Road trip – done. Last calories load at Five Guys Burger in Aventura (Miami) left literally a good taste of America.
The day of the return trip started with an early snorkeling trip to the Ft Lauderdale beach reef – we managed to spot a reef shark hiding between the corals. Air France flight from Miami to Charles de Gaulle in Paris was rather uneventful. The economy seats on Air France are really tight – and it seems that they don’t vacuum the air planes too often. The positive side of Air France seemed to be the food. Menu was also accompanied with a wine list, including some Chapange for aperitif.
The flight arrived an hour ahead schedule to Paris – leaving 3 hours to change the plane. They didn’t for some reason print the final leg tickets in Miami, albeit the luggage was checked through. We queued two service counters, of which the last (Finnair’s) worked excellently (which can’t be stated of the other service counters) – it was good that we mentioned the luggage, as they had to somehow manually enter the luggage numbers to the system! Otherwise our luggage would have been left in Paris! Unbelievable…
Transport from 2E to adjoining terminal 2D (when following the signs) involved 1) train transport 2) security check 3) bus transport 4) passport control 5) long walk 6) security check – including queuing the service counters the process took over 2 hrs – leaving hardly time for a cup of coffee during the 3h change. Theoretically the airport is nice – and layout good – but the system is built unbelievably complex with bad signs and bottle necks. Paris is on ‘avoid if you can’ list definitely. Quite a contrast after the USA.
Nissan Altima (that we had as a rental car from National) served us well without any bigger issues – service / oil change light went off to the end. The route over map below suggests that the route without any detours or local shuttling was around 2300 miles. Practically, however, the route was 3178 miles (>5000km). On the way there was something worth doing or seeing every day – but given the number of miles in the car, not a family trip with small kids. 2 weeks (practically 16 full days + 2 half days) was good time for the trip. There was many spots along the route, where one could easily spend a full week.
If leaving something out – the Dallas-Corpus Christi leg was probably the most boring part (some long swamp roads in the south reminded so much of the Finnish Lapland that it felt cozy and not that boring). The Texas generally (including the boring parts) would probably be best experienced during some colder season. Ranch / outdoor activities apart from beach and amusement parks are not practical, when the thermometer hangs between 30 and 39 C.
Great trip in total – and could do it again.