After finishing up our day at Disneyland Paris we were bound for the Charles de Gaulle airport area. Since we had an early morning flight the next day and knowing we had to be at the airport early we opted to stay at the airport the night before we left.
We checked into the Hilton at the airport around 6pm, unloaded the car and then were back in the car for one last drive to the airport. Finding the rental car return area is tricky. We had been warned that this was going to be tricky, and possibly involve a second trip around the airport because we were likely to miss the turn. That sure was true. Even taking our time and reading the signs we still almost missed the Hertz sign to return the car. It is not in a very visible area and is off to the left side of the road. Luckily there was not much traffic, so we were able to move over quickly and get to the parking lot. After returning the car we walked through what felt like the entire airport to get to the ground transportation area to pick up the Hilton’s free shuttle back to the hotel.
We enjoyed dinner at the hotel and planned our very early time to depart the hotel. After organizing ourselves and our suitcases it was off to bed for an early wake up call. We caught the first shuttle over to the airport.
After checking in and going through security we wandered the duty-free area spending the last of our cash Euros on Starbucks mugs and treats in the M&M store. Just as we arrived in business class we went home in business class. This allowed us access to the American Airlines Admirals Club. What a treat. We had a great breakfast of croissants and baguettes, lots of good coffee, and had fun watching the planes come and go.
After boarding the flight we enjoyed a sparkling wine toast and settled in for lunch. After lunch we had time to nap in the lay flat seats or watch movies – and there are a ton to choose fun, before landing. Right before landing in Charlotte we were served a lighter meal. We transferred in Charlotte to a flight home to Sarasota. Customs was very smooth, and there is a team there waiting to help you recheck your bags onto your connecting flights and go through security again. It was really very smooth. We landed at home in Sarasota at about 6:30 pm. That gave us time to get home, unpack, start some laundry and go to bed.
This was a fabulous vacation. We thoroughly loved the sites we visited, the villages, towns, châteaus, and B&Bs. Since being home we have tried to retain some of the French magic in our everyday lives. We treat ourselves to croissants for breakfast on the weekends, tried baking baguettes, increased our visits to local French restaurants, and are bring some French flairs into the house – including 19 prints of photos we took hanging on our walls.
- 11 days
- 10 nights
- 27 sites
- 2153 kilometers driven
- Plus too many croque madames, glasses of wine, and glasses cider to count!
What a truly amazing vacation. We are already planning our next trip to France.
- If you have a morning flight home stay at the airport the night before. I think every chain has a hotel in the area. This is a stress free way to get to the airport on time the next morning.
- If you have air miles, or if you can afford to, upgrade your flight. The extra space is ideal for sleeping – plus it is a great way to end a special vacation.