Michael Sombroek

16 days in Paradise

16 days in Paradise

Wednesday and unfortunately I have to travel back to Europe. I am really going to miss Dallas.

The check in was perfect, DFW airport is by far the best organized and friendly airport in the world. My check in and security check was done within 3 minutes in the Texas typical friendly way. One “Sir, you are ready to go, have a good trip” and you are checked in. No chaos, no wait, even dropping the rental car is a question of 30 seconds only, although I didn’t really like to give my loved Jeep Compass back. After two weeks I have been so used to this great car I would have loved to keep my trailhawk.

The terror starts when entering the Air France plane like I expected. Unfriendly people that do not even speak English. Passengers that behave like hell, as there actually where nearly no American passengers on board, and the fact that I look very Texan with my hat and boots made them only be more impolite. I mean I don’t know if it is too much to expect that I can use the space of my own chair I paid for without the neighbor hanging half over my site making it very comfortable for themselves. And then after two times friendly asking I ask the steward if he maybe could say something. Well he responded that the neighbor was a bit bigger and he thinks I would have enough space as I am so small. Yes okay, I must admit I would fit on half a chair, but I actually have paid for my full chair and all I expect is that I have that space for me. The food was more like lunch at Guantanamo Bay and the crew behaves more like prison guards and by the way you guess it do not or do not want to speak English.

Arriving at Paris I then get the opportunity to see the worst airport in the world. I don’t know if they are still building the thing or breaking it down. I would guess the second is correct, because that’s what it looks like. Nobody speaks English and fortunately I understand and speak a bit French. But again, walking a mile, taking a tram, walking another mile and then taking a bus to get to the terminal G2 which I wouldn’t really call a terminal. More a kind of improvised under construction hall where even the cups at Starbucks look like they had been used at least three times before.

And then finally my flight to duesseldorf where my bag got lost. So no luggage. After an hour of research as I had to run all around from office to office and belt to belt, because do not expect anybody at this airport to help you, it seemed that they just not had put the bag in the plane at Paris. They said that happens more often. The Air France customer support, which doesn’t really match the word support thought that it is the most normal thing that my bag was still in Paris. I shouldn’t be so demanding, the bag would arrive at some point. Trying to explain that I think it is normal to expect the bag arriving together with me was a bit demanding a lot in their eyes. So after being awake again for more than 30 hours we had to drive back to the airport to pick up my bag that they had put on a later plane now.

It is a good record that the only things going wrong during such a long trip are those parts that KLM and Air France are responsible for and they think it’s normal. so never KLM AirFrance for me and let’s forget the flights quickly.

Apart from the KLM chaos, looking back at my journey I must say it really was the best trip of my life.

In 16 days I have traveled 2950 miles in my Jeep and fueled up around 130 gallons of petrol. I have stayed at 9 hotels and have visited 14 different places and have driven through nearly all of Texas.

I have played 10 rounds of golf on 8 different courses with some of them absolutely the best I have ever seen in the world., and I played in the US Open.

I have seen the most impressive cities and state parks and got to know so many lovely new people I got friends with, and overall I really fell in love with Dallas and Texas. It is really the best place in the world I can imagine. So I will come back to this most favorite place on earth for sure.

There are few more video episodes coming up which I just have to finish the edit. But I can tell you already now that I love the people in Texas and the State. Yes Texas is the place to be.