Lost without Michelin:
Up a French Tollroad without a GPS
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
― Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
As the French might say, we we were dans les choux (in the cabbages), i.e., up a creek, lost on the (expensive) tollroad somewhere well past Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil, the tiny hamlet where we were due to arrive two hours before. Somewhere far away, at the just-right B & B I’d been dreaming of for months, four bottomless glasses of fine Loire Valley wine, four 3-course gourmet dinners and four hot showers awaited our arrival. But here we were, stopped at a rainswept rest area, stuck with a GPS that was no match for the Guide Michelin.
We’d zipped out of the rental car lot at Charles de Gaulle Airport full of confidence, even after the GPS failed to recognize our destination and we began following the printed, turn-by-turn directions provided by the B & B’s owner. When it seemed like we should be getting there, we pulled into a French mini-mart (like ours, except cleaner and with better food) and asked our translator (our youngest daughter) to double-check that we were on the right track. After looking at our directions, the teenage boys at the counter waved us over to a wall map. Together, they looked at it intently as they conversed in French. Shrugging, they told my daughter they thought we were okay.