The Joys of Travelling in Winter

Even the mighty NY blizzard couldn’t prevent me from coming back to France after Christmas. I got back at 2:15pm Tuesday – only 7 hours later than originally planned – because I was lucky enough to change my flight to Lufthansa that didn’t require any layovers in the Northeast. My original Continental flight on Monday was Detroit – Newark – Geneva but obviously that was not going to happen with all of the snow the NY region received this past weekend. Even though Continental would not let me rebook online or over the phone (seriously, this is 2010 people!), there was no line at Continental’s counter at Detroit airport so I was able to get on the Lufthansa flight leaving at 6:50pm Monday evening instead of waiting until the 31st when Continental had automatically rebooked me. Crisis averted.

nyc snow storm
© nyc snow storm by Downtown Traveler on Flickr

In addition, I was able to check a second bag for free. Lufthansa’s carry-on weight limit seemed a bit low to me (only 8 kg) but I actually didn’t mind checking the bag since I hate trying to find a place in the overhead compartments anyway and they didn’t make me pay for it. Whether they were just being nice for the holidays or whether they just let it slide since I’m a Miles & More member, I don’t know, but I didn’t have to pay $50 so I was pretty happy.  Then I got to security and had to scowl at all the people who didn’t think to take off their coats before getting to the front of the line. Or their belts, or shoes (US airports still make you take them off), or watches, or change out of their pockets.  The security line would go much faster if people weren’t so lazy and were actually prepared to go through a METAL detector.

All of the normal stress of flying, plus dealing with winter weather and knowing there is always a possibility of getting stranded somewhere, was bad enough without also feeling sick. Unfortunately, I got a sore throat just before Christmas and it turned into a cold/possibly the flu by the time I left Detroit. I’ve been in bed about 80% of the time since I’ve been home. We had planned to drive up to Colmar yesterday and stay the night for their Christmas markets (they’re up until January 2) but we had to cancel, which unfortunately means we lose 164€ on the hotel reservation. If I had known that the hotel was prepay and the cancellation fees were so high, I would have never booked but Colmar’s Office de Tourisme website didn’t mention any of that. From now on I am only using booking.com for all hotels.

I can’t tell if I’m suffering from jet lag or not since I’m basically tired all the time, so maybe being sick is a good remedy. It sure helped get me through the 8 hour flight to Frankfurt. I was actually able to sleep for a few minutes here and there and it made the flight seem shorter. The free wifi (available on select international Lufthansa flights until January 31) also helped to pass the time.

I haven’t even finished unpacking yet and I am getting more and more behind on website work and e-mail responses. It took me two days just to post this!  Hopefully I will be a little better by 2011. In the meantime, I’m going back to bed.

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  • http://howlearnspanish.com/ Andrew

    Damn girl your holidays sucked, I feel sorry for you :(

    I hope you feel better soon.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    Everything was great until just before Christmas. I’m just happy I made it back and didn’t have to deal with being in airport for a ridiculously long time.

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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