Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Travel to France......and Send Postcards Home!

Last April, a dream came true for three of my dearest friends!  For a year in advance, I planned a ten day holiday for the four of us and my daughter, Kara, to London, Bath, and Paris.  We met every three months, within the year, to discuss our plans and what we hoped to experience and see.  Since I had traveled to these countries before, I began to research and organize our days into a fun and memorable trip.  It was a labor of love for me and I know they enjoyed it as much as I did.  I have now decided upon a new plan for assistance regarding travel.  I love the planning part so I am most happy to share my tips on travel and yes, sending postcards! I love helping others learn how easy it is to navigate their way through England and of course, my favorite, France.  The key is the time of year, the location of each hotel selected, and the ability to use the underground rail system and the trains.  France and the UK are so far ahead of our country, the US, in accommodating travelers from abroad. It is easy to book hotels, buy ticket passes to museums, and ticket your train destinations months in advance. I even booked dinner reservations in advance.   Train tickets are much cheaper with advance purchase.  Rail Europe is a great resource for selecting trains and times for easy travel.  Reading books and websites on travel are a priceless tool when planning travel abroad.  
Travel packets, above, for my friends kept us organized and helped each one in the group to know our plans each day.  This is a must if you travel with others.  I also purchased stamps and postcards for them in advance so they could send postcards home to their families.  It's a lovely gift to give a smile to someone's face far away from home. Postcards are wonderful for sharing your experiences and memories with your family! 

Part of the joy of French travel is the charming hotels available.  This has to be my all time favorite room, which is in Paris! It was such a beautiful surprise to find a fresh bouquet of flowers, an open window with fresh air, and clean linens that were simple and luxurious! Every morning we were served a delicious French breakfast in an elegant setting! We were in Paris and we were n a dream world!  Paris, the City of Light, and a beacon of culture for centuries. For a small town girl, I had died and gone to Heaven! One important tip: Be sure you read the reviews before you book a hotel. Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements, so you will find Paris easier to navigate if you know which side of the Seine you are on.  Plan your trip and plan your time.  Another important time into your day to do nothing except relax at a sidewalk cafe!  This is a part of the experiences you will cherish in France.  In Provence, the southern region of France, the atmosphere is much more serene and life moves at a slower pace.  The villages are lovely and postcard picture perfect!

In my collections, I have some beautiful postcards from the 1940's.  My husband's father spent two years in France during WWII and the packet of postcards in the middle in the picture above and below he brought back from Paris in 1945. The packet about the French chateau, Foutainebleau, I found at an estate sale for 3.00.  What a treasure to find, fully intact. Fountainebleau is similar in size and beauty to Versailles though though not as elaborate.  The other postcard, I mailed home from Paris....."Paris is always a good idea!" Sabrina Fairheld
France is a place of gentle beauty, human achievement, and it's language well....the French language is exquisite! I could listen all day! Speaking, I am on a mission to learn and to share my love of all things French! To me, France is magnifique! 

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