Yes, it’s back to France, for another extended stay!
We loved our 2013 France sojourn so much that we’re going to do it again this year. Not quite as long as 2013, but close:
May 11 – Seattle to New York, for a visit with Craig, Annie and Clara
May 14 – New York to Paris
Four-and-a-half months in France.
Sept 28 – Paris to New York for a visit with Craig, Annie, Clara and Clara’s new brother, who will have been born mid-August
October 3 – back to Seattle
(Yes, that’s correct: Laurie and I are going to be grandparents again. We are SOOOO excited about that!)
For some details…
First, I am excited that we fly from New York’s JFK airport to Paris on an Air France Airbus A380, the biggest passenger airplane ever built. I think both readers of this blog know that I love airplanes – passenger airplanes, in particular – and I’ve wanted to fly on this beast since it entered service in 2007. Here’s a picture:
Laurie and I will be sitting on the upper-deck, at the window just in front of the last door opening. Yeah, it’s just plain old Economy Class (when you’re paying for the tickets because you don’t have enough frequent flier miles to get in Business Class, you fly Economy Class), but we understand these seats have a couple more inches of leg room (good for me) and are in a row of only two seats (good for Laurie, as she doesn’t have to fight for the armrest with some stranger sitting next to her or have that stranger fall asleep with his head on her shoulder – yes, that has happened).
We really lucked out on places to stay this time. In 2013, we rented a house in the small town of Montigny-sur-Loing. That worked just great, but this time it’s even better. Last year, when we started talking about doing another long trip, I emailed our friends there and asked them to keep an eye open for a place to stay nearer them. Almost immediately, Jamie Rufin (of Jamie and Hervé; you read of them in our last trip blog and certainly will again this trip) wrote that their friends/neighbors leave their house each summer to go to a summer house in the Alps and they would be glad to have us “house-sit;” we leapt on that opportunity. Then, with a little digging around on Airbnb I found a house in the town Mary and Gilles Germain live in. I asked Jamie and Mary if they knew anything about it and it turns out the owner is good friends with both of them! I contacted her and rented her cottage for five weeks. So those take care of June, July and August, and we figure we can find things to do for the last half of May and most of September.
We’re leasing the same kind of car – a Renault Clio – from the same company – Renault Eurodrive – this year. (Renault Eurodrive has offices in Elmsford, NY; six months ago I couldn’t have told you where in the world Elmsford was – it’s about 30 miles northwest of Manhattan, a small town with a population of about 5,000 – but in August, Craig and Annie and Clara moved to…Elmsford!) We love the Clio: it’s sporty, has a lot of get-up-and-go, looks good with plenty of space for the two of us, and in 2013 we got just a touch under 50 mpg for the entire time we were there. Fuel prices have declined in France as they have here, but diesel is still $5.25 per gallon (it was over $7 per gallon two years ago), so 50 mpg, we’re good with that.
So we’re off again. We cannot wait to get back to France. It really feels like our home-away-from home, until we try to ask a question in a store; then…not so much.