TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS TO FRANCE:
First Workshop (June 27th -July 7th): Please book the airplane flight for June 26th because it is an overnight flight. Arrive in France at the Charles DeGalle Airport on June 27th. It is easiest to take a short plane ride to Lyon, France. It is about the same price at the TGV to Lyon and much easier. Make sure that your luggage is forwarded to Lyon. The airport in Lyon is much smaller and easier to get around. The plane flight is only an hour. At the Lyon airport, there is a train station where you can get the train to MONTELIMAR, your destination is only a short train ride. I will meet you at the train station in Montelimar that day to help you get your rental car and you will follow me back to the B & B. Since it is about 1/2 hour drive to Montelimar, I would like to make ONE TRIP IN to meet everyone at the station at 5 pm.
SO PLEASE BOOK YOUR TRAVEL PLANS SO YOU CAN ARRIVE IN MONTELIMAR AT 5 PM OR YOU CAN ARRIVE EARLY AND HAVE LUNCH IN THE TOWN!
Check out time from our B & B is July 7th, so your travel day will be on July 7th. Please book your return flight for July 7th. AGAIN, I CAN LEAD EVERYONE BACK TO MONTELIMAR ON THAT DAY, BUT PLAN TO LEAVE AT 9 AM. So, book the 11:09 am train in Montelimar for departure.
Jane and I would appreciate your planning your connections accordingly. Leaving at 9 am, allows for the drive back and dropping off the rental car, sometimes there is a line at the rental agency. It is much easier for Jane to prepare breakfast once for everyone and I, to lead you back, if everyone can leave at the same time.
Second Workshop (July11st – July 21st): Please book the airplane flight for July 10th because it is an overnight flight. You will arrive in France on July 11st. Check out time from our B & B is July 21st, so your travel day will be on July 21st. So, book your return flight for July 21st.
I recommend booking a direct flight. It is easy to book your flight online. AAA does book flights, car rentals and train tickets. Your travel agent need only allow 2 hours between any connections.
THE RENTAL CAR:
Participants can share a rental car and I can put you in touch with other participants. Book your car in Montelimar, it is cheaper to rent it in a small town. Hertz, Europcar and Avis are located by the train station in Montelimar. I DO NOT RECOMMEND DRIVING FROM LYON, FRANCE. YOU WILL BE TIRED FROM A LONG TRIP AND YOU WILL HAVE TO DRIVE ON THE HIGHWAY AND CAR RENTALS IN LARGE CITIES ARE MORE EXPENSIVE. On your arrival date, please plan to arrive in Montelimar at 5 pm. The car rental agencies close at 6 pm. Again, I will meet everyone at 5 pm.
Check your credit cards and car insurance policies, as some will cover all or part of the insurance for international car rentals with no deductible. Our painting sites are in the vicinity, so there is minimal driving. Plan on renting a small car because the country roads are very narrow. A car rental with a standard transmission is the least expensive. Remember that the rental car should be returned with a full tank of gas.
Since you will be getting on and off trains, take a 20″ to 24″ SUITCASE, NO LARGER. I recommend a lightweight hard body suitcase with 360 degree wheels that you can maneuver easily. If you absolutely need extra room, then take a small backpack that you can carry on. Many places in France do not have elevators and may only have stairs. So be prepared to have to carry and lift your suitcase by yourself.
We are in the countryside where dress is very casual. Pack lightweight clothing that is comfortable and that you can paint in without worry. Bring one nice outfit for the last evening out: a sundress, skirt or nice slacks (for women) and nice shirt and slacks (for men). You may like to buy some fun clothing at the French open air market.
The weather in Provence can be cool in the early morning, heating up in the afternoon and possibly cool again in the evenings. Choose clothing colors that mix and match together.
Suggested packing list: (there will be an opportunity to wash your clothes once, only mid-way through the workshop)
- Sun hat – straw or lightweight — A MUST
- Lightweight windbreaker
- Pullover sweater (for layering)
- Cardigan sweater (for warmth, or over sundress)
- Pair of lightweight sneakers and socks or anklets
- Pair of comfortable walking sandals
- Pair of flip flops (recommended for around the accommodations)
- 3 to 5 pairs of underwear, your can wash out
- Nice sundress or skirt for dinner party
- 2 pairs of sleeping clothes, no robe necessary
- 2 pairs of shorts or skorts (for women)
- 2 pairs of capris slacks for painting in (lightweight, breathable, wick-away material)
- A few sleeveless tops and short sleeve tee shorts
- 1 or 2 lightweight long sleeve overshirts for painting in and sun protection
- Painting apron, if you use one
- A few short sleeve shirts (if you wear them) for layering over sleeveless tops
- Sunblock and minimal toiletries (there are pharmacies in the area) NO insecticide needed
- Bathing suit (we may have access to a pool)
- A couple of inexpensive electrical adapters
- 12 oz. insulated thermo for water (Klean Kanteen@Amazon)
THE MONEY – FRENCH EUROS:
Bring some euros with you and have an ATM card that can be used internationally for getting more cash. Don’t forget to notify your bank of the dates you will be traveling, as they will put a hold on your account if you don’t. There are three cash machines in the area, including Montelimar. You will need cash for our meals out, buying some postcards and souvenirs at the open air french market and gas for the car.
Have a VALID PASSPORT and DRIVERS LICENSE. You don’t need an international drivers license. Carry any medical certificates or information, if any, with you. Prescriptions should be in original pharmacy containers with labels.