Nous Sommes en France!

It’s always good to have a backup plan… We got to the station to take the train to the airport only to see the display change to “More than 1 hour delay”. Uh-oh, time for Plan B. D&D had come with us and we all hopped back in the car and raced (when the traffic allowed) to Boston. Got there just about when we would have taking the (on-time) train. Unfortunately, they then had to drive home at a snail’s pace in the rush hour traffic. Thanks, guys!

Yes, that’s really all the luggage we’re taking for ten months. Two suitcases carefully kept just under 50 pounds each and two backpacks. We were a little worried that our home luggage scale wouldn’t match the one at the airport and we’d have to wildly take stuff out at the ticket counter, but fortunately that didn’t happen.

We took a relaxed approach to getting out of Paris, and it worked really well at keeping our stress levels low. Despite arriving in the morning, we spent the first night at an airport hotel, then picked up our leased car the next day. We got a taste of the infamous French “never say you’re wrong” attitude, but eventually made it to the leasing location and picked up our brand new Citroën C4 Cactus. It’s comfortable and plenty big enough for our luggage and for the guests who will be visiting us throughout our French stay.

We spent the next night in Blois where there were… you guessed it… castles and grand churches. The Eglise Saint-Nicolas was a little different than many we’ve seen, though, with modern stained glass contrasting with the old stonework and paintings. We both really liked the stained glass.

I do wonder why the Blois nobility decided the porcupine was a royal animal…

Now we’re installed in our first rental, on the Ile de Ré. The closest open-air market is pretty small, but has everything we need – bread, fruit, vegetables, and the very important Sunday roast chicken. Roasted whole on a spit, that may be Sunday lunch every week we’re in France!

Our rental comes with two bikes, and we headed out for a test ride with the biking multitudes this afternoon. A nice beach is just a short ride away, so we’re looking forward to some relaxing time on the sand tomorrow. It’s great to see so many people biking – there may be more bikes than cars! The folks whizzing by on electric bikes do make me a tad bit envious – we may need to give them a try when we’re staying somewhere more hilly.

All the fresh market vegetables make for a great light supper with cheese and fresh bread. Ahhhh…

4 thoughts on “Nous Sommes en France!

  1. You both look so happy & relaxed. So impressed by your consolidated packing! Sounds like you’re off to a fantastic start. Bonne chance!

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  2. I really admire the guy who put the crown on that porcupine! I’m glad you are having fun — it’s an inspiration. It would be nice if you added dates to your blog entries. —Cheers, Ivan

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