Posted by: Team McSlade | April 9, 2010

Anyone for lunch?

It’s our last day in France (maybe for some time) and we have enjoyed every minute of this Easter break.  A few more days to go before “Proxima parada, Almisera” chimes in the car and this is where this story begins.

The adage for a hire car of ‘Treat it like you stole it.’ has been taken on board by the kids and I am sure there is a t-shirt with the slogan on it for Jo and I. Tonight, as I got the bags packed ready to roll tomorrow, I decided to give the car a quick tidy up before we piled in.
I can now see where the kid’s sandwich bags and approximately two thirds of a baguette ended up – on the back seat and floor. No wonder Zach kept banging on for more food, apparently the seat was hungrier than he was. My puffer vest was now being used as a floor mat and a rock that could knock an eagle out of the sky was also tucked away for later use.
Up front the damage was not so bad, still the driver’s side was now lost in a half inch of road base and Jo’s passenger side seemed to be a vortex for all manner of other junk. Maps, tickets, châteaux pamphlets and several teaspoons were strewn in the wreckage.

When we drove across Canada and the US for three months we slept, ate and in cases of cold weather bathed in our (Dodge) Caravan of Courage, Wicket. Upon arrival in Seattle we piled into the Hales’ residence and bathed, washed clothes and took stock of our life at that moment. Three or so days later Ryan and Amanda split for the Caribbean and I went down to the car in the garage. Good God!!! I was surprised at how the paint on other cars in the garage had not peeled from the rank beast that was present.
We had eaten roast chicken and ranch dressing sandwiches fairly regularly in the van and for people sleeping in a car can lead to some interesting morning breath – especially when it’s winter and the condensation freezes on the inside of the car. So I vacuumed, scrubbed and fumigated our trust Wicket, praying never to re-live such vicious odour again.

While this present hire car has not reached such a heightened state of funk, I could see it venturing in that direction. I know that Mum will probably harp back to my room at home and stay that she always just shut the door. Perhaps a form of karmic retribution is at work, or God has decided it was high time I saw how bad it can be.

Either way, the baguettes are being eaten in their wrappers tomorrow.

Preparing for a day's outing

P.S. To Ryan & Amanda and Blake & Paige (in Denver who had ‘The Griswalds’ turn up just before Thanksgiving) we are eternally grateful for your kindness to us and sorry for our dishevelled state at that time.



  1. The only way to get rid of cholesterol after eating all that is to drink red wine – it’s all to do with sowething called the French Paradox – Google it if yo don’t believe me!

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