Tory Burch Beach Bag

Travel Packing Mistakes and Mishaps

For a Florida trip,  I made my first mistake by not taking my own travel tricks and tips advice. I had packed a large suitcase instead of the size accepted onboard airlines. I was flying alone on Southwest, and I wanted to avoid asking for help lifting my carry-on to the overhead bin. Instead, I checked my medium bag that was loaded with books, shoes, and clothes.
When I tried to check my luggage curbside, the baggage handler weighed it and said that it was two pounds over the 50-pound limit, and I had two options: I could open my suitcase on the sidewalk and let the travelers waiting in line view my underwear collection or pay $75.
“What are two pounds?”

 

“A pair of jeans.”
I had set my bag near the curb and unzipped it while everyone watched the “Dorothyadele Victoria’s Secret Show.” I was happy that my husband wasn’t there to glare, then roll his eyes and ask if I had ever traveled or packed a bag before.
Luckily, my suitcase was not a merged mess when I had unzipped the left compartment and pulled out my camera, makeup bag, and books.

 

 

I unzipped the other side where I had my Nike running shoes wedged. In front of my audience, I pulled out a shoe and twirled it in my fingers testing its weight. I decided that it was too light and shoved it back in and zipped my case.
When I returned to the attendant, he asked if I had removed some items. I lifted my bulging beach bag as proof. Without weighing it, he accepted my suitcase, and I wondered if removing the books would have been enough.

 

I headed inside the terminal lugging my tote that contained an iPad, an iPhone, a writing journal, socks, a purse, sunglasses, a book, and the articles that I had pulled out of my suitcase. I was happy that I didn’t have that black and white Nike waving out the top.
When I approached the unsmiling TSA PreCheck agent and presented my boarding pass, she smirked, grabbed it, and said, “This is a mobile boarding pass, get back in line over there and get the correct one. You have time.” I felt like she resented that I had skipped the long line as a TSA PreCheck traveler.
“What about the boarding pass on my phone?”
“You can use that, but step out of line… honey.”

 

 

I scanned through my emails looking for the Southwest boarding pass confirmation.  I found it, and I sweated and wondered if she would reject it. I stepped up and presented it to her. She scanned it, and to me, it looked exactly like the one that she had confiscated two minutes before. I proceeded through security and made another mistake.

 

 

At Subway, I ordered a breakfast sandwich. When I had set my bag on the counter to pay, I knocked the metal coffee-creamer receptacle off. It bounced and clanged on the tile floor. The other customers and I watched the empty creamers roll around. The clerk didn’t seem to trust me to pick them up; he quickly gathered them and placed the creamers back in the container out of my reach. Since I delayed everyone, I apologized and paid my bill.
I boarded my flight and sat in front of a screaming baby for 2 1/2 hours whom I heard regurgitate. Though I felt sorry for the child, I smiled when I thought about my morning mishaps.
My husband had joined me on vacation and we flew together on the return flight. When we had packed, I had placed several of my items in his small suitcase to avoid an overweight bag, hoping to dodge another Dorothyadele Airport Trunk Show.

 

 

As we waited in the airport baggage line, I watched the lady in front of me hoist her bag on the scale and tip it at 65 pounds. She left the line and rearranged her contents between two suitcases. We approached the handler and my husband, the gentlemen, pulled my bag, though he told the agent that he had my luggage, not his. I held my breath when the clerk heaved my bag on the scale and I watched it hit 50.5 pounds. He waved us through.
In addition to our standard tips, we paid an extra $15 to the Hertz bus driver and the hotel valet just to lift my bag. Consequently one of the best money-saving-travel tips is to pack light.

Related Posts

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/04/04/fifteen-tricks-and-travel-tips/

Yellowjacket bee

Setting My Husband Up For Failure

It’s never intentional if my husband injures himself while assisting me. For instance, one day after shopping, I returned home and found him sitting at the kitchen table staring at me with cold, bleary eyes. I asked him what was wrong.

He said, “Though I am not big on gardening, you wanted me to turn your compost pile, and I thought that I would get some exercise and help you. It didn’t work out well.”

“Thanks for aerating my garden soil, but your face is flushed. What happened and why are you giving me a mean look?  Why are you breathing hard?”

“While I was raking, I hit a yellowjacket nest. Bees swarmed and stung my neck, face, arms, and legs. They even got into my shorts and up my tee-shirt sleeves. I think that I was stung over 20 times. I ran up the deck stairs to escape them and found a locked door.  I ran back down the stairs, around the side to the front door, in the house, and up the steps. With my clothes on, I jumped in the shower to remove the bees that continued to sting me. If you have any questions, I left several in the drain for you to count. Why did you lock the door anyway?”

” I’m sorry, but latching the door is a habit. Did the dog didn’t get stung?”

“No, he’s okay.”

“Thank goodness, but I hope that you are alright too.”

I gave my husband some Benadryl, and then to ensure that he was not exaggerating, I counted about 12 bees in the tub. We rode to the emergency room, and the doctors gave him a shot of adrenaline that made him anxious for a few hours, but he survived another episode caused by dorothyadele.

Since I didn’t want a divorce, I never asked him to work with my dirt compound again. Before I raked it, I waited until the bees were hibernating because they were not stinging me.

Now, I have a barrel composter that I turn to mix the soil. It’s a shame that my husband learned the hard way.

.

Black snake

Squatter Snake

The first eighteen months that we lived in our home, I had traipsed barefoot through the basement, using the stairway light, and the sun that streamed through the window to guide me. One night, I turned the corner and nearly stepped on something, consequently I have never walked through the basement in the dark again.

 

I flipped on the light, and a snake lay on the floor in front of me. We eyed each other for several minutes deciding our next move. When I looked closer, I noticed that he had a pattern on his back and a triangle-shaped head. I guessed that he was possibly poisonous.

 

However, there was one thing that I knew for sure: Snake handling was not in my wife/mother employment contract and removing one was a man’s job. Since my husband has always loved a challenge, the logical solution was to present my husband with the gift of letting him determine how to get rid of the snake. When my husband returned home from work, ready to relax, I would surprise him with his next job.

 

The thought of getting close to the snake unnerved me, but I decided that I would put a large bucket over it, and I would weigh it down with several hundred bricks. Though I didn’t want to let our squatter out of my sight, I left to get a bucket. I chuckled wondering how my husband would remove the snake. Would he slide the bucket?  Would he lift the bucket and take a chance of the snake striking?

 

Naturally, when I returned, my husband’s friend was gone. Now he was a full-time resident. I had lain awake the next few nights –or years—  wondering if it would slither up the steps to our bedroom. Suppose it slid up the side of our bed? What then?

 

The following spring, our housemate had donated his skin to decorate his living quarters, and I couldn’t help but wonder, did it belong to him or one of his siblings?

 

Though I have had our home inspected and sealed, this was the first of several snake episodes. Each family member has had the joy of encountering at least one.

Attracting Bluebirds With Mealworms, a Heated Birdbath and Humor

Four Bluebirds and a Cardinal

Four Bluebirds and a Cardinal (photo by dorothyadele)

 Cardinals (photo by dorothyadele)

Cardinals (photo by dorothyadele)

Bluebirds and Cardinal (photo by dorothyadele)

Bluebirds and Cardinal (photo by dorothyadele)


During spring and summer, bluebirds hatch regularly in birdhouses in my neighbor’s yard, who uses live mealworms to attract them. Her success motivates me to try it too, so I keep a mealworm stash in my basement refrigerator during the warm months.  

 

I initially place the worms in a small cup on top of a bluebird feeder that sets on my deck railing. When the bluebirds find them, I put the mealworms inside the feeder and they visit it.  

 

Bluebird houses perch on five-foot-high-metal poles in an open area in my yard with baffles clamped below to prevent snakes and animals from climbing and invading their homes.  Though they have attempted nests in the houses, wrens and sparrows usually evict them before their eggs hatch.  

Bluebird House With Baffle (photo by dorothyadele)

Bluebird House With Baffle (photo by dorothyadele)

 

 My best bluebird attraction is my heated birdbath. It supplies fresh water on freezing days when other sources are scarce. Birds flock to the birdbath and entertain us with their activity and color on cold winter days.

 

 

Not only have the birds entertained us, but the mealworms have too. One day, my sister-in-law opened my basement refrigerator looking for a drink, and she was curious about the contents of the burlap sack on the shelf. When she opened the mealworm bag, I had heard a loud scream, and I knew that she had found my special stockpile. I guess that mealworms were the last thing that she expected to find in my refrigerator!

dorothyadele

English: Mealworm

English: Mealworm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Leonberger Dog

Dog Finds Possum

My husband called my cell phone and said, “Your dog, B, escaped the yard. I found him sitting on the hill in your garden outside the fence, and I can’t leave for work until he is in.”

 

This was a first, and I wondered why he had escaped, and I asked my husband to try to get him back in the fence. My husband had gone outside to drag B in and found him sitting next to a dead possum. The dog was panting and smiling like he found the golden urn.

 

My husband called back and said, “I think that he may have killed a possum, because I thought that I saw blood when I reached over it to grab B. However, the possum warden refused to leave his departed playmate, so he’s still in your garden.”

 

Bad thoughts swirled through my head. If he, the dog, not my husband, had tasted blood, was he bloodthirsty? Would he kill other animals? Suppose he kills a dog or cat? Would our kids and their friends be safe in our yard? I decided that when I got home, I would call the vet and ask these questions. I may have to get rid of my dog.

 

When I had returned home my husband said, “The dog is in the backyard. I held a piece of steak in front of him, and I was about six inches away from that big possum, when I grabbed his collar to him drag away.”

 

I went to see my dog hoping that my husband was wrong.  I lifted his lips and checked his teeth and gums looking for signs of blood. I also ran my hands over his body checking for wounds. I couldn’t find anything. Maybe the possum had already been dead or died quickly fighting a 140 pound dog.

 

The next morning, my husband grabbed a shovel and bag to dispose of the remains. I said, “Why don’t you just throw it in the woods so an animal will eat it?”

 

“No, I’m taking it off our property, because I don’t want B to exhume the body.” I understood his rationale, because the dog was enamored with his numb soul mate, and he might break the fence to visit it.

 

After my husband collected his mortuary supplies and donned heavy gloves, he headed out to transport the deceased. I had no intention of assisting him as a pallbearer or attending the viewing. Within five minutes, my husband returned.

 

“Where’s the possum?”

 

“It’s gone.”

 

“Gone, dead?”

 

” Gone away.”

 

The possum fooled us and I was relieved that my dog wasn’t a bloodthirsty killer. I couldn’t help but think about my husband’s possible reaction if the possum had moved when he was reaching across it to grab the dog. That would have been worth filming.

 

Related Posts

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/puppy-training-101-blame-the-husband/

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/dog-bite-report/

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/category/dogs/

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/dog-sings-in-car-in-georgia/

Winter storm Niko produced hazardous conditions in New York.

Out of my Comfort Zone

Last week Mother Nature dumped about ten inches of snow on New York City. From my hotel window, I saw that few people were walking or driving. I turned on the news and the newscaster said that the blizzard conditions were deadly because a doorman had slipped while shoveling and had fallen through a window and died. They were warning people to stay off the streets. Though I was in New York to see my daughter, J, the news report made me think about falling on the ice, and I was apprehensive about leaving the hotel. I had already fallen twice in New York, and wine was not involved.

 

The first time, I was walking on a pretty day with J, and I tripped over a sidewalk crack and I was down on all fours. Ok, I really tripped over my own feet.

 

J had said, “Mother, get up before someone falls over you and hurts themselves, you’re fine.” Though I was shaken, I got up like nothing had happened.

 

The second time I had fallen, I was wearing boots with little tread and it was snowing. I was sliding all over the sidewalk like I was on greased ice. I resembled a three-year old that had never ice skated before, and I grasped my husband’s arm like it was the wall that child clung to as he encircled the ice rink.

 

When I almost pulled my husband down he said, “What’s wrong? No one else that is walking is acting like you. Let me see the bottom of your boots.”

 

I lifted my smooth-bottomed Ugg. He said, “We’re buying you boots.”

 

Unfortunately, I didn’t get those boots fast enough, because within minutes, I slipped and fell on my back. Since I had already made a scene, my friends laughed because they thought that I fell on purpose. Did they really think that I would lie on the dirty New York street in my dress coat just to entertain them?

 

I was thinking about these previous trips, when J called and said that it was just slush and she insisted we go out. She is determined that I am not acting old no matter what, and she digs me out of my comfort zone.

 

She said, “My eighty-year-old superintendent is out shoveling snow, so if he can go out, you can too.”

 

J had come to get me, and I stepped outside and tentatively took a few steps on the sidewalk to determine if it was slippery.

 

“Mom, if you walk like that, it looks like you are trying to fall, so can you just walk like everyone else?”

 

I walked but watched the road for ice. J was ahead and she casually glanced back ensuring that I wasn’t sprawled on the ground. As we walked to J’s apartment, I told her that I was not relishing ascending the steps to her sixth-floor apartment, actually twelve-half flights, but who’s counting unless you are gasping for breath.

 

J said, ” There are 80 year olds that live up there, and they take the steps everyday and carry groceries, it just takes them a little longer. If they can do it, so can you.”

 

After visiting her apartment, we walked her neighborhood. I was glad that we had this time together and when I left, I thought about those snow-shoveling-eighty-year-olds. I know that I will live a fuller life if I listen to J, but I hope that she doesn’t kill me in the process.

 

Related Posts

 

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/growing-older-but-still-having-fun/

Dog Bite Report

My husband had to file a mandatory dog bite report for our Leonberger puppy when he was 8-weeks-and-one-day old, and these photos clearly show his mean streak. The top one is his mug shot.  Puppy had only spent one night at our house, when he scampered down the front lawn with my husband to get the newspaper.
After my husband picked up the paper, he saw puppy in the middle of the yard joyfully chewing on an unknown object. He hurried over to him and tried to pry his mouth open to remove the object, but puppy was determined not to reveal the prize in his mouth, and he kept his jaws clamped shut like he thought that he was a snapping turtle. With a little maneuvering, my husband finally opened his mouth and nicked his finger on his needle teeth in the process. Can you imagine his glee when he discovered that the coveted treasure was a possum skull? No wonder puppy didn’t want to give up this gem because he probably never had his own skull before.
A few days later, my husband’s finger became infected and he had to go to the medical center to have it treated. Because of a new law, that is more applicable to vicious dogs, he had to file a report indicating that his dog bit him before they would see him.  He tried to explain that the puppy was 8 weeks old, but they wouldn’t hear it. He filed the report, and it took two rounds of antibiotics to treat him.
The result of this incident is that the dog must be on his best behavior for the rest of his life because he has a record.

 

Related Posts

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/pet-control/

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/puppy-training-101-blame-the-husband/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/dog-humor/

https://www.zukes.com/dog-blog/

http://fidoseofreality.com

Harlequin Great Dane Puppy and Dalmatian

Pet Control

My father had often said, “Those dogs aren’t running my life,” but my sisters and I still laugh, because unbeknownst to him, he and the Great Dane and Dalmatian were part of a chess match. The dogs were the chess masters, and he was their pawn.

 

My parents usually took the dogs with them when they went to the beach. One day,  when my parents were packing their car to leave the beach for my father to go to work; our Dalmatian and Great Dane had slipped out the door and took off. My parents walked and drove the neighborhood for hours, and they finally called the police. It was a sad day when the policeman gave my father the bad news: The dogs had become criminals and they were locked up behind bars.

 

I would have loved to have heard the conversation between my parents when my father had to drive to the police station that was several miles away and bail them out. Luckily, he was an attorney and visiting clients in jail was nothing new to him. He said that when he saw the jailed dogs, “They looked guilty.”  After loading them in the car, my parents headed home. Unfortunately, they were stuck in rush-hour traffic, and my father missed work. The dogs were affecting his job.
Though my father often complained about our pets, I believe that he liked them though they intimidated him. At Christmastime, he saved empty cardboard rolls from the Christmas paper and stacked them in the corner in the family room. Though he would never hurt anyone or anything, when he thought that the dogs were misbehaving, he would grab a cardboard roll and say, “See this!” and the dogs ignored him as usual and continued what they were doing. I guess holding something in his hand taller than the Great Dane made him feel powerful.
We needed a new car, and my father thought that he was buying the family a station wagon. We, us kids, knew that he was buying the dogs a car, though we hadn’t pointed that out to him. The dogs needed room to spread out for long car rides, therefore their requirements dictated what my father drove.
Though my father pretended that he didn’t like our dogs, when the Dalmatian was diagnosed with a terminal illness, my parents drove her to a veterinarian school hours away as a last ditch effort to save her life. Unfortunately, it was unsuccessful, but I give my parents credit for making that trip.
Ironically, years later after my mother had passed, and the dogs were gone, my father called me and said, “Dorothyadele, a vagrant has entered my office and said that he is leaving town. He has a golden retriever, Ralph, with him, and he plans to have him euthanized. Should I take him?”

 

“Absolutely!” I said.

 

 

The cycle continued. We never knew the dog’s age, but he was a good companion for my father for about five years until Ralph became ill. I knew that my father liked dogs.

 

RELATED POSTS

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/dog-bite-report/

https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2013/08/07/puppy-training-101-blame-the-husband/

Top Ten Dog Training Mistakes – Guest post by Blogger Kevin Davies…

https://www.creativedogtraining.com/blog/what-is-the-best-age-to-start-training-my-dog

https://www.lovethatpet.com/dogs/training-and-behaviour/dog-training-tips/

Leonberger Dog

Puppy Training 101 — Blame the Husband

I had pulled in my driveway on a rainy September day and spotted large and small strips of brown cardboard, pink, black and white clothing, and clear plastic bags that had been ripped open and scattered across my back lawn.
It looked like someone had tossed debris in random directions as they rode on a merry-go-round. Closer inspection revealed that about 50 golf shirts littered my yard. Clear plastic bags protected most of them, the rest were sopping and smeared with dirt.
I quickly bundled as many shirts as I could hold in my arms, and I hurried inside and dropped them on the Ping-Pong table. When I returned to collect more, I watched my giant Leonberger puppy hop among the clutter.
He grabbed a pink shirt, growled ferociously, and shook it like he was playing Tug of War. Then he threw his head up and down several times, tossed it in the air and pounced on it with muddy paws. I couldn’t help but laugh.
Oops, these were the company-monogrammed-Adidas-golf shirts that my husband had ordered for his customers. I had heard that the company had paid about $2,000 for them. Unfortunately he couldn’t give his customers shirts that took a spin in the washer. I knew that we were in trouble.
After I picked up the rest of the shirts, I called my husband from my cell phone so that he wouldn’t know that I was home.
 “You didn’t leave the dog out, did you?” I asked
 “Yes, I left him out,” he said.
 “Oh, did you forget that anything that the UPS truck drops off on the driveway belongs to him?”
 “I didn’t think about that,” he said 
 “If he gets into anything, my conscience is clear, how’s yours? Have a great day and see you at dinner.”
This was the second or eighth time that my puppy had opened a UPS box. Previously, he had torn into canine heartworm pills and had eaten a six-month supply. I knew that the pills contained arsenic, and I had made a frantic call to the vet who assured me that his 120 pounds protected him from the poison.
Though I had never eaten one, heartworm medication smells and tastes like dog treats, and my dogs love them. Unfortunately, food and fun had rewarded my puppy for puncturing packages. It was time to stop his behavior before he consumed his next carton.
After I picked up the rest of the shirts, I placed a cardboard box in my driveway and walked away watching him from nearby. When my puppy pounced on the box, I ran to him and grabbed his little black furry cheeks in my hands and put my face about two inches from his and screamed “NO!”
I yelled at him for about 15 seconds, and it worked. He never touched a box again.
It was a win-win. My puppy’s curiosity taught my husband pet-owner responsibility by making him consider the consequences of leaving him out without supervision, and our family and friends added to their wardrobe. Thank goodness we have that dog.

    Growing Older But Having Fun

    Growing Older But Still Having Fun

    I don’t plan to calmly glide a sputtering propeller plane to a slow stop at the end of my life. Instead, I will slam on the brakes and overshoot the short landing strip in my Learjet.

    Evelyn who is in her 90’s inspires me to live like age is a mere number. She plays tennis several times a week and still makes great shots.

    After tennis, she enjoys a gin and tonic while playing bridge with her friends.  I plan to enjoy life and embrace new challenges like Evelyn.

    A few years ago I decided that I wanted to improve my writing. Though I have an English degree, I recently returned to school as an undergraduate Mass Communications major.

    Returning to school is the most intimidating decision that I have ever made. I protrude like a neon clothed grim reaper as I walk to class among relaxed students clad in sweats, jeans and baseball caps.

    My most terrorizing moment was when I had to write a timed news story. The professor instructed the class that the quiz had to be double spaced with specific margins. As I listened to the professor, sweat seeped from my skin, my face flushed and I felt queasy like I was seated in a small plane during strong turbulence.

    I reacted because I was a computer novice and I didn’t know how to set up a Word document.   I darted my eyes around the classroom and watched the happy students click away on their stupid computers, while I stared at mine.

    I finally slid out of my chair and tentatively approached the professor who sat at his desk. He looked up at me, and this is what I remember from our conversation.

    I said, “ Uhh I am very embarrassed, but I don’t know Word and I am used to an Apple so I can’t take the quiz.”

    The professor asked, “Ohhh, can you take the quiz home and take it on your Apple?”

    I said, “Sure!”

    The professor asked, “Can you learn Word?”

    I said,“Absolutely!”

    The professor said, “Take the quiz home and email it to me”

    I said, “Great!”

    I immediately relaxed, and I took the quiz home and emailed it to him. The next weekend I spent a couple of hours with my sister who gave me a crash course in Word. The rest of the semester went well and I loved it.

    Years from now, as I’m overshooting the tarmac in my Learjet (fashionably late and wearing rose-colored wine glasses), my final tower communication will be: I never stopped learning.

    Golf Cart

    Golf Mishaps and Humor

    I love it and hate it at the same time. I hate the horse flies that cut into my skin with their barbed mouths and the mosquitoes that puncture me. I also hate feeling frustrated for lacking athletic ability.

    I love the exercise, competition and exhilaration from success. But most importantly, I love the laughter. When Danielle and I play golf, we become a spectacle.

    The first time that we played, we spotted two men on the tee behind us. We were intimidated and worried that we were slowing their game.

    We tried to speed up our game. Instead of hitting my ball in the hole, I grabbed it off the green, ran to the “getaway-golf cart,” and I jumped in and told Danielle to floor it so we could escape the men.

    When we arrived at the next tee, we nervously glanced back as the two men loomed ominously. We skipped that tee, but the men were still right behind us. I wondered if the men were afraid of the group behind them and they were skipping tees too.

    We finally let them play through. At least we learned this valuable lesson quickly.

    We made another scene when we hit golf balls at the driving range. There are two parallel yellow ropes on the ground about five-feet apart that run the length of the driving range. This is the area where you hit balls.

    We were at the end of the driving range and rope. While attempting to hit the ball, Danielle  missed and hit the rope so hard that it wrapped around her body. I imagined the headline “Woman Strangles Herself While Driving Golf Balls.”

    We laughed hysterically but quietly hoping we didn’t disturb the serious golfers. Have you ever tried to laugh quietly while your body is convulsing with laughter?

    Golf Partner

    Golf Partner (photo by dorothyadele)

    When Danielle and I climbed into the cart to play golf yesterday, rain poured even though it was not in the forecast. We laughed because we felt that it was a typical golf day for us. All went well, and I hit Danielle in the back with a golf ball only once.

    Hawaii

    Oahu, Hawaii Bus Tour — A Humorous Experience

    When I was in my 30’s, I won a company sales contest. The grand prize was a trip to England or Hawaii. I chose Hawaii.

    As part of my prize, my company planned guided tours on Oahu, Hawaii. I felt obligated to attend the first tour, and I disliked it and it became my first and last bus tour.

    Following are some reasons why this tour influenced me to never take a bus tour again:

    1. I had nothing in common with my bus mates who left the bus to take pictures of pineapples in fields and then took close-up photos of them. I wondered if they took pictures of pineapples in grocery stores.

    2. My tour mates reinforced that I had nothing in common with them when they stepped off the bus again to photograph field and close-up pictures of sugarcane. At this point, I wanted to return to my hotel because I thought that I was in hell.

    3. The bus driver repeated incessantly that there were no snakes on the Island. He said it so many times that I started to suspect that there were some. In addition, I had a nightmare about snakes and the bus driver.

    4. I was stuck on the bus all day when I wanted to lie on the beach, enjoy a casual lunch, and read my book.

    5. Everyone on the bus carried bags and cameras and resembled Terry and Tommy tourist. I hoped no one recognized me with this motley group — even though I probably fit in more than I will admit.

    6. I didn’t like to get shuttled to a tourist-trap restaurant where the bus driver seemed chummy with the owner. The food was terrible and I couldn’t get a cold beer to escape my misery.

    7. Everyone on the bus was old — like I am now. But even though I am old, I still won’t get trapped on a bus.

    8. I prefer to eat with the locals and determine when my tour begins and ends.

    This bus tour affected me for life and left me with humorous memories. However, no matter how old I am, you won’t catch me lined up to board a bus with old people like me, unless I am forced.

    Paris 1973

    Mistaken for Prostitutes in Paris

    When I visited Paris with my high school French class we were mistaken for prostitutes and booked in a brothel by the travel agent. Do you see a common theme?

    My roommates in Paris were my friend, Deb, and her mother, June, who chaperoned. June was — still is — very beautiful. She was fun but refined, and she dressed with elegance.

    One evening, June wore a chic yellow jacket trimmed in white. She paired the jacket with white slacks and white boots. The three of us took a walk and explored the city. We found a quaint cafe and dropped in for dinner.

    As we dined, sleazily dressed women in heavy makeup glared at us. We glanced at them, and we spoke in hushed voices because we felt threatened. I thought they were jealous because June looked stunning.

    When we returned from dinner, we told our French teacher about the “ladies” with their angry stares. We learned that we had chosen a restaurant in a part of town known for prostitution. Leave it to us to venture into the wrong neighborhood.

    Also, boots were a sign of prostitution in Paris. I suspect that the women in the restaurant thought that we were invading their territory and wanted us out.

    During my high school French trip, not only were we mistaken for prostitutes, but the travel agent had booked us into a brothel.

    Was someone trying to tell us something?

    https://dorothyadele.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/booked-in-a-brothel-in-paris/

     

    Eiffel Tower in Paris

    Booked in a Brothel in Paris

    Our bus driver and tour guide in Paris

    Our bus driver and tour guide in Paris (photo by dorothyadele)

    My high school French class flew to Paris where a travel agent had booked us in a brothel. The brothel was just the beginning of a stressful but humorous trip.

    After about a nine-hour flight, we arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport with about 25 students and chaperones. We were exhausted and eager to check into our hotel room.

    We boarded a bus at the airport and drove to a dingy smog-coated hotel. We saw signs from our bus windows that advertised rooms by the hour.

    We left the bus and entered the hotel. We lugged our bags down a dirty, dimly lit hallway and entered our rooms. We noticed that our rooms did not have bathrooms but guests shared a common bathroom down the hall.

    My French teacher was mortified and quickly called our travel agent. After several phone calls, we boarded our bus for the next hotel. We arrived and checked in to the beautiful Le Meridien hotel. I suspect that the travel agency absorbed the additional cost.

    After an exhausting first day and visiting several tourist sights on the following days, I decided that I needed a day’s rest if I wanted to enjoy the trip. I skipped a midweek tour — which I regretted because I missed a lot. My group left for the tour, and I was the only student who remained in the hotel.

    As I relaxed and read my book, someone knocked on the door. I guessed that it was someone from our group. I opened the door and a man stood outside my room. He asked for Madame Bertrand, and in my limited French I told him that she was not in my room, and I politely closed the door.

    He knocked two more times about 30 minutes apart, and I did not open the door. I had no way to get in touch with my group, and I was nervous.

    Rotary phone in our room

    Rotary phone in our room (photo by dorothyadele)

    I scoured the room for a weapon. I found a thin stemmed wine glass on our bar that I could break if he barged in.

    Someone knocked again, and my heart pounded. I spoke through the door. The visitor was a flower deliveryman who held a large bouquet.

    I opened the door and I tried to explain in French that the flowers were not for me and that a man wouldn’t leave me alone. I accepted the flowers and quickly dialed security while the deliveryman stayed.

    Within 10 minutes, about five employees, including security and the concierge joined us in my room . In my panic, I must have dialed the concierge too, even though I didn’t need restaurant reservations.

    I attempted to explain that a man “un homme” had knocked on my door. No one understood my French and I felt like I lost at a Charades game. I paced, knocked on the door, pointed to the flowers and used the French words that I knew. They laughed, but I was glad they stayed.

    While I made a scene for my new French friends, my roommates returned. They were amused, but not surprised, that I disrupted the hotel while they were gone.

    My French teacher learned that the persistent door knocker expected to meet Madame Bertrand. I guess he thought that I was hiding her.

    During my trip, I nearly stayed in a brothel and played Charades with the hotel staff at Le Meridien. Who knew Paris could be so much fun?