After 4 hours of delays, stories of individuals and families spending not one but 3-4 days (and nights) at the airport, tears from fellow passengers, and news that we might not take off at all, I got a bit upset. I was proud of myself for not allowing tears to form, but I was definitely not as together on the inside. Rumor was that if we didn’t take off and the flight was canceled, we most likely wouldn’t be able to get a flight out until Christmas Day or later.
As I’m sure all of you have heard, Paris and other Northern European cities were hit quite hard with snow and it impacted international air travel terribly. No availability on next day flights, no assistance with accommodations, and completely inaccurate news was the norm. I met a couple who slept in the airport surrounded by body guards for two nights. “Someone told us that at 17:00 sharp, we had to immediately go downstairs and they would have mats, water and security guards. If we don’t make it, we have to find our own spot and fend for ourselves.” I was in shock, no one was doing anything? No one helped these poor people stranded here?
I found myself standing in a line 100 people deep, waiting for my rationed ham sandwich and bottle of water when an announcement (finally audible) came on, “Attention, Flight 755 to Philadelphie will now be boarding…” I didn’t wait and neither did anyone else. I ran to my bags (being watched by a lovely New Jersey couple) grabbed them and reclaimed my spot. An hour later, we were in the air, en route to Philadelphia. Being home never felt so good.
This morning, smitten that I was finally back with my love in our home, I used my quite stale brioche and kouglof to make French toast for us…perfectly delicious and oh so necessary.
(In center row, mine is on the left, Chef’s is on the right… pretty decent resemblance, eh?)
In demand as ever, I traveled to my mom’s house this afternoon to get going on Christmas preparations. I swear, regardless of all of the beautiful, seasonal touches in Paris, the actual process of ‘the holidays’ escaped me. But, here they are, present as ever, and I’m determined to make it work. Although I am still completely jet lagged, I am slaving away in the kitchen with my mom, getting things prepared for tomorrow’s Christmas Eve Brunch.
As you know, I’m a big fan of getting things done the night before. So mostly everything is half-fully finished, and the finishing touches will be left for tomorrow. The tart shell is cooling, the risotto is in the fridge, the antipasti are set up, onions (for yet another tart) are caramelized, and those are just my jobs!
What are your plans for the holidays? Also, if you celebrate Christmas, do you have any traditions for Christmas Eve?