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There is nothing about RV–8s in this post - fair warning.

Terry and I got back today from a week long trip to Paris to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It was a wonderful trip. We started off with a tour of Paris in a Citroën 2CV, complete with bottle of Champagne while we toured. We hit the Eiffel Tower twice; once to go all the way to the top, and once to have an anniversary dinner at the Jules Verne restaurant (a fabulous, expensive, once in a lifetime experience). We ate lunch at Le Procope, the oldest café in the world, founded in 1686, full of history, and frequented by Voltaire, Rousseau, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon, Victor Hugo, Oscar Wilde, etc. We inadvertently ended up at several of the locations featured in the Woody Allen movie “Midnight in Paris”. And much, much more.

Our flight home was interrupted by a diversion to Shannon, Ireland due to a passenger who suffered a heart attack (she survived, according to Air Canada). The captain hoped for a short stop in Shannon, but an attempt to refuel was fouled by some issue with the fuel dump system. We had dumped some fuel before landing in Shannon, to get down to an acceptable landing weight. Fuel dump systems are rarely used, and it seems that something had not properly reset. The captain kept coming on the PA to explain that they hoped the problem would be resolved in the next half hour or so, and then we would be on our way. This went on for over five hours, until it finally became impossible to complete the flight within the allowable crew duty time.

We finally got off the aircraft in the late evening, then lined up for a slow Customs clearance (two agents for a Boeing 777 full of pax). Then a wait for a 30 minute bus ride to a dingy hotel in Ennis. At least the hotel staff were well organized, with a very efficient check-in process, then a quick late dinner and a pint of the obligatory Guinness. We had never been to Ireland before, and I can report that Guinness is even better over there than it is in North America. I was amazed to see how thick and viscous the head was; it stuck to the sides of the glass as I drank the beer.

We finally got home around 1800 on Monday, a day later than originally planned. It’s going to be tough to go back to work.

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