Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. Each year my BFF Jenni and I explore a new country. Though our visits are short, we always cram a lot of fun in and this year we are doubling down with a four day trip that involves a train ride through the Alps.
Jenni has always wanted to visit Switzerland so we decided to start our trip there. I was much more interested in the train ride and our ultimate destination, Vienna. So when Jenny suggested flying in a day early and visiting Lucerne, I decided to save a vacation day and meet her a day later. Little did I know a winter storm would come barreling up the East Coast on the day of my departure! So while Jenni and her niece Delaney were zipping around Switzerland I was toiling away at a half day in the office and constantly monitoring the weather conditions.
Most of my colleagues had taken the day off to travel to get a head start on the holiday so the few of us left behind spent quite a bit of time staring out the window at the increasingly heavy snow storm. My flight wasn’t until 7 PM so when the office closed at noon I zipped over to my sisters house to visit my family before I left (free meal!)
We had a lovely lunch consisting of piles of meat and cheese (they are cutting back on the carbs). But in deference to the holidays, we finished it off with a slice of pumpkin cake and a slice of pumpkin pie. Pumpkin is a fruit, so that’s a healthy choice. Besides it’s what the pilgrims intended!
After a lovely visit, I said my goodbyes and headed out.
The snow had picked up quite a bit by the time I made it to the beltway, but none of it was sticking to the roads. I parked My Precious and hopped on the bus to the terminal.
I had hoped my Bonjour sweater would impress the gate agents enough for an upgrade to business class but the only people who seemed to like it were the TSA agents. Flying on Air France means no Pre Check line through security so I spent a LOT of time with the TSA agents.
Once I made it through, I headed straight to the Air France lounge. The good news is flying premium economy gets you into the lounge, the bad news is there aren’t any seats available because it is pretty small and really crowded. The only seat available was between the men’s and women’s bathroom doors but the seemingly endless supply of champagne totally offset the sucky location. It was really, really good champagne.
I don’t think I’ve flown on a two story plane since fifth grade, when my sister and I flew from London to San Diego to visit our Dad for Christmas. My seat on the Air France flight was on the upper deck, which was super exciting!
Also, the seat next to me was empty, though the hard shell seats include a sort of table divider/arm rest that doesn’t move so I couldn’t really stretch out.
In fact, the seats are roomy but odd since they don’t actually recline so much as shift your lower back forward and completely out of alignment with the rest of your spine. Also, the ‘”footrest” only comes up about 6 inches so your legs dangle at a very odd angle.
Dinner was a choice between some sort of chicken dish with a mustard sauce or pasta with a tuna sauce. I went with the chicken. And more champagne. My favorite part of the meal was the wedge of brie that accompanied the dessert.
As soon as I finished I took a Tylenol PM, put on my eye mask, shifted my lower back forward, dangled my legs, and in spite of the two screaming babies and my weirdly angled back, I slept off and on for most of the flight. Viva la France!