A friend of mine was on a fight to Dubai recently and noticed one of the cabin crew was wearing a name tag with the same family name on it as mine. He took the man's picture and emailed it to me remarking on the strange coincidence. Of course, the flight attendant was from the same part of Spain, Galicia, as my parents, but it led me to think about some things I hadn't considered for a long time.
Here's what I wrote to the friend who emailed me that picture:
My history of packing fragrances to take on a trip has changed quite a bit over the years. Early on, I packed quite a variety. Once I went on a week-long cruise and packed a different day and evening scent for each day, and then threw in a couple more, in case I changed my mind.
Homeland Security and TSA regulations soon put an end to that kind of extravagance. For a while, I tried to pack more carefully. I made sure to put scents into checked luggage, still taking at least four or
When we returned from our trip to Europe toward the middle of November, all four of us were sick; it was some cold that was going around Italy that got all of us. We all got sick at different times, one of our traveling companions first, who later ended up with walking pneumonia, and I was the last, but our complete recovery took a couple of weeks. Of course, we’re all perfectly fine now.
The trip was glorious. We started with three days in Paris.
We arrived in Paris on
Returning by the rue St-Jacques, we passed the Lycée Louis le Grand, the setting for Judith Rock’s historical mystery series set in the then-Jesuit seventeenth-century school. Rock's sleuth, Jesuit scholastic Charles du Luc, is one of my favorite literary detectives. Back through the Île de la Cité and along the Right Bank quays, we trudged the rest of the fifteen-and-a-half miles we had slogged that day. That evening, on our way back to the Place des Vosges for our dinner reservation at La Place
Early the next morning with bags repacked we were on our way to Rome. The Lufthansa flight from Paris to Frankfurt was pleasant and polite; we were amply fed and cosseted, in good German fashion. In Frankfurt, we were to connect with two friends flying in from home and continue to Italy for the rest of our trip. Their plane was late, we were waiting for them in the wrong airport lounge, and we practically ran through the large, unfamiliar Frankfurt airport to catch up with them and find our gate,