So after my crazy, frustrating, journey to nowhere, I did finally make it to Paris to meet Gregory, but getting there didn't go without a hitch (because why would it?).
It was a little over a week after Gregory had returned to France when I felt ready to attempt the trip again.
Sidebar: When Gregory took the TGV to Toulon after arriving in Paris, Mr. & Mrs. London were there waiting to pick him up. They asked where I was, he said I was in D.C. and wasn't coming. They didn't believe him and assumed he was joking. They asked if I was in the bathroom, again he said that no, I wasn't coming. Apparantly they went back and forth like this a few times until Gregory started walking to the parking lot to prove that I was indeed, not in the train station. When Gregory told me this story, I got sad all over again. Poor Mrs. London.
The flight out of San Antonio looked good, the flight out of Newark looked good (I decided to forgo Dulles after the whole 'people mover' incident) and provided there weren't any crazy catastrophies (you know, like having the plane be replaced by a much smaller one), I was good to go.
But then my flight from San Antonio was delayed an hour, and I was nervous. I actually had a seat assignment though, so that was good, but having a seat wasn't going to help me if I didn't make it to Newark in time to make my connection. And when we landed in Newark, we had to stay on the runway F O R E V E R because they didn't have a gate for our plane! I was sitting there, staring out the window at the gate that my flight to Paris was departing from, and watching the minutes tick by. I couldn't believe it, unless there was some sort of a miracle, I was never going to make the Paris flight in time.
When I finally got off the plane, my flight was due to depart in ten minutes! I raced through the terminal as fast as my heels would let me all the while thinking, "this cannot be happening again!" When I got to the gate, I was surprised to find that everyone was still seated in the boarding area. The plane hadn't boarded yet, it had been delayed! HALLELUJAH! And even better, there was a seat for me! I was going to Paris, finally!
After boarding an hour later than we should have, we continued to sit on the runway for another hour. Our flight crew was arriving from Chicago, and they were delayed too (it felt like the whole world was running late that day). I did my best to relax, but honestly, I was incredibly nervous that the flight would be cancelled for some reason, we'd have to de-board, and then I'd get bumped and stuck in Newark. After the whole mess from the week before, would that really be a surprise? No, no it wouldn't be.
But the plane did take off, and I finally made it to Paris! I hopped a taxi to the 7th to meet Gregory at our hotel to kick off our twenty-four hours in the City of Lights. (A couple of things: 1. there was no way I was messing with more public transportation after the disaster my multiple journeies had been, and 2. our short sojourn in Paris was much deserved I think since our last trip there had been highjacked).
And our quick trip couldn't have been anymore perfect, I finally got to do all of the things I had been dying to do... first stop was a delicious, long lunch where I did my best to shake off my jet-lag with copious amounts of Rosé and goat cheese, followed by a stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries where we discovered there was a Ferris Wheel setup for summer, which of course we had to go on. (I cannot express enough how magical a Ferris Wheel in the middle of Paris is. It's 100%, sparkly, delightfulness.)
After our ride over the Paris sky, we had drinks at my favorite spot in the city to sip a Kir Royale, The Tuileries Bar. (Remember when I tried to get there in March but my fabulous plan was thwarted? Blame it on the Bumders.)
I did my best to keep the sleepies at bay and after a quick freshen up back at our hotel, we headed out a few doors down to a cozy, traditional bistro, which was just what I was craving... a bottle of Bordeaux, escargot, steak frites, and a plate of Bleu d'Auvergne and Saint-Nectaire, and that was all for me! (Sara Louise doesn't share food.)
But don't worry about Gregory, he made sure to get his favorites too.
It was was the most wonderful day I could have asked for, after four years, I finally got my Paris trip with my husband. It was so perfect, it made the whole nightmare of the journey to get there worth it. (Well, It almost did anyway. A suite at the Ritz is probably the only thing that could have wiped away that pain.)