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Around the World in 33-ish Hours

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Saturday, January 26, 2019.

Actually, that’s not true as it is currently Sunday, the 27th, 12:15ish, somewhere over way Northern Africa. We are about 2.5 hours into our 11.5 hour flight on a Joon plane (never heard of this Air France partner, but it’s a nice plane). They just fed us yet again, and I thought I’d get a jump on this before I end up dozing off some more.

So let’s backtrack to Saturday morning when it all began. And if I’m gonna remember this accurately, I gotta start with those frigid-diculous temps. Brenda said it was registering -17 with a feels like of -26 shortly after she got up. That’s just plain ridiculous and thee absolute perfect time to head for warmer climates.

In the weeks leading up to the trip, we had gone back and forth and all around trying to figure out how to get to O’Hare. It wasn’t so much the drive down or leaving a car parked there two weeks (although that wasn’t so appealing either). The biggest problem was with the thought of driving home after 30-some odd hours of travel and making sure we stayed awake. I was really pushing for teleportation, but that didn’t quite come through for us. The next best thing was Brenda finding two truly amazing people who offered up their driving services (we are oh so thankful Angie and Kyle!!). One giant weight off our shoulders right there!!

After Angie picked Brenda up around 8:00, they swung by and got me, and we were on the road about 8:15ish. Another huge weight lifted was clear roads for the drive down. We made great time and headed into the terminal only to discover that the check in counter wasn’t even open yet 🤦🏽‍♀️ But no problems as we ended up chatting with a French guy in line behind us, as well as the American college student on his way to France for a semester abroad. His mom made us promise to wake him up if we noticed him sleeping in the terminal during boarding 🤣 Luckily it didn’t come to that and he made it aboard all on his own (but we did have our eyes on him).

Once the desk opened, we were checked in and through security in no time flat (whew!). The only snafoos there were the people in the line next to us who shattered something glass all over the floor. And then there was the couple in front of us with a toddler; teeny, tiny baby twins; and an absolute butt load of things to get scanned. Brenda did also feel like the TSA agent took an inordinate amount of time looking at her passport. But she’s cut her hair since the photo, so she didn’t think that much of it. Plus there was no time to think as we were off to find lunch.

Having just been at O’Hare, I was all set to go back to the same Frontera for an amazing Mexican torta. Brenda thought it sounded good, and was happy to see they had tables to sit at, so Frontera it was. Chicken Milanese for both of us, with all the free water we could pound down. At the end it was taking a while to get our bill and Brenda remarked how the way it was set up, we could just walk right out. I said we probably shouldn’t start the trip off in airport jail, but that I may just throw my money down and then walk out. Happily it did not come to that.

From there we opted to walk from one end of the terminal all the way to the other before heading to our gate. Oh yes, and we were on the lookout for a chocolate shake for Brenda, but alas there was no McDonald’s and no shake to be had. So we get to the gate and I pull my passport out to look at the boarding pass inside when all of a sudden Brenda says something and starts reaching for it. I’m like what’s happening when she whips her passport out, only to open it up and reveal my photo 😳 Nothing like the fraud investigator committing identity fraud getting through security 🤷🏽‍♀️🤣 Turns out the check in counter lady gave us the wrong passports and we never looked and TSA didn’t figure it out either. But that did clear up why her lady studied it so long.

Airport jail avoided again and passports back in the rightful owner’s hands, we finally boarded our Air France flight bound for Paris. By the time we were on board, it was up to a balmy 13 degrees, but it had also started a little snowy sleet mix. It didn’t seem too bad, until we pushed back from the gate and off in the distance were the brigade of 20-some plows all winding a conga line onto the runways. It was quite the sight to see!! But at 4:04pm, we were finally wheels up.

We were about 3 rows from thee furthest back, but it wasn’t a very full flight at all. They fed us more than enough, and fairly tasty food at that. We both dozed on and off, but I don’t think there was any great sleep to be had. We touched down early, but then spent all kinds of time taxiing around. By 6:36am, we were getting to the gate and stepping off into 44 degree temps. Not a bad increase over where we’d started out our day...but it’s only gonna get better from there 😎

So bizarre to see Paris sunrise wasn’t until well after 8:00. As we were perplexed by that, I was also pondering how there was now food to be had in the gate area when just a few short months ago we were left to breakfast on pringles and coke. But no need to question it too much...instead just go buy some delicious pain an chocolat and enjoy the heck out of it, even though I really didn’t need it 😝 And on that note, it’s a wrap. Hopefully I’ll be able to post this tonight from Cape Town, moments before I completely collapse into bed.

Me again from the comforts of our fabulous hotel, Rouge on Rose. Just a quick note to finish up the days events before we crash hard. Not much to say about the flight from Paris to Cape Town other than it was loonnnnng!! Thankfully the tiny baby right in front of us got moved. Actually, now that I think about it, we had no baby issues on either flight. Just descent into Paris we heard one, but that was all (yay!!)

So we left rainy Paris, watched some movies, slept through some movies, ate, then ate some more...all while trying not to go stir crazy. Arriving into Cape Town shortly after 10:00pm, it was a glorious 74 degrees. Customs and immigration was a breeze. We thankfully didn’t have to suffer too long at baggage claim, and then Ian was right outside the door waiting for the “Ebel Party.” More on Ian later as we found out he’ll be our driver two other days.

Driving into central Cape Town didn’t take long at all. More on the area and hotel when my brain isn’t so sleep deprived and fuzzy (as an indication, I looked down earlier and thought to myself “it’s noon-thirty in the States.” So yeah, must sleep soon 🤦🏽‍♀️). There is one interesting tid bit. As we were flying in, Brenda pointed out a red lit trail kinda thing on what we assumed was Table Mountain. Turns out it’s not a trail but actually what appears to be several fires burning along various paths or roads. We can even see and smell it from our hotel room. Hopefully the winds let up and they get it all under control fast.

Ok 12:40am means I gotta go. Until next time...

Posted by JackiesJourneys 14:46 Archived in South Africa

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