Friday, June 10, 2011

" What was she thinking?! "

Worked on trip stuff today, once I actually got to work. The little pocket itinerary was nearly done, waiting for me to add some of the medical information that was recommended here. I've mostly included stuff that will refresh my memory -- and it will really need refreshing if I have to tell someone my height and weight in meters and kilograms.

Ever since Sister and I discovered that our reservation management pages on the Air France website showed our overall flights as confirmed, but the scheduled long-haul flights (San Francisco to Paris and return) as cancelled, we've been a little (a lot at first) nervous. Flights with different departure times were listed below our "cancelled" flights with a flight status of "N/A," not a totally reassuring note. So I've been checking the website with some frequency. As of today, our flights are shown as confirmed, with new departure and arrival times. Whew! Sister and I tried again this evening (we had them under our original flight) to select seats. We're across the aisle from each other going, together on the return. Have I mentioned before that we're scheduled to go one direction on the A380 Airbus? The big jumbo one?

Finally, I've been choosing photos from previous trips to Provence for the pocket itinerary cover. Setting up a cover is the "funnest" part of doing a pocket itinerary. I wanted to find a particular photo that I thought I had used for an earlier itinerary. So I searched my handful of PIs.  I hadn't, although I found the photo elsewhere, but in searching, pulled out my very first effort at what I called "the little book" at the time. You never know how true-to-life the on-screen color is (this new computer is quite good) until you print it, and the draft version on plain paper doesn't really show it off. But even little thumbnail photos look so very rich on premium satin photo paper.

My first cover to my first Little Book

Random page

Ah, La Sabranenque. It was also the first trip that I self-planned and went off to completely on my own. Quoting from my 2004 holiday newsletter:

What Was She Thinking?!

Is this the person who engages a team of ladies to clean her house? Who hires a gardener to trim the bushes and blow the leaves? This is the person who volunteered to restore castles and villages in France? What was she thinking?

She was thinking, as she watched a varied crew of volunteers building a stone wall on a segment on volunteer vacations on the Today Show, that is so cool. Were there mature women, trowels in hand, on that arid French hillside?

That was 2003, and I already had plans for a quilters' tour to France that spring. I filed castle restoration away in my brain as a "wouldn't it be fun" fantasy. But I did send for La Sabranenque's brochure.

This year's itinerary for the quilters' tour proved irresistible and I signed up for it again. Then came La Sabranenque's 2004 brochure and the fantasy began to percolate. Clearly, there would come a point when restoring castles would be out of the question for age and health reasons. I felt reasonably fit, and next year, who knows?  I'll definitely be older. If ever I was to have this adventure ... Hmmm. Two trips abroad ...

My pre-adventure involved getting tutored in French, and researching and making arrangements on the Internet for planes, rail passes, buses and shuttles, hotels and apartments, and cell phones with SIM cards.  The adventure spanned a month over September and October, which included nearly three weeks in two sessions at La Sabranenque in the village of Saint-Victor La Coste, 45 minutes NW of Avignon. I spent the time between sessions in Nice and Avignon. Needless to say, the tale of this is an adventure too long to tell here, but what a ball!"

And it's too long to tell here tonight as well, but I'll sneak in tales and pictures from time to time.

See you tomorrow.


1 comment:

  1. So are you adding 'castle restorer' to your list of accomplishments? You rock Lee!