Today, I called the country of France.
I have to do this several other times, all for reserving the hotel rooms, but it was probably one of the most stressful things I have done. (Kudos to Vonage for giving us free Europe calls;)
I intended on speaking French and seeing how far I got, and always staying super polite. I made a list and everything, just in case I got nervous and forgot what I needed to say.
Instead, the first words out of my mouth after bonjour was “est-ce que vous parlez anglais?” She put me on hold and handed me off to another. She did speak English, but with a terribly thick accent, and then over the fuzzy phone and all, I just got really tense. BUT after several repetitions on both our parts, we did it! Yay! I would not have been so nervous in person – I managed in Peru with a language I never studied, having a pad of paper always at hand, so that people could write the words down.
Anyway, we decided to book rooms for every night instead of leaving the middle open. Here is the plan:
Night 1: Sleep on Plane
Abbaye de Fontfroide One night here, its in the middle of nowhere, near Narbonne. It will be quiet and quaint and help up adjust to the time difference (we need to be waking up at the exact hour we go to sleep – it wouldnt be such a problem for normal people, but our night schedule doesnt work to our benefit here: 1am is 8am their time).
Night 3 and 4:
Chateau de la Treyne I was very adamant about staying in a castle. Very adamant indeed. While we couldnt possibly afford the specific room I wanted, we did agree to stay here. We will also be doing a hot air balloon if all works out. And near by are places like monkey forest and Rocamadour.
Night 5 and 6:
Hotel des Recollets in the historical section of Sarlat-le-caneda. Near here is Lascaux and Les Eyzies (hey, i am an anthro nerd afterall).
Night 7 and 8:
La Maison Coste in Carcassonne. (Note: We also have the boardgame.)
Night 9, 10, and 11:
Brasilia Luxury Hotel on the beach of the Mediterranean Sea. Its near the airport, and within a drive of Nimes and its roman ruins.
I will be calling the hotels tomorrow I think. They are all reserved, but only the last place (did i meantion its on the b e a c h ??) is fully confirmed with a deposit. I have been saving a long time, really sternly. I have obsessed over all the choices. Squaring everything away will now let me have time to look forward to the trip!