Tours, France – May 31, 2014: A day that will go down in hairstyling infamy occurred here with no historic plaque recording the event, and thankfully no pictures! Jim, the ever helpful husband, was in the budget hotel room watching the world news while I was addressing the more critical issue of what to do with my sopping wet hair. I steamed and fumed while looking for the hairdryer; it is quite amazing that my hair didn’t dry d’une manière naturelle. During a commercial, Jim appeared in the doorway to ask a ridiculous question. “Are you ready to go yet?”
“Do I look like I’m ready to go? Never mind! Where did this hotel hide the hairdryer?” With a smug look on his face he pointed to an apparatus on the wall. Eyeing the device, I thought it seemed like something that would be attached to a hospital room wall; any patients in their right minds would hope the contraption would never be used on their personal bodies. And, oh please, do not show a video of what would happen during the procedure!
Quickly realizing that I needed my glasses to examine the French hairdryer, I said to Jim, “Do something useful, and please find my glasses!” I know you are smart and don’t need my help, but I will tell you anyway: “Always have your glasses handy in the bathroom!” For further instructions on this, I would suggest reading “Umpteenth Second Honeymoon”, if you have not previously perused this gem set once upon a time in Destin, Florida.
Peering through my tri-focals, I saw dangling, looped coils on each side, similar to the coils attached to a plastic bonnet used years ago as a hairdryer. Pretty ladies stretched the plastic bonnet over their huge curlers and hot air dried their hair while they read fashion magazines. Do you remember the hairdryers with the bonnets and the beehive hairstyles? You must have told me about it because surely I’m not that old! I couldn’t have fooled anyone about my age when I stood there in a towel studying the fine print on Fidji the hairdryer via Asia. In desperation, I yanked one of the coils from the unit. Jim was back on the sofa watching the news. What did he care if this thing sucked the hair off my head? Suddenly, it came alive when the coil was outstretched like an Asian snake with a vacuum cleaner head. If I stood in front of the commode with the long, white plastic tubing in a straight line, the dryer hummed and blew warm air, not hot! If I loosened my grip on the loop, it stopped hissing on my helpless hair and died a natural Fidji death.
No, the mirror did not extend to my hairstyling stance by the commode. No, I do not want to remember what I looked like. No, Jim never noticed what my hair looked like.
I put a hat on my head and tried to forget my hairstyle by Fidji.
Jim and I spent the night in Tours before taking the train into Paris on our return home. Tours is a good departure point for visiting the Loire Valley since there is a direct train, the TGV from the CDG airport, and the major car rental offices such as Avis are located at the St Pierre des Corps train station. You can order your rail tickets in advance on www.Rail Europe.com, or through your favorite travel agent. Previously, we have rented our car and driven from the CDG airport, but we don’t want to attempt the traffic around Paris, and especially the airport anymore. Tours is a large city, but still much easier to navigate than Paris.
Ryan Air, the low-cost airline based in London, has round-trip and one-way flights from Tours to Dublin, London, Marrakesh and Marseilles. We could have flown round-trip to Marseilles on the Mediterranean coast of France for less than $100.00. I did a quick check today and found a fare of 47 euros round-trip on September dates. Check the multiple cities within the Ryan Air system since you may find that you can visit many areas for less cost than you would expect after only one flight from the U.S.
When we stayed in Tours, we parked our car at the Best Western hotel on the outskirts of the town and took the city train to the historic center. We chose this hotel for convenience, comfort and budget, rather than ambiance. The front desk staff went out of their way to help us, providing information especially on the train which was super clean and modern. A word of advice, American credit cards are not designed the same as European credit cards. Quite often, we had problems using ours at machines. Jim used ATM machines quite easily, so don’t fret about that, but toll booths and other such areas were difficult. Have euros handy for this, especially coins.
In Tours, we saw the beautiful stained glass in Cathedral St. Gatien, and we meandered here and there along the ancient streets. Then, we settled into seats at a tempting café at the place Plumereau, surrounded by medieval houses, local people and tourists. We had at least one famous person with a huge diamond stud in his earlobe, just a few tables away from us – signing autographs. I couldn’t approach him personally, not with my hairstyle by Fidji.
I have an extra special picture saved for last, some very good news!!!! The sight of Dr Pepper in the window was enough to make a girl’s hair curl with desire.
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Must rush away since it’s 10-2-4 time – Dr Pepper time!
Before I go for my Dr Pepper break, I want to remind some of my local readers about the great entertainment in Opp, Alabama, without a transatlantic flight. Just CLICK “OPP FEST” to see the fun we got into.