Andy’s family owned a house in the Dordogne in France. Usually the house was empty save for the summer when tourists flood the area searching for a place to dwell while they enjoy the local vineyards. Unfortunately, his father had already leased it out so it wasn’t an option for us as a vacation spot. We decided it would be more fun if we just took a road trip through France, instead.
Both of us bought a map of France and tacked it up on our walls as we chartered out our path. Once we decided on a vacation spot, since I could read, write and speak French, it was decided that I would search for hotels over the internet and contact them via fax to inquire regarding price and availability. I would have to send out the faxes late in the evenings and would usually receive responses in the afternoon.
We decided I would fly into Gatwick early in the morning and he would pick me up in his car. Then, we would take the ferry across the channel and enter France through Calais.
We agreed that we would have each day set up with a hotel and that we would reserve two days without any plans. On those two days, we planned to just “wing it” and see where we landed, so to speak.
We decided that I would fly over on April 2nd and then fly back on the 14th. My itinerary started at Hobby Airport on Air Tran to Logan’s airport in Boston. I had to catch a connecting flight in Georgia. Then in Boston, I was to catch a flight on Virgin Atlantic to Gatwick.
My sister, Diane, was very excited about our trip. She put together a little care package for me that included a special cassette tape she put together of music by Luka Bloom and Christie Moore. She titled it Tea and the Emerald Isle. I made a music mix of my own as well. In addition, she bought me a couple of silk sweaters to wear and a journal to record my daily activities.
Andy was very nervous about telling his father. They went out for dinner and Andy told him that he was going to take this road trip with me. His father asked him how we met. Andy’s response was that we hadn’t actually met, yet. It was an awkward moment.
After Andy recounted the story of us, his father’s response was really sweet. He basically said that when he was Andy’s age, he would have done the same thing. Then he gave Andy his version of the appropriate care package. It included a roadmap of France, a bottle opener, two cups, two plates and flat ware. How sweet was that?
This was my second time to meet someone in real life that I had met over the internet. So my friends had already given me the “he could be an ax-murderer” lecture the first time. This time, they just wished me well and hoped I had a good time. Andy, however, was getting the “she could be an ax murderer” lecture from his friends. I said “yeah, I’m flying all the way to England just to murder you”.
Finally, we had everything ready and done. It was time to begin the trip