Friday, July 4, 2008

July 3, 2008 – Leaving Billings, Montana

I’m sitting at the Logan International Airport in Billings, Montana. The Skywest plane that will transport me to Salt Lake City has arrived on time at 2:22 p.m. As I look out at the smoky sky (from Canadian fires) and the brown landscape, I imagine what scenes await me in France.

This is my first trip away from the North American continent. This trip is one I have dreamed of since college more than 20 years ago. Life got in the way of my French fantasies. College, marriage, work, a baby, divorce, single-parenthood, cheering on my softball playing daughter every summer for seven years, grad school…all of these came first. These were the choices I made, which I don’t regret, yet somewhere along the way I lost a piece of me. What happened to the girl who wanted to speak French and paint and travel the globe? She’s living in suburban Montana with a house, a mortgage, an SUV, two dogs and a cat and a fish and her daughter now in college.

It’s amazing for me to realize that I will be in France. And not just static in France – I will be flying into Paris, taking a train to Bordeaux, riding my bike across the country to Grenoble, and then will take the train back to Paris.

A ten hour flight awaits as do a madcap journey from plane to train to hotel with my bulky luggage and bike case. (The photo above is at the Salt Lake City gate to Paris!)
Total miles: 40

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