Roma Holiday #1 — Air France

About 12 years ago, we got bumped up to business class or some such when we flew Air France to Paris and they did a seat-assignment screw-up. This was flying like I dreamed of as a kid and appreciated as an adult. The food was gourmet. You got champagne appetizer and refills on white and red with the meal. The stewards were uniformly attendant and funny. There was a freakin’ grown-ups bar in the back where you could drink all the wine you wanted including cognac!

So we stuck with them for this trip to Rome. Not the same outfit, or at least not the same for what we paid for. Food was good not great on the way out, pretty damn good on the way back (and hey, they serve you meals like a civilized operation, not like US lines that remind you you’re barely above bums who pay to ride on the boxcars). But the bar in the back consisted of soft drinks and a couple snacks and, oh, sure, you could buy more booze.

So, then catastrophe — the flight was 15 minutes late arriving (nothing, usually) the connection to the flight to Rome was a freakin’ 20-minute epic trek through CDG Airport and because of G7 there was double ID-checkpoint with a mere two agents for hordes of passengers (one woman shrieked and hollered and got let though — she had the right idea if a disgusting personality).

Short answer — the plane to Rome took off without a bunch of us. Now, if I wanna waste four hours with my beloved D in an airport, CDG Paris would be on the short list (Air France did buy us a meal). But when yer already so tired you can’t stand up, the trip is getting off to a bad start.

We must have seemed like zombies when we finally arrived later than hell at the hotel. The driver from the airport was funny and a good introduction to Italian caper-personalities. (He gave us a delicious licorice-coffee candy that we were never able to find anywhere.)

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