It’s logistics central here as we prepare for our trip, in 7 weeks and counting! I have various lists going and am working through them on a priority basis and *think* we have most of the crucial plans done.
We’ve booked an AirBnB in Paris for 3 night, for when we land and can catch our breath, find our feet and acclimatise to our new diet of wine & cheese ;). We’ve booked a cool apartment that you can see below and here. I couldn’t resist the over-the-top, fun nature of the apartment and thought what a great way to start our adventure. A disco room for when we’re all jet lagged and not sleeping a wink in the night!
Next we’ll drive down to the town we’ve chosen, in the South West, called Salies-de-Bearn. Many people have asked why there? We’ll it ticked a lot of boxes…it’s a village in a beautiful Basque countryside, but not too small or sleepy (5000 people). There is some tourism in the town because of an ancient salt spring that they’ve developed and that the town is renown for…so cafes and restaurants a plenty. The town is nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenese, where the Canadian in me looks forward to a bit more skiing than I’ve done in the last 15 years! 45 minutes to the west, is the surf coast of France and some say of Europe. A bit of home for the boys, who will be packing their wetsuits. And finally, 1 hour south west is San Sebatian in Spain…a food mecca and apparently stunning town that we look forward to visiting on day trips.
The house we’ve rented for the first month is also an AirBnb and the owner is open to renting to us longterm. So if we love the town, the schools seem good and we want to stay, we’ll look to stay in Salies from September onwards. After our first month, we plan to go on walk-about and drive through Spain, down to Rob’s Dad in the south of Spain and hopefully spend a couple of weeks with Rob’s brother & the cousins who will meet us there from the UK. One of the things we’re looking forward to is spending some more time with family and letting the cousins get to know each other better…as they’ve always played so nicely when we’ve visited previously. Developing relationships with them that will last and hopefully bring them closer for what may lie in years to come.
So back to the logistics…a quick update! We’ve ticked off house rental in Paris & Salies, rental car for the first 10 days (we’ll be buying one when we get there), plane tickets of course and confirmed (again because I was doubting the info I’d read) with the French Consulate, that I’m ok to get into France and get a visa on the back of Rob’s UK passport (phew!). We’ve renewed Oliver’s Aussie passport, which took 3 appointments. Boys UK passport renewals are still being processed – the inital application took us a few weeks to get finished, then they couldn’t get ahold of our countersignatory, didn’t have the correct photos (doh!) and emailed to say start again. NOOOO!! A couple more emails back to them and it was back on track, photos sent, countersignatory confirmed and now waiting, waiting, waiting. Booked packing & moving day (yes, removalists!) as all of our stuff is going into a container and staying in Melbourne while we’re away. There are lots of other time consuming things we’ve been taking care of like old insurance claim, updating addresses with various companies & people, Dr & dentist appointments and the process of disconnecting utilities will surely start before long.
BUT the fun and excitement of the trip is starting to take hold and the flutter in the stomach is growing. Lots of dates in the calendar over the next month for farewells – boys night, girls night, boys weekend, girls weekend (in fact, I’m away on a girls weekend now!), dinner with friends for long overdue catch-ups and a grand finale party the weekend before we leave.
Until next time,