Friday morning I woke up to daylight coming into our tiny hotel room. I had a small moment of panic, thinking it was already late and we had missed our flight. My alarm was set at 5:55 and it was only 5:54, I just didn't realize how early the sun came up so far north in France. I took a shower and woke up the boys and we left the hotel around 7:30 even though our flight didn't leave until 10:40. We had no idea how long it would take to actually get into the airport after dragging five huge suitcases onto the small shuttle bus. It was chilly and raining, but after dragging, carrying and lifting our luggage we were quite toasty and very relieved when we finally saw the Delta baggage check desk. Charles de Gaulle is not an airport I would recommend to a friend, or even an enemy. It's fine for connecting flights if you're ready to run or speed-walk through long hallways and confusing turns. However, when you're checking luggage and running around with lots of suitcases, the novelty of being in Paris quickly turns into an airport nightmare. Well, despite the long lines, the security checkpoints, and broken suitcase wheels, we were soon sitting at our gate waiting to meet the rest of the kids on our flight to Seattle. 

To my surprise, instead of seeing only Seattle-bound ESDES students, I found that almost all of my friends were in the same terminal as us! Beth, Sara, and Anisha's gate was next to ours, and Rachel's was just a few down. We chatted and said one final goodbye before going separate ways.
The flight itself was not particularly unpleasant, but as all international flights are, it was just long and tiresome. We each had our own TV screen which had tons of movies, TV shows, music, and games. I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity and found a few movies I'd been wanting to watch. Unlike on the flight over, we didn't have any sunset or sunrise. Instead, the plane stayed in the daylight all ten hours. We flew over iceland which was quite incredible since there was no cloud cover and we could see it quite clearly. I didn't sleep more than 20 minutes on the whole flight, but I knew that if I stayed awake until i twas nighttime in California I would crash and sleep all night. 

We finally arrived in Seattle and passed through customs, rechecked our bags, and made our way to our last gate. The flight to Ontario went pretty quickly, and when we landed we were greeted by Justin's parents, our grandma, and Ryan and Jaci's parents. It was so good to finally be back but it seemed so strange that it was only five PM and that "morning" was over 20 hours before. 
Sheri Seibold
6/6/2013 03:29:30 pm

So, this was the day the sun stood still. Any chance Josh was on that flight with you?

I'm so glad you could meet up with your friends one last time at the airport and say your goodbyes, which I now know to be ¡hasta luego and not adios.


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