The next day I left the kids in our hotel and took a shuttle to the Renault Auto Lease office at Charles De Gaulle Airport. It's an incredibly efficient system. We leased a car for about ten weeks -- much cheaper than renting. Once I was in the office, the whole process took about four minutes. I walked back outside, my car pulled up and I got in. I reached forward to enter the hotel address into the GPS system... Wait there's no GPS. And no map. I really thought there was going to be Sat Nav in the car. I can read a map fine, I learned in Mr. Bunte's fifth grade geography class, but I don't have a map and now I need reading glasses and the signs are in French and I took Spanish in high school and I can't even speak that and Brenna's not here, so who am I going to yell at when I take a wrong turn?!?
Unfortunately I wasn't paying attention to the roads when I was on the shuttle from the hotel -- where I left my two kids. After finally making it back to the hotel I dug a map of France out of my suitcase (it was next to the knives and handguns, right on top of the flamethrower). And headed off.
I kept missing exits and going deeper into Paris, stopping to ask directions (totally futile) and buy more maps (it just felt good to have a stack of them). I finally started following signs for Lyon which I knew was in the general direction of 'home.'
It was much later -- and much darker -- than it was supposed to be when we got near our small village. I ended up driving 'round the round-abouts three times trying to read the French road signs in the dark and stopping four more times to ask directions. The final time, after attempting to communicate for a little while, the guy jumped in the car with us and directed us to our street. In hindsight (and the light of day) we were really close, but I never would have found it. The streets in our village look like walking paths to my LA Freeway eyes. You pull in your side view mirrors and drive through.
We kept Annie, the lovely woman waiting to let us into our house, until 11 pm, but we made it and she was very nice about it all. As a bonus I even made it out of the UK without concealed weapons charges.
The next morning we walked around our village, Siant Quenitn la Poterie. We went to the butcher, the boulangerie and the florist. We sat in a little restaurant and I had a glass of well deserved wine. It was all worth it -- we're home.