able to snuggle and love her as much as I wanted. Olive, on the other hand, gave me the same cold shoulder as before.
After such a long day of travel the first thing I want to do is shower. Nothing makes me feel more disgusting than a plane ride. Add on that the exhaustion and the fact that I've been forced to rely on baths while in Paris, and I practically bee-lined for the bathroom upon arrival. Grant's apartment has a wonderful split bathroom setup where the sink is in a separate adjoining room. Above this sink is a large mirror and horrible eye-scraping neon lights. Considering that the bathroom is a bit cramped with the toilet and tub, I decided to disrobe here and place my things on a nice folded pile next to the sink. To my shock, I discovered too late that this was a poor decision.
I hadn't realized that since living in Paris I have not actually seen my body sans-clothes in a full length mirror. While I haven't missed this sight I have obviously suffered from my ignorance of not it. While the tightness of my pants and jackets should have let me know just how much the cheese, and foie gras, and saucisson was affecting my waistline, apparently I needed the blinding rays of neon to illuminate my trunk-like thighs to wake me up to the fact that I had, indeed, packed on a few pounds.
I tried not to let this get to me. I had known this would happen. An American in France? It's just not healthy. Since it isn't our native environment we have no idea how to balance a life of frivolity and dairy in such a way that we don't crumble under our stilettos from the weight of it all. Yet somehow, it happens far too often that American's enter France and see all the skinny Parisians eating cheese plates, duck confit, and mashed potatoes and think that they can just go hog wild and come home with a pair of rail-thin, sky scrapper tall legs in their bag as a souvenir. It sadly does not work that way, and my ass can prove it. Luckily I foresaw this and purchased a few pairs of pants one size bigger than I normally inhabit. I have yet to outgrow those and I am hoping that with a bit more discipline and a bit less of eating Nutella with a spoon (or finger) out of the jar and I'll be back in my regular size before you know it.