20210907_201420-2 Dunkirk, France

September 9th, 2021 

We had a couple days to make it to Paris for our flight back to the USA.  We stopped at another French aire, this one in Long, France. This aire was located across the street from the Municipal Campground, which isn't for motorhomes. The aire cost €10.40 ($12.48 US) for the night. Electric was another €2 ($2.40 US) for 12 hours. It was quiet and worked fine for our last night in the motorhome. Connie walked into town along the Somme River and enjoyed the picturesque town and Château de Long.

Driving to Long was the first and only time we used a toll road. I guess I forgot to tell our GPS to avoid toll roads. Unlike Germany, France has many toll roads on the major highways. Of course, being unfamiliar with the language and the system, we were a little apprehensive, but it all worked out well. It was €14.70 ( $17.64 US) to drive about 100km (63 miles) on the toll highway. Now you can see why we avoided toll roads.

The next morning was spent packing the suit cases. With the addition of some gifts we purchased, it all barely fit. 

Dinner at Au Bureau, Saint-Witz, France

September 10th, 2021 

 Our final day's drive was about 3 hours, avoiding the toll roads. It was an uneventful drive, other than I was hoping I had planned our fuel consumption correctly. We needed to return the motorhome with between a ¼ and ½ tank of diesel. We ended up having just a hair above ¼ tank. We took the motorhome directly to Indie Campers for return. Although they weren't expecting us until the next day, all went well. They did their final inspection and found no damage and checked that everything was working fine (except what was broke to begin with). We got our €2000 ($2400 US) deposit returned. 

We had planned our food usage pretty well and didn't have much left over. There was an Australian couple the rental place, renting a van, so we gave them some supplies we had left over. They were grateful, especially for the 3 liters of wine we had left. We grabbed an Uber €38.35 ($46.23) to take us to our hotel. I was concerned if they would have room for all of our luggage, but it all fit in.

We spent our last night in an inexpensive hotel ($65 US) in Saint-Witz, which is 12km ( 7.5 miles) from the Charles de Gaulle Airport. It was a no-frills place, with hard mattresses. But it worked out just fine. We enjoyed our last meal in Europe (at least this trip) across the street at a nice restaurant called Au Bureau. Food was okay, priced fair (€46.30 - $54.70 US), but not great.

A final toast to our European adventure

September 11th, 2021 

It was an early morning rise at 6:00am with another Uber ride €22.50 ($26.76 US) to the airport. We arrived with plenty of time to get checked in. Returning to the US required a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of departure.  Before leaving the states, we ordered COVID "Home Test" kits. We had verified these were approved. We had taken the home test yesterday and we were both negative. The process involved a video call to proctor the test and to verify our results. It was a pretty easy method to take a COVID test. We didn't want the hassles of getting tested at the airport.

Checking in for our flight back to the USA involved showing our negative test results, filling out a statement, answering some silly security questions, and showing our passport. Then it was off to the gate and play the waiting game. Luckily, the wait went by quickly. However, the 10+ hour flight didn't. We can't sleep on planes easily, so time was spent watching several movies. We arrived in Dallas, went through border control easily, got our luggage (there really isn't any customs), and had to check our bags back in and go through security again. What a pain!

The Dallas-Fort Worth airport is huge and we had to catch our next flight in a different terminal. We made it to the next gate with 10 minutes to spare before boarding. The worse part of traveling are the airports!

We greatly enjoyed our month long trip. We have lots to evaluate and think about. Do we buy a motorhome in Europe and travel there about 6 months a year? We have several friends who have done this, and some are currently in Europe now traveling in a motorhome. We thought about trying to meet-up, but they are having a great time in Norway. Too far North for us to go in our short time there.

In the meantime, our next planned trip is to Panama City, Panama this coming December for a week. Let's hope the COVID issue gets better and we're still able to travel to Panama. Currently we can, but things can change quickly.