Saturday, June 9, 2012

PARIS 2001

September 2001...we had planned this trip for a very long time.  3 days in Paris, 3 days in Rome, back to Paris to fly home.

I will never forget rounding the corner and seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time.  It took my breath away.

Look at us here...the years really do make a difference in our looks...we were so naive and innocent..just walking through the romantic.  My it is not hard to tell we live in America and more than that...Texas.

When I read the book Let's Roll, Todd Beamer was standing in the exact place at the Coliseum that we had just been and taken a photo almost like this...the next day he would be dead.  A hero to our country.

We settled into our seats, ready for the 9 hour flight back to America, we were about 4 hours into the flight and about halfway over the ocean when we began to turn around.  No explanations.  The closer we got to land, we began to dump the fuel..we were too heavy to land, that much they told us...they had to at least explain why we were dumping the fuel.

Upon landing, we were met at the airport with militia and chaos.  That's when we learned the dreadful news.

Our daughter was a flight attendant for Southwest, Brian's brother was one for American and he had taken off that day or would have been on the flight to Baltimore.  Once we found out our loved ones were safe we could breath.  Grace was stranded in Chicago.  We laugh now to think we were stranded in Paris...4 days.

We tried to make the best of it, but all we could really do is watch the tragedy on CNN and call the airport where we were told each day we could leave that day.  The airport is a $50 cab ride and we were out of cash by this time.

The airport was chaos...utter chaos...we were all stranded and just wanted to get home.  There was a flight to Houston and we walked into a puddle of travelers.

A very handsome man (angel) approached me and I said "do you think it is possible that we could get on this flight to Houston?"  He said, "It is poosibley" his French version.  He escorted us up to the very front of the line, to the ticket counter where we were booked and they took our luggage..we were on. We would deal with our car being in Dallas when that time came...Texas is a big state and Houston is 13 hours from home.  We didn't care..we would have taken any flight to America.  When I turned to thank him...he was gone..into thin air.

I know for a fact at home there were prayer vigils held just for's a small town...and not that many people were in our position...of course they were praying for our country too.  When I was telling Brian's mother about the man taking us to the front of the counter past everyone else in line she said, "Oh..that must have been the angel I was praying for."

September 11, trip, our trip to Paris.  Unforgettable.

We did go back later and spend a week in Germany, France, Switzerland..on a happier note.

Paris is beautiful and in the days we were there...we were treated so kindly.  I hope to go back again.

I love Paris.


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

HERE YOU ARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FANTASTIC MY DEAR!!!! now, you just go and visit others when you have a chance so that they know you are posted. Yes, I could write volumes about each special moment my husband and I shared in La ville lumières.......we had the time of our lives as well as in Italy and the south of France....WOW, what an experience that was for us. I spoke to EVERYBODY while my husband just coasted along for the ride!!!!

Magnificent story here. HAVE FUN! Anita

The Shop Around the Corner said...

How wonderful that you have actually visited. I'm just dreaming along with Anita's blog tour. Glad to have stopped by.
Enjoy the tour!
Much love,

stefanie said...


fee @ chipper nelly said...

what a touching post - I've loved the differnt people I've met at the hop - Anita has been a marvellous hostess!
I too love love...fee x

catkin tales said...

gosh, i am glad you were all safe.

on that unforgetable day in 2011 i can remember switching my television set on (which was odd, because i never usually did so during the day) to see a plane flying into a building. i quickly changed chanel thinking it was a horror movie or something and saw the same thing on the next channel and the next. i then got really worried and turned the sound up to hear what was going on, only to see the second plane fly into the second tower. i almost collapsed... it was so uncomprehensible, so unthinkable and i just prayed and prayed. even though i was miles away in my little corner of england all i could think about was all the people in america affected by this trajedy. it came closer to home too it was discovered a friend of my sister lost her lovely brother that day.

DolceDreams said...

What an amazing story...we will all remember that day. Thank goodness you and your family were safe! I flew to Italy on the first flight OUT of the US after 9-11, I had to go as my sister was getting married and the plans were all made. Yes, the airport was utter chaos, and with my husband and 6 month old son in my arms, I said many a prayer.
How nice is Anita's party, we are getting to meet so many new friends!
a bientot,

hi-d said...

Wow! That's quite the story. And how our world has changed since that day in September. I'm glad you got to see Paris though...

Have a great week!