Did you ever visit Disney in the 70s? Do you remember getting the little booklet of tickets for rides? The tickets ranged from A-E with about five A tickets for calm, less popular rides and two E tickets for the most popular, exciting rides.
Today eTickets are electronic and they will get you places (boarding passes for example), but they do not guarantee the thrills and excitement of a Disney E ticket.
As I mentioned in the last post, we were perched atop the rollercoaster. We have now experienced the plummet, it was exhilarating and long.
Saturday, in preparation for the flight, I had stupidly slathered on moisturizing cream to prepare for the dry airplane air. It has glycerin. TSA screens for traces of glycerin (you know nitro-glycerin…used in bombs). I arrived at TSA and set off all the alarms!
They took apart everything I was carrying, swabbed and analyzed it all, even opening our protein bars to inspect them. Then, I had to endure the full body pat-down, thankfully with clothing. My TSA agent was kind and provided a brief neck and shoulder massage for the trouble. Twenty minutes later, the first agent complimented my packing skills, apologized for the inconvenience, and handed me a tub with my completely unpacked backpack, purse, and all contents piled in a heap. Mortified and avoiding eye-contact with surrounding travelers, I shuffled to a corner and repacked.
The flights were smooth, but we only slept about an hour. We arrived on Sunday. Customs in France was nonexistent. Literally. There was no one there. We checked into the hotel, took an over the counter sleep aid and crashed. This was the most brilliant thing ever!! It allowed us to catch up on the missed sleep and wake refreshed with our body clocks fairly reset. No jet lag! Monday morning, we hopped on the TGV and 2.5 hours later our landlord/host picked us up and brought us home. He and his wife are absolutely lovely people.
It has been a week of logistics. I will share just one logistical challenge from the week. Mobile phone service.
We had purchased a phone plan when we visited in the fall, but the company deactivated the line while we were in the US and they kept billing us. Our hostess canceled the first phone company. It was all via phone, in French, and no way could I do that.
We signed up for service at a new phone company, but they required a French bank account. French banks are very reluctant to open accounts for Americans due to US FATCA regulations, so this is nearly impossible. This required I set up an account with Wise (formerly Transferwise) money transfer service as they can provide a workaround.
So an hour later, I entered my details with the phone company and sent them a copy of my passport. They emailed me a confirmation, but they didn’t activate the service, nor did they provide any additional information.
So…the next day, we signed up for new service with the first company and actually got the service. (9 euros for 80GB!) Then company number two activated their service to my phone, so I had to cancel that service.
I used their app’s chat feature on my phone, John’s phone to translate their responses to English, my ipad to dictate English to French, so I could type the French into my phone, then used a third phone to take pictures of the conversation (no transcript would be provided), et voila, the line was canceled. I felt absolutely victorious! One logistical challenge solved.
Saturday evening, we walked around our neighborhood park, Parc St. Nicholas. It was glorious! Swans, ducks, birdsong, Roman ruins jutting out of the water, and an affectionate cat! Video snippet here: https://youtu.be/IHB4BkebsIw
This was the first time in nine months that we have completely relaxed. Nothing on the “TO DO” list. All tasks complete. We actually did this. WE MOVED TO FRANCE!!!
Now we have reached the deceleration at the end of the ride. It was scary, fast, and totally worth it. We are home.
Got any A tickets?