Can I use past simple instead of past perfect in cases (1) and (2)? If only one tense is possible, please provide some explanation. Thank you in advance.
Neither of us had been to France before, but we knew some French from our time at school and (1) managed (had managed???) to brush up on the basics. Now we were wondering if we had made the right decision. We had planned our route carefully in advance, but we (2) forgot (had forgotten??? ) one important thing: the weather.