The musings of a fantasy illustrator. Artwork, art-talk, and randomness.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

mini-tour of tours

i spent the last weekend in tours, france. it was quite a whirlwind tour: i arrived friday pretty early, was driven the 2 hours out of paris, eventually got to my hotel, and though i had the intention of seeing a bit of the town, was so exhausted from the long travel that i crashed instead.

the next day was a long day of signing and sketching for people. not the busiest day in the world, but drawn out. more sleep, then up early, driven back to paris and onto a plane.

it's all a bit of a blur. sometimes travel is worth bragging about, sometimes it isn't. with no sightseeing on this trip, it was strictly business. i usually try to add in a couple of extra days to see wherever i am, but am so under the gun at the moment that it was an impossibility. the hotel, where i took my meals, didn't even serve steak tartare, which i was hoping to eat again. it's unfortunate because i got just enough of a glimpse of historic tours to know i really missed out on a neat town. sadly, the hotel was a couple miles outside of that area so i couldn't simply pop out during a break and take a walk.

my single-serving friends on the plane were nice. that's a bonus. i mentioned elsewhere that my gate is always the furthest from wherever i enter an airport. that pretty much held true this trip as well, but i add another axiom to my travel experiences: crying children will always be within a couple of rows in front of or behind me. it never fails. at 6'2" i have a difficult time in coach. if the person in front of me leans back an inch, i'm nearly pinned in place. if they lean all the way back, i can nearly smell their scalp. so sleep is hard to come by for me on planes. i attempted taking some sleeping pills this time on the way there. it resulted in about 5 hours drifting in and out of semi-consciousness--never quite committing to waking or sleeping but feeling outside of time nonetheless, with the constant crying of a child in the row in front of me sounding incredibly loud yet impossibly distant. very surreal.

travel tip: food packaged at ground elevation then taken up in a plane tends to bulge, probably due to the difference in air pressure inside versus outside. chip bags exhibit this, so do foil-sealed waters and juices, and things like salad dressing. opening these packages often results in a burst of air escaping. do your neighbor a favor--open these packages from a side facing away from yourself and them.