God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Life Threw a Curve

Fortunately not a serious one in terms of life upsets and problems--more of a frustrating annoyance one would say.

I think somewhere back in time I mentioned that we were going to Morocco for ten days before heading into Italy for several weeks--of course we end up there as Casey needs to see his friends and we need to, too.

The trip to Morocco has been planned for months and eagerly anticipated as friends of ours who live in Nice, the man is from Morocco, were going to show us the country through the eyes of a native. His family still lives there and we would have visited them in their homes. And...Casey eagerly told everyone that he was going to ride a camel and even practiced making camel noises.

So it was a great disappointment when two days ago we received an e-mail from our friends saying that circumstances made it necessary to change their plans. And, because they were going to make all the arrangements including visits with their family, we had not made any of our normal intensive preparations.

Now we needed to make plans in a hurry as we leave a month from yesterday. We have 11 days to play with before we are scheduled for our yearly visit to Sant Antonio in Montepulciano and then on to our "home away from home" in Greve in Chianti.

In a matter of hours we played around with several scenarios--ferrying to Corsica, flying to Puglia, the Amalfi Coast, Ireland and Provence. Fairly quickly we narrowed our options to Corsica and Provence. Both were intriguing and answered two of the quirks we were dealing with--too much luggage for small airlines and not wanting to spend a lot of time traveling.

After quick questions on the France forum of the Slow Travel website, several people shared good information on both Corsica and Provence. Eventually, within hours of coming to grips with this dilemma, we charted our course and began making plans for Provence. Locating desireable places to stay that are not already booked--not an easy challenge. Within a few hours, I had possibilities identified and began the e-mailing.

Now we have booked at a highly recommended B and B which miraculously had 3 nights available and it was in the room for three people Le Mas Perréal. I have known of this place for several years and always thought...Someday. I felt that I had hit the jackpot when Kevin, the owner, e-mailed me back right away with the good news. My Someday had unexpectedly arrived.

This morning I had more good news from La Bastide du Paradou in Moustiers. They had availability for the next three nights. From there we will head back to Nice and into Italy. La Bastide looks to be very lovely and has excellent reviews. Kevin and other friends say the village is charming and picturesque--just what I like.

There is still a little problem remaining--the two days between Nice and before Kevin's. I tried several places that were recommended but to no avail--all booked. So I'm trying for Le Calendal in Arles which seems a really good spot for us. Hopefully, by tomorrow they will say "oui" and we will be set.

Amazing that this has been able to be completed so quickly. I wonder if it is because tourism is down in this disastrous world economic climate. I am sure that is so.

The lesson learned is that plans change and rather than let panic set in--shake it off and move on. What a great way to approach much of life!

And then finally, we'll stop in Bologna for the night on the way to Tuscany and have a wonderfully fantastic meal in one of the world's culinary capitols. Yeah!


Rebecca said...

Oh, no! I was really looking forward to hearing about Morocco. It's a place that puts such interesting pictures in my head. But, I'll be just as happy hearing about Provence. What quick work you had to do. There will always be good no matter where you end up, right?

nancyhol said...

Jane, the new and improved travel plans sound wonderful!

I will look forward to hearing all about your travels.

Deb R said...

Hi Jane, I'm so happy it seems to be working out for you. We leave on Friday for Italy again too!

girasoli said...

Late in my commenting... Sorry your trip to Morocco was canceled but excited to meet you in Bologna!

Jane said...

Thanks for all the well-wishes. Deb, have a great time. Girasoli--A presto!