May 20, 2014. Dinard, France on the Brittany North Coast

Yesterday we left La Baule, on the Brittany South Coast and we drove through rolling green hills, serene pastures where white cows were grazing, and lots of apple and pear orchards to Dinard, France on the North Coast of Brittany. Interesting fact of the day—Alfred Hitchcock used a mansion on the bay at Dinard for his model of the house in Psycho his 1960 big movie hit. There is a statute erected to him on the town square with him being attacked by birds which was his 1963 movie.

 What I learned yesterday. I have always been in charge of finding hotels. Rita has always been in charge of driving; and we share responsibilities for finding restaurants. It is called “division of labor”. But, yesterday I could not decide between two hotels on the beach in Dinard. One was $300 a night with no free Wi-Fi and the room was basic without a view of the Atlantic Ocean. The other hotel was $200 a night with free Wi-Fi and an Ocean view and an upgrade from the basic room. So, I asked Rita to go into the latter hotel and see if the less expensive hotel (I did not say cheaper on purpose) was acceptable. If so, I thought we could save a $100 on our budget since we were over a $100 yesterday. Well, Rita went in checked out the hotel and came out and reported to me that it was acceptable to her. So, we unpacked the car and moved into the hotel where I learned that she chose a suite for $400 a night. Rita is no longer responsible for hotel selection. I asked her what she was thinking when I sent her into the hotel to see if we could save $100 and she came out with a room costing $100 more than the room under consideration in the more expensive hotel. With all the wisdom of a woman’s logic, she responded that it was my fault because I was using Internet rates and Internet rates did not apply to walk-ins. Also, there was no ocean view in either of the other rooms. To use an Andy Light phrase, “Rita, you baffle me”!

I do have some good news. After 7 days of trying to book a house, which honestly seemed like two weeks to Rita and a month to me (I am less patient than Rita), we were able to book our first choice. The house has 4 bedrooms and a heated pool. It is located in St. Leon-sur-Vezere, Dordogne, a rural area, in the middle southwest of France. It is one hour from Bordeaux and probably 3 hours from the French Riviera. We move in on Saturday. Now the dream begins in earnest! Hopefully, we can set up some French lessons for me; and some cooking lessons for the two of us. We have plenty of room if you want to come and visit us. We will be in St. Leon until July 26th. WE ARE TERRIBLY EXCITED TO BECOME A PART OF A FRENCH VILLAGE!

 This is my comment of the day on French hotel bathrooms. First, they are bathrooms where one takes a bath. If you want to go to the toilet, you go to the water closet, which is in an entirely different room from the bathroom, usually down the hall. Second, the bathrooms have all been extremely modern or contemporary in design. They have rain showerheads, jet spays coming at you from all directions, handheld sprays and no doors on the shower. They have electric towel warmers, hair dryers that require you to hold a button down to make them run or else they will stop when you release pressure on the button (not a big deal, but your finger does get tired before your hair is dry and for the life of me I cannot figure out why they make hair dryers in hotel bathrooms this way, maybe my friend John Barth can answer this question for me since he has spent 30 years in the beauty business selling, among other things, hair dryers), and very stylists sinks and faucets. I am not use to all the whistles and bells. I usually end up getting squirted in the face from all the jet sprays. In addition, the bathrooms rarely come with washcloths. I don’t know what the French use in their place. Surely, they don’t use their hands? OMG! Finally, soap has been rare in bathrooms with bath gel substituting for soap. I have not figured out how to use bath gel without a washcloth. I think it takes lots of practice.

 Well, we are off to Le Mont St. Michel today. More later.

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