Following Rick Steves' suggestion to book an extra day at the beginning of the trip really paid off. We arrived at the airport in Portland, OR raring to go, only to have airplane trouble that resulted in a four hour departure delay. Needless to say we missed our connecting flight in Texas and ended up spending the first night of our trip in Dallas rather than Paris.
Comfy chair in the Dallas hotel
Dallas, Texas has never been on my bucket list of places to visit, but the airlines put us up in a hotel for the night and rescheduled us for departure the next day. It was a frustrating start to a trip we had been planning for almost a year, but having scheduled an extra day at the beginning saved us a lot of grief.
The next day we left Dallas airport at 5:pm US time, and finally settled in for the looooong flight to our final destination: PARIS, FRANCE!