I didn't think the kids would go to sleep last night. I didn't think that I could, either. But we did. We all slept just fine. No one stayed awake from worry or excitement. Of course, I stayed up way too late getting the last things done. I mopped the kitchen. I changed the sheets on our bed. I did some things that might not have been entirely necessary, but I thought they would make coming home a little nicer 5 weeks from now.
Getting to bed after midnight made getting up at 4am feel pretty miserable. I moaned to Kip that I had changed my mind. Suddenly it sounded like an excellent idea for us all to just go back to sleep and let the rest of the world go on without us. Let those other crazy people scheduled to fly from Portland to Vancouver at 7am on a Sunday morning doit without us. They would appreciate the extra seats. We could spend the next 5 weeks quietly at home pretending we weren't there and no one would have to know. But the time and effort we've put into planning this adventure got me out of my cozy bed and into,the shower and before we knew it we were in the airport shuttle and on our way.
PDX was surprisingly busy on a Sunday morning at 5am. Things moved quickly and we had no trouble getting to our gate. We bought breakfast snacks for everyone and boarded a little propeller plain and left the country. As we flew over Washington, the clouds below us were in two white cottony layers. The top layer looked soft and welcoming, like puffy billows you could snuggle down into. Like if you could step out the window, you would float down and land in cozy softness. In some areas the top layer thinned and opened ti reveal a second lower layer, equally fluffy and billowy. As we continued, a third layer appeared, above the others, almost even with the windows. They were thin and wispy, like the great giants of the sky had pulled them off the lower layers, stretched them thin, and released them to float just above the rest.
We flew to Paris in 3 legs on Air Canada. We went to Vancouver first, then across Canada to Toronto, and finally from Toronto to Paris. That last flight was about 7 hours, taking off in theevening in Toronto and arriving in the morning in Paris. And if you're wondering, gluten free bread products on Air Canada are not palatable. I was definitely jealous of the chocolate brownies on the gluten-eaters' trays.
Becca spent at least 3 hours of the flight sleeping with her head on my lap. I spent those hours trying very hard to get comfortable without being able to do much more than shifting my legs from the right side of my seat to the left. I was not entirely successful. It was a relief to see the color start to tint the sky outside the airplane window as the plane headed toward the rising sun. I knew with the coming of the light that my freedom was coming, too. It's amazing how wonderful it feels to stand and walk and stretch your legs after hours in a tight, confined space. The sun rose and the plane came down to the runway at Charles de Gaule. We gathered our things and started the next stage of our adventure.