inside Joan of arc's Orleans home

France Day 13

August 19, 2022

Last Tango in Orléans”

carol eating ice cream
Just check out that smile

   At first I thought Carol believed she’d turned a corner with me and sightseeing based on yesterday’s achievements that included a cathedral, an Old Town walk, a fresh food market, a tram ride and a midnight light show. (Whew. Just writing it down sounds like a full week, rather than one day.) At breakfast she starts reeling off things like a museum, a garden and something else, but by then my eyes had already glazed over, and I was listening to a Beach Boys song in my head. “And then I want to go for ice cream.”

   I thought she was treating me like a little boy with the ice cream serving as the carrot balancing the stick of sightseeing. “But I’ll make sure there are places for you to sit before we go in.” Oh boy, I thought. I get to sit out the museum and garden, whatever the other thing was and get ice cream. I did feel like a little boy. A very happy one too!

The sundaes were as good as they had looked, and Carol even skipped over the usual lecture she gave herself for over-indulging her sweet tooth

This might be that other thing Carol wanted to see today

   The museum featured a stuffed sitting chair, which I was reluctant to leave when Carol motioned she had seen all she wanted of the museum. The garden was a small square with a shaded bench that I had just gotten settled into, when she announced there wasn’t anything much to see. I can’t tell you what the other thing was, since I spent that whole time thinking about the ice cream that was, by schedule, next on the agenda.

   I scraped two chairs from a small table in front of the little ice cream wagon parked in the square opposite the cathedral, when Carol motioned me away with a shake of her head. I was crushed. No ice cream!?

   “I don’t mean this. I meant the sundaes we saw at the café where we had lupper the other day,” she told me as we began walking to Joan d’Arc square in the middle of town.

inside Joan of arc's Orleans home
Joan’s ping pong table during the siege of Orléans

   I was elated. I’d thought she’d forgotten those big whipped cream topped, fudge veined beauties we’d seen the little kids getting all over their faces and hair that afternoon. I was glad now I’d been so good at the museum, the garden and the other thing. This was my reward, and it was a huge one.

   The sundaes were as good as they had looked, and Carol even skipped over the usual lecture she gave herself for over-indulging her sweet tooth. She had the most wonderful guilt-free smile on her face all the way down to the last spoonful of fudge. 

   The only disappointment of the day was dinner. I had a steak that must have been cut from a size 10 work boot, and Carol’s salad was covered in a blanket of Prosciutto that contradicted the whole idea of a “healthy salad.” But there was nothing that could dampen the enjoyment and good fortune we’d enjoyed for the past two weeks. Time now to get into airplane mode. We planned to spend tomorrow in Paris (maybe a boat ride along the Seine), and then in a hotel close to the airport before our return flight back to the States on Tuesday.

What part of “healthy salad” did they not understand?

   Goodnight Orléans.

   Goodbye Loire Valley.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.