May 22 was the first leg of my vacation, and involved a 20-hour trains, planes, and automobiles journey between France in the US.
At 7 am, I caught a bus from Chateaubriant, a nearby city, to Nantes. I had an hour to kill in Nantes before the airport shuttle arrived, so I took the opportunity to explore the city.
The Chateau of Nantes:
The lovely Jardin des Plantes:
Which even included this some interesting vine huts and gazebos.
Some cool graffiti:
Another shuttle to the Nantes airport, and I hopped a small plane to Paris. I had roughly 40 minutes to hustle to a distant airport terminal, pass through customs, and take a shuttle filled with Americans cutting it close to the same flight to Detroit.
“I never thought I’d be in this much of a hurry to get to Detroit!’ – flustered American tourist
The transatlantic flight left late, but had excellent in-flight movie options. I watched “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Djengo Unchained,” and “Lady and the Tramp.” The flight offered several meals and snacks, including an ice cream break, and unlimited free alcoholic beverages (note: that I rarely order, because it’s too dehydrating on a long flight, but it’s still a nice touch). About an hour before the flight was scheduled to land, I realized that our flight would be arriving while the next scheduled flight was boarding. Sitting at the back of the plane, I had no hope of making it through security and customs in time. Luckily, I asked a very nice stewardess about my situation, and they moved me to FIRST CLASS, closest to the exit! Sitting in a fully-reclining seat was a nice change, though I felt like an impostor. Once we landed, I scooted through a near-empty airport and made my flight with ten minutes to spare before takeoff just before torrential rain storms began outside. When we touched down in Washington DC, Megan and Lee were waiting impatiently by the baggage claim. Here’s a dramatic reenactment of reunited homies: