Trip to France, August 2005

This little page documents my trip to France starting on August 14th, 2005, until the 24th. I decided to write-up this page because of how much I hate airports, and since I had my sidekick with me, I could take pictures along the way. After about 2 hours into my trip, my distaste for airports soon became justified...
Edit: Sorry for a somewhat lack of continuity, after most of the eventful stuff that happened amongst all the angst of traveling in airports, I was convinced to continue making daily updates to this page (internet connectivity pending).

My first problem, was mistaking a Thursday for being a Friday. This just meant that I was one day ahead of myself and that I could relax for a day. The next afternoon, I was off to the Pittsburgh International Airport. I checked my guitar and some bag that belonged to Cheryl, got my boarding pass, headed to the gate. Fortunately, there was a bar right across the way from the gate, so I was able to drink there until it was time to get on the plane. Unfortunately, I failed to notice that I was boarding the plane 30 minutes AFTER the plane was scheduled to have left. This mistake would foreshadow the things to come.

So now I'm on a little Continental Express flyer, somewhere over Pennsylvania. No problems. That is until we land in Newark, about 40 minutes late (stems from leaving 40 minutes late), and we are taxiing to our gate, and it takes us 30 minutes to do that. (Newark Airport)--;. This is bad. I need to get onto an Air France flight to Paris in about 20 minutes. This entails walking to the end of my current terminal (C), getting on a train, get off at the next terminal (B), then walk to the ticketing counter to get my boarding pass, then go through security, then traverse this terminal to get to the gate. My little quest through Newark Airport was brought to an abrupt halt at the Air France ticketing counter in terminal B, however, by a not very nice french desk attendant. Having about 10 minutes left, he told me I was too late (I would later find out that I was mysteriously upgraded to first class on this flight). He then told me that it wasn't Air France's fault that I was here late and that I should go to Continental's ticketing counter since their plane was the one that caused me to miss my Air France flight. This means another train ride for me. Back in terminal C, I find my way to the international flights ticket counter to be greeted by a long line. After about 30 minutes in this line, the guy at the counter tells me I need to talk to Air France, since I bought my tickets through them, and that I should probably get them to get me a hotel room for the night. This, of course, means another train ride. Back in terminal B, I'm greeted by the same not very friendly french guy, he says they won't get me a hotel room, that there was nothing they could do, and that I should continue to talk to Continental. So, another train ride later, I'm back in terminal C at the back of a very long line leading up to the international flights ticket counter. This time I get some lady, she is sympathetic to my cause. She tells me there is a flight to paris tonight at 10pm, but I'll have to be on standby. 2 hours later, me and about 5 other people are waiting at the gate, watching an entire planeload of people disappear through the gate doors, the gate that would get me to Paris. An hour later, me and the 5 other people are told we should go to the Customer Service Center and get a hotel room. It wasn't all that bad. The customer service lady was pretty nice, I requested a hotel with a bar and got the Hilton, and I got boarding passes for a flight leaving at 6pm the next day to Paris and the one from Paris to Marseille.

While waiting for the train that would take me to the parking area where the hotel shuttles were, I noticed that one of the flight info screens had crashed. Funny. So they use Windows 2000. I also noticed that every few hundred feet there was a Defibrillator on the walls. I think there were more of these than there were fire extinguishers. Finally, I arrive at the curb where the shuttles are. It is very hot and humid in Newark, and this makes waiting for a shuttle outside very painful. Eventually, I am wisked away to the Gateway Hilton, and after about 20 minutes in line (with all the other people from the airport that got the shaft) I get my keycard and I'm off for a quick change of clothing. Then it's off to the hotel bar. I order a Jameson's on the rocks, I get this glass with a pitiful amount of whiskey in it. It disappeares before the bartender turns around, "Want another?", he asks me. I tell him that my day was filled with pain, pain that can only be relieved by inebriation. I give him a credit card and say, "Whenever this glass looks empty, it needs to be refilled, to the top", and the bartender knew exactly what I meant, bartenders of this caliber are rare. Last call comes around, the bartender continues to pour, he tells me he's only going to charge me singles for these next few. The time is 1:50, the pizza shop that I planned to order pizza from closes at 2:00. With the tab taken care of, I start calling to order a pizza while I make my way to my room. At this point things start getting a little blurry. It takes an hour for the pizza to arrive at the hotel, there was some girls that couldn't get to the pool because they left their keycard in the room, eating pizza, anime on laptop, passing out, something...

I wake up with a pizza box and my laptop on my stomach. It's 9am (wtf?). I get some ice and drink some water, made some coffee, and did some work on my laptop. At noon, the hotel kicks me out so I make my way to the airport. Michelle calls me and says she is going to try to get me upgraded to first class. As I am talking to the same not very friendly french guy at the Air France ticket counter, I see that getting upgraded isn't going to happen. With many hours to kill, and still without any food in my stomach, I do the most logical thing I could think of: Find a bar with a power outlet and drink bloody mary's while watching anime on my laptop. Several hours go by and I make my way to the gate. Things seem to go a little more smoothly today. I get on the plane, which was on time, and I'm greeted by the welcome aboard message behind the seat in front of you, the sign that says, "Yes, you've finally made it, on the plane at least". After a while, drinks were served. Then, some snacks were served. Suddenly I realized, wtf, we're still on the fucking ground! A quick glance at the flight status screen confirms that we are still at Newark. Seems we're going to be on the ground for about an hour. No problem, I think to myself, this gives me about 40 minutes to find my way around the Charles de Gaulle airport and find where my next flight is, noting to myself that my boarding pass does not say what gate the Paris-Marseille flight is to be. Soon, we're up in the air, more drinks are served as well as some food. I have this airplane power adapter which allows me to plug my laptop into the seat. This means anime and screwdrivers the whole way to Paris. I think I may have passed out for a little while, but soon the sun is back out and we're over the English Channel. Not too long afterwards, I am in the Carles de Gaulle Airport. Not having much time to find where my next flight is, I choose to call up my friend Cheryl who had just previously made this trek the day before (I was SUPPOSED to be accompanying her to Marseille). She gives me some directions about finding the terminal 2D. On a side note, I didn't have to go through customs because I was flying to Marseille, odd isn't it? After some time, I found my gate with 20 minutes left to kill. I also see that the airplane is ready for boarding. In typical french fashion, rows 28-20 is called for boarding and everyone gets in line, regardless of what row they sit in. And about 20 minutes later, I'm in my seat ready to take off. An hour on the plane, and I'm in Marseille. First thing's first, I smoke a much needed cigarette, I'm finally at my destination, all is good, airports suck. I spoke too soon. After meeting up with Cheryl, we go find our bags. The green bag (which had Cheryl's stuff in it) arrived here in Marseille yesterday, apparently on the flight that I was "too late" to get on. My guitar was still in Newark. I'm very unhappy. Cheryl is also unhappy because she had told the Moneti family that I'd entertain them for the day. Well, I hope my guitar gets here, or else there will be hell to pay.

Now I'm in the car, the first thing you notice that indicates you are no longer in the U.S. is that all the cars are small. A couple of minutes later, we stop at a McDonald's, kind of odd, I don't even eat at McDonald's when I am in the states. After a quick fish sandwich and an orangina, we're back on the road. South France is really beautiful. Here's a carshot of a cathedral on the side of a mountain. Another thing about south France, is the vineyards. After a little while on a very narrow and bumpy road, we arrive at Laurent's family's summer home. The Monetis also have some vineyards that produce some nice wine grapes. After meeting most of the Monetis we go with the lovely Moneti sisters and drive for about 30 minutes to some river, where Nati, Karine (the Moneti sisters), and Cheryl get some sun. As the afternoon nears an end, we head back to the Moneti house for some prosciuto and pastis. Many, many glasses of pastis later, we gather at the dinner table for several courses of food. (Side Note: none of these people spoke much english, and of course, i don't know any french). Between the salad and bread, and the main course, i was served this very alcoholic sorbet or something. It smelled kind of like rubbnig alcohol, but was surprisingly good.

The next day, I wake up in Avignon, in the upstairs bedroom of Cheryl's house. I woke up surprisingly early (for this time zone), 8am, considering the little amount of sleep I've been getting over the last 3 days. I eventually make my way downstairs where I start my morning off with some web browsing and a glass of wine. Soon Cheryl and Agnes are up and about. Here's another picture of Agnes with Laurent in the background and one with just Agnes. After some breakfast and a few more glasses of wine, we make our way out to the park and the Notre Dame de Avignon, where the pope used to stay. This place is at the top of the city wall, which entailed climbing many stairs. But once you've reached the top, the view is pretty good. Here is a picture of one of the trees in the park, it needed some structural reinforcement. We make our way to the park's play area for Agnes to enjoy herself. Then we move to the other side of the wall where we get a great view of the Rhone River. There was a panoramic guide near the corner of the wall, where you can see the direction of Chateaneuf du Pape. Here is a picture of Notre Dame and the gold guilded statue on top. Nobody there seemed to know who that is a statue of. Eventually, it started to get dark, so we make our way to a movie rental store and then home, for some more wine. Then some bloody marys, then just straight vodka.

I finally got to sleep in, waking up at the healthy time of 2pm (local time). I brush my teeth and walk down stairs to be greeted by my guitar, those bastards finally got it here from Newark. A quick check shows no damage has been done, but I did find a note saying that the case has been searched, bastards. The next hour is spent playing my guitar and getting some coffee. There was an organ concert in the early evening at a church, so we start making our way down there. We pass by a house with painted windows and various happenings. Soon, we make our way to the square in front of the Palace of the Popes. Ends up, the concert wasn't at the palace, it was in another church. Once inside, there was a fine view of the front, the top, the left, and of the right, historical holy artifacts galore. The pipe organ was above the doorway where you walk in. The music was good and the sound was pretty good also. After the concert we walked around looking for an S-Video to RCA adapter, but the store was closed. Unable to watch stuff from my laptop tonight due to the lack of an adapter, we went back to the movie rental store and picked up some french anime. Well, it isn't french, only french in language. We head back to the house for some wine and pasta, stopping at a bakery along the way from some baguettes. Oh, and on a side note, I bought some french smokes.

Today we leave for Milan, Italy. I woke up and sat out of the window to have a morning cigarette and I caught the mail girl (Edit: This picture does not do the mail girl justice, my apologies) come by the house. Later, after everyone wakes up and Agnes is fed, Laurent's parents come by for lunch and to take Agnes away. We pack into the car and head out of Avignon and onto the highway [MORE]. After a few hours in the beautiful south France countryside [MORE, MORE], we reach the coast [MORE], we pass Nice, pass a few smaller towns whose names I don't remember, and eventually end up in Monte Carlo, Monaco. This place is fancy, nice cars and beautiful women. In the big casino there is an exhibit of Salvadore Dali photographs. After a short stint in the casino, we take a walk along the water, then through a few shops looking for an S-Video to RCA adapter for my laptop (FNAC). After some more walking we make our way back to the car and continued to head east along the coast. There was a lot of traffic in Monte Carlo, so it took a while to get to the italian border. Once there, we stop in the small town of Ventimiglia for some dinner. At a pizza restuarant, the menu included seafood and pasta. I had gniocci and wine, Cheryl got a fish platter, for desert, we had lemon liquer (Limoncello). After a relaxing walk along the beach, we get back to the car and drive to San Remo to look for lodging. A lot of hotels didn't have vacancy. We finally found a 1 star hotel that had 4 (old) beds and a bathroom down the hall for 70 euro. Not too bad considering the other option was to sleep in the car.
Edit: I had somehow lost a whole slew of pictures taken in monte carlo, no idea how...

It was pretty noisy in the hotel, due to the fact that our only 2 windows faced the street , the very busy street. Not that the noise really bothered me that much, since I do live in the Comet Way house. With a good 5 hours of sleep under my belt, I awoke near the time of noon, checkout time. Soon, we were off, with the City of San Remo behind us we approached Genova. The small road that we took all the way to Genova provided a great view of the ocean [ MORE] and the many beaches that we past. We made a short stop at one of the several beaches to stretch our legs. Being that beaches seem so popular, parking was hard to come by. After a few smokes and a drink, we continued our way to Genova. It's hard to describe how beautiful the drive [MORE, MORE] was (my pictures don't even nearly do it justice, especially since I sat in the backseat during this part of the trip, so not so many pictures from the car), albeit because of the small road, our trek toward Genova was limited to a velocity of roughly 50 kph, in otherwords, a crawl in comparison to the autostrada. I passed most of my time looking for wireless networks, needless to say, there were none, none the whole way. By the time we actually got to Genova and found a place to park, it was around 4pm. The problem with our current situation was that the majority of the food establishments were closed for business between 2-6pm. After some walking through the city of Genova we found a store that sold premade food stuffs, I had some breaded shrimp on a stick, and we ate the food on a bench. Within minutes, we were accosted by a swarm of pigeons, who seemed brave enough to almost walk right up to you and eat the food in your hand. A swift stomp of the foot convinced them otherwise. Because of a small mistake in the parking arrangements, we had an extra hour to kill, what better way to kill time than go to a bar? Because I was a little thirsty, I opted for a bellini, that is peach juice and champange for those of you who are not versed in the joys of cocktails. Next, it's time to get serious and start getting into the whiskey. A couple of drinks later, we were back in the car and looking for the autostrada, and looking, and driving, and looking, and driving. It seems we were lost, and taking an involuntary tour through the city. Now, I thought cities in france had bad roadside markings, but Genova was the worst that I've seen. Concentric round-abouts, unmarked by any street signs, leading to a spiderweb of roads, which aren't even marked if they are one-way. When we did see signs, they were in italian, of course, and the 3 of us didn't know any italian. After some unknown time of driving around Genova, we finally found a sign for the autostrada. This took us to the highway that leads north to Milan. Being a little tipsy with not much to do in the backseat, I feel asleep.

I wake up just as we're exiting the autostrada into Milan [MORE, MORE, MORE]. It's around 8pm or so. I contact my friend Federico over AIM via my pager. He's just getting off work and is going to go grocery shopping for our dinner. He gives me his address and some other street that is near his house. We drive around aimlessly through Milan for a little while before Cheryl decides to buy a map. I also check mapquest via my pager, no luck. Eventually we found his place, but now the hard part: finding a place to park and deciphering the cryptic parking signs. Federico is back on AIM, which means he's probably home. After ringing the buzzer, we are let through a set of REALLY big doors and a nice little courtyard and soon after we're greeted by Federico, introductions were made and we make our way into his house, a very nice place. Pasta with pesto and a salad was to be our dinner, along with 2 bottles of wine. Cheryl and Laurent fall asleep while me and Federico talk for several hours, some of which being a reliving of some old times we had in the game Everquest where we both played on the Rallos Zek server, good times. After a few hours of sleep, we went out [MORE] to look at the shops [MORE]. I was told that Milan was the fashion capitol of the world, something that I wasn't particularly interested in. I did think about buying myself a new suit, Italy had some of the best fabrics for suits in the world. I was also planning on buying my girlfriend something, but not knowing her measurements or anything, my options as far as fashionable gifts were pretty slim. Turns out it really didn't matter, most of the stores were closed. It seems that the month of August was vacation time for these people. We did go to some Armani or something place, where the the T-shirts were 70 euro and sweaters were over 500 euro. Lunch was good ole italian fast food, pizza. Surprisingly, it wasn't much unlike pizza I eat at the states. We also visited the Duomo (sp?) [MORE], a big church that is right at the center of the town. You can visit the outside, 250 steps up to the tower and from there you can walk around the upper perimeter [MORE, MORE] of the church. The detail of this church was amazing, every arch, every little nook, every spire was different, with different biblical scenes depicted or historical figures. Later we went inside the church itself. There were tombs of famous italians, including some Medici, that lined the walls, along with some very large paintings. The room itself was huge and lined with stained glass. Afterwards, we made our way to a bar/icecream shop, where Federico, Laurent, and Cheryl indulged in some icecream, and I, noticing the shelf of single malt scotches, chose to indulge in whiskey. After mistakingly ordering a slush drink thinking I was getting a glass of Bowmore, Federico came and helped correct the mistake. On the way back to Federico's place, we stopped by a grocery store to stock up on Limoncello, a lemon flavored liquor that is served ice cold. We'd been walking around for a good 4 and a half hours now, and we needed to head back to Avignon soon, Agnes' birthday party was going to be tomorrow. After humbly thanking Federico (btw, Mearis++) for his generous hospitality, we left and headed back to the car, fortunately, the car didn't have a ticket even though we were parked illegally. Thanks to the map that Cheryl purchased, we avoided a repeat in Genova and found the autostrade fairly quickly. We were now back on the road [MORE, MORE] and I soon fell asleep. I wake up at some point and notice the car is at a standstill, amongst a highway saturated with other cars, also at a standstill. A few minutes later we were able to move about 30 or 40 meters, then everyone stopped again. This went on for 45 minutes. I tried to take some pictures of interesting looking people around us that were in the same predicament. Finally we reached the end, seems the bottleneck was the toll booth, maybe they should hire more toll booth workers, or maybe since it was August, most of the booth attendants were on vacation. Another few hours on the highway and we stop in Cagnes Sur Mer, a beach town just past Nice. Time to look for food. After walking a kilometer or so down the beach, we find this restuarant called "La Bourride". This place was fancy. I ordered Lobster at 12 euro per 100 grams (I still don't know how much I ended up paying for it), and when the time came, they took my fork and knife away and replaced them with some rather medival looking utensils. The lobster was heavenly, I think I caught a buzz from it, wine was a 2001 Chateaneuf du Pape, Chateau de Mathieu (sp?). They had also brought out a small bowl of hot water with a lemon in it (for washing my fingers after my meal) and a small bowl of olive oil, sundried tomatoes, and some kind of spice, for dipping the lobster in. Well worth whatever I ended up paying for the dinner.

After finally ariving back in Avignon (and once again having a real internet connection), I do my needed stuff and find a 5 hour slumber, for the next day is Agnes' birthday (observed; the actual birthday is on Monday). The next day we drive to Cantemerle (sp?), to the place where I first arrived when I got to France, and was once again greeted by the Monetis. Since it was Agnes' birthday, there were presents for Agnes [MORE, MORE]. Then it was time to get down to the matter at hand, pastis time, and with sausages as apertifs (sorry, blurry picture, they were delicious even tho there was white mold on one of them). After some leisurely drinking, it was time for lunch, a typical afternoon starter, melon with prosciuto, which we ate while watching the F1 race in Istanbul on TV (was the first Turkish hosting of an F1 race I believe). And of course, no celebration would be complete without some champagne, the real stuff mind you. The birthday cake was brought out and we tried to teach the now 1 year old Agnes how to blow out a candle. It didn't work so well. But soon it was cake eating time. It was a good time for everyone [MORE (Agnes with Christian)]. Afterwards, I found a few hours to play a game of go with Laurent. The rest of the afternoon was spent walking around the 10 hectares of land which the Monetis owned, most of which, of course, were grape vines. They took Agnes with them in some strap device. We made our way to a natural spring, where water magically came out of the side of the hill (this picture is blurry, and the water was murky with sediment because we were mucking around in it). Later we visited the goats that the Monetis owned as pets [MORE, MORE] (I don't know why they keep goats as pets, doesn't seem like they make good pets to me). Then we made our way back to the house, where we met back up with Agnes and her grandmother. Soon it was time for dinner, lamb chops and rice with a calamari stew, delicious. We had a bottle of the Cote du Rhone wine made from the Moneti grapes (from the vines in my pictures), and had some more limoncello. I had to take this picture of Agnes having her teeth brushed. I never though a 1 year old would so readily allow their teeth to get brushed. Later that night, back in Avignon, I am out on Cheryl's tiny balcony brushing my hair (I'm being considerate since brushing my hair usually leaves a pile of 4 feet long strands which destroy vacuum cleaners and make sweeping a nightmare) and smoking a cigarette. There were a bunch of people that had (in)conveniently parked their car right in front of the house, blocking Cheryl's garage. Earlier I had a few glasses of something that Cheryl had in her liquor cabinet that claimed to be scotch, but was clearly a misnomer. These people soon noticed me brushing my hair and blurted out a bunch of french, none of which I understood. Being a little drunk already, I flicked my cigarette onto their car (usually I'd remove the embers and store the butt in my cigarette box, but I'd felt some strange need to be rude at this particular moment). I was quickly met with a whole lot of french, which I could tell was meant to be derogatory. I smiled at these ladies and one gentleman and went back inside. Ahh, alcohol is good.

Both Laurent and Cheryl had to work the next day (Monday) so I took advantage of the situation by sleeping in. My morning (afternoon) cigarette was greeted by the sight of a tabby cat meowing at apparently nothing. Cheryl spent the afternoon working from home, so I took this time to go through my email and getting some much needed work done. Cheryl had a doctor's appointment around 4 and by 5:30 she was back and we took a drive down to Chateauneuf du Pape with Agnes in the back seat singing the baby equivalent to songs the whole way. It was only about 15 km from Avignon, so it wasn't so bad. After we got to the small town of Chateauneuf du Pape, we parked and started walking around to the different stores. Inside the town, the vineyards (or "caves" as they were called) brought wine from their vineyards into little stores where they sell them. You can also go to the actual vineyards and buy wine there, you'd probably find a better selection, maybe I'll do that tomorrow. My goal for today was to find the elusive bottle of 98 Chateauneuf. We finally found a place that had some 98's. After a few glasses of a 2000, I decided to make my purchase, 3 bottles of 1998, and 1 bottle of 2004. The 2004 bottle was white Chateauneuf, which was kind of rare, but was surprisingly good. Apparently this bottle had won 40 something awards. The wine was bottled in small batches, 6000 per year for reds and 2000 per year for whites, each bottle was numbered and none of which were exported outside of the country; well, I'll be exporting 4 bottles. The rest of the evening was pretty uneventful, I played some music, a moth decided to commit suicide in one of the halogen lamps in the house (smelled very bad), we had some pesto and string beans for dinner followed by a game of go [MORE] with Laurent. Seeing how I drank all the vodka and all the drinkable whiskey, it was time to move on to more questionable forms of alcohol, it was all they had left.

Last day in France, have an early morning flight to Paris the next day, so I took it easy. We went shopping for some more wine and I got a bottle of absynthe, hope they don't give me shit about it at customs. We pack up the wine and random other stuff that won't fit into my backpack into the suitcase. Me and Laurent played another game of Go tonight then they retire to bed early since we'll need to leave for Marseille by 5am. Not looking forward to dealing with airports tomorrow. I hope the people I have to deal with speak english, I'd hate to end up on a flight to Africa or some shit.

Dreading having a repeat nightmare at the airport, I clench my teeth and head into the Marseille airport. I had to get here early so that Cheryl could get back home so that Agnes isn't alone in the house. This means I'm over 3 hours early for my first flight. The airport is devoid of life. I had stayed up all night the night before so that I wouldn't be a corpse by the time we had to leave. Eventually, Air France staff started to arrive and a few hours later, check in started. About an hour later, I got my bags checked in and my boarding pass for my first 2 flights, I'll need to check in again once I get to Cincinnati. This gave me about 30 minutes to kill, a perfect oppurtunuty for Coffee and Cigarettes. Moments later, I'm aboard my first of 3 plane rides. Looking out my window, I can see the sun rise wash over the other airplane; so far the day has not been too painful, but I'm not going to hold my breath. This one is a quickie, short flight to Paris, but I still manage to catch a short nap over the loud noise of the engine that I happen to be sitting next to. Then it was Paris, Charles de Gaulle airport. At least, this time I knew where everything was, and I noticed that the envelope which held my boarding pass had some nice maps of the de Gaulle airport layout. There were these soldiers in camo fatigues with machine guns that guarded the security checkpoints. I thought it better not to take a picture of them. I had a quick smoke outside while I was traversing terminal 2C in fear that terminal 2E didn't have anywhere to smoke. And I was right. Terminal 2E didn't have any cafes or bars. I put on some music on the laptop and waited for boarding to begin. Before I knew it, I was on the plane that would take me back to the U S of A. Immediately, I noticed that there were no power outlets, even though it was a 777. This means I'd only have about an hour or so of laptop power, unless I wanted to sit in one of the lavatories to use the 115V AC outlets that were in them. So I made the most of it, the unfallable Anime and Screwdrivers combo. Only got through 3 episodes of NGE before laptop warned me of imminent shutdown. Well, with no anime to watch and no music to listen to, I was forced to entertain myself with the airline's version of "entertainment". The only thing remotely watchable was some Movie about the crusades that featured lots of famous actors and stuff. Halfway through it, I pulled out my earplugs, noting that the movie was MUCH better without any of the dialog, and got myself quadruple dosages of screwdrivers; partly because I was so bored but mostly because the lady didn't have change and I only had a 20. Eventually we landed in Cincinnati. Recognizing that we were already an hour late, plus I had to go through customs, get my baggage, recheck my baggage, check in to get my boarding pass, and take a bus ride to the C terminal, I quickly realized that I wasn't going to be able to accomplish this feat in the 40 minutes that I did have. Now, I am a firm believer that one can do a great many things while drunk, including but not limited to programming, cooking, going to court, etc. But, one of the things that I highly suggest not being drunk for, is having a mere 40 minutes to go through customs, find your baggage, recheck your baggage, find where to get your boarding pass, find where your gate is, and convince the guy at the gate that you REALLY need to be on the flight that he just closed the doors for, all in a very unfamiliar airport. 10 mini bottles of Finlandia on the plane and my current situation in Cincinnati airport convinced me of that. So, by an act of God, I managed to find everything, not get searched, got onto the bus that took me to terminal C just as it was pulling away, and got to the gate just as the guy was closing the door. Having avoided a small disaster, I am now on the plane heading to my final destination, Pittsburgh. Within the hour, I can see familiar landmarks on the ground followed by the familiar surroundings of the Pittsburgh International Airport. A quick smoke at the TGIF on the way to baggage claim was high on my list of first things to do. As I wait for my baggage, I hear my name being called over the intercom, by the Delta baggage office. I soon find out that my ungodly speed getting on my flight in Cincinnati even outdid the airport staff, which could not get my baggage to my plane in time. Not a big deal, they were going to deliver it to the office, and I was on my way home for a dinner and nightcap.

Apologies for the poor quality of the photographs. They were, after all, taken on my pager

Filed under: Travel & Events

CLICK HERE to see all the pictures.
CLICK HERE for Home.