Posted by: Naomi Baltuck | May 6, 2014

Ooh la la!

Three buddies went on a hunting trip and drew straws to see who’d take the first turn cooking.  First one to complain has to take over.  Harley drew the short straw, but was a lousy cook, so he wasn’t worried.  Jack and Phil wolfed down canned beans with a smile.  Next day, burnt grilled cheese. When they slurped soupy mush without complaint Harley had to act or be doomed to permanent KP duty.  In the woods he found a pile of moose turds and baked them into a pie.  When his buddies tried it, they gagged. “This tastes like shit,” said Jack, adding quickly, “Good though.”

Last fall my sister Constance and I went to France.

Constance is thrifty and booked us bargain lodging.  I’ve stayed in youth hostels and have rolled out a sleeping bag on a stranger’s porch once or twice (but don’t tell my kids).  I confess–I prefer a private bathroom and wi fi, and am willing to pay the price. But if you don’t cook, you can’t complain about the grub.

In St. Malo we stayed at The Hotel Bar Restaurant.  It must’ve been a chain, because we stayed at several places with the same name.  It was a long walk to the old town and the beach.  The halls smelled like smoke and stale beer.  At night the hall lights went off automatically and we never did find the switches, which made bathroom trips exciting.  As for decor, let’s not even go there.  Really.

We went to the Tourist Info Center and booked a new place in the Old Town.  It didn’t cost much more, and it included wi fi and a private toilet!  

It’s a good thing my sister and I are so close, because it was very close quarters!  But we were content–it was clean, and close to the beach.

We enjoyed St. Malo…

 

 

…and Dinan.

We saw great museums…

… lovely countryside…

 …and met interesting characters along the way.


Paris, our last stop, was pricey. But Con booked us a bargain weeks in advance, no refunds allowed. The day before we arrived, she looked it up on Trip Advisor.  I heard little whimpers coming from her side of the room. According to reviews, our place was in the Red Light District. Eleven storeys, no elevator.  Shared bath down the hall. No one at the desk before 4PM or after 11PM; lose your key after hours and you’re in trouble.  Con was mortified, especially about the Red Light thing, and so apologetic. It’s okay, I said. It’s probably not that bad. We won’t lose our key, and we don’t want to walk around after dark in this neighborhood anyway. Besides, I assured her, If someone books for me, I’m not going to gripe about the grub.

We arrived early and checked out the neighborhood.  It was that bad; people in sleeping bags living in the phone booths.

We walked up and down the block twice before we saw it.  This place was named Hotel, quite a comedown even from The Hotel Bar Restaurant.

 

Perhaps we missed it the first time because we were distracted by the neighbors.

Lots of interesting neighbors!

As we waited at a cafe for the office to open I had to reassure Con many times.

Inside The Hotel it was dark and seedy.  But our room was only one flight up from the street, it had a private bathroom…

…and an interesting view.

This will do fine! I told Con.

She registered while I attended to my own bottom line, and it had nothing to do with price. I pulled back the sheets and checked the mattress.  Jeepers creepers!  The bedbugs were having a party. The mattress was crawling with them!  In my frenzied clearing of luggage from off the bed (lest we pick up hitchhikers) I forgot to snap a close-up of the jamboree.  When Con returned, I showed her how to check for bedbugs, for future reference.  (Yes.  I’ve had experience, but that’s another story.)

 

When we asked for our money back, the clerk offered us another room. Merci no!  If one room is infested, they might all be.  They had to be aware of the infestation and were renting the room anyway; the maid couldn’t have missed them (and their feces) unless she’d never changed the sheets.  The clerk woke her boss.  He took one look at the middle-aged lady waving a ziploc baggy with a bedbug in it, and paid her off.

We got our money back, but it was getting dark, and we were in Paris without a hotel for the night.  We went to the Bagelstein cafe, which offered free wifi for ladies (woo hoo!).  We whipped out our  laptops to conduct a mad search for a decent hotel.  Con was looking for Budget.  I was looking for No Bedbugs.  And then I saw it.  The One.  It cost four times as much as the one we’d just escaped, and they had a vacancy.  We booked it all the way across town to a hotel with a NAME.

This one’s name was Fred.  No kidding!

The bathroom could’ve been rented as a studio apartment. The heated towel rack, backlit headboard, terry cloth robes and souvenir slippers were a bonus. I checked the mattress. I always do, even at five star hotels. (As I said, that’s another story, and I might tell it to you one day, after two glasses of fine white wine.)  This I can tell you…

Ooh la la!  Fred made us both very happy that night in Paris.

It’s nice to be polite.  But if someone sets a piece of Moose Turd Pie on the table in front of you, it doesn’t mean you have to eat it.

All words and images c2014 Naomi Baltuck.

Click here for more interpretations of The Weekly Travel Theme: Close-Up.


Responses

  1. This looks cool. That loo is small, but you look happy! Truth be told, I also like a private loo and wi-fi. But, in the days when my hair was black, and I was slim, trim and handsome, I did perform my ablutions in the wild (when I went trekking!!)…

    • As I’ve aged I too have definitely become more fond of my creature comforts. Thanks so much for the visit, and for taking the time to comment.

  2. So adventurous! I don’t think I’d dare… maybe in my twenties :)
    Nevertheless you seem to have had a magnificent time, Italy & France being top on my favorite list I can relate to the joy & fun seeping through this post.
    Thanks for the share!

    • I love Italy too. Do you have a favorite place to go to there?
      In some ways I have gotten less adventurous–I don’t sleep on strangers’ front porches any more. But in some ways I have become more open to certain kinds of adventures. I’m sure I wouldn’t have gone to the Amazon twenty years ago, but we did go last summer, maybe because the kids wanted to so much.
      I do have lots of fun with my sister–we have always been good traveling companions, and a trip to the grocery could become an adventure when we’re together.
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for sharing your thoughts and stories.

  3. Great story! Gotta stay ahead of those bedbugs! Never encountered them myself. Hope I never do. And like you I too want a private bathroom and wifi :)

    • HI Alison,
      I stayed in an airport hotel for a writing conference in a room with bedbugs. The kids were with me, and we stripped on the deck and abandoned our luggage outside. They can live up to a year without eating, and we were not about to bring them into the house!

  4. I believe a trip through the red light district should be part of every trip to Paris lol I went as an art student age 17 and a group of us got lost heading back to the youth hostel and found ourselves wandering through there, it was certainly an eye opening experience lol

    • Hi Paula,
      That would definitely be an educational experience! Thanks for the visit, and for sharing your storyl

  5. I worried about the L’Etang here in Jersey Naomi but you’ve seen worse I now learn.

    • HI Roy,
      We really enjoyed our stay at L’Etang. It was clean, comfy, convenient, breakfast was great, and we had a view of the ocean from our room. We are really easy to please, but I have to draw the line at bedbugs, and would just as soon stay out of the Red Light District. That was a lovely visit to your beautiful island!

  6. FUN. Great shot in the open toilet stall!

    • Thanks, Richard. We do have fun when we travel!

  7. Hilarious post, Naomi, and most entertaining pics and prose. May I politely ask what that plant pot was doing in the middle of the bathroom? I’ve fortunately never come across bedbugs, but we did once stay in a very seedy part of New York, on West 27th Street. The three of us arrived in NYC late one Friday night, after a long road trip, and this was the only place where we could get a room. It was certainly an experience I’ll never forget. We somehow forgot to lock our door, and about 1-30am, it burst open, giving us all such a fright. The night security guy gave us a mouthful of abuse, telling us we could have all been murdered in our beds. 8O

    • You know, Sylvia, I wondered about that too! What the heck that pot was doing in there when we checked in. Did the ceiling leak? Had someone been on a bender and needed a sick pail? There were a lot of very sketchy things about that hotel. Con and I tend to be very easy going, and quick to make do in questionable circumstances, so we were very proud of ourselves for being assertive and making a break with a full refund.
      Thank you for sharing your story about your Hotel experience! It’s terrifying! I would almost prefer bedbugs to a near heart attack!

      • :lol: Well I did very well out of the episode. Hubby consoled me the next day by buying me a lovely watch I’d been wanting for quite a while, with the money we’d saved by staying in a grotty hotel rather than a swish one. :)

      • Nice! Con and I tend not to eat out a lot when we travel, and I hardly ever buy souvenirs. But when I see something that really appeals I don’t feel bad buying it because of all the savings in the food budget. The last few souvenirs I’ve gotten have been clothing, because I travel light and sometimes need to supplement my wardrobe because I haven’t anticipated my needs correctly. (Also, I have a weakness for rugs!)

      • Hmmm….rugs do take up far more space than a watch. you can hardly wear one on your wrist. :D

      • It’s amazing what you can do with a little creative packing. The rug we brought home from Morocco fit into my suitcase by shifting a few of my things into my kids’ bags. They travel lighter than I do. And we still managed to get it all home going carry on!

      • Well done!! :)

  8. Looks like an incredible trip :)

    • We had lots of fun. I love traveling with my family, but it’s also fun to take a trip with my sister. We just take turns indulging each other, and solving all the problems of the world.
      Thanks so much for the visit, and taking the time to comment!

  9. Quite an interesting holiday. Did only the men go hunting?

    • I think women are as capable of hunting as men are capable of cooking. But, honestly, I think that if women had gone on this trip they would have cracked a bottle of wine and all made cooking dinner a cooperative, social, and enjoyable experience!

      • Yes, dinner did not sound all that appetizing.

  10. I am laughing my way through breakfast. Moose turds are a real possibility here, but are not part of today’s fare. LOL!

    • Thank you, Michael! We don’t come by MTs very often in my neck of the woods, but there is something inherently amusing about them. That is one of maybe half a dozen jokes that I can recall my mother telling me, and it still makes me smile because in my mind’s eye I can see her laughing as she tells it.

  11. I admire your bravery. Decades ago we stayed in Paris in a one star– the bed sank to the floor and the room was infested with huge cockroaches. That was the end of 1 stars for us. Yes, now it’s all about private baths and wi-fi. Still sounds /looks like a great trip and fun way to spend time with your sister. I’d love to do that with mine.

    • Hi Lisa,
      That sounds like a horrible experience. As I get older I find my tolerance goes down and my preference for a certain standard of cleanliness has gone up.
      I do hope that you and your sister get out for some fun together. Where would do you think you and she would want to go?

  12. Hilarious! I love how you were willing to put all things aside with the exception of bed bugs. Really great story. Looks like you guys had a blast.

    • Dear Leslie,
      Everyone has a bottom line, and that’s where I draw mine! I know I will have a blast when I’m with my sister, no matter where we go or what we do!
      Thanks so much for the visit.

  13. This sounds like quite an adventure! But it makes for an entertaining story! And so nice to go on a trip with your sister- maybe I will too someday. :)

    • Dear Naomi,
      My sister and I have been getting away most years for the last couple of decades. It’s our compensation for living 900 miles apart. Sometimes we take a quiet little drive down to the Tetons or the Oregon Coast, and sometimes it’s an overseas adventure. But it hardly matters–when we are together, a trip to the grocery store is a blast. I hope you and your sister can go and have some fun!

  14. Great story! I weep for my daughter whose apartment in Chicago became infested with bed bugs. She moved 2 weeks ago, hopefully leaving all hitchhikers behind.

    • Oh NO! So sorry to hear of her troubles. She should be on the watch and check her mattress to make sure she didn’t bring any with her to her new place. Bedbugs can live up to a YEAR without feeding.

      • She’s doing the best she can. She tells me that they aren’t disease carriers, just irritating biters.

  15. I guess you have to know your limits :)

    • Indeed! I don’t need fancy and I don’t mind spare, but safety and cleanliness are more important to me as I get older.
      Thanks for the visit. It’s always good to hear from you.

  16. What an adventure! I picked out the photos I like best but then changed my mind. I like them ALL. Beg bugs. Glad to stuck to your guns. I wouldn’t have taken no for an answer either. That’s a superb upgrade you landed at Fred Hotel. :-D
    Love your posts, Naomi. Always entertaining.

    • Thank you, Tess. I loved staying chez Fred’s. Once in a while it’s worth the expense–any port in a storm–and we save so much from picnicking rather than eating out that we can afford to splurge once in a while.
      Thanks again for your warm response–it’s always good to hear from you.

      • You are most welcome. I enjoy when I visit your place. Lots of new tales and photos to enjoy. ~(*_*)~~

  17. No matter where we stay….I always check the top of the bed for bugs and under the bed for dead bodies. :) Thank God you had Fred!!! You two are adorable. ♥

    • Dear Paula,
      After I attended a writers’ conference at what I considered a decent hotel near Sea-Tac airport and found bedbugs in my room, I also check my mattress no matter how many stars the hotel has. Thanks so much for the visit.
      I know you know what it’s like to have a sister who is also your best friend. We live 900 miles apart, but are as close as can be.
      I hope you and your family are well!

      • We are certainly blessed!! Happy Mother’s Day to you, dear Naomi ♥

  18. It must be an aging thing, that need for comfort and wifi. In my youth, my pregnant youth, we camped in rainy upstate New York with a station wagon and a canopy and I was fine. Now? No thank you.

    • Dear Carol,
      Your comment made me smile. I am definitely loving my creature comforts as I get older. I still remember the last time I slept on the ground in a tent. It was freezing, we had set up our tent on the only surface available–rocks, and the moon was still shining when we gave up and packed up to go find some coffee.
      Now my son is saying he might want to do another family camping trip, and I’m sorta kinda thinking about it. If I do, I will surely invest in a cot!

  19. Ha! That is an awesome story. Luckily my husband stops me from going the hostel route now that we’re older. While I don’t care as much, he reins me in. Shared bathrooms and bedbugs are all fun and games when we’re pups, but creature comforts are good to have.

  20. Good story! Great pictures! Love the family jokes.
    Your loving big sister,
    Lee

    • Dear Lee,
      Thanks for the visit, and taking the time to comment. That was one of the few jokes I remember Mom telling, and it still makes me smile.
      It was so good to talk to you today!
      Love to the whole gang,
      Naomi

  21. great travelling stories!! Great photos to complement them!! I can relate!!

    • Thanks so much for the visit, and for sharing your generous response!

  22. So funny! I’m glad you didn’t settle for the moose turd pie. And as for the bedbugs – eeeeewwwww!!!!
    I think I know the bedbug adventure…seem to recall a certain convention that involved another late-night trip to the front desk with tiny critters in a ziploc bag…

    • You know me too well! Yes, that was the PNWA writing conference at Sea-Tac and I remember convulsing with disgust as I told you about our adventure at 3AM on the night before the last day of the conference!
      It was great to see you today–looking forward to walking and talking next week!

  23. Your post made me smile, laugh and just feel good about life and its adventures in general. As for the small room, as long as its close to the beach, and no huge alien bugs, I’m good. You have a wonderful sister who shares a beautiful happy spark like yours. Thanks for sharing your amazing world. All the best to you and your family.

    • Thank you for swinging by, and sharing your generous thoughts. My sister is so funny, and she does have that special spark. The kids love it when she and I get together, because we bring out the silliness in each other like no one else can.
      Best wishes to you and your family. After my visit to your post, I still have strong images of Love and Bluebonnets floating in my head!

  24. the two of you seem very brave… glad you escaped that place.

    • Dear Shimon,
      ‘Silly and unprepared, but with eyes open’ might be the better description. We could have managed, but I am SO glad we got out of there! If not for the bedbugs, we probably would have toughed it out in a very dicey neighborhood, so maybe I should be thankful that we found them.
      Thanks so much for the visit, and for sharing your thoughts. It is always good to hear from you.
      Warmly,
      Naomi

  25. Ahhhh bedbugs! You guys had to search for the silver lining, but finally found it. I would have need a glass of wine (or several) after that experience.

    • Oh, yes! Just between you and me…we had two baby bottle of wine, the size you get on an airplane, and we settled our nerves and relaxed sipping a glass of rose!

  26. What a great, entertaining story, Naomi. It brought back some memories that are now funny but at the time not so much. Like you, I enjoy unusual experiences but draw the line at poop.

    • Oh, yes, I have a few of those stories. I remember my mom saying more than once, “Some day you’re going to laugh at this.” She was always right.

  27. Great story! I’ve had a few similar encounters through out the years. Just think you would have never booked the 5 star hotel if it had not been for the bedbugs.

    • Dear Jo,
      You are absolutely right! If not for the bedbugs, we’d have put on our big girl panties and toughed it out. But we didn’t WANT to tough it out! Thanks so much for the visit, and for sharing the perfect truth about this experience!

  28. Just getting back from 2 weeks traveling this entry was ESPECIALLY appreciated. You’re terrific at sharing perspectives. Thanks, friend.

    • Dear Rebecca,
      Welcome home! The FB pics looked great. What an adventure you had. I’m sure you have some tales to tell, and I look forward to hearing them. Thanks for the visit, and for your generous response.

  29. What an adventure! I’m with you, bed bugs are not worth a it. I’ve had friends who have had them and they are nasty little beasties to get rid of. I love the poo pie story and the hotel named Fred to the rescue. Awesome post. :)

    • Thanks for the visit, and for sharing your friends’ story. Bedbugs are SO hard to get rid of. They can survive a year without feeding! When the kids and I attended a writing conference a few years ago, we stayed at a hotel with bedbugs. We stripped on the deck and left all our luggage outside rather than chance bringing them into the house, because they are almost impossible to get rid of. Now I don’t stay anywhere without checking under the sheets first!

  30. Glad you didn’t stay there… What an adventure!

    • Hi Amy,
      Me too! Thanks so much for the visit.

  31. Moose turd pie, um, no thanks. And I’ve never seen bedbugs and you know, I’m okay with that. Good thing both of you are such good friends and sisters. Makes those types of situations funnier and years later, you’ll have a good chuckle.

    • Ha! Yes, I could imagine never seeing a bedbug, and still going on to live a full life. In fact, the same could be said for Moose Turd Pie. It IS a good thing Con and I are such good friends. We’ve been through some scrapes together, and so far we’ve been able to look back and laugh.
      Thanks for the visit!

  32. Bedbugs! This is a horror story with a happy ending and the kind of story I scrolled through slowly not knowing what was going to happen…almost waiting for the icky to pop out. Talk about suspense, lol. I also thought, “I want Naomi to travel with me because she is the kind of person to stand firmly with baggie of bed bug in hand until justice is given.”

    I must admit to traveling in the past with forced ignorance. No more!
    :-) Terri

    • Dear Terri,
      I had to laugh when I read this comment. I also once went down to a hotel lobby to tell them there were cockroaches in the room. When the desk clerk told me there were no cockroaches in Lynnwood, I was able to show him the shoe I was carrying with the squished cockroach on the bottom of it. (He gave us a new room, but I guess if one room has roaches, they all probably do, as they are more mobile than bedbugs–going off to find food rather than waiting for food to come to them.)
      So good to hear from you. I hope you are well!

  33. Even in my 20s and now I’m in my late 30s, I still prefer private bathroom. To avoid bedbugs experience again, always check reviews in Tripadvisor before booking. TA has been my guide for hotel accommodation for quite some time now and very reliable.

    • You are absolutely right. We checked with Trip Advisor–too late, but will never again neglect to do that BEFORE we book. Thanks for the good advice, and for the visit!

  34. Constance has the same big smile as you :-)

    Oooo, those bedbugs. Freaky. It’s making me itch just thinking about them. I remember staying somewhere once and wishing I’d checked the under-blanket was as clean as the sheets! Whoops, some female had left some most colourful red marks behind that were obviously going to stay there for the next year or two until someone thought to wash the blanket. Obviously I wasn’t going to complain, in case the hotel receptionist thought it was me who’d suffered an embarrassing leakage and not a previous occupant of the bed.

    • At a writing conference I attended with the kids, I’d gotten bitten up the night before and thought it must have been mosquitos from sitting in the courtyard, even though I didn’t recall getting bitten. So when we were up until 2AM and saw bedbugs crawling across our pillows, checked the mattress and saw an established colony, I marched down to the desk in my pajamas with bedbugs in a ziploc bag (IALWAYS carry ziploc bags)and demanded a new room. I’d have checked out, but the kids really wanted to stay for the last day of the conference, so we did and were glad we did. I wasn’t worried about them thinking I had brought the bedbugs with me; they’d obviously tried to cover up the problem by zipping that mattress into a cover, but the bugs were getting in and out using the little opening by the zipper. I think they were just counting on people staying one night on their way in or out of the airport and never noticing. I’m sure it was the same with your colorful leakage, Sarah. Oh, dear! If I think too much about this, I will never stay in a hotel again!

      • As if a zip would ever imprison bed bugs effectively! I think maybe only a burnt mattress would kill the blighters, but then they’d probably run for their lives and find a new home fast.

  35. Great post. When I came back from the Camino (2 years ago now) I had several bedbug bites ON MY FACE. OMG! I put all my stuff – including the backpack – in a hot wash, hot dryer and 1 week in the freezer and then left everything – isolated – for several months but nothing hopped out.
    Thankfully I was just a tasty meal and didn’t bring any hitch-hikers home.

    • Oh, Rosie! My bites were on my neck and chest–so much better than the face–it’s so invasive. I left our bags wrapped in black plastic to cook for a couple of weeks in the hot summer sun, then bought these things that are supposed to attract and detect bedbugs and make them stick, so you know if you have any. No bedbugs showed up, but I still left those bags wrapped up in our basement for nearly a year before I was willing to use them again. I’m over it, but SO careful now. Glad you had a happy ending, which is to go home pest-free. (And better safe than sorry!)

  36. I laughed my way through your story! What a great adventure! Although I’m glad you found ‘Fred’ that night.

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thanks so much for your generous response. I took a wander over to your website–congratulations on your most recent publication!

  37. What a brilliant story! Ahh Paris – je t’aime, but you do have some horrendous places to stay! I have a similar story, but I’m eating breakfast so won’t type what I found in the bed… let’s just say that bedbugs would have been preferable!!

    • Hi Claire,
      You really made me laugh. Thanks so much for stopping by. I had fun popping over to your blog–it is very fun, and I look forward to reading more of it.

      • Thank you Naomi, welcome! ;-)

  38. Naomi – I spent several years as a crewman on tramp freighters and you should see some of the places we docked in North Africa! !

    Haskell

    • Dear Haskell,
      I can just imagine! I would love to hear some of those stories. Can’t wait to see you again! So looking forward to October!
      Love,
      Naomi

  39. Sounds like a very interesting and fun trip!

    • Hi Pennie,
      It was indeed! Sometimes these unexpected kinks in a not-so-well laid plan can lead to further exciting adventures, or at least a good story to tell.

      • I couldn’t agree more :).

  40. […] http://naomibaltuck.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/ooh-la-la/ for her continual upbeat spirit & wonderful adventures […]

  41. I have nominated you for the community bloggers award, if you choose to accept here’s the link http://oawritingspoemspaintings.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/nominated-for-the-community-of-bloggers-award/
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  42. Incredible! Great reading! :-) :-)

    • Thanks for the visit, and for taking the time to comment!

  43. A fantastic read Naomi!!! I laughed out loud after I heaved a sigh of relief! :lol: I check under mattresses too…even in five star hotels!

    • Thank you, Madhu! Ever since my first experience in a pretty nice hotel, I check everywhere too.

  44. Wonderful Naomi! Constance sounds like my kind of sister (as do you) … and I’ve got 3! :) Great story, well told. ~Terri

    • Hi Terri,
      You are rich in sisters! Thanks so much for the visit, and for taking the time to share your generous response!

  45. What an adventure with your sister. And terrific pics accompanying the narrative. Wow! Lots of memories about that trip. Thanks for sharing them with all of us. The bedbugs are too much! Yuck

    • Hi, Ruth. Yes, there are few things that creep me out worse than bedbugs. Thanks for the visit, and for sharing your thoughts on this post!

  46. Thanks for letting me tag along on your journey! Such fun pictures and you have such a way of story-telling. :) I have been to Paris – we stayed at the Hotel De Turienne – and it was a pretty amazing 5 days. I learned so much, and not ALL French people dislike Americans (but a majority were not very nice). Yikes about the bedbugs!! I always check the mattresses, too, but am not always sure what I am looking for, so I just don’t travel much anymore. Anyway, this was a delightful post – thanks so much for sharing it with us!

    • Thank you for your visit, and thanks for the follow. I really love it when someone shares something of their story too. I look forward to learning more about your adventures as I follow your blog as well.

  47. Been there in Italy, Mexico and elsewhere. Love that you can laugh at life’s little challenges…and write about it.

    • It helps to have great traveling companions who are easygoing. And if you think about it, the alternative–to get upset–just isn’t as much fun! Thanks so much for the visit. I look forward to reading more about your travel adventures.

  48. I do the bedbug check thing too, but to date (knock on wood) I’ve never found any. Eek! Great story. ;)

  49. How coincidental that I read this today. I’m about to leave on vacation with my brother and his kids, which I’ve never done, and am skeptical about his vacation planning/lodge-picking abilities. But I’m game for anything but bedbugs, so it should be an adventure!

    • Good luck, Juliann! Have a great trip–so cool that you and our brother travel together.

  50. Looks like a fantastic trip!

  51. You do have some adventures! LOL

    • Hi Patti,
      Ha ha! That’s one word for it!!! Hope you are well. It is always good to hear from you.
      Warmly,
      Naomi

  52. amusing story about Hotels in France – with a happy end!


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