A few weeks have passed and we are off to a roaring start with reservations. I was able to book all the hotels directly on the hotel websites. Then we decided that we will fly out of Toronto on Air Canada and we were able to secure our reservations for excellent flight times at a really good rate.
I’m generally not fond of having to fly out of Toronto, but between the exchange rate and the actual flight cost, this one was a no-brainer. Even grumpy old me is willing to put the drive to and from aside to save a bunch of dollars.
Next came the car. Yeah, that wasn’t such a rip-roaring good time. The plan was to rent the car in Épernay and then drop it off in Sancerre before taking the train to Paris. Scratch that!
The new plan was to rent the car in Épernay and then we would drive to Bourges or Orléans to drop the car off before taking the train to Paris. Scratch that!
The next new plan was to pick up the car in Reims and then drive back to Reims to drop the car off before taking the train to Paris. Scratch that!
After much aggravation and coordinating, we will now be picking up the car in Reims and driving to Epernay, then dropping it off in Beaune and taking the train to Paris.
The problem was finding a rental car agency in the places we wanted to go to and being able to pick up the car in one location and dropping it off in another location. Oh yeah, and finding a vehicle with an automatic transmission. That was a ‘NO’ from AutoEurope, Sixt and Avis. With a slight change to our itinerary, it was a ‘Yes’ from Hertz. Problem solved!
Remember in the last post when I said I was preparing for hiccups ? Well, this was the first one. Our new itinerary removes Sancerre and adds extra days in Beaune – really, that’s not such a bad swap out. More time in Beaune means more time to enjoy a few more tasty meals with a glass/bottle of Burgundy wine. Who knows, we might even find a bottle or two of good Sancerre wine just for the heck of it.
The new plan map looks like a math problem from the SAT’s, but there are no square roots or Pi to decipher.
Next on the planning agenda is to look at activities going on while we are there. Surprisingly, we’ll be skipping the Rugby matches and looking at kinder, gentler activities like art exhibitions, visiting chateaux and medieval towns, hilltop castles, and, of course, winery visits and tastings.
Someone asked me about trains. We have to wait to book trains until about 60 days out. I’ve looked at the train schedules for March to get a rough idea of the schedules and we seem to be ok. I usually use Trainline to book the trains, so I already have the info loaded up. Now I just need to wait for a little while.
I hinted last post that we were tossing around some additional travel ideas and I think they may be at least pencilled in on the calendar. We may be joining with friends to visit Portugal in 2024. Port wine and Templar Knights would make for an interesting journey. More on that when we can change the pencil to pen.
whew! Good thing we have a travel planner extraordinaire! Thank you, once again, for all your time and effort to make this a wonderful adventure. We love the small Medieval villages, as well as your other suggestions (wine is a given:)
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