Tim, thanks for your reply!
We arrive in FRA May 17 at 8:30 AM, and would really like to go to So. France (Avignon) to start our two week trip. Then we would slowly work our way towards Paris for a return leg to FRA on our last day, the 31st of May.
I found lots of FRA to Avignon train trips on Bahn.De, and they are all 7 to 10 hour trips. So an 8 hour trip looks about normal, but that is a long time to spend on the train. And some have 4 transfers....that does not look too good to me. The worst problem is that the ones I checked cannot or will not display the price.
I don't want to spend a bunch of $$$ on a trip that eats up all of one day, just to start our vacation in the South, but if the price is right........
The lo-cost easy option is just to do a R/T $112 PP flight to Paris from FRA, but we would have to drive/rail South, and then return back to Paris on our vaca.
Another lo-cost easy option is the "Open Jaw" $168 FRa to Geneva flight, and then a Paris to FRa return. But it is a 4 hour drive to Avignon, and I don't want to do that on a jet lag day (neither one of us can sleep on the plane flight over the pond.)
If I can't find a decent train trip I suppose that I could just pick my rental car up in Geneva, and just pop on down to Lyon, and start my trip there.
I have enlisted by buddy that I grew up with, who nows lives in Germany, in my quest to find a cheap and easy way to get to So France. He is usually pretty good at finding deals, but is not very positive about German rail .....prices. He is going to talk to French friend of his to see if he can get thru SCNF, and also get some prices out of Bahn.de.
Thanks guys...if you come up with anything, l;et me know.