7:00 a.m. Paris time (midnight in Chicago) Alright, already. I'm up.
8:30 (1:30 a.m. in Chicago)--I'm in line at the American Embassy in the Place de Concorde.
9:00--I made it through the inspections and metal detector. I'm in a large room that is standing-room only. I'm waiting to tell someone why I need a new passport. I meet Steve, the orchestra director of Niles West High School, who was there to get a new passport for one of his students. Talk about a small world! Two people from practically next door to each other in Illinois, now standing next to each other in line to get a passport. He tells me his wife and kids made it back to the States, and he got stuck with the suitcase full of his children's dirty clothes. This explains the very tight Hello Kitty T-shirt. Only kidding, Steve.
10:15 I leave the embassy with a new emergency only-good-for-one-year passport in my hand. Woo hoo! In your face, purse-stealing reprobates!
10:30 We're calling the airline to see whether we can get on a flight to Chicago. They say yes. Success!
11:00 We have time for a couple of carousel rides in the Jardins des Tuileries.
11:45 (2:45 a.m. Chicago time) We're getting into a taxi to the airport.
11:46 I'm telling the taxi driver to pull over because apparently I was robbed of some portion of my brain along with my purse, and as a consequence, left my iPod and cell phone in the hotel room.
11:55 My husband is running down the Rue Castiglione carrying the orange plastic bag containing my iPod and cell phone. We're finally on our way to airport. Success!
1:15 We're through security and ensconced in the Admiral's Club at Charles de Gaulle airport drinking coffee and eating cookies.
2:20 (7:20 Chicago time) We're the air. I read A Year in the Merde, eat airplane food, read French Vogue, watch Music and Lyrics (meh) avoid Phenomenon and Cheers. (Hey American Airlines--what's with all the ancient programming?)
4:30 p.m. Chicago time--the plane is on the ground and I'm ready to kiss the tarmac at O'Hare airport.
6:30 p.m. We've made it through customs, immigration, the baggage carousel, the garage, the traffic jam, and are finally home.