The flight from Barcelona to Paris Charles de Gaulle was uneventful. We devoured the small breakfast served while watching the landscape unfold below us, especially as we crossed the Pyrenees. I was a bit sad that I could not just go back, right then, and spend more time exploring the small villages we had passed through, and go west from there through Basque country to the Atlantic. But that will be another time, at least that is my hope.
Paris CDG was a zoo, again. By the time we landed there was only 35 minutes until our flight to SFO was scheduled to board. We made it through immigrations and then went down and caught a bus to the proper terminal, 2C. At the terminal we had to wind our way to our gate, stopping to spend most of the rest of our Euros on water for us and sodas for Sarah to carry on the plane. Then a long wait to board, mostly due to the fact that we were seated at the front of the coach section. When we started down the jetway Sarah was pulled aside for a security check, so I waited a few feet down while they looked through her bag and did a pat-down. Fortunately I was carrying her Carradice! In the plane there was a bit of a chess game. A French woman was sitting in my seat, and wanted to trade so her husband, seated behind me, could sit next to her. But Sarah and I were already separated by an aisle and I did not want to be moved further away. Her husband then traded with an American man seated behind Sarah, though that fixed nothing. In the end, the seat next to her husband was unoccupied, so the French woman moved there and Sarah moved next to me. Phew, musical chairs on a 747!
Air France held the plane for an extra half hour or so to wait for additional transfer passengers. The doors were eventually closed, the engines started, and we taxi'd out for sufficient time to drive from CDG to Orly. We finally made it airborne and headed northwest on the polar route towards home. Our task then was to keep ourselves occupied for the ten plus hour trip. We watched movies ("I Heart Huckabees", which I cannot recommend, and "Tout pour plaire" which I can), journaled, watched the Arctic ice-pack breaking up and a bit later glaciers sitting stoically on Banff Island, ate, slept, and played solitaire on their spiffy individual digital entertainment consoles.
After a long flight, and with tired sit bones, the plane landed at SFO, about 30 minutes behind schedule. We made our way through immigration then went to baggage claim to get my bag and the bikes. Sarah turned on her cell phone and found she had a message from our friend Erica, who was coming to get us and was on her way from Mountain View. My Carradice came off the carousel soon after we arrived at baggage claim, so we moved to the oversized baggage area to wait for the bikes. And wait. And wait. Finally, movement on the belt and a series of Cathay Pacific crew cases came out, and then lots of golf bags, and then one guy's bike in a soft case. But no bike boxes. So we waited. And waited. Finally, with baggage from our flight coming out at the main carousel looking to be complete, and nothing showing up at the oversized section, I went to Air France to check on the status. I was instructed to wait some more. Erica called Sarah to check up on us, and to tell us she was circling outside. Finally, the bike boxes appeared! We moved them to a cart, whizzed through customs, and went out front. There we unboxed the bikes and did minimal reassembly to get them in a state where we could mount them on Erica's roof rack. I put the boxes behind a trash can, dumped the cut zip ties and packing materials into the trash, and we rolled out to the curb. A couple of minutes later Erica came by an her circuit and picked us up, then whisked us back to Mountain View to re-integrate into society.