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Trip Report Provence: Heartbreak, Headaches, and a

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That title ought to pique some interest!

A little background history: I had asked many questions of this forum as we were planning our trip to Provence. The trip changed many times. Travelling companions backed out. My husband decided he did not really want to go to Provence at this time. My adult son said he would love to go with me. Then my sister said she would also love to go to Provence with my son and me. So, that was the plan. All reservations were made, confirmed, etc. By the way, I take great pride in my planning abilities and my research. (Just thought you needed to know this !)

Three weeks before our departure date, my sister died most unexpectedly from an aneurysm. We were all terribly saddened. Jane was so looking forward to this trip. She was an excellent artist, and watercolors were her favorite medium. She would have been so inspired by the beauty of Provence. My son and I decided that Jane would not have wanted us to cancel our trip. So we proceed with our plans.

We flew from home to Atlanta, to Paris, and on to Marseille. Of course, the airline forgot my son's gluten free meal for the long flight from Atlanta to Paris. But we had brought provisions - this has happened before to us. No big deal.

As we are coming down the escalator in the Marseille airport, going to baggage claim, I see a sign with our names on it in red lights. I know this cannot be good news! My son said he would go wait for our bags while I went to Information to see what they wanted. I told him I had a feeling there was no need to go to baggage claim! Yes, I was right. Our bags had not made the connection in Atlanta. But we were assured that the bags would be brought to us in Aix by 6:00 p.m. They handed us two little emergency dop kits.

Following the good advice received here, we took the Navette to Aix, We are dog-tired, and think how nice it is that we are not struggling with our bags. After all, they will be delivered to us by 6:00 pm!

From the bus stop in Aix, we take a cab to our first B and B, the lovely Pavillion de la Torse. As the cab pulls up the very long plane tree-lined drive, the owners, Marie and Francois come out. I am thinking how nice it is that they are so happy to see us. No, they are wondering who is pulling up their driveway. They tell us they are not expecting us until the next day. I panic and wonder if I am a day off in all my reservations. No, it is their mistake. But they are all full. No room for us. Hot, tired, and luggage-less. Now we have no room.

So, the embarrassed Marie and Francois park us in the gazebo and bring us a big carafe of wonderful wine. They go inside and try to find a place for us to stay. Any Seinfeld fans out there?? My son is now using his Jerry Seinfeld voice and replaying the episode in which Jerry and Elaine are at a car rental counter: "You know how to TAKE a reservation. You just don't know how to HOLD a reservation. And that's really the most important part OF the reservation - the HOLDING part!"

Then he wonders aloud if maybe Jane really did want us to take this trip...

After a few glasses of wine, we are seeing the humor in this situation. Even the gluten free crackers we are sharing are starting to taste darn good!

Marie and Francois come back. They have found us a room at Le Mozart, just a "five minute walk up the hill." She explains that it is only a two star hotel, but it is clean and comfortable. They then think twice and decide that perhaps they should drive us to Le Mozart, which by the way is very, very nice. Marie and Francois explain that we are only sleeping at the Mozart. We will have happy hour and breakfast at the Pavillion.

We take a short nap, then we go and explore Aix before we need to be back for "happy hour." We get to meet the people who are sleeping in our room! We also are expecting to retrieve our bags which should have been delievered by 6:00 pm. Right. No bags were delivered. Marie puts together an emergency kit to augment the measley supplies Air France gave us. Off to dinner, then back to Le Mozart for bed. We know things will definitely get better tomorrow, right?

Wednesday: More Trials and Tribulatioons!

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