The 14:36 to Avignon
We're at Day Eight of our maiden companion travel adventure, and if what was going to happen in the weeks ahead had happened already, Carol and I might already be re-thinking train travel in Europe. Instead, our first week has been an effortless glide through a Looking Glass of visual beauty of landscape and architecture, as well as an enriching tour of culture and history surpassing anything endured in World History 101. Then, there's the laughter, which is turning out to be its own category of travel experience.
Like our first night in Arles.
It was a hot one, and to make sure our room wasn't stuffy when we returned from dinner that evening, we decided to leave the floor stand fan on. That meant stretching the power cord past the door to the room to the only outlet available in that area. (Consistent among the older hotels in Europe is the lack of sufficient electrical outlets for your needs. In many cases, your phone charger will be sharing an outlet with the Room’s TV, lamp, hair dryer and your toothbrush.)
“Make sure I don't forget the cord is stretched across the floor by the door,” I said presciently to Carol as we left. (When I was a kid, I noted my truant brother tying my shoelaces together as I sat on my parent's sofa. I pretended I didn't notice to let him think he was getting away with it, and went on watching TV. After the program was over, I got up from the sofa. By this time I'd forgotten what my brother had done and went flat down in my face, much to his great satisfaction of getting one over on his “smart” older brother.)
Maybe it was the tasty cut of beef I'd enjoyed at dinner. It could also have been the wine, I suppose upon reflection. But as I opened the door to the room and stepped inside, I was just about to remark how cool the room stayed by keeping on the fan, when my foot caught the cord and I was headed for another face plant. I turned back and saw Carol had already beaten me there, she being doubled over with laughter, quite literally ROTFL, mind you.
We both recovered, Carol reminding herself in the aftermath to make sure she went to the bathroom before going out with me in the future. “You're making me laugh so hard on this trip,” she said later that evening, toweling off from an unplanned shower.
That was brought home in clear terms during our first dinner in Avignon the following night. Carol decided to video me trying to negotiate getting an escargot out of its shell. She was laughing so hard, she was having trouble holding her phone steady. “It's a good think I went to the bathroom before we ordered,” she said.
We were certainly setting the mood for our companion travels. And it was a good thing our apartment hotel in Avignon came with a laundry room.