February 17, 2006
As usual, I had to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom - it was about 3am, Paris time. And Loki was not back yet. He went out to visit a particular pub that we had passed on our walk back from Sacre Coeur. I don't know everything that happened while he was out, but he did share that the area around the Moulin Rouge gets really, really seedy after midnight.
Unfortunately for Loki, we had a 5:30 wake-up call, so we got up, rearranged our luggage, and set off for Porte Maillot. We took M2 to Charles de Gaulle Etoile, and a very nice custodian led us through the nice warm mall to the door that led to the parking lot where buses to the airports waited. It's the cane, it makes people want to help me.
We got on the bus, and a short time later, we were on our way to the Paris Beauvais airport, about a 50 minute ride from Central Paris. I was the only member of our party to stay awake, and I'm glad I did - we traveled through a lot of the residential areas of the city, and when we left the city, we motored by a lot of farmland.
The Beauvais airport is tiny - it's a hallway with a few canvas hangers attached to it. The announcements were all in French; although someone was attempting to make announcements in English, it really was unrecognizable. We quickly figured out that "Dooblah" was actually Dublin, and therefore we were able to get in the right line.
Loki got out of line to go to the bathroom and almost created an international incident when he tried to get back in line right behind me, right when I was about to go through security, without showing his passport at the gate. What a troublemaker!
We were ushered through to one of the canvas hangers, where the wind was sweeping down the plain - the noise of the wind against the canvas was so loud that I couldn't hear any of the announcements.
Sio, being her friendly self, met a family from Dublin and whiled away the next hour chatting with them. Monkey was surly and overtired, and she and I sat and split a bottle of water and a croissant. A couple sat across from us, and I immediately liked the man - his face expressed such humor and good nature, and he seemed to take to Monkey, offering her peanut M&Ms and doing silly magic tricks for her, which improved her mood. She shared that "nous ne soutenon pas le President Bush", and he laughed - a nice hearty laugh.
Ryanair allows family to board first, so we got good seats at the front of the plane. Loki, Sio, and Monkey all had window seats - I took the aisle so I could keep my left leg straight. Loki tried to stay awake for the landing, but only Monkey and I saw the shoreline of Ireland as we landed at the Dublin airport.
(to be continued....)