Dear Tom~ Should I smack Oscar? (Thank God for the nice guy at Heathrow!)

He’s a horrible traveler, Oscar, that is. He hates to travel yet this trip was his idea. Of course in the beginning- which came out of the blue when he was visiting the ranch up in Montana- his notion was that we should all (7 of us) get on a sailboat and sail around the coast of France with him as captain.

Um… Yeah. No.

My daughter and I were flabbergasted, first because the man who hates to travel suggested an overseas trip, but second because there was no way in hell all seven of us were getting on a sailboat. It would be mutiny, mayhem and murder on the high seas, believe me! Oscar may know how to sail, indeed he does, but if you value your life you won’t sail with him. I’ve had too many harrowing experiences, as have the kids, to put my life in his hands. Plus we’d be staring at each other for ten days. If that’s not a recipe for murder, I don’t know what is.

So my daughter J and I took over the planning. I contacted my blogging buddy, Stephane Gabart at My French Heaven – Chateau St. Jacques Calon – and we arranged to spend six amazing foodie days with him. Oh. My. Yes. Seriously. French Heaven.

Salt water pool, Chateau St. Jacques Calon.

Salt water pool, Chateau St. Jacques Calon.

My daughter then arranged for a rental in La Roque Gageac in the Dordogne region. Again- Oh. My. Yes.

The view from our terrace.

The view from our terrace.

the medieval town of La Roque Gageac. Looking from our terrace.

The medieval town of La Roque Gageac. Looking from our terrace.

Now, where was I? Oh yes, smacking. When we arrived at Heathrow and there was no you, we turned left at the exit instead of right and headed to National Express. We had to catch our connecting flight at Gatwick. Now we had two choices, rather, I had two choices because Oscar does not travel well so he sort of stands around looking confused – either I could wait in a long line, or attempt to use a ticket machine that looked like something out of Doctor Who. I chose the annoying line. However a wonderful English gentleman said, “You don’t need to wait in line. Here, let me help you with this machine.” And he proceeded to work magic. Voila! (French!) Tickets! He gave us exact directions to the shuttle stop.

I don’t know what it is with me and English bus drivers but there was a bus to Gatwick waiting. I asked the driver if we could get on and he gave me the nastiest look. He said something… I have no idea what he said. I’ve had this happen before in London- I’m listening to a bus driver and I know he’s speaking English but I feel like I’ve had a stroke. I can’t understand a word. His accent was… what? Gallic? I don’t know. Finally I understood ‘ticket’. I showed him our ticket. He pointed to the next bus just pulling in. So his bus was a third full. The bus we boarded had only two open seats right next to the bathroom. Didn’t matter. I slept all the way to Gatwick.

Gatwick was lovely. We were fast-tracked through security- oh, by the way, the passport control people at Heathrow were great as well. We were fast-tracked there too and they were so nice. The last time I came through the officer treated me like a criminal. Must be my face… So there were many nice people at Heathrow!

I’m getting too wordy. The smacking episode will have to wait until tomorrow. Until tomorrow! Bonjour!

XOXO! Julia

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16 thoughts on “Dear Tom~ Should I smack Oscar? (Thank God for the nice guy at Heathrow!)

  1. Jaye

    I fear I’m on Oscar’s side in this one, sweetie. I loathe traveling. Don’t mind when I am where I am supposed to be, but the getting there turns me into a useless zombie and triggers my watch-the-clock OCD. But those pics are great and I’m still waiting to hear about the food!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Oh the food, Jaye! The food! You must go look at Stephane’s site. The food is definitely heaven, as are the surroundings. I actually love travel. You’re right, he becomes a zombie except when he becomes a maniac – but that’s for tomorrow! Kisses!

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  2. Roberta

    Who ever said getting there is half the fun never had to fly. Airports gives me migraines. However, Denver is the worst airport. Best you did not sail even if flying can be a pain. Having got all that out of the way…….I love to travel. And France is one of my favorite places to visit. Love your pictures. Makes me long for another trip to France and their magnificent food.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Travel tends to give me migraines, Roberta. You’ll hear about that tomorrow. But yeah, I love France!

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I like the new Terminal 5 at Heathrow, Greta. It’s pretty easy. When we visited Tom and Ishbel I seem to recall Tom saying something about knowing the designer. Something like that. Or that the international terminal had been redesigned. Much more user friendly. I wish I had more photos but sometimes I was so enthralled I forgot to take pictures!

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Stayed, Diana! 🙂 You should consider visiting. Stephane is an amazing host. Loved our visit with him and in La Roque Gageac.

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    1. juliabarrett Post author

      We have a funny story, though, Marylin. We almost had to sleep in the car… So many almosts… We did have the best time!

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