Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bathroom Nemesis

Bonsoir! Today was our second to last day in France! And what a lovely day it was...

Since we were on a schedule yesterday with the tour, we decided to take our time and do whatever we wanted today with no rules. So we woke up late, ate breakfast late, and got going late. *Sigh*...delightful.

So yesterday on our tour we stopped for lunch in the town of Amboise, naturally where the Amboise castle was...the logic is astounding. Whilst stopped for lunch, we discovered an amazing little creperie/restaurant that not only had fantastic food and was inexpensive, but they spoke ENGLISH!! HUZZAH!! So especially after our little dinner fiasco last night, we decided we would make it easy on ourselves and go back to this cute little town and restaurant. However, we had eaten breakfast right before we left, and the only two things on our agenda for the day were lunch at this place and then there was one other castle I wanted to see, but in the opposite direction. So, to kill time before lunch we just started driving down little winding roads outside of Amboise and it was so pretty! Cute little farm houses, vineyards (brown since it's winter, but still cool), pretty farm fields, and all kinds of pretty stuff. Mom and I found out that we both really love just driving around and seeing what's around, so that's what we did and loved it all. Then we headed back to lunch, which was DELICIOUS, and then made our way back towards Tours and then on to the other castle.

This other castle, Usse as they call it, was the inspiration for the story "Sleeping Beauty," and being the Disney connoisseur that I am, I really wanted to see it. So an hour later, after lots of adorable towns and pretty countryside, we made it to the castle only to find out that it was closed!! BUMMER! I mean, I didn't really need to go inside anyway, after yesterday and all the castles I've realized that most of them look pretty much the same on the inside. So I wasn't all that distraught about not getting inside the place, but I would've liked some access to the grounds to get better pictures! But oh well, we could still see it outside the gated area that was closed, so I still got SOME pictures...just not as many as I would've liked. However, there was another problem with the place being closed...

I REALLY needed to go to the bathroom. Great.

Now, the town that Chateau Usse is in is not a bustling metropolis. There was a public bathroom that is probably used quite often in the summer when there are hordes of tourists. However, today I think we saw a total of 10 or 15 people, so when we found the public bathroom is was padlocked shut. Perfect. Then we saw a super market. But alas, the woman wouldn't let me use it. Mom was annoyed, "SHE has to go to the bathroom somewhere! It's not like she doesn't go all day, why won't she just let us use hers for god's sake!" I would've found this a lot funnier if I wasn't about to burst. Then we came upon a church, I figured that at least the people of God would have mercy on a poor, full-bladdered soul and let me use their facilities. But alas again, the doors were locked and God didn't open a window...curses. I even walked to what looked like a port-a-potty, only to find out is a was a recycling collection bin-thingy. FOILED AGAIN! So, I decided that I thought I could make it to the next town, about 10 minutes away. My soul was dying slowly on the inside, but I didn't really see what choice I had unless I wanted to join someone's cow out in the pasture. Pass. So we started driving and in the next town we saw another public bathroom. PRAISE THE HEAVENS!! We stop and walk over and see an open room with urinals, but the two doors apparently holding the toilets were LOCKED!!! At this point I was about to just "go" all over the locked doors and be like "YOU BROUGHT THIS UPON YOURSELVES!!!!" But then we saw a bar across the street and Mom was like, I will buy some tea or something, and they will HAVE to let us use their bathroom. So we went inside and a lovely French gentleman provided us with a bathroom and tea. And it was blissful....

Apparently France is my arch nemesis when it comes to bathrooms. Now I know.

So after our bathroom debacle, we kept driving and saw some more countryside and some more castles along the side of the road (yes, really. Castles just spring up on the side of the road, pretty awesome) and then decided to head back to Tours. We've been jones-ing for some Italian food so earlier today we made a mental note of where the Italian restaurants were so we could drive there, and then drive back to our hotel to park for the night. However, we needed to stop by the hotel first for some reason that I can't actually remember. But upon our arrival in town, we discovered that the traffic was HORRENDOUS. And traffic in French towns/cities isn't like traffic in the States. It's like cramming an interstate during rush hour into the tiny confines of a back alleyway, and then throwing in every pedestrian in Manhattan with a dash of mystery since we still don't know the town all that well. Basically I think mom would have curled up into the fetal position, started rocking back and forth and muttering to herself had the steering wheel not been in the way. So it was a little stressful. Although her cussing was hilarious. Anyway, so we decided to go straight to the parking garage and not venture forth to the Italian restaurant. Instead we went and got some sandwich stuff from the grocery store and retreated to our hotel room for a movie on my computer. It was kind of like when a woodland animal gets freaked out and retreats into it's cave never to be seen again..only the cave has wifi. Pretty sweet.

So that was our day, we both highly enjoyed it. Tomorrow we head back to Paris for one night and then Monday we head home! So tomorrow will probably be my last France blog post, but don't worry I will keep blogging even AFTER I get back from France! I know, I know, it's almost too much. Don't hyperventilate or anything from the excitement, just STAY CALM!

Ok, now to end on a quick funny story that I forgot to tell about last night's "dinner in english" hunt. So hopefully you read last night's blog post about our meal issues, if not I encourage you to go read it before reading this one. It will make more sense. So anyway, we're tired, hungry, frustrated beyond all reason, and ready to kill some french people if we see one more menu with no english descriptions. Did I mention we're frustrated? Because we were really frustrated. So anyway, as I said last night, there were only two restaurants we found that DID have english "subtitles" if you will, and one just had some really weird food on the menu, and the other was a Lebanese restaurant. Now, I don't really know Lebanese food very well and I've never been to a Lebanese restaurant before, so we kind of ruled that one out at the beginning. Then we found this other place that had the really weird food that didn't sound appetizing at all. So we were stuck between something that just sounded terrible and something that I wasn't all that familiar with. So we were standing outside the Lebanese place re-looking at the menu and the owner opens the door and goes "Bonsoir!" We look at this man, with all of the previously mentioned emotions written all over our faces. I can't manage any response right away, and all Mom can say is "Does anyone speak english in there?????" To which the man replies, "Yes, with pleasure!" then my mom goes "PRAISE GOD!!!!" and we walk right in. I found this HILARious... Because 1. if you don't know my mom, that's a really weird reaction to the answer to that question, plus it's just so American of her. 2. My mom is just weird, so it was funny. Anyway, we had a good laugh about that at dinner, which was DELICIOUS, and carried on our merry way. So that's my funny story du jour, I hope you all enjoyed it. Stay tuned for tomorrow's final France post!!

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