April 28th, 2014
We had booked a midnight flight from Dubai with an 8 hour layover in Paris. Our intention was to take the RER into Paris, have a croissant and coffee at a cafe, and perhaps take in a museum. We made the mistake of first going to the Air France lounge to freshen up a bit. The doors parted and we entered HEAVEN! There was no going back. The lounge was massive with interesting nooks and crannies for sleeping, working, playing games, or reading. It even had private shower rooms.
After eating breakfast and drinking numerous expressos, we just relaxed on the loungers until we could decently start in on the Salmon Billecart champagne (our favorite). But first, there were facials....Clarins offers several varieties for both men and women, absolutely free of charge. After my half hour of pampering, they directed me to a room with the full line of Clarins makeup, and - if I fully understood the French - directed me to "have at it!" Lunch was fabulous, too, and, before we knew it, it was time to board and fly home to Atlanta.
By the way, if you don't have global entry, it's a worthwhile expense. On arrival in Atlanta, the crowds waiting to get through the border were monstrous - not a pretty sight after traveling 9+ hours. Global Entry allowed us to scan our passports at a kiosk, complete the required paperwork, get a printout and waltz right up to our own border agent with not one person in front of us. Voila! We were at Baggage, and, just like in a Cary Grant movie, our suitcases were the first out of the hold. Off we went the next gauntlet - Customs and Agriculture. Again, we had our own line and the agent barely looked at us. Ten minutes flat from exiting the plane to entering the taxi!
It's always bitter sweet coming home from a trip. We had anticipated this adventure for so long, it was a little sad to put it behind us. Was it everything that I hoped for? Absolutely - and I'm already plotting how to get back to Asia and India. Do you hear the whining in the background? That's G "......didn't you promise me a month or more in France.......?" Ah, c'est la vie!