The Filming of Hallmark’s Moriah’s Lighthouse! An Author’s Journey (Part 3)
April 1 Friday
Derek and I make it to the airport in record time. All that worry and sleeplessness for nothing! Four hours later, we’re on American Airlines leaving Chicago, headed across the Atlantic to Europe. I am in Premium Economy class, which for me, who has never flown anything but sardine-sized economy seats, is really living it up, baby. The seats are bigger, and they lay back more, and the food is actually pretty good, and served on real plates!
I intend to work on my latest book that is past due, but the hum of the plane engine, and the fact that the lights are all turned off, puts me to sleep. I dream my way across most of the Atlantic. When breakfast is served, I noticed that the man sitting on the other side of me is eating his breakfast with knife in his right hand, and fork in his left.
I try to practice and end up with scrambled egg in my lap.
The Charles De Gaul airport is like every other airport I’ve ever been in. It doesn’t feel a bit different except I don’t understand a word anyone is saying. The only thing I feel is…cold! I mean, a coat and a sweater are not enough. I need gloves, a hat, and long thermal underwear—which I do not have. I stand outside by the luggage while my son gets the rental car. I therefore have plenty of time to regret the choice of clothes I’d packed under the assumption that the weather would be in the sixties—like the weather forecast for France had said it would be while I was packing in Ohio.
To give ourselves a little time to recuperate from jet lag we came early enough to spend a couple of nights in Dinan, which is only a 90 minutes’ drive from the movie set. I’ve seen pictures of that city and thought it would be a fun place to explore.
The drive across France to Dinan takes five hours, and it is interesting to watch the countryside whiz past on the interstate. Rolling hills. Farms. It reminds me a lot of southern Ohio except for the exquisite, centuries-old stone farmhouses.
Dinan is a city made up of street after narrow, cobblestone street, with ancient stone houses on either side. I almost expect to see a donkey with roofing thatch piled on its back come trotting around a corner.
The Airbnb we chose is very close to the center of this city. I feel like I’ve crossed over several centuries as I step from the narrow, medieval streets into a cozy, contemporary home.
Our Airbnb hostess greets us. She speaks no English. We speak no French. We accomplish learning how to turn on the dishwasher, light the stove, and where the bedrooms are, by using lots of pantomiming and the Google Translate app on my son’s phone. He speaks a question into it, and a voice translates it into French. Then he holds the phone up to the hostess, she answers it in French and the phone translates what she says into English. It takes time, but she’s good-humored about it and we are grateful to have found such a comfortable place to stay.