Spring Break 2014 – Flying to and from France


Friday, 16-May-2014


Monday, 26-May-2014

(Ed. Note: I find it interesting that the first story posted here, aside from the index, includes both the beginning and ending of the Spring Break.  Feels very Shakespearian of Ben, doesn’t it?)


On Friday, I left work early.

That’s not really a unique thing, to be honest… but that Friday saw me driving home a good bit earlier than I would normally be comfortable with… I feel bad leaving early most of the time, but since I had a flight leaving Logan, and going internationally, at 6:30, I felt justified in leaving a little bit after 12:00 hit.

2:00 saw me stepping into a cab that already had a passenger in it: my next door neighbor.  Turns out that he had also called for a cab ride, but that his was running late… so instead of waiting around twiddling his thumbs, he jumped in with me and we headed toward Government Center to get him to his daughter’s wedding.  See, he was supposed to be there around 12:30… but he made the mistake of trusting the MBTA to get him there.  That was not a good decision, since they decided to close the Alewife to Davis leg of the red line as he was sitting on the train.  They didn’t say that, of course… they just asked people to wait patiently for nearly an hour, from what he told me.  Then they decided to make it clear that the trains weren’t going to be running anytime soon.

So, he took a cab.

There’s a song, that a man named Mike Barret sings.  It’s called “Boston Cab”.  Some people may know it.  It goes like,

Boston Cab, what’s the deal?  

Who put you…. Behind the wheel?  

Learn the Language, learn to drive.  

Take a shower, and try to get me home alive!

I am not exaggerating on this.  He got pulled over, and was told that he wasn’t supposed to burn rubber, or hit the 40mph mark, on side streets that technically make up Harvard’s Campus.  Because he chose that route to get to Government Center.  Which is clearly not a standard route decision.

Somehow, we survived, and I even made it to the airport right around when I meant to; just in time to fight my way through security (Dreadlocks require a patdown, since they’re actually dense enough to foil Backstatter machines) and relax a bit before Erin arrived, and we boarded our flight to Dublin…

Leg one:

  • Terrifying cab ride – Check
  • Convincing the TSA that my dreadlocks do not constitute a weapon (not really, they just frisked me) – Check
  • Flight from Boston to Dublin, including a steak dinner – Check.  x2 double-check bonus, since the steak dinner came with a very good red wine.
  • Flight from Dublin to Marseilles, including a full Irish breakfast – check.  Only x1 bonus on this one though, since the breakfast didn’t have whisky.  Seriously… what Irish Breakfast doesn’t?!?!



On Monday, we took a cab again.

This time, it was in France, however… so it was bound to be a bit different than the previous ride.

This cab, was a French van.  Full-sized.  Which means that it was roughly the size of an old Subaru Forester. maybe a bit smaller than a Taurus station wagon.  Somehow, we fit all our gear into the back, and huddled inside, ready for the drive of our lives, as our cabby would undoubtedly tear through the streets of Paris like a madman…

And then, he didn’t.

The drive was actually quite simple, quite easy, and we were dropped directly at the door.  Though we did have to load and unload our own bags – turns out, an older gentleman like our cabby is not up for hauling an 80 lb bag of rope and metal into and out of a van.  That’s what strapping 20 year old guys like Daniel and I are for, right?

From there… we waited.

  • First in line, when the line to check our bags took nearly an hour and a half.
  • Next, for our plane to arrive… which it did, just over half an hour late.
  • Third, for our second plane to arrive in Dublin.  I guess there was a storm over Malta or something, wherever it had been flying from.  This one delayed us nearly two hours.
  • Lastly, at the baggage claim.  Remember that note about 80 lb bags?  Yeah… I guess luggage handlers don’t like them either, so they saved ’em for last.

Thankfully, waiting for Allison to meet us at the airport wasn’t a long one – she was there with her trusty Accord (roughly the same size as the French van, mind you) quick, and had us on the move back toward Boston before I even knew it.

Ohh, how were the flights?  On the way home, they were clean and simple, honestly.  I had a good Salmon dinner (with a nice white wine, I’d like to add), and everything was quite pleasant.  I worked my way through most of my pictures, read, and generally had a good time of it.  Didn’t have any good conversations, unfortunately, but c’est la vie.  Would I recommend Aer Lingus to my future-self?  My Past-self?  Even… other people?  Yes.  Yes I would.  And I’d definitely recommend ordering the meals ahead of time – they cost a bit of money, but not that much, for what you’re getting.  And seriously – Metal silverware makes eating so much better, compared to plastic.

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