Have you ever put down a book after a few pages because the story felt just too similar to something you had read recently?

Bear with me. This French chapter featuring a former French and a half-French kid in France may feel like a déjà vu because well, we usually go to France in the summer. (Yes Mark, there’s a reason why we don’t explore other European countries like Finland or Switzerland, sorry, I can’t afford it.)

But this time, there will be a plot twist.

I mean, I can promise at least one plot twist on our side. As you know, anything can happen at any time, the world is full of surprises, sometimes terrible ones, like seeing the far right on the brink of power in France.

We’re aiming for a fun plot twist.

At least, I hope it will be fun. It’s going to be… ahem, challenging.

In the meantime, our trip to France started slightly differently this year—we left earlier than usual because of the Olympics and we flew Ottawa-Paris with Air France instead of Montreal-Paris or Montreal-Nantes with Air Transat.

“Air France? It sounds… fancy,” Mark said.

“You’ll get a free pillow and blanket. Earphones too. And they have tons of movies!”

“Are we flying on a Boeing plane?”

“No, Airbus.”

“That’s the best part, then. Because my friend told me that Boeing planes tend to crash.”

I love the newish direct Ottawa-Paris Air France flight. It saves us the drive to and from Montreal, plus Air France is nicer—more legroom, decent food, and better overall value for the same price. I hope the route won’t be cancelled but I’m not holding my breath because so many things I like got cancelled or disappeared in Canada these past few years, from events to food products.

“This is how it’s going to work. You won’t sleep because the flight is at 5 p.m. and we’re landing at 5:50 a.m. French time, which is 11:50 p.m. in Canada. So go ahead, binge on movies. Just don’t be in a bad mood because you didn’t sleep.”

“I promise I won’t! Just… what do you mean by ‘binge’?”

“Like… indulge excessively. Didn’t you have a class on alcohol and substance abuse at school? Never heard of binge drinking?”

“Meh… I wasn’t too interested.”

Feng drove us to the airport at 2:30 p.m. I dropped off my backpack and the waiting game started. The flight was 10 minutes behind schedule but the pilot announced we would reach France in record time because of the wind—”buckle up, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!”

We watched the sun rising over Europe and eventually landed in Paris.

This is where the second part of the journey started—a TGV train from CDG Airport to Le Mans, then a TER train from Le Mans to Nantes.

Yeah, well, it was cheaper.

Mark passed out on the train. I couldn’t sleep, I had to make sure we would get off in Le Mans, or else we were going to end up in Rennes.

We arrived in Nantes at 12:13 p.m., just as planned.

Not bad for a transatlantic journey!

Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport, June 25, 2024
AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Ottawa, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Sunrise close to Europe, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Sunrise close to Europe, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Sunrise close to Europe, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Sunrise close to Europe, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Sunrise close to Europe, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Sunrise close to Europe, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Sunrise close to Europe, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Sunrise close to Europe, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Sunrise close to Europe, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Sunrise close to Europe, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Paris, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Paris, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Paris, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Above Paris, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Landing in Paris, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Landing in Paris, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Landing in Paris, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Landing in Paris, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Landing in Paris, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Landing in Paris, AF0326 Ottawa-Paris, June 25, 2024
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, June 26, 2024
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, June 26, 2024
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport TGV station, June 26, 2024
Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport TGV station, June 26, 2024

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9 Comments

  1. Lexie June 28, 2024 at 9:04 pm

    Mark seems to be such an easy kid !

    Reply
    1. Zhu June 29, 2024 at 6:19 pm

      He has his moments but honestly, we click these days. I like the person he is becoming.

      Reply
  2. Shandara June 29, 2024 at 8:52 am

    Enjoy your time in France!

    Reply
    1. Zhu June 29, 2024 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you!

      Reply
  3. Martin Penwald June 29, 2024 at 6:00 pm

    Tiens, est-ce que le TGV vers Le Mans était inclus dans le billet Air France ? On peut faire ça vers Lille (le code aéroport de la gare de Lille est XDB), et c’est souvent moins cher que d’arrêter à Paris (c’est idiot mais c’est comme ça).

    C’est pour ça que je prends Air France d’habitude. Sauf qu’il y a en général une correspondance à Toronto de 3 à 5 heures, après un vol avec WestJet ou autre.
    Il y a quelques années, il y avait Icelandair qui proposait un Edmonton-Keflavik/Keflavik-Paris avec à peine 1 heure de correspondance, et vu qu’on reste plus haut, les temps de voyage étaient plus réduits mais il fallait ajouter le coût du TGV.
    Sauf que cette année, quand j’ai demandé à partir du site d’Air France le trajet habituel, il me faisait faire un direct Edmonton-Amsterdam puis Amsterdam-Paris. Vu que je vais à Lille, c’est couillon de passer par Paris pour finir à Lille. Et le vol est assuré par KLM.
    Donc je prends le bus à Amsterdam pour Anvers, et là on vient me chercher.

    C’est la 1ère fois depuis que je pars de l’Alberta que j’ai un vol direct vers l’Europe continentale.

    Reply
    1. Zhu June 29, 2024 at 6:21 pm

      Non, je me souvenais de tes conseils, mais ça marchait pas, et je ne sais pas pourquoi. J’ai pris les billets de train assez tôt et le prix était correct, surtout que Mark ne paie pas le TER le mercredi (gratuit pour les enfants).

      Tu es parti ou tu pars? Je pensais à toi hier, il me semblait que tu partais juste juste après nous.

      On attends l’apocalypse demain… tu as voté?

      Reply
      1. Martin Penwald June 30, 2024 at 5:26 am

        Je viens d’arriver à Amsterdam, et je prends le bus pour Anvers dans 10 minutes.

        J’ai pu voter par Internet (je suis inscrit sur la liste consulaire) entre mardi et jeudi.

        Vacances !

        Reply
        1. Zhu June 30, 2024 at 7:08 pm

          Bonnes vacances à toi! Désolée pour la couleur du pays, qui devient brun, et les bruits de bottes…

          Reply
  4. Christiane July 6, 2024 at 2:23 pm

    Have fun !! 🙂

    Reply

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