The flight itself was great. Smooth, quick, but I can't sleep on planes. How do you seel upright? Impossible. Plus they just keep on feeding you gross airline food and the armrest was digging into me. I ate a nasty serving of microwave pasta beause i thought the starchy carbs would help me sleep. I dozed in and out of sleep but definitely didn't rest enough. Tried watching "This is 40" but turned that garbage off after 10 minutes.
Arrival at CDG airport was fine, quick lines/baggage. We thought we left the GPS at home so there was slight panic but it was found. Thankfully, for all parties involved.
Pre flight pints, so yum.
Bag people. Cudos to Chelito for packing a carryon size bag for 2 weeks. Teach me your ways, grasshopper.
After expensive coffee and water, we made our way to pick up the car we reserved at Enterprise (shuttle to another terminal styles), waited in line for about half an hour only to find out we didn't actually reserve an automatic car and there were none available unless we wanted to wait another 2 hours for one to be returned. Yeah, lets do that. No. Thankfully I am paranoid and reserved a backup car through Avis, so we got our Vee Dub golf and friggin got on the road after a million years of doing things. The GPS was up and running and I decided to choose "shortest distance" as the setting to take us to Argentan. It was awesome and took us through terrible traffic in Paris. You can imagine my face as we drove through these hellish busy streets. It even took us through a lovely scenic part of town which had nature trails and joggers and lots of hookers.
Eventually I changed the setting back to "fastest time" and we got back on the highway after losing over an hour, backtracking and sitting in nightmare traffic. I was starving. And tired. I was a delight to be around, really.
Look, France has highway rest stops just like home. Pee and food time before I eat the maps and/or cry. Whose idea was it to not bring snacks?! I was mad.
Road trip gas station sandwich - Ham, lettuce and brie. Good shit. Also...
Just a note: I can't help but notice the sky here, I catch myself looking at it and getting lost in it. I was staring up at it yesterday, in the car and later during dinner, there's just something different about it. It may sound silly, but I've decided that it's bigger here. The sky is larger out here in Normandy, even from the bedroom window I see it. It really does go on forever and makes me feel like I can breathe easier and even think more clearly.
...chaps! These were good, like cracked pepper chips but with a hint of sour cream for the win. Blood sugar levels back to normal, which in turn change my face and mood. Good. I didn't eat breakfast on the plane so I hadn't eaten for a solid 8 hours at least. Feel bad for me.
So, SEVEN HOURS after we landed, we arrived at Manoir de Coulandon in Argentan. Our home for the next three days.
When you get to the drive there is a cute sign and a little grass driveway that leads to a large 16th century stone house with an adjoining guest house and separate barn thing.
Look, there's the barn thing, our golf and behind it an old carriage. We were greeted by a young baby mama cat. She was cute.
The manor itself is among other farm type properties and about a kilometre from Argentan jail. Cool. Hopefully one of the inmates escapes and takes refuge in the barn or our room.
We met Patrick, one of the owners, he's a slim, polite Frenchman, with a bushy beard and a farmer's look to his face. He's a hard worker, I could tell by the roughness of his hands. Calm down ladies. He's taken buy Annie his sweet wife.
He took us up the winding concrete stairs to our room. Chambre Rose.
It's not creepy at all and definitely not haunted.
Very "French country". I love it and it smells cottagey.
We were invited to join them for dinner with another two guests, but declined. We wanted to just grab food in town. I went down to get ze weefee password and met the other two guests having an aperitif and some blood sausage at the dining room table. I was offered an aperitif, obv I accepted. We chatted, the other couple was English and owned the Range Rover out front. Ballerrs. Old ballers. Friendly though, that Pat and John. I wasn't crazy about the blood sausage, it was mushy, also it was blood sausage.
Dinner was at a local pizzeria, I had the seafood salad, Jamie had pizza. Plus dessert because why not. Salted caramel ice cream, you're goddam right I will. And it was good.
By the time we got back it was about 9.30 or so and we passed out. And a good sleep it was. I set my alarm for 8am so we could have 9am breakfast with the English ballers, then go to Andre and Nicole's for 1pm. I woke up and felt like we slept long an checked the clock. 1:20. I almost cried. I panicked, omagad we slept in we are so rude we missed breakfast and are super late for lunch. After some processing and brain computing I realized it said 1:20am and was still Toronto time. Thank gaaaaaaaaaad. It was only 7:20am. Jet lag is weird and time change just effs with your mind, Quaid. My ipad is still at Toronto time, annoying.
Easy with the cuteness there, Annie and rough man-hands Patrick.
Sure I will have a bowl full of coffee, merci.
Pat and John ballers joined us, then another older French couple appeared out of nowhere. Jean-Paul and Sylvie. Jean-a-Paul is a retired Parisian cop, Sylvie is a sweet lady who understood English. We chatted and had a jolly good time. Breakfast was chocolate croissants (pain au chocolat), some fresh homemade jams, crepes, "nutella" and breads. Numnums. The ballers had to leave because John has to work tomorrow unexpectedly. How lucky are the Brits that they can drive to the French countryside for the weekend. Sigh.
I feel comfortable full and ready for the day. It was a long and tiresome journey, stressful for a few moments but all worth it in the end. I hope these next few weeks drag by, of course I don't wanna leave.