In which my husband considers leaving me for the GPS lady.

We were truly sad to leave Avignon. It was the perfect first peek into Provence and so rich in historical significance that we would have loved to stay a bit longer and delve a bit deeper.

Near Avignon and St.-Remy-de-Provence, the Triumphal Arch from the ancient Roman city of Glanum.

But our itinerary said it was time to say au revoir, so we had one last dinner at a small restaurant called La Fourchette, which serves authentic Provencal cuisine (meaning the menu was dangerous – even I know enough French to realize the word pied on a menu indicates the braising of some poor creature’s foot). We ended up having the most wonderful Beef Daube outside of Marie-Christine’s kitchen.

Safest thing on the menu - salmon, because it doesn't tend to come with pieds!


As we left the restaurant to walk back to our hotel, I spied something on the sidewalk – someone’s wallet! We went back into our restaurant and the one next to it to try to locate the owner, but no one recognized the name on the ID card. So we returned to our hotel and did some phone and Internet sleuthing and eventually received a call from the lobby that the wife of the wallet-dropper was there to collect it. We went to sleep full of good Provencal food and happy to have done a good deed.

Ready to roll.

Next morning, we packed and headed to the car rental agency – yes, we were about to commence driving through Provence!

But zere eez zees leeeeteeel probleme: instead of the car we thought we’d reserved, we were assigned a teensy hatchback where all our luggage would be visible and vulnerable to potential theft. Worse yet, the GPS unit we had requested had been stolen from the car (probably along with the previous renter’s luggage, we surmised…) Zeees was NOT good!

A little nervous about the prospect of driving in France...

This is the kind of situation for which the CE lives and breathes. He does a little dance I believe he learned from his successful salesman father. It’s the one-two step of charm and persistence. And by persistence, I mean that my husband all but velcro-ed himself to the poor soul who happened to be the manager of EuropeCar in Avignon. Every time she looked around, he had come back to the counter, always with that toothy smile but never, never, ever, giving up. As ALWAYS happens in these cases, fifteen minutes later and – voila! – suddenly we are driving away in a Mercedes sedan instead of that piece-of-doo-doo we were assigned. And, to seal the deal, as the CE was lurking at the counter badgering the car rental manager, a British couple stopped by to turn in their car and – you guessed it – a GPS unit, which was immediately bestowed upon the CE, probably in a desperate ploy to get rid of him. Whatever the reason, off we drove in our Mercedes, with Ms. Know-It-All Garmin at the ready. I’d like to think it was our reward for returning that fellow’s wallet the night before.

Isn't she beautiful?

Within twenty minutes, the CE had succumbed to the irresistible charms of that temptress, the Garmin lady. She had led us through multiple roundabouts and cloverleafs, warned us of speed cameras and pointed us steadily in the right direction, always with the same, sultry yet confident tone of voice. The CE was absolutely smitten.  Never mind me sitting in the passenger seat with all my maps; he had eyes – or at least ears – only for that Garmin floozie! How dare they!

Who needs a signpost when you have the smarty-pants GPS lady?

He went so far as to declare his undying love for her. She was sleek. She carried no baggage. She asked for no long-term commitment. She had him in the palm of her, uh, motherboard, I guess.

Until  (and oh how I relished this moment!) little Ms. Perfect suddenly stuttered that she had “Lost Satellite Reception”. And then tries to cover up her dismal failure with a lot of “Recalculating”…”Recalculating”…”Recalculating”.

Suddenly I was looking pretty good over there riding shotgun with my maps. And yes, I was the one who saved us a world of hurt by taking the #39 exit instead of the #36 exit. Admit it, CE, I was right, wasn’t I?

And that is how we arrived at our next breathtaking destination, the Four Seasons Resort Provence at Terre Blanche.

Heaven in the hills of Provence

to be continued…

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
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5 Responses to In which my husband considers leaving me for the GPS lady.

  1. Katherine says:

    Ah yes! The Sirens that tempt the men into shipwreck. Dan’s BMW has one as well. She is, however, an older model who doesn’t feel the need to use all her words. As in “take the next on the left.” Take what on the left? The next street? the next hitchhiker? What?

    At any rate, am always glad to hear about your Odyssey. And thankful that it did not take you 10 years to return.

  2. Ang says:

    good thing the rental car lady was susceptible to the draw of a Griswald! dorks, unite!

  3. Chicken Emperor says:

    Yes, the driving throughout France was a challenge, but between the computerized siren lady and Pollo Player the job did get done in that regardless of missteps, and there were a few, at no time did the car or its occupants wander outside the borders of France and face imprisonment by hostile border troops. So lets call that a success and move on. Which is what we did, and what, presumably, the next episode will demonstrate. Vagabonds we were indeed!

  4. Julia says:

    Very impressed with your sleuthing, negotiating and navigating skills! I hope you were fully rewarded in that beautiful resort!

  5. polloamigo says:

    And no speeding tickets! Those cameras are unforgiving. Thanks for the beautiful photos and the wonderful prose.

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