Not much to write about for the past several months - sure not many would be interested in my vagaries - but I have been working on a few travels.
June 14-28, 2008 - I'll be back in the south of France - this time in La Begude de Mazenc in Drome. One of my brothers has rented a house for the month of June. I'll be there for 2 weeks; Liz will be there for the first week; another local couple are joining us for the first week. Plane tickets booked back in October; car in November; and I'm getting ready to book the TGV from Paris to Valence, where we will pick up the car.
SNCF has changed the online booking for TGV tickets - much more difficult now. Kevin Widrow's excellent instructions appear to be obsolete. Among the significant changes:
1. Tickets can no longer be printed out at your home computer - must be picked up at a kiosk at CDG, using the same credit card that was used to purchase them online.
2. If you say you live in France, there is no English language option.
3. If you say you live in the UK, prices appear to be the same as in France, but you can only pick up the tickets at a free-standing kiosk. If you live in France, you have the option of getting the tickets at a ticket counter, talking to a real person. Hopefully nothing goes wrong at the kiosk - but if it does, only those indicating a residency in France have that option.
4. So far I haven't found a PREM option on any of the scenarios I've tried.
June 6-20, 2009 - Liz & I are taking 4 single female friends to Provence. I spent a few weeks poring over dozens of listings & asking advice from some friends. I was trying to prepare a short list of possible accommodations to present to our friends who are coming for a trip-planning dinner next Friday evening. None of the properties seemed ideal - until I came across a 5-bedroom house in the Luberon. Better yet, there was a glowing review on ST from Linda in NC. We have been to Linda's beautiful home - at last year's GTG in Brevard. If the house gets Linda's approval, it's the highest recommendation I could hope for.
When I inquired about other properties, none was able/willing to commit for June 2009 at this early date - either on price or availability. When I contacted the owner of the desired property, I received a much more satisfactory response. We have the rental for next year at this year's price - just waiting for the contract in the mail.
None of our friends have been to France. On Friday evening, I am going to mention the possibility of extending our time with a few days, up to a week, in Paris. I am optimistic that at least some of them will want to experience Paris - I'll let you know what happens.
September 2010 - Intrigued by Kevin Widrow's account of his week on the island and some online browsing, I am thinking about spending 2 weeks on Corsica - have figured out the logistics & have ordered a couple of books. The travel account should be healthy enough by then - hope to include additional time in France - either on the Cote d'Azure, or in the Luberon or Paris. As the Brits say it's "early days", but it's something I'll be thinking about over the next year or so.