Surprisingly, the last flight of the entire trip was the worst. We arrived at the Charles de Gaulle Airport with three hours to spare, planning to use the time for souvenir-shopping and breakfast. Instead, we waited for a half-hour in a line under a sign for our flight... which turned out to be the wrong line. 45 minutes later, I'd checked us in via the e-ticket kiosk, but we were stuck in a massive line for baggage check-in. We were shuffling behind a couple of men with B.O. so bad that I actually put my scarf around my face (oh, and one of them was quite fond of pointing, which spread the scent around). There were only 2 people working at the Air France counters because it was lunch time.... Hmmm.... 2 people for more than 500 travelers. It didn't make any sense. Not only that, but once we raced through the three security checkpoints, we had only 10 minutes before our flight, and had to settle for a slice of quiche, potato chips and some cookies on the way to the gate (no souvenir shopping, unfortunately, but we did manage to spend our last 20 euros easily on the snacks). One more 20 minute wait to get onto the plane (and another security check), and then we were stuck on the plane for an hour and a half while the REST of the passengers (who were held up in one of the crazy lines in the airport) and their luggage got on board. Insanity.
But once we got flying, it was fine. Air France had a bunch of great on-demand movies, so I saw four (and my kids and husband got to watch their own). All of us slept at least a little bit. And the flight arrived only about an hour late. We didn't have anyone waiting for us, so we could just take our time and find a taxi home. The girls fell asleep minutes after we got into the taxi and I realized that we were in the middle of our own "groundhog's day" -- we'd left France around 2:30 pm and had arrived in Los Angeles around 5 pm... So there had been no night while we'd flown "back in time." Very disorienting.
So now we're home. Raf is sick with a cold and the kids are already begging for me to do stuff with them, I'm doing a ton of laundry and have to restock our fridge and pantry, but we're doing well. I will continue to digest our trip and may post a little more as I go through pictures, but we are home sweet home in the land of ice, half-and-half and breakfasts that feature more protein than carbs. Viva Los Angeles!