We are home from France….at least most of us are!
We had a lovely trip…explored Normandy with a great tour guide, somehow managed the tight train schedule from Bayeux, to Mont-Saint-Michel, to St. Malo, weathering a train cancellation and taking a bus for part of the trip! Back to Paris over Christmas, then rented a car for our trip through Loire/Anjou area. Very little tourists…maybe heard 2-3 English speaking families. Breezed through the Orsay and Louvre. None of us wanted to go up the Eiffel Tower but if we had, we saw no lines.
On the 30th, we checked out of our cottage in Anjou, went to a pharmacy and 2 of us tested positive. The pharmacist unofficially advised us negatives to leave France ASAP, wearing good mask gear on the plane. From there, it was the Great Escape for us negatives! We cancelled our hotel room at CDG, my husband dropped all the negatives off, we caught a plane leaving that day (we fly standby through an airline employee agreement), and I made an AirB-n-B reservation for my husband and youngest daughter in Paris. They are hunkered down there. The US Embassy provides a list of English speaking doctors. Most are out until after New Years, but they have one doctor calling them on Monday. Thankfully France just announced a reduced 7 day isolation period. Those of us at home now have not been able to get any additional testing as all centers have no appointments and all home tests are sold out. So I guess we will never know! We don’t feel sick, but neither did my husband or daughter in any significant way.
All in all, it was worth it completely. We got to meet the family we exchange kids with in the summers and we felt like instant family. We both have big families with matching ages and we have a lot in common. They gave us a fabulous tour of their vineyard and winery. We shared lots of meals (and apparently COVID) together, and we got to see their newly purchased 16th c. home they will start renovating - a home whose top half burned in the Revolution! The home is more of a small estate right next to the village church…complete with outside stables, an outdoor latrine with 3 toilet holes, various barns and buildings, a big garden area…simply amazing.
If you go, remember trip/medical insurance and pack enough essentials to tack on a stay at the end. For us, we packed enough contacts and diabetic supplies for my child with Type 1 Diabetes, but the biggest thing is to go with the right attitude. If you can’t handle the unexpected or go with the flow of the current uncertainties, stay home, but otherwise get out and enjoy!!