As it turns out, in blogging my current trip (September 7, 2013) I found a post I wrote chronicling my last trip home in March. It was written, but never published. I found the pictures so am posting it here for those of you who may wish to reflect back on that voyage…
Soon after dawn, while most of the city sleeps, the Roman birds screech away the last vestiges of night and my slumber. A driver picks me up and speeds me off to Fiumicino where I check in and pass through security.
I am flying Alitalia to Paris, whose airport does its best to be the Calcutta of Europe. We taxi from the gate, reach the runway and turn, accelerating without pause. This is an aggressive takeoff, and I note that Italian pilots fly as fearlessly as the drivers drive. The G’s generated by this are the stuff of legend.
Recline on this seat is outstanding, which is shocking for a coach seat on this airline. I lean back and blog, sipping an orange juice while munching on some savory Italian crunchies (they aren’t really cookies or biscuits).
We land at CDG and the transfer is unusually painless. I reach the gate with time to spare and have a quiche with a small bottle of rosé while I wait.
On board I have ordered a traditional French meal. We shall see what that entails, but clearly the menu provided is irrelevant, with the exception of the beverages. In that regard I start with champagne when they bring bags of miniature breadsticks.
Meanwhile, they are rebooting the entertainment system which has crashed. I take solace in music played in the iPhone.
The meal is finally served, and it is very nice. Very very nice.
I start with the roll and Président butter.
Then the entree includes foie gras, gingerbread, and fig chutney. The balance of savory and sweet is delightful.
The main is duck confit with sautéed mushrooms and fingerling potatoes. The duck is tender and delicious. The mushrooms are …mushrooms. I’m just not a mushroom person. The potatoes are buttery and tender. Airplane food should always be this good (even the mushrooms).
There are some grapes and Camembert, which is a nice break.
Dessert is a chocolate tart with Szechuan pepper. The tart is dense and rich, but frankly I can’t taste the pepper at all. Still I enjoy it.
I nap for a while and wake up with 3.5 hours left in the flight. They are distracting us with food again – on long international flights they do this. They feed us regularly to keep us calm and quiet. This time it is an ice cream bar, although the package says it is gelato. It is coated with chocolate and almonds. It is great.
An hour and a half from Detroit (yes, the French do pronounce it day-twah) we get out second snack. A cheese sandwich, bottle of yogurt drink, some cookies, and orange juice. It’s ok. Nothing to write home about.
And then I am readying for landing and passage through customs, happy that we are arriving early. Whew. What a trip!
Thanks for reading. Ciao Ciao!