french sidewalk cafe

France Day 3

July 16, 2022

“The way the locals do it”

   Of course, the secret ruse behind the concept of “living like the locals” is that you wake up in the morning with nothing more staring you in the face to do than what does when you wake up as a local in your own hometown. Since for me that is doing as little as possible, applying that level of rigor to travel, especially when you have a traveling companion, who shall we say has a more active sense of life than mere respiration, requires an acceptable way of disguising doing almost nothing as the robust output of the travel enthusiast.

The reason Le Monstre was nowhere to be seen

   “It’s twelve thirty!” Carol exclaimed as she awoke on our 2nd full day in Tours.

   Great. I must have shed a load of jet lag. But I wisely said nothing, waiting for Carol’s assessment.

   “The whole day is shot!”

   We’re that much closer to Happy Hour. I definitely buried that one in the dark recesses of thought.

   “There should not be a schedule,” I offered meekly. Carol didn’t reply, as she was as busily engaged in her prep for the day as a MASH unit bugging out.

Les viandes at Les Halles

   We were on our way by two o’clock. First destination was Le Monstre. We thought we were having one of our typical GPS-challenged experiences, as it kept leading us back to a square that was under reconstruction. Still no monster appeared anywhere. Finally, after our fourth pass, it dawned on us that the quirky monument had been removed for the renovation project. Happily, though, that left us across from Les Halles, the covered fresh market of Tours.

 I don’t know if this is living like the locals. (Can they really plan their day to wind up at Happy Hour on the dot? I hope so.)

the tram in Tours France
The tram in Tours is one sweet ride

   I found the meatballs I wanted for the spaghetti we’d bought at the produce market the day before. There were meat and cheese shops as well to stock our fridge. There was a bakery and wine shop too, making Les Halles a one stop shop for this fledgling home cooking gourmand.

   Carol was impressed I easily located a replacement head for my European-wired toothbrush at a local pharmacy. Later we caught the relatively new (2013) tram for a tour of the city. This is how the locals go about their day.

   We soon enough hit L’Universe bistro at the Jean Juares fountain in front of the Hotel de Ville at the exact stroke of five. I don’t know if this is living like the locals. (Can they really plan their day to wind up at Happy Hour on the dot? I hope so.)

Ticket buying made easier with a spritz

   While I polished off a couple of glasses of the local rosé, Carol let the ice melt in her Aperitivo, while she struggled to buy train tickets online, and then entrance tickets to the Chemonceau chateau. The part of me that wanted to help her in this ticket buying effort was far overtaken by the troll that hoped the chateau was closed for renovations.

   Yay, (I was totally faking my joy) the chateau was open and Carol had ultimately succeeded in booking train and chateau tickets onto her phone. I ordered another rosé and some ice for her aperitivo.

   I considered it my contribution to the productive output of the day that I had secured a new head for my European toothbrush without melting the ice in Carol’s aperitivo.

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