At 3 PM we said our goodbyes to Randi, Ally, Tim and the other surf coaches and people we had met. We lugged our stuff to the van and began the 4 hour journey to the airport. We talked most of the way there so it went by quick. My flight left several hours before Steph’s so they dropped me off at the airport and the driver dropped her off at a hotel.
I got checked in (the line took an hour to get my boarding pass) and made it through immigration with only about an hour before my flight left. I did not check any bags because I knew it was going to be pushing it to get to my connection in Doha and that meant getting out of the airport faster in Dallas.
When I got to my gate, my flight was a bit delayed so I sat and read until we boarded. I sat next to a really nice guy on my first flight. He was clean cut, did not smell and was relatively quiet (that is all i ask for). I slept most of the way since it had been a long day and it was a night time flight.
When I arrived in Doha, I knew that I had to hurry over to the gate. I had not checked in yet (they would not let me at the previous airport because I booked the flights separately). I had to wait in a long line to actually get to the counter to get my boarding pass at the gate.
When I got to the counter, the flight attendant looking confused and told me that my flight was cancelled in their computer. Long story short, since I had no checked bags and they had no proof of me being on the previous flight (since it was booked separately) they went ahead and cancelled it thinking that I was a no show. The lady told me to go over to the customer service area and she would help me figure it out.
The last thing I wanted was to be stuck in Doha with a credit card that did not work and only $6 to my name. I waited and waited and waited and after about 30 minutes the lady came back and told me that I was good to go. I was happy to see this flight was delayed too (it bought me a bit more time to get this worked out) and that I was actually able to get on board. The flight was delayed about 45 minutes, but other than that, the flight was smooth.
I sat next to a lady with the full face cover on and her daughter. I watched a few movies, took a nap, enjoyed the amazing Qatar Airlines food and read a bit of my book. Before I knew it, the 6.5 hours were up and I was in Paris.
The Paris airport was huge. Thankfully I had a 4 hour layover in Paris (now only 3 due to my delay) because I had to walk really far and then take a bus over to anther terminal and then walk alllll the way to the end of the long ass hallway to get to my gate. I still had about an hour and a half left when I sat down to charge up my phone and get online. I pulled out my computer to surf the web and make the time go by faster but the internet in the airport was slower than dial up.
I could not get a page to load or even send a text message. I ended up just reading until it was time to board. I got on the plane and was sitting next to a family from Louisiana (agian fairly quiet and non smelly). The pilot came on the intercom and told us that there was a problem with the bag scanner and that it would take another 20 minutes or so to get all the bags loaded on. What are the chances that ALL 3 of my flights would be delayed?
On this flight, I tried to get back on American schedule. When I knew I needed to go to bed, I would order a couple red wines from the flight attendant and then pass out. The plane was not a big one like I flew in on the way here so there was not much room to get up and stretch your legs. I could feel my ankles and calves swelling from the long journey and dehydration. I got up to go to the bathroom and walked a bit, but it did not do any good. The damage was already done and my ankles looked like Honey Bo Bo’s moms!
When we landed, I hurried off the plane and through customs. I had no checked bags so I was one of the first ones out. I looked around for my mom but could not find her. I did not have phone service since I had cancelled my plan before I left so there was no way for ‘me to get in touch with her. I kept walking around looking for her in and out and no luck.
I went to the convenient store to get some change so I could use the pay phone the call her ( I can not believe they still have those) and the nice cashier asked if I would like to use her phone. I called my mom and they were at the wrong gate. I let them know where I was and they drove over to get me. It was so good to see my mom and dad! It had been so long.
I was happy to be back in the states and to see family, but I was sad to be so far from SE Asia. I know that I will return soon so I am going to enjoy all the time that I have to get to spend with family and friends the next couple month. See you in 2015 Bali!