Today, I clicked on some travel sites and started searching for plane tickets.
Yes, in a short 130 days, I should be headed to France.
|Here's a sunrise picture out the window. Can't wait to see it again.|
|Here's the screen in the seatback that showed me our progress throughout the trip.|
Okay, there are a few hurdles yet.
The house hasn't sold. My husband hasn't retired yet, but, by golly, we're going.
My latest plan is to drive to my parents' house in Florida, store a few things, and drive to an airport down there -- Orlando or Fort Lauderdale or Miami.
Just entering those airports inn the travel search brought up airlines I wouldn't usually see if I flew out of Columbus or connected in Detroit. Where was Air France and Delta? Instead, TAP Portugal popped up.
And the flights would take over 11 hours with stops in places like Iceland or Dublin. Usually, we had a straight shot from Detroit to Paris.
|A tired Earl on the tram through the airport once we arrived in Paris.|
Pablo Picasso seems wide awake and a bit intrusive in the poster on the wall.
But what I do know is that once those airline tickets are in our hands, there's no stopping us.
We have so many things to figure out.
We need to order new birth certificates and marriage certificates and have them translated into French. We're looking at health insurance to cover us for the entire year. We'll need to share our bank accounts to prove we have enough money to survive for a year in France without working (which shouldn't be a problem once we finally sell the house).
The only catch is that we need to show we have a place to stay for the year. We actually are planning to move around quite a bit. As I shared a few weeks ago, we are scheduled to house sit for a menagerie of animals in January. So we'll start there and we are still negotiating for house sits in Aude and the Pays de Loire in February and March. (Fewer animals at those houses). And, of course, we can also rent a place to stay through Air B&B.
|Or in the mountains of Quillan.|
I'm generally an optimistic person who thinks that surely the rules can be bent for me. I'm not sure why I think that since I can't recall a time when the rules were actually changed to allow me to do what I wanted. So I messaged my friend Delana to ask her what to do. Maybe she can claim she invited us to stay with her for the year.
Or maybe we can talk to our friends in Nantes and see if they will write a letter saying that we will be their guests. Can you imagine how complicated it might be to convince a French-speaking person to claim we'll be their guests but we won't actually be their guests? I can picture the hilarity that would ensue as our friends try to figure out how to tell us that they don't want us to stay for the entire year, or they expect us to stay and we never show up. I'm sure there's a way around this.
As the time grows near, I'm more and more excited and ignoring some of the negatives that loom ahead, like selling the house.
I'm sure we'll have all the visa details worked out by the time we make our appointment at the French consulate in Chicago and travel there for our appointments. How can they turn down a Francophile like me?
Thanks so much for playing along with Dreaming of France. Please leave your link below and visit each other's blogs to share your love for France.
Good luck! Detroit is our favorite airport for connections. Small and friendly.
TAP is a nice airline, and connecting in Lisbon is far from a hardship.
Your pictures make for such a beautiful and calming back drop to all the scheming going on in your head. This is what you do best and I'm in no way minimizing the hurdles you guys have in front of you.
Francetaste, Yes, we've just gotten spoiled with a direct flight from the U.S. to Paris. I'm sure in the future we'll enjoy stops in Lisbon or even Reykjavik. Thanks for your insight on TAP. It probably has more room than Air France.
JustMe, I'm trying to keep it all positive. Thanks for reading.
There are opportunities like this in France!
Things will become clearer as you go down your path. Have faith!
This is your passion and your dream and it has nearly come true. I have no doubts that the rest will happen, just as you hope!
With big smiles, a bit of envy and loads of joy for you!
Posting this here because I haven't heard back from Silly Girl on my own site! Silly Girl, you won copy of the Into The Water by Paula Hawkins. check back with me so I know where to send it!!!
Silly Girl, Thanks for the link to the property for sale in the Loire. Looks amazing.
Jeanie, I don't hope to make people envy me, but maybe I'll inspire some others to go for their dreams, too.
Sim, Hope you reach her. It seems like you used to be able to email people who commented, but I can't figure out how to do that anymore.
I'm sorry, how rude of me to use your blog as a bulletin board and not to leave a comment! I was intending to then I saw Silly Girl's comment and got distracted! Yes, thanks, we did make contact.
As far as your journey of discovery goes, I know things will work out simply because you ARE such an optimistic person. The house will sell, the jobs will work themselves out and you and Earl will figure out your ideal place. I love the idea of traveling around and really getting the lay of the land for a year.
Do you absolutely have to prove you have the money & places to stay for a year? Could you not do it for a shorter time and then extend?
Anyway, we flew into Reykjavik where we had a two hour layover. It was fine but if I was to do it again, I'd stay a day so I could get out and see some of the spectacular scenery.
Here I am again. We used to fly Icelandair until it got too popular - you go Iceland! - and many times thought of spending a few days there to see what many friends say is spectacular. As Sim says it will all work out - don't clutter your mind with tension. Keep it clear so you can handle things one at a time as they come up - you have more mind to work with that way. I am learning this the hard way!
Thanks, Sim. I didn't think you rude at all. And Silly Girl, good advice. I am surprisingly stress free, although anxious for something magical to happen, as in a strong offer on the house. Some things have already worked out and I'm on my way to blog about them now.
you have more mind to work with that way. I am learning this the hard way!
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