For my non-franco-phone audience, that means “Queen of the round-abouts.” Who is this queen, you ask? She is me, and I am she. (Sandy, let me know which is grammatically preferable.)

It all started back in Paris, where Vic and I decided that, since we’re not crossing any borders, we didn’t need our passports. Wrong! We safely and quickly arrived in Avignon from Paris via a three-hour TGV ride (in first class! Oddly less expensive than second), only to discover at the car rental that a passport is required for non-French drivers, despite the fact that my reservation clearly stated an identity card OR passport would be required. Thankfully, we were able to convince the attendant to accept our driver’s licenses and student ID (me)/open water diver card (Vic) as corroborating evidence of our identity. Obstacle number 1 conquered!

Obstacle number 2, while still at the car rental place, was the fact that, despite my request to have a diesel and an automatic, we had neither. Vic is not able to drive stick-shift, and diesel is less expensive and gets better mileage. In fact, if we were to change to an automatic, the charge would be double. We conceded defeat and accepted the stick shift vehicle.

Fun fact: the French LOVE round-abouts. I am not French. I do not love round-abouts. On the way from Avignon to our hotel in St. Remy de Provence, I must have driven through at least 20 round-abouts, with a lovely British woman’s voice on the GPS guiding me. I’ve heard that it’s particularly enjoyable to listen to the directions in French, but think it’s rather wiser to stick to my native language for directions.

And so it is that, while in Provence, I am la reine des ronds-points, doing all the driving and all the talking for both of us. Vic has declared himself our pack mule, good for nothing except carrying heavy things.