The Lovebunnies in France

Day 1

    In Loie's Trip Diary, she makes shorthand reference to several guides. Bucky invented the shorthand when he piled them up one evening and noticed the colors of their covers. Bucky uses mnemonics to help him remember everything, so to ensure that all the guides would get packed, he composed the chant "white guide, red guide, green guide, yellow." They are, respectively, the Cadogan Guide to the South of France, Michelin's Hotels and Restaurants of France, 2002, Michelin's The Green Guide: Languedoc, Roussillon, Tarn Gorges, and Michelin's Touring and Motoring Atlas, France. Michelin has published their guide to hotels and restaurants since 1900 or so. It is the bible for such information in France, and early on became known simply as the Red Guide. Now they even title their tourist guides the Green Guide Series. This usage probably suggested Bucky's system to him.

Friday, September 20, 2002

    Everything went smoothly on Friday--all day to pack at leisure, Shelly and friend arrived 30 minutes early at 4:30. We already had luggage in the car and were pulling out shortly before 5 p.m., our target home departure time.
    The drive down the tricky back way to Dulles, via 15 through Frederick, was zippy—we pulled into Patty and Tony's parking pad at 6:35. They live about seven or eight miles from Dulles airport, and had kindly volunteered to keep our car and drive us to the airport. We were able to relax and I was able to call my mother (talked to father) to see how her catheterization had gone (one largish blockage: surgery delayed or unfeasible.)
    Check in and security at Air France was quick and painless. By the time we made our way to our gate, we had only 45 minutes to wait 'til the scheduled boarding time of 9:20. We were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves at the same gate we had left by on our last trip. So we had our now traditional beer at the same pub we had waited in on our trip to Italy. By 10:15 our plane was taxing and by 10:30 we were taking off!
    This was the first time I slept on a long flight. Bringing my home pillow in my carryon worked wonders and sleeping made the flight seem short. B, unable to smoke, slept as usual.
    It's 11:20 in France and we are preparing for landing: "Return your seats to upright." In English, after the announcements in French.

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