Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tour Director FAIL!

I like to think that I can plan a half-decent event. I enjoy hosting parties, dinners and other social gatherings. So when 'ma soeur et beau-frere' were coming to stay with us for a couple of weeks here in France, I went into party-planner mode!

I have to say that I have been fairly successful in showing them a good time. We've been to quaint medieval villages. We've hiked and walked through woods and forests. We've eaten ourselves silly both at home and in restaurants. We've seen gorgeous countryside. We've introduced them to the neighbours and their friends. Lavender farms, foie gras museums, big cities. You name it we've been to it.

But for every 10 hits there inevitably is a miss. A big miss.

Here is my list of misses:

1) The Festival of the Absurd.

I was so excited for this fete! Not only was it going to be absurd, but it was in the village down the hill from us. So quirky, yet convenient. The first time we went we saw this. One weird boat racing up and down the river.


That wasn't much to see, so we went home for lunch and returned later in the afternoon. We saw three boats racing up and down the river.


2) Lot Valley Wine Festival

Then I said, "Hey! I remember seeing some posters advertising a wine festival in Grezels! Let's go to that!" We drove across the river to Grezels and came to a big open field. A few old cars sat displayed on the grass, along with some rusting farm equipment. All the wine vendors were packing up to go home.


3) A Tour of the Village of Belaye Under a Full Moon CARRYING TORCHES!

This was a huge fail. I had seen posters advertising the event everywhere. I thought, "Chrissy and Kevin would LOVE to take part in this!" Friday night found us snaking our way up the hillside to the village. Chrissy was so excited. She could barely contain her excitement about carrying a flaming torch around in the dark. She kept saying, "This is just like 'Beauty and the Beast'!"

The sun was setting, people were milling about waiting for the tour to begin. I happened to see the poster on a stone wall and decided to take closer look at it. At the bottom, in fine print, were the words "reservations obligatoire". Well, you don't need to be fluent in French to know we were supposed to make reservations! And that they were obligatory! Joe quickly rushed over to Madame to see if there was room for us. "Non, monsieur. Complet."


4) Marches Gourmandes.

Ever since their arrival, I've been telling Chrissy and Kevin about the marche gourmandes. I've gone on at length about how fun they are with everybody sitting, eating and drinking at long tables in the town square. Someone is usually playing a guitar to entertain the crowd. Kids run about. The air is full of French chatter.

Every village hosts one. Many villages have them on the same night every week. Or so we thought. We've tried to go to two marches now. Twice we have arrived hungry and full of anticipation, only to find an deserted square.


I hope that's the end of my party-planning failures. We are going to a vineyard for a 'Soiree Gourmande' tonight. We have made reservations. We've got the right night.

Wish me luck! I can't take another fail.


  1. You have been more than successful in showing us a good time!!!

  2. Don't quit your day job! ;)jk

    I would gladly be there for a failed tour than be here for no tour at all. I think you have way more hits than misses Madame!! Continue planning!! :)
    xoxo jo

  3. You will be happy to know that tonight was a HUGE success! A long row of tables snaked along between the rows of grape vines. The food was good, the wine flowed freely, the strings of lights twinkled overhead. I think I've redeemed myself as tour director!