The Trials and Tribulations of Travel!October 3 in France
GAHS: And the stresses of travelling and the long journey back to reality intensified early this morning! 😬
The Uber driver who brought us to our room after our Douro River Excursion yesterday suggested we best leave for the airport by 9:30am (even though our flight was not until 1:30pm). He contended that we needed to allow time for traffic jams and accidents and other delays that tend to tie up traffic here. Like he said "You never know ... and you don't want to miss your plane." Given that our 10 minute ride to the boat launch took us 30 minutes yesterday, we took our driver's suggestion seriously and I ordered an Uber to arrive between 9:20 - 9:35am. My anxious mind really likes it when I am on top of things like that ... 😉
GROANS: Since we had arrived back to our room very late last night from our River Cruise, we had not eaten anything except for the very nice lunch they had fed us at NOON! So, by 9:00am this morning we had eaten nothing at all since then ... other than the bag of chips on the boat and a half eaten tube of Pringles Potato Chips that we had left over in the room! This wouldn't normally present a problem but our Airbnb is in a residential area and food service is very scarce. In fact, this might be the third or forth time we had Pringles for supper in Spain/Portugal. 🙃
GULPS: It occurred to my anxious mind that if we didn't get something to eat before we got into the Uber this morning that it could be 24 hours before we eat anything substantial!! 😟
GOSH: The only place we could think of was a little cafe in the shopping mall about 10 minutes walk away. We worried, however, that it might not be open early enough for us to get packed up and get there and get back before 9:15am. But ... it was our only choice!!
GRATITUDES: Fortunately... it was open! We got got two large coffees ... which were the size of thimbles ... and three sandwiches "to take away". We hurried back to our place to eat quickly (on our little deck one last time!) and then hustled down to wait for our Uber. We positioned ourselves in full view in front of our building so he would easily see us upon arrival.
GROANS: It showed that " Renaud" was one minute away ... so all seemed well. But then ... it looked like he wasn't moving anymore. Was he stuck in traffic?? We weren't sure ... but then ... Uber was telling us to meet the driver. We were standing in clear view ... with all our bags ... but couldn't see him. what the heck?? Finally John looked way down the street and noticed a car with his emergency flashers on. We grabbed all our stuff as quickly as possible to run down to where he was waiting. And I could see from his license plate that it was our Uber!
GROWLS: Just as we got to the car... he started pulling away. And then ... I was notified by Uber that our ride had been cancelled!!! What??? We were right beside the car!
GAHS: It was only about 9:25am ... but Renaud thought he'd been stood up and was already leaving. He asked me to just call him back. I don't know Uber well enough to do THAT ... so I just requested the ride again. 🙄
GOOD GOLLY: But Renaud was too slow to respond and that is how we ended up with Jorge as our driver instead. I apologized to Renaud for the mix up ... but it was probably a blessing in disguise because Jorge spoke English very well ... and ... drove at sensible and sane speeds.
GEEZE: So guess what? No real congested traffic this morning. We arrived at the airport by 10:00am ... for our 1:30pm flight!! 😒
GRRRRRR: I had not checked in online because we had bags to check and I didn't have access to a printer ... and ... I didn't know if the Transavia airline offered e-tickets or not. I thought it would be easier up to just do it all at once ... but no. No one was at our ticket counter. There was a sign directing people to check in online. So there I stood ... right in front of the ticket counter, using up my data ... checking-in on my phone. It did, however, offer to give me an e-ticket to download and save on my phone. So ... I did that.
GARGANTUAN GRRRRRRS: BUT ... do you think I could find where my phone put the tickets!! Without downloading the Transavia Airlines App (which I doubted I'd ever need again!) the link in my downloads wouldn't work. So I saved the boarding passes to memos ... hoping their scanners could read the condensed version of the barcode. Or, better yet, that they would print out boarding passes when we dropped our bags.
GRUMPIES: And well ... with that ... we found our way down to the arrivals level to the only place to sit and have a coffee on this side of security. I was cranky pants extraordinaire... so ... the old boy went off in search of a bigger coffee.
GIFTS:: He came back with two soup sized terrines filled with cappuccino. I broke out laughing ... and ... he argued we did several hours to kill. Which was true ........................🙄
GRIMACES: And the saddest part of it all is that the flight we were catching wasn't taking us home. It was taking us back to Paris so we could catch another flight home tomorrow from there. We had presumed it best to choose our outbound flight home from a central destination because we didn't know for sure where we would be when it was time to come home. We were regretting that we had not chosen Lisbon ... but ... I guess it's the price we must pay for the flexibility we wanted.
GRIMACES: We took the 2 hour flight with Transavia from Porto to Paris ... and then ... spent almost 1.5 hours with Uber just getting across the City of Love and Lights (during rush hour) from the Orly airport to our hotel ... which is cleverly situated right next to the airport we fly out of tomorrow. And so ... another $69.45€ .. and no food or snacks or drinks provided! We were sure wishing our go-cup had been full! 😉
GASPS: And then ... we arrived in a hotel like we have never ever before seen!! It comes with an IPAD that controls everything from the blinds ... to projector that screens the TV onto the wall ... to the colors of the lights over the clear round shower that is prominently positioned in the middle of the room. I have been seriously pondering what color lighting will be the most flattering for a wet 60 year old?? Fuschia? Lime? Periwinkle? Citron? The possibilities are endless!!😂
GRINS: The old boy is having such fun playing with all the electronic controls!! It's fun for me to watch him delight in all his discoveries!
GRATITUDES: We are here ... sipping Duty Free wine in our techno-room ... and heading out for dinner before 9:00pm. We are in the air with Westjet for over 13 hours tomorrow ... but for tonight ... we are content.
Sending love .... k&jRead more