When I worked at The Chronicle, I used to send items like this to Herb Caen, who would enjoy printing them. More details here. I miss Herb, who was the original blogger.
My wife celebrates a milestone birthday a few days after Christmas, so my son and I decided to treat her (and us) to a weeklong trip to Paris. We are renting a flat on the Left Bank (with a sweet view of the River Seine and Notre Dame), showing our son the museums and cathedrals and enjoying a Christmas concert.
Being a longtime airline writer, I wanted to fly the new Airbus A380 (a giant 538-seat jetliner) “across the pond,” so we drove to LAX, visited some friends and left from down there. We upgraded to business class with miles, because it was a very special celebration. Air France was the first European carrier to introduce the Airbus A380 double-decker Superjumbo in its fleet.
We got to board early in business class. It’s a cumbersome process involving a shuttle bus that drives you out on the tarmac to get on board, because regular jetways can’t easily accommodate the giant plane. Along the way, my wife and I noticed actress Halle Berry just ahead of us, waiting to board the plane in first class. Halle was wearing an unmistakable pink backpack. My wife also ID’ed her Gallic fiance Olivier Martinez.
I wanted to snap a photo on the iPhone, but we decided to let it go in such a confined space. A teenage girl next to us quickly “texted” her friend, and we joked about that.
As it turns out, the “tabloids” were all over the couple when their plane landed, complete with photos: “Holding hands tightly, the couple are probably hoping for a more peaceful Christmas holiday than their Thanksgiving during which Halle’s ex Gabriel Aubry was involved in a brutal brawl with Martinez.”
It was a great flight: The service, the French food, the high-tech entertainment — and a seat that turned into a bed. Our seats were on the upper deck — above the first class cabin where Halle and her fiancé stretched out for the 10-hour trip.