Sunday, April 19, 2015

Back on the Road

We are getting ready to travel again.  This time we will be returning to France.  It's the first time we've been back since we retired, and we are looking forward to traveling without a string a students behind us.  We last traveled to France without students in 1998.  It was our 30th anniversary and we drove to Angers and then down to Biarritz.  This time we will start in the south in Aix en Provence and work our way north.

Our passports are new as of last fall, full of virgin pages ready for stamping.  We have rented a GPS unit for the first time and are leaving behind our collection of yellow Michelin maps.  We are staying sometimes with friends and other times in AIRBNB apartments.  But we are feeling adventurous and have left two nights unbooked, intending to find hotels along the way.  When we traveled with our children in the 80s we never stayed in hotels.  We usually camped.

In those days we followed a predictable routine.  Although the  first night we researched carefully and found a campsite close to Amiens (that was in 1984), we soon realized that France was dotted with excellent campsites.   All we had to do back then was to drive until we felt like stopping, then pull in at the next site advertised along the road.  This worked like a charm unless we were on the Mediterranean coast where four star campsites filled up consistently with vacationers from around France and northern Europe.  In most towns the Camping Municipal was a very good choice, and one year we ended up with a great view of fireworks off the chateau at Loches on the 14 Juillet.

But this time we are avoiding both campsites and youth hostels.  We are treating ourselves to beds.  We will eat in restaurants, as well as with friends and occasionally in our rented apartments (we will still picnic, of course).   We might even use a taxi in Paris.  It will be a whole new era.

Expect daily (or almost daily) posts, and plenty of photos.  Don't be afraid to ask a question r send me on a quest.

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