We rise before the sun and enjoy the rich breakfast buffet provided by the hotel. We get the first shuttle to the airport to catch our morning flight.
Arriving the two hours early suggested for international travel, we learn our flight is delayed two hours. Glitch number one. Finally it is time for us to board. As we go through a second security check a steak knife, which we have been using for cheese and rolls during the trip , is discovered in my partner's carry on. Glitch number two. I had noticed when packing the suitcases in Paris that it was missing but assumed he had put it somewhere in the luggage and in my diminished physical capacity due to my illness I had overlooked it. How it got though the first security check is still a mystery, not to mention a little disturbing. The knife was the last one remaining from a set that had been a wedding gift to his parents and so had some sentimental value. I was carrying a piece of luggage with various odds and ends, most of it was taken up by my jacket which I would not need until we touched down in Chicago. We packed it in that and checked it at the gate. We then boarded the plane without further problems.
After the seven hour flight and another hour and a half on Chicago's public transit we walked in our door filled with many rich memories of the places we saw and the experiences we had which we will carry with us for the rest of our lives. It is trips like this one that make me feel especially lucky.