So onward I went with my adventure in France, only it led me back to the US.
But first... let me begin with my trip home! I did all of my Christmas shopping in one afternoon, two days before I was supposed to leave La Rochelle. It was brilliant! I shopped like my life depended on it. Four hours of insanity and I was DONE! So I packed all my stuff on Friday and was scheduled to leave on a train Saturday night to Paris, to stay at a hotel and then get up and go to the airport to fly back to NY (via Chicago because airlines are crazy!). So Saturday came and I washed all my bedding and laid it out to dry and took my suitcase and went into town to see some friends.
Then I went to dinner with Catherine. My train left at 7:53 p.m. We got to the restaurant (literally a four minute walk from the train station) at 5:30. Two hours is plenty of time for a bottle of wine, two pizzas, dessert and the largest coffee I've ever seen, right? WRONG! When you add in a French restaurant owner who is so completely sweet and incredibly talkative. After three months of living in France, I've become slightly less neurotic and more relaxed, because that's how life is there - and it came back to bite me in the ass - hard. I ran into the station to see my train pulling away. It was the last train of the night.
I then proceeded to have a melt down. For those of you who don't know, the last time I was in France and was ready to come home four days before Christmas, my airline had cancelled my flight and told me I was booked on another airline and then never paid for the tickets, so I therefore was not on a flight home! So there I was, stranded in La Rochelle - no other trains left that night or early enough Sunday morning to get me to Paris in time for my flight. The only train leaving from the area was due to leave at 6 a.m. Sunday morning from Poitiers, about an hour and a half away. It was going to cost 300 Euro for a taxi, or $300 to change my flight and leave a day later. After many hours of working on a solution, my friend's roommate said he would get up at 4:00 the following morning to bring me to Poitiers for the train. Which he did!
I made my train, and the flight, and then spent the next nine and a half hours on a plane with parents who didn't know how to control their children.
I came home for a wonderful two weeks with my family and friends for the holidays. And then got on another two planes to come down to PA for a week of school. My flight out of SYR was delayed 1.5 hours, and I BARELY (and I mean barely) made my flight from Newark to Pittsburg. They reopened the door to let me board the plane. My luggage, however, was not so lucky! Yes, this is just a continuation of how ridiculous my life is.
So I got to Pittsburg airport with only my carry-on and met up with some people who were renting a car to bring us to the hotel. Then we drove in some ridiculous rush hour traffic and spent forever and a day on Rt 30, got turned around, rolled back on this ridiculous 40% angle hill, and finally made it to the hotel. The first time I called on my luggage they said it was there and would be on its way shortly, definitely arriving before 1 a.m. The second time I called (at 1:05 a.m.) she suggested I "turn in for the night, because it may night be coming until the wee hours of the morning"! UGH. So I came upstairs and went to bed.
It was waiting behind the concierge desk when I woke up this morning!
So that's what's new in the travel/life department. I'll be leaving here next week to go back to France, where I will proceed to find a second and perhaps third job to pay for the ridiculous amount of travelling still to be done!