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Five years ago Angie and I started coming to the Tour de France. Five years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. The Tour trips were a result of the changes in our lives because of the cancer. Maybe it's more accurate to say our involvement with Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation is what inspired our lives, after cancer changed it. What better way to promote a LiveSTRONG attitude for cancer survivors than to support the toughest survivor in the most demanding annual sporting event in the world? So here we go again chasing Lance - Chase 7!
Last year we started our trip with bad weather, which eventually delayed us getting to France by one day. This year we got the bad weather out of the way early, but as Hurricane Dennis ripped through our area it knocked our power out for the 2 days prior to us leaving, so we were packing and getting ready in the dark. I could have used our generator for lights, but I had to run the refrigerator and the television so we could watch the Tour before we left – priorities right?
We hoped for a problem free flight over, but it wasn’t without some glitches. I don’t know how many people fit on an Air France Airbus, but guess who was the only person whose video monitor didn’t work? No movie for me on the long flight over. No problem, I’ll just read Michael Barry’s book, Inside the Postal Bus. Guess who was also the only person on the plane whose overhead light didn’t work? I finally gave up and joined Angie in a long nap. We got into Paris a little later than scheduled. Just late enough to miss our connection into Toulouse, so we got to sit in the Paris airport for six hours. We’ve learned not to plan anything specific on our travel days for exactly this reason, which keeps us from getting too irritated.
We finally got to Toulouse and immediately ran into some friends from the states. Ted Arnold, that works with a tour group spotted us and several other Americans that we didn’t know came up to speak when they saw our LiveSTRONG shirts.
We also met Bill and Talia from the Discovery Network Travel Channel that are supposed to be following us around France for a show called Lance’s Army, which will air in Sept. Not sure how all of that is going to go. Angie and I are always on the fly during the Tour and in spite of being willing to help out, we’re not going to change our schedule and slow down. Hope they can keep up (grin).
We got our car with no problem and left for Montpellier. A couple of hours later and a few wrong turns and we found our hotel. Our original plan to go to the beach this afternoon was dashed by our six-hour airport layover, so we drove to the center of town to get some dinner and most importantly find out exactly where the Tour would finish tomorrow.
There was a cool downtown area and a stage was being setup for a concert that night, it’s Bastille Day meaning big time party! We got some dinner and headed back to the hotel. It was already midnight by the time we got back, so with all of the travel it had been a long day – two days – whatever it was it was long.