I've mentioned the rain. It came and kept teasing us by leaving a bit, and then coming back. Sometimes hard. Sometimes just a little. Finally around 4:30 we admitted to one another what we had been thinking: the weather stank. And the park didn't have enough indoor attractions to sit through it. And, really importantly, since it was a Sunday there was only one bus per hour to take us back, and it would arrive about forty minutes after the park closed. Given a ten-minute walk at park closing we'd have a good half-hour of waiting in probably cold rain. Or we could leave early, before the park closed.
This hurt. It's always painful to leave a park early. But a park we have almost no chance of visiting again? Even granting that we may someday be back in France, we're likely to want to spend a day at a different park, even if we go for odd and obscure parks. On the other hand ... we had certainly seen everything, as best we could determine, counting even the sheep enclosure that Parc Festyland has for some reason. We could retreat to the arcade and play pinball till 6 pm, but then there'd still be maybe a half-hour of waiting in the rain.
Though we imagined the sky turning brilliantly sunny the moment we left the parking lot, we made the decision. We would leave Parc Festyland early, and catch the 5:40 bus, and accept that our trip there would be about forty minutes short of the full, mere, seven-hour day.
I would like to say that while we were riding the bus back to our hotel, the clouds burst and a heavy rain poured down, making us brilliantly right. I would hate to say that the skies got sunny and clear. The truth was a muddled center: it kept on drizzling on and off, and not really getting appreciably warmer or colder. We rested a while in the hotel room and hoped that we'd made the right decision. I think we did. The half-hour wait would not have been as bad as could be, but standing around for a half-hour in nagging drizzle outside a paint warehouse would have depressed the end of the visit.
By the time we were energetic enough to go out again nearly all the restaurants in the area had closed. What we were able to find still open was an Italian place, where the staff seemed none too confident in their English and we were utterly unconfident in our French. We did get a four-cheese pizza, concluding that four-cheese is maybe the perfect kind of food, and that made for a warm and really delicious conclusion for the day.
Trivia: John Paul Jones hoisted an American flag --- the ``Grand Union'' design --- on his ship, the Alfred, at dock in Philadelphia on the 3rd of December, 1775. It is not perfectly clear whether the flag George Washington raised on Prospect Hill in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the first of January, 1776, was of the same design. Source: The First Salute: A View of the American Revolution, Barbara W Tuchman.
Currently Reading: Authority, Jeff Vandermeer.
PS: Slowly Rotating Hyperdodecahedron, a good band name and a reblogging that shows off a neat mathematical structure.