Since I work for a global fully distributed (100% remote) company, we typically do “Meetups” two to three times a year to bond and do planning. These meetups of course have been on pause since the pandemic started so the last meetup I attended was way back in March 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Now that vaccines are widespread we are finally able to resume our meetups and my small team (Team Toucan) picked Marseille, France as the destination which I was thrilled about since I had never been to France! I’ve had quite the journey to Marseilles, France! I left Atlanta Monday afternoon at 4pm on a Fly France (operated by Delta) flight to Paris.
There were some delays and we ended up arriving in Paris at 7:30am which was the same time my connecting flight was due to take off. This left me in a panic of course but thankfully, my connecting flight was also delayed. I looked at my phone and saw that it was rescheduled to leave at 9:30am. I thought, whew, that will give me enough time to get something to eat and look around the airport. They served food on my first flight but it was barely a full meal so I was really hungry. I got off the plane and thankfully didn’t go straight to a restaurant because it turned out I wasn’t just walking to my next gate, no, I had to leave the terminal and go through security again! I know this is probably normal but I don’t fly internationally very often so it’s easy to forget these small details. I arrived at the security check-point at 8am thinking that I made really good time and should be through fairly quickly. Nope! This was the most inefficient security line I have ever been through! It took a little over an hour to get through the line and I still had to walk really far to get to my gate. When I got to my gate it was almost 9:30am and the sign said the gate was for Nice. Seriously confused it was eventually made clear by someone else who spoke English (not very many people but that’s to be expected in another country where English is not the primary language) that the gate would switch over to Marseilles once the current flight which was also delayed was gone.
Since I had some time I decided to walk away and get some water from a vending machine. By the time I got back to the gate the sign had updated to Marseilles but said it was delayed to 9:50am but that it started boarding at 9:05am which was impossible since the other flight to Nice was still at the gate at that time. I anxiously waited and eventually they started boarding but the gate ramp was broken so they announced that we had to take the stairs down to the tarmac and board the plane that way. My isle seat had magically been changed to a middle seat for some reason but at least I was finally on the plane. I dosed off a little bit during flight waking up every few minutes when my head would roll down. My neck was killing me, I was starving and very thirsty, but eventually we landed and I followed the signs to baggage claim. I got my bag and from there the signage was all very confusing. I don’t know how I did it, but I did eventually find my way down to an area for Taxis and jumped on one to my final destination at the AirBnb located at 6 Rue Vincent Leblanc, Marseille, at around 1:30 pm. Karen is the host and she graciously walked me around the apartment and gave me some area tips. Once she left I chose the bedroom upstairs in the front of the unit since it had a nice window to the street outside as well as a full bathroom.
My teammate Tyler arrived at the AirBnb at 2pm and we hung out a bit and chatted then walked over to the grocery store to pick up a few things.
I planned on getting stuff to eat at the grocery store but it became clear rather quickly that I had no idea what to get at the store. It’s not like shopping at a regular store in America, all the food is in a different language of course but also what they had available was not what I was used to seeing. For example, I couldn’t find creamer anywhere so I eventually got milk for the coffee instead. I also picked up some ham, bread, mayonnaise, and additional Nespresso pods for the coffee maker. While there I took some pictures of the fun French cereals because I thought they were adorable.
Since we were both really hungry we walked next door to the McDonald’s and ordered some food. I was surprised by how different the food tasted! It didn’t taste like the food in America, it was actually rather bland.
Once back at the AirBnb Tyler and I chatted for a while longer and at 4pm I said I was going to lie down for a nap and didn’t get up until 6am this morning LOL! Now it’s almost 9am and nobody is awake yet and I’m hungry so I think I may walk back over to that McDonald’s and grab some breakfast. More to come!