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  • Writer's pictureSharon Michalove

A Travel Memory

As you read this, I am returning from my Antarctic adventure. Time to dust off a memory from 2011 and the beginning of a double header, back to back Rick Steves' tours, the first to the Basque Country and the second to Villages and Vineyards of Eastern France. Unlike this trip, much of the weather was very hot,

Up in the Air, Junior Birdpeople

DATELINE: Air France flight, somewhere over the Atlantic Another trip has begun, another voyage of adventure. And like so many trips, this one began with the prosaic. Up at an ungodly hour because I get nervous before a big trip, so I spent lots of time trying to remember to get everything done and packed. That was moderately successful. I think I remembered to pack everything, but I did forget to do a few things. Lugged our luggage to the bus stop. Took the bus to campus and then the shuttle to O'Hare. Got there early because we didn't want to be rushed. Ate a mostly unhealthy lunch (hot dog and fries). Tried to get some walking in but mostly looked at Facebook on the iPhone and played a game on the iPad. Had several unsuccessful starts on toe up socks and read more of Jasper fforde's One of Our Thursdays Is Missing. Even boarding the plane didn't give an air of excitement. More the hassle of shoving your luggage around and hoping there is still space in the overhead compartment by the time you board. And dinner, what can I say? You might imagine a gourmet meal but Air France food is no better than any other airline and their GF meal was pretty poor. I don't understand why GF meals can't be better. You get margarine rather than butter. The vegetables were burned! The regular meal includes cheese so why doesn't the GF meal? There are plenty of GF cheeses. And part of the regular meal dessert was tapioca, which I happen to like and has no ingredients that would cause problems. Unfortunately GF is conflated with no dairy so the choices are even more limited. I'm sure a person who can eat bread but not dairy would be similarly dismayed. The regular meal had an orzo salad but my substitute salad was iceberg lettuce. Couldn't they have used more interesting greens? Anyway, enough whining about the meal.

So now we are a mere two hours from Paris. Then the adrenaline will start to flow as we negotiate our way from Charles DeGaulle to Orly. We won't relax until we are safely transferred. Then it is on to Biarritz and Bayonne, and the adventure really will begin.

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