Today it is Charles de Gaulle to Heathrow, then on to JFK. First step is getting cafe and croissant. We stand at the counter like true Parisians. Cannot get over what a good breakfast a croissant is. The taxi takes forever to get to our hotel, I guess because after the holiday everyone is now driving around again. Another long trip to the airport, but it gives me time to reflect on what I’ve seen in Paris.
The signage for British Airways is misleading so we get a morning constitutional in trying to find the ticket counter. It is almost anticlimactic after finally getting to the counter, and we have a few minutes to breathe before boarding. I realize that without the ability to make coffee in our rooms (yes, I always travel with coffee and a french press) I have grown accustomed to waiting an hour or two before getting my first dose so I no longer get a splitting headache during that wait. Two hours is definitely my limit for maintaining any façade of good humor though (and I admit that I am usually cursing in my head while we make our last preparations to leave our room). Before lunch I know that I need to get serious about finding a place to eat when everything starts to irritate me. The trick is to get lunch before I begin to verbalize my irritation. A tricky balance!
Again an exit row, so the flight is comfortable if not luxurious. At LHR we get to go to the Virgin Atlantic Lounge again. When checking in Mitch offered to upgrade me, but I decided that it is too expensive so I declined. I can go to the Lounge as his guest, which he may regret as my carry on needs additional screening. They ask me if I have a lot of pencils. I say yes, and a lot of knitting needle tips. I show them my travel case which contains, yes, a large number of pencils in a pocket, and my case for interchangeable needles. I am allowed to move on, but I am now in that pre-lunch feeling of irritability. In the lounge we sit in the restaurant and have lunch: salad, Indian chicken, a glass of red wine, followed by cubed fruit and a coffee drink. Our flight is delayed so we move to a seating area where I am able to work on my sock. One of the roving wait people asks me about my dpns because she says she has never seem them. The small baby socks are often a conversation item. I am nearly done with the socks and have reached the point of being anxious to finish because I have something else I want to work on.
On the plane I finish my sock. Yay. I cast on the hatband for the hat design I’ve been thinking about. I have stashed my travel case with my needles, and other knitting accompaniments under the seat, so I am also listening to my audio book. I work through the hatband (I’ve really thought this out while reknitting that sock). I switch to music and write out the pattern for the hatband. I have come up with a clever way to join the ends of the band and add a very Parisian detail. I switch back to my book when I begin working on the top of the hat. This is why I don’t always worry about where I sit. If I have what I need to entertain myself and I am not likely to get hungry, I don’t really care where I am.
The top of the hat doesn’t go the way I planned, so I take a little nap. I wake up and consider some options then rip out what I’ve knit and cast on again. I have one more false start, then the solution occurs to me and I am off and knitting on the top of the hat. I get a bit done before I have to put my book away for landing. I use the time to catch up on a New Yorker.
We get through passport control and take a cab to our hotel in NYC. Mitch is blackberrying like crazy because he is back on the US phone system. I enjoy the view and wonder what will be different about staying on the West Side. We arrive at our hotel about 8 pm and unpack our stuff for NYC and walk out to a pizza spot Mitch has found online. Angelo‘s has great pizza and a decent Chiant. We leave and pick up water at the deli next door, then I can’t find my gloves so I run back to both spots before actually finding them in my purse. It is freaking freezing. We crawl into bed because we are still on European time. Not much reading before lights out.