I’m aboard American Airlines from Philly to CDG, Paris. On-time boarding, late departure, possible on-time arrival nonetheless as tailwinds of something like 180 mph are sending us to Paris at over 700 mph! Amazing. And smooth.
I’ve booked three nights – only – in Paris, and then nothing set till the end of the month. There just hasn’t been time to figure out train/bus transportation, and where to stay to explore the area I want to visit: parts of the Yonne, and the Indre, areas between say Dijon and the Loire. I’ve spent most of my time booking opera tickets and coordinating flights. Priorities!
But my priority should be figuring out the big question of where I might like to live. This month, I’m thinking of staying in Auxerre to see it and Vermenton and … not sure … Joigny or should I forget it? Sens? And then make my way over to Bourges / Vierzon / and particularly Chateauroux. These are places that have come up when I’ve searched for cheap-enough houses (possibly apartments) in towns with a river (can’t help it, grew up in St. Louis after all), decent commerce, historical interest. Perhaps they will all be too quiet?
But I am so excited about these next 7.5 months abroad. Last year was fabulous and I am, again, looking forward to everything I’ve got planned -with the highest, happiest expectations. I’ve already had a wonderful start. My brother was ready to be my hero and took me to the airport at 4 am! Then my beloved high-school friend Jeff G picked me up at the Philly airport, gave me a bit of a tour of neighborhoods in his part of town, and took me home so I could meet his wife. He made a lunch that was perfect for my travel day and we talked for some few hours. By the time he took me back to the airport for this flight, I was elated by our having reconnected so well, and thoroughly optimistic regarding a recovered, rich friendship to keep enjoying. Auspicious beginning to my year!