My Life as a Traveler

Spaced out

Due to a late dinner of steak, frites, and too much wine last night, life did not bode well this morning. Hard to get up (George has the alarm set for 630am so he can get ready, have breakfast, and leave by 745am) and hard to get going.

But we have a plan today to go to Cite de l’Espace (Space City), a sort of indoor-outdoor rocket, satellite, and general space exploration museum on the outskirts of town. Last time we went there, Morgan was 8, I think, and now I am excited that he can read and want to see the IMAX and planetarium shows. My guilt of not being around to do school the last couple of weeks is somewhat assuaged, and it’s a day that I don’t have to work that hard to plan. Plus, I remember that there are lots of English explanations for the exhibits.

After breakfast, we finally get out of the hotel room at about 11am. We take the train and metro and I am in full teacher mode. How do you know which metro to catch? How do you read a bus schedule?  At the museum, we see an IMAX movie about the Hubble telescope – all in French but we get the gist of it – gorgeous pictures of space. They seem computer –generated to me. We see a planetarium show – all in French and I’m losing Morgan fast.  Outside, there is a life-size space station MIR and actual-size satellites.

Inside, the museum is interactive and has a special exhibit on the types of media the French are sending out to space to attract aliens’ attention. I understand “Across the Universe” by the Beatles, but what will the aliens think about us when all they see is a silly French sitcom? I hope our government is on top of this and sending out important examples of our culture, like “Dancing with the Stars”.  We find a gyroscopy thing that Morgan rides with some French guy who I persuaded to go with Morgan instead of me, thank goodness. That thing screamed barf-o-rama. Afterward, even Morgan was a bit woozy. I’m tired, trying hard not to fall asleep on the bus home.

Back to Toulouse, George comes in and we go to meet Monsieur Caillau, who has an apartment we are interested in renting when we come back to Toulouse next month. The 90euro/night apartment that we reserved is ok, but the one upstairs at 140euro/night is a showplace, and close enough to per diem that we can swing it, if it’s available.  We’ll know that tomorrow. The location is uber-convenient, the view is awesome, and it is bright and airy. Air conditioning? Forgot to ask (probably not), but there are lots of windows.

Dinner tonight is at Le Bon Vivre (the good life), with Gascony specialties (should have eaten here last night to keep the theme going). Morgan finally had the grilled duck hearts he’s been wanting (that’s the kid’s meal, duck hearts, French fries, ice cream, and lemonade). I have salad, duck leg, and fromage blanc, a sort of cottage cheese/sour cream sweet runny cheese in a bowl with jam on top (forgot to take picture). Yum.  Early bedtime tonight as we leave tomorrow after George’s meetings and have to drive 3 hrs to our next destination in Provence on our way to the French Alps.

Sweet dreams!

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