Monday, March 7, 2011


(Going to Business, James Jacques Tissot, 1879, New Orleans Museum of Art)

They say the third time is the charm.

I don't know about that.

I do know this:

Two charming people flew with us on our third trip to Europe.

Our bright and beautiful daughter, Heidi.

And her own Prince Charming, our loving and lovable son-in-law, John.

We arrive in Bordeaux toward the end of our French adventure.

After another spectacular morning in Paris, the train finally brings us into town around 4 p.m.

John wastes no time hailing a taxi for the departure to our hotel.

"Come on!" he waves to us at the head of the taxi line, "I've got a live one but he's not gonna wait forever!"

He is right.

Taxi lines in Europe are not places where you want to dawdle.

Especially at train stations.

I always love the first taxi ride in European cities.

That's because I am no longer sitting on a stuffy train while my bottom bumps along on the rock hard seats.

This is what I really love:

You get speedy glimpses of what each city is made of.

And Bordeaux - if nothing else - looks architecturally promising.

In this case, we are getting super speedy glimpses.

In fact, the glimpses are so speedy that I am about to lose the contents of my stomach all over the back seat of the taxi.

To add to the fun, our driver obviously enjoys trying out the reliability of his brakes.




Slam 'em harder!


Slam 'em into the Trevi Fountain.

Which is located in the middle of Rome.

Why am I complaining?

That's exactly where I need to be to wash off the intestinal debris from the front of my jeans.

Seconds later - which, by the way, would normally be minutes - our driver slams into the curb in front of our hotel.

He leaps out of the taxi and pops open the trunk.

With lightening speed, he pulls our bags out of the car and drops them like hot potatoes on the sidewalk.

This is a guy who does not believe in slow motion - at least not while he's on the clock.

Bob reaches into his pocket and pulls out enough euros to start a new country.

He thinks to himself, "I've got to pay him off for not killing us."

I glance at John.

Every hair on the top of his head is standing at attention.

Heidi's eyes are as wide as Frisbees.

My mouth hasn't closed since we stepped into the taxi.

And it's not what you're thinking.

I'm too scared to utter a syllable.

Stunned into silence, we wave good-bye to our driver.

But he doesn't see us.

He has just jerked and slammed himself all the way back to the train station.

Unaware newbies stand in the taxi line waiting for what is about to become the thrill of their vehicle riding lives.

The four of us trudge into the hotel lobby.

Everything looks good in here.




In other words......


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