Europe Trip

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On December 18, 2010
I quickly finished my last exam and headed home to finish packing. My family and I were getting ready for a two week european vacation... at least thats what we thought. Our flight to Chicago was scheduled to leave New Orleans at 4:00 in the afternoon. Once landing in Chicago we were suppose to get on our connecting flight to Heathrow, London. Well, if you knew my family you would know that nothing ever goes as planned. Once arriving in Chicago we were informed that there was a snow storm in London and everyone's flight has been pushed back. There was only one flight leaving for London that night, and we would not be on it. After the upsetting news we stayed the night in Chicago and woke up at around 4am to try and get on the first flight to London.

After going through security, again, we were informed that the entire Heathrow Airport has been shut down, there were no flights leaving or arriving because of the terrible snow storm. We then found out that the last flight from the night before had to make an emergency landing in Ireland. Thank God we were not on it. The only thing we knew was that we did not want be stuck in the Chicago airport for Christmas. So my mom "the panner" decided we would try to fly to Paris. Which was supposed to be our second destination, after London. After hours and hours of waiting in the terminal we were once again hit with upsetting news, all of the flights leaving for Paris were cancelled. It was 9:00pm, we were exhausted and ready to go home. But instead we hoped on a plan to Indiana, to see my cousins! It was unexpected but it was really nice to see them. We stayed in Fishers, Indiana for about three days and on Christmas Eve we decided to try again and fly to Europe!

We flew from Indiana to Dallas airport, landing at around 6:00 in the afternoon. There were only two flights leaving for London and my mom was determined to get us on it. The 7:00 flight was completely booked and there was about a 10% chance that five people would miss their flight, so of course we did not get on that one, but we expected that. The next flight was at 8:30. After much disappointment I started to think that the next flight we were would be on would be to New Orleans. I thought about all of the things I was looking forward to seeing in Europe and started to lose hope. But I still sat with my family at the gate, crossing my fingers and praying that we would make it on the last flight to London. Then we heard, "Party of 5 please board flight 777 to Heathrow London." We were the last passengers to board the plane. I couldn't believe it.

As I boarded the plane I remember being amazed by the size of the aircraft. Their were three separate rows of seating, the largest plane I have ever seen in my entire life. Not only did we get on the plane to London but my brother and I got the opportunity to sit in business while my parents and sister sat in first class. It was amazing, each passenger had their own flatscreen tv to watch movies. We were also served a delicious three course meal. My seat had about ten different positions that took me an hour to understand. We were also given pillows and a clean, down comforter blanket for our nine hour flight to London. About four hours into our flight I remember being wide awake watching my second movie when the Captain came over the loud speaker. He said, "Passengers of flight 777 we are currently flying over the Atlantic Ocean, about thirty seconds ago I spotted a red blinking light with twelve rain deer and a sled, Have a Merry Christmas." I immediately smiled, I felt so blessed to have the opportunity to be on an international flight on Christmas Eve.

When we arrived in London we were immediately struck with jet lag. It was 7am London time, but 2am at home. I was so tired I could barley keep my eyes open, as soon as we checked into our hotel I immediately passed out. When we woke up it was night time and we had slept through all of Christmas day. We called a cab and looked for some place to eat. It was strange driving on the left side of the road, and the driver sitting in the passenger seat, but it was cool! The next day we woke up early and starting our first day of touring. Little did we know it was "Boxing Day" which is the day after Christmas in London. Almost everything was closed so we did not get to shop but we still got to see all of the attractions like the Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Parliament, The Globe Theater, and so much more. London is amazing and I cant wait to go back with my friends to see everything again!

After spending three nights in London we decided to travel to Paris. We rode the Eurostar train, which was awesome. I have never been on a train before and it was a great experience. After arriving in Paris we took the subway our hotel. It was about eleven o' clock at night and we were exhausted. When we got to the subway it took awhile for us to understand what the signs said and where exactly we needed to go. The language barrier was definitely an inconvenience and made it twice as hard to find out where we were going. We took the subway to our hotel in Saint Jacques and went right to bed. The next day we woke up, peeked out our window and saw the beautiful Eiffel tower in the distance. I remember just staring at it, in disbelief that I was actually in Paris! I had dreamt about seeing the Eiffel Tower for years and it was right outside my window. Later that day we got to see an even closer view and take about a thousand pictures in front of it. We also toured the Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triumph, The Louve, and of course went shopping at some of the most famous stores in the world. For our last night in Paris we went to a fancy restaurant and after walked towards the Eiffel tower. At exactly midnight the Eiffel Tower lights started sparkling. I have never seen anything like it, it was truly amazing! After three days of touring, shopping, walking, and eating we packed up our stuff and headed for the airport on New Years Eve.

We woke up extremely early to catch our 8am flight to Miami, and 10 long hours later we were back in the United States. Our time schedule was so messed up it felt like 2am but it was only 12 in the afternoon. I knew I was extremely tired but I wasn't going to let that ruin my New Years Eve. We landed in New Orleans at around 8pm, and quickly gathered our stuff to get home as quickly as possible. I arrived home at around 10pm, showered, changed and went straight to the New Years Eve Party. I had been up for a straight 36 hours, but it was totally worth it!!

I had an amazing "European Vacation" although we didn't get to go to all the places we wanted to, it was still great! I wouldn't have changed anything for the world. I'm so thankful to have such an amazing family!





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