Despite the picture I previously posted of my suitcase spillage, I had no trouble closing it. I’ll admit that this is mostly due to the lightness of summer clothing, and not necessarily my judicious packing choices. My bag managed to close despite the fact that I packed four pairs of shoes, for instance: a pair of flower printed Chuck Taylors, two pairs of Fitflops, and my go-to “jolie laide” Earth Arias. My beloved is another issue. Having filled his standard carry-on and finding it light, he decided to add more stuff. Only his talent for artful rearrangement combined with a little subterfuge–stuffing some non-edibles in a Chipotle bag to look like food–kept us from having to check his luggage. This is still a major improvement over our trip to China, which involved a full set of luggage plus carry-ons. Avoiding the suspense of waiting at a carousel for baggage which may or may not emerge from a connecting flight (not to mention saving time and extra fees) is definitely worth the effort of packing light.
Other thoughts/observations: Our carrier is Air France, which we booked precisely to take advantage of their Paris hub for our stopover on the way home. We like international carriers because, from our experience, they still maintain at least a few of the standards that used to make flying bearable, if not enjoyable. That being said, the first leg of our journey, from Newark to Paris, was on Delta, in partnership with Air France. So much for targeting foreign airlines. The flight was cramped but not bad: we left on time, had decent individualized seat-back entertainment ( enjoyed Nina Simone’s greatest hits; watched Rio and Rio2), and though the offerings weren’t terribly good, we were fed three times.
Arrived to find Paris drizzly and 58 degrees; hope the weather improves in ten days. Next stop, New Delhi.