A somewhat serious review of our rental car – a 2018 Citroën C-Elysée

By M4 Travels

This is a review of our car hire for the 2 months we were in Europe, the 2018 Citroën C-Elysée.

Model: Base, or just above

Colour: Blue

Engine / Transmission: 1.6 l Turbo Diesel with 5 speed manual

HP / FT-LB torque: Somewhere in the range of 100 HP and probably 150-180 ft-lb but I honestly don’t know.

Seating for 5 (but honestly, no more than 4 adults)

Body Style: 4 Door Sedan

Tires: 4 of them 205/65R16 (ish)

Features: Power windows, inconveniently located near the shifter, power locking doors, with a single lock button on the dash, Apple Car play, Large glove box, confusing cruise control, adjustable headlights, small and oddly shaped center armrest, and mirrors that barely adjust.

Side profile of this European model.

A serious review of this basic oil burner would talk about the storage, the handling (G forces), the 0-100 km/h acceleration and braking; but this is a semi-serious review, so I will of course probably not mention most of these.

We had a Citroën C- Elysée as a rental on our recent 2-month road trip through France, Italy and Spain. The C- Elysée, the darling of the Citroën fleet, the workhorse of the French car makers’ models, the most common car we saw… NOT! I honestly think I saw a grand total of about 5 other C- Elysée’s in our two month driving tour, and 4 others were taxis in Spain! I am not sure how many of this model they made, or sold, but I am guessing I wouldn’t have to use more than my hands and feet to count them – based on their prevalence in the European landscape. Unless there is a hidden hamlet somewhere in the lands of barely travelled France, where nothing but C- Elysée’s roam, I would have to believe they made and sold a grand total of 6; ours included. In a continent where hatchbacks and estates (wagons) rule supreme, a four-door sedan wasn’t a rarity, but just not the norm. Us getting a 4 door sedan was not anticipated either – as we booked what should have been a wagon, but car rental companies being what they are, substituted an equivalent car for the wagon. Only thing I have to say about that is… equivalent my a$$.


On to the features. The CE (as I will now call it for simplicity) was likely at the bottom end of the model range. I am guessing the only options we had were the power features and A/C, as I can’t see what else would have been an additional paid add-on. The car had a strange location for almost everything. The cruise control was hidden behind the left side of the steering wheel, on a small stalk with a small selector wheel and two very (very) inconspicuous speed adjustment buttons. These buttons were hard to feel on first pass and I wasn’t sure they did anything at first. Two different settings on the cruise were also accessible from this stock, with one limiting the upper speed of the car, and the other setting the cruise. Not sure the purpose of the first option, as you could adjust the limit to whatever you wanted and it actually didn’t do anything related to the cruise – in that you could still pass the upper limit set. I still don’t know what it that was for. The cruise, once engaged, worked okay. I wouldn’t say it was perfect, as it didn’t seem to understand what a hill was, as descending a hill required a lot of breaking to keep it even close to the pre-set limit. That would be a big fail in my books.

Another strange option was the ability to adjust the headlights. I don’t even know where to start on this one. WHY? When in the history of driving had you wished that you could adjust the headlights up and down? I don’t mean the intensity, but the actual position in front of the car. The headlights could be pointed out as normal, or down so that you could look for spare change in front of the car. I must have missed that in my previous reading of car features, as I had never heard of it, or knew it existed. We only became aware of this completely ludicrous feature about 3 weeks into our rental. After having driven across France and a good part of Italy, we were getting sick and tired of staring at the road about 5 m, or less, in front of the car at night. We literally couldn’t see the car in front of us on a dark night. We thought that car had poorly adjusted headlights and were finally making plans to head to a local dealership to get them re-adjusted, as the darkness came earlier and earlier with the onset of fall and daylight savings time ending. Then one day, by accident, I decided to check to see if the internal light dimmer would do anything. You know, that little wheel on the left side of the dash, near the headlights that usually dims or brightens the dash lights? Well, to my amazement, and astonishment, the headlights of the car pointed up. WHAT? The solution to our evening driving problems was solved, but it is something that should have not needed to be solved. Who thought that this was a key feature to put in a car with a grand total sales of 6? A feature that is probably in a total of 2 cars in the history of the world!! Anyway, now with this new feature under our command, the night driving improved and we could again venture out past 6 pm! Freedom! I would like to hear the sales pitch on this option… ‘Lost spare change? Need to check if you shoes are still on? Trying to look for your dignity? You need adjustable headlights!’ Anyway…

The next key feature of the CE was the power group. The windows and the central locking. Central locking was controlled by a single button on the dash near the radio. No backseat unlocking for your passengers, they are completely under your control. Not the only car with this feature, but probably should be the last. Unless this is a car you use for trapping people – then it is a perfect feature! The power windows did have individual controls, and the backseat passengers could even open and close their own windows… if they could find the controls! Turns out, the front controls (all 4 windows) were clustered forward of the stick shift – like small guards on each corner of the dual cup holders. The back windows were also inconveniently located in the centre console, near the air vents, which made reaching them very difficult unless your arms extended well past the normal length. Our kids in the backseats were able to operate the windows with their feet, but only just barely. Great for stopping them from randomly opening the window at 130 km/h on the highway initiating that ear popping ‘whump whump whump’ pressure sound, but inconvenient almost every other time. The front windows and their central location were equally as mis-positioned as those in the back. Stopping at France’s (or Europe’s) frequent toll booths made for an extremely annoying dance of shifting and opening or closing the window, as doing both at the same time either required cooperation from the passenger, or a third arm. Sometimes neither were an option. Positioning of the window switches on the door makes sense in so many ways, and even after nearly 2 months in this little blue machine I kept reaching for the window switch on the door… I just couldn’t get used to the central location. If you were shorter, or alternatively had your seat way back, reaching for these controls was plain awkward and poorly thought out.

Score: 1/5


The CE had a functional, if not imprecise, 5 speed manual transmission. I assumed that it was like every other transmission on the market today in the mass produced cars, syncromesh – or you didn’t need to learn to double clutch to shift. Most shifts in this car would agree with that synopsis, but every so often, like a double-yolked egg, you wondered what was going on. Second gear and reverse had a stubborn streak that would often require an extra oomph to get them to comply with your demands for movement. I have been driving stick shifts for 25 years or so now, so I am not new to them, nor have I only ever driven top of the line ones. I grew up driving a manual pick-up truck, then an old VW 5 speed, so getting the little stick to do my bidding was not something I even considered as a concern in a ‘new’ rental car. I don’t know this car well enough to make solid assertions on what was going on, but previous experience leads me to believe that someone learned to drive stick on this car, as going into second is usually the hardest jump for a beginner. And as for the reverse that was about as strong as limp toast left in milk, I would have to guess that the clutch and gears have seen better days. Backing up a few small hills in Italy required more than a little coaxing from this people mover and relying on it to get you safely out of areas in the Cinque Terre area was a bit more than I was willing to ask of it. A nice feature missing from this car would have been hill assist, as the actual transmission/clutch seemed to be too weak for the car. A 6th gear would have been a nice addition for cruising at high speeds and additional fuel economy as 5th felt too pushed to be the top end.

Score: 2/5


The little blue oil burner was a pleasant surprise when it came to acceleration and fuel economy. Even driving at the 130 km/h limit of the French and Italian autoroutes, the economy still came in at a reasonable 5.2-5.4 l/100 km, and it didn’t take that long to get there. The diesel was certainly not the most powerful out there, and couldn’t really overtake anything in a hurry, but did its job when asked. It nimbly moved us around the twists and turns, motorways and hills and country sides of Europe. For a small car I couldn’t have asked much more. I liked the prototypical grunt of the diesel as it took off the line, and the mild knocking as it idled ready for action. It was not a quiet engine and may actually be mistaken for an idling school bus, plus the interior sound dampening between the engine compartment and the cabin was probably made of 1-ply toilet paper stretched thin but if hearing isn’t your best feature, this car would do just fine.

Score: 3.5/5

Storage and Space

With a trunk capable of easily holding 4 suitcases and then some, the CE’s storage space was much more than advertised on the outside. Annoying trunk lid arms / hinges set inside the trunk cut into the otherwise ample storage but did not completely deter us from packing it as full as it could get. The trunk was perfectly suitable for a family of four on vacation and would be more than adequate for the average trip to the grocery store, outlet mall, or kids’ sporting event. Inside the car the lack of adequate storage in the backseats (small pockets in the doors and back of front seats) limited what was neatly packed and reachable resulting in a lot of loose items all over the place. The front had slightly more in-door storage, but a tiny centre console where I could put my wallet or my cell phone, but not both, and a lack of a loose change drawer made it a pain to constantly reach for the wallet when paying the numerous tolls across Europe. The glove box was sufficiently deep to store small animals, lunch, and shoes, along with gloves. None of those were necessarily tested.

A surprising amount of junk could be put in this trunk…

Space within the car for the passengers was another issue. Perfectly fine for 2 adults and 2 children but putting more than 2 children in the back was a stretch. The middle seat position would of course be the master of the window switches and receive all of the AC but would that make up for the shoulder pain of being squished, probably not.

Score: Storage: 3.5/5; People Space: 2/5

Entertainment System

An interesting feature the CE came with was Apple Car Play. Sounds fancy, right? Well, yes, and no. The overall radio system was confusing at first, with at least 3 different selections necessary to get the regular radio to play, and it was even worse when the Car Play was engaged. The radio seemed to change frequency on its own and didn’t always go to the adjusted station. No idea what was going on there – as it did this the whole time we had it. Now, I suppose Apple Car Play is a good idea for a few things; maps being one. It was very convenient to plug in our iPhone and put the directions on the car’s info screen. No issues there, until it stopped working. For no reason, on multiple occasions the Car Play would not work at all and we had to remove the car connection from our phone and reinitialize a new one. Again, no idea why it did this. Other than this, Car Play is just plain annoying if you have someone using the phone with directions on the screen – it constantly changes the screen and mutes the radio. I know this isn’t an issue with the CE directly, but the software, but as Citroen chose it for this car, it fits with the overall experience with this car. Oh yes, and another spectacularly useful feature of Apple Car Play was that while plugged into the system everytime you took a screen shot on your phone, it took a screen shot of the Apple Car Play menu in the car. Extremely useful.

Score: 2.5/5

We have about 50 of these photos on our phone. Thanks Apple!


Citroen did their best to make money with this car. I mean they made at least 6 of them, and built it ‘on-the-fly’ without consideration for little things like design or functionality – that has to count for something right? Well, yes, it means this is a car capable of getting you from point A to B, but after hours you will be wondering why point B was so important to get to that I did this to myself? But that won’t matter as you won’t really be able to hear yourself think over the engine noise and the poorly lined windows allowing a steady stream of road noise to fill the cabin. Also, if you were unlucky enough to be the 5th adult in this car, stuck in the middle of the backseat, you will be wanting to be anywhere but where you are, so forgetting about point B and dreaming about your happy place will be the only thing to help alleviate the cramps in your shoulders and knees from being squished. Add to this the Apple Car Play feature that shuts itself off randomly and a radio that changes stations makes for a fun ride.

A sort of half effort seems to have been put into the design and build on this car and it is definitely better off as a rental / taxi vehicle and not something I would even consider buying. I will say that it is a good sized car for Europe’s narrow streets and tight parking spots. We were able to fit it almost anywhere, even considering it has a turning radius of an oil tanker. So after our 2 months with this car I returned it to the heartless car rental corporation and didn’t even look back – good riddance.

Final Score: A disappointing, but generous 2.2/5

Goodbye Stripes, as the girls nicknamed it. I refused to get attached.

A Brief Encounter of the Swiss Kind

Visiting CERN
Visiting CERN in Geneva

Do you remember the song, ♫ “One Night in Bangkok” from the 1980’s, by Murray Head? You know, the one that goes…  “One night in Bangkok and the tough guys tumble … Can’t be too careful with your company … I can feel the devil walking next to me … ” ♫ Well I feel that tune/motif would be a good song to summarize our brief trip to Switzerland.

♫ “One day in Geneva and your bank account tumbles… I don’t seem to have enough money … and I don’t understand why no one will talk to me.. One day in Geneva and the world is pricier … Be careful what you order for lunch… they don’t take cards and it costs a bunch…” ♫

Ok, so I’m no poet laureate, nor do I claim to have Shakespeare flowing through my fingertips, but a description of Switzerland, from our brief encounters would be: clean, friendliness level somewhere between cold and frozen, and essentially looking just like France.

I don’t have much else to say really about Geneva – except for our trip to the LHC (that’s the Large Hadron Collider) at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research). They are doing some amazing work at trying to figure out the universe, its origins, our future, and probably about a million things I don’t know enough about to even pretend to be able to explain. We only wandered around a couple of interpretive sections available for free to the public, as the actual tour of the facility was for adults only! Or at least kids older than ours – so a bit disappointing to not see how the actual scientific work was done, but it worked out okay, as the interpretative areas were pretty interesting. I still think it was worth the day trip from where we were staying (about 1.5 hours each way).

Something that I didn’t know before our trip to the chocolate country was that Switzerland isn’t actually part of the European Union (EU). It is still independent and has it’s own money – very convenient for a day trip, as you can imagine! I just assumed it had at least adopted the Euro… but nope! So, with another colourful bill in my wallet we wandered looking for adventure and food! Not necessarily in that order. Of course, unless you are preparing to climb a mountain, getting dressed up for skiing, or there to embezzle lots of money, it may be a less than exciting place to be! We found a geocache, visited a tiny overpriced bookstore, saw a huge ejection of water, and ate a mediocre to poor (and overpriced!) restaurant in the supposed interesting part of the city. So, while it was clean with cool old buildings and had a big water spout that jetted into the lake, it lacked any kind of feeling as a city I would want to spend anytime in. I’m sure there are a million reasons to visit and spent time in Geneva and locals or others could tell me all the reasons why Geneva is amazing, but from our experience it was something I could have skipped and not missed anything. Just our opinion.

So, that’s all I have to say about that.

M (Director of sarcasm and beer consumption)

From a humble grape comes a legacy.

Ramblings from the Alps

Allô mes amis, we are now almost into our third full month of travelling and it has been amazing so far! We have driven across Canada (a post that still needs to be written!), visited Iceland, did a quick stop by in Switzerland (which I will get to later!) and are now (still) in France. So, being in France I thought I would open up this post with the first things you need to do when in France … of course they are clichés, but they are so for a reason! Of course you need to eat cheese and bread, drink wine, ride your bike under the Eiffel Tower whilst wearing a white/blue striped shirt and a beret with a baguette in the front basket, and do generally what Parisians do – sit at one of the thousands of local cafés and enjoy the day; but not to be forgotten, as Paris has such a rich history in art and culture, is just wandering the confusing streets of Paris staring aimlessly at the almost infinite amount of statues and historic sites and soaking it in. Visiting the Louvre should also be on the list, if you can dedicate at least 3/4 of a day to wandering those hallowed halls, as even the most uncultured can’t possibly remain unmoved or uninspired by the remarkable selection of some of the most amazing art and artifacts in human history. Be warned however, that the place is huge, and somewhat confusing to navigate at first, so plan well!

Well, we have already mentioned the Parisian experience, but of course the last blog left out a few things. One thing that we have experienced a few times now in Europe, is being excluded from restaurants because of our kids. I thought that it was a bit strange the first time, as we approached a completely empty restaurant, save for 1-2 tables, but then the “maitre’d” saw us and our kids, and suddenly the restaurant was full. Ok, I guess that could be reservations that haven’t shown up yet – so we moved on. The next place was a bit less subtle. It was around 8:00 pm on a Wednesday or Thursday, so I understand that it is prime time, but when we got to the next place, the owner was pleasant and started chatting to us about a table, then she saw the kids come in right behind me, and all of sudden the restaurant was full (although it was almost empty). Nothing she could do. Oh, but if we wanted to sit all four of us at a tiny table outside on the 50 cm wide sidewalk next to the extremely narrow, yet active street, on two chairs, away from the rest of the customers (or lack there of) then maybe they could accommodate us. Yeah, nice try… no thanks. By this point the kids were pretty hungry, so sushi to go was the easiest solution to this issue. Yep, strange, but sushi is our kids go-to fast food! Definitely could be worse, so no complaints there – just not necessarily the most economical everywhere! This also happened to us in Switzerland for lunch… albeit in a busier restaurant, but the look from the owner was the same – sees the kids… oh, we are busy, too busy for you.

Anyway, we are over that… so back to our adventures in France! We have (with the exception for Marianne) been trying to be more open to speaking french; Marianne is holding out! She refuses to speak french… kidding, of course! Even Maëlle has been doing her best to make an effort to speak a bit more in french. It isn’t every time, but she is making more efforts than ever before. She is doing well… she has ‘Est-que je peux’ (Can I?) down pat …  and is expanding her dialogue everyday!

Ok, so we have learned the keys to speaking french in France (from a barely mono-lingual neanderthal as myself) are:

  1. On your first attempt at saying something hard, just say it low and mumbly….
  2. After that doesn’t work, on your second attempt to get someone to understand what you said, say it quickly with a more nasally sound and make sure you end your sentence with a rising inflection… so that you are almost asking them something.
  3. Now, while they look at you deciding if you have mental issues, the third attempt to get someone to understand your strange accent should be said higher pitched than the previous attempts and with more attitude. Make it seem like they have the issue with understanding, not that you have no idea what you are saying.
  4. When all of that fails, and it will, point at something random and run away quickly or… ask someone who speaks french to say it exactly how you said it and watch the other person miraculously understand what you wanted.

Actually, I have found that my very moderate french skills have helped tremendously in France. I haven’t had too many instances where I was completely lost. There are a few individuals that I have met that speak faster than others – but the majority speak clearly enough for me to understand what they are saying and or why I need to move le car out of the &%$@#$% way. But yes it has been okay… so thank you grade school french, because of you I can find out the time, determine if something is too expensive or not, and ask for the toilette! But really, my time in Quebec and with the extended family has helped the most!

So, what else have we been up to here? We have been in France for about three weeks now and have gone from Paris, to the wine producing regions of Bourgogne, to the foothills of the Alps in Chartreuse, in the eastern part of France, to the Alps near Switzerland.

All has been different, but not drastically so from Canada, in that I mean, all of the areas, with the obvious exception of the old towns and cities, are things that we have in Canada. Mountains, check! Farms, check! Highways with crazy drivers, check! Vineyards, check! But the scale of the vineyards and the amount of history from before 1800 here is incredible. I’m not sure anything in Paris was built since the 1800s – and some of the towns we have driven through were likely hundreds of years older than that! I don’t think I would want to live in a 500 or 800 year old building in Canada – winters might be a bit, well, chilly!

Two of the most interesting stops on our journey from Paris to where we are now, were the Château du Clos de Vougeot and the wine caves in the town of Beaune. Pronouced like Boney. Actually, I have no idea how it supposed to be pronounced, but that works. The Château du Clos de Vougeot was a fascinating look back into the history of wine making in France.

The fall colours descending rapidly around the chateau
Chateau du Clos de Vougeot

The traditions and history surrounding this estate and its wine are etched in France’s history and wine lore. We did the prerequisite visit, and even tried to snag a geocache there (to no avail!), leaning about the history of wine, the role of this estate in wine production for the wars, and its current role. All intricately detailed through the full estate museum. Too bad no wine samples were on hand! But fear not, we were able to right that wrong at the next stop. The next day, in the town of Beaune, we toured the wine caves under the town, and as part of that luxurious tour of the dank caves, were unlimited wine! I mean samples of wine! We were handed a small metallic saucer and told the caves would be found by following the informational path! So off we trudged, through the barrels and buildings until we met the narrow entrance to the wine caves. Apparently this place stores wine – aging it until it is perfect! We saw thousands of bottles! The oldest they are allowed to sell is a 1936 Pinot Noir, for a reasonable €450 (Euros), although they have older. It was quite interesting, and liquidacious! We tried at least 10 different wines (although I may have had thirds on some of them, and pulled a couple of open ones off the shelf and re-opened them… SHHHHH!!!). It was definitely an interesting visit, but of course, the girls were less impressed about wandering in dark, underground tunnels full of spiders and dust… that is until they met a woman with a dog, and then they were happy as clams. So, wine drinking done, we headed for the Alps!

And that brings us to now. Right now we are in a small town in northeast France, not too far from Switzerland, called Saint Jean d’Aulps. No idea how to pronounce that last bit correctly. Oh-pas? Oh-l-ps? Owl-ps? Oh-pehs? Oprah? No idea. It is near Morzine, which is easier to say. It is a small, hamlet in the Alps that becomes a hot bed of skiing activity in the winter. If you like to strap long planks of waxed wood to your feet and hurl yourself down a mountain at ludicrous speeds, then apparently this is a good place to be.

Normally, back in Canada, I would expect a place like this to be prohibitively expensive to enjoy, and maybe the accommodations and food in the winter is inflated to meet the demand, but the cost of the actual skiing appears to be incredibly inexpensive in comparison. I saw full winter passes going for around €300 (Euros) with daily rates starting around €20-25 / day. Crazy talk! Sure, there are fewer runs than Whistler’s 200-ish runs, but guess what, almost everywhere else in the world has fewer runs than that! Plus, can you actually ski 200 runs in a day? Unlikely, I mean I can only hit so many trees a day before I am done! So the 50 or so runs these hills appear to have are more than enough for many people. Plus, I have heard the snow here is pretty good! It’s too bad we won’t still be here during the ski season! Ok, if you are now asking why we are in a ski town in the off season, we have a good reason. After we left the Airbnb in St-Pierre d’Entremont, in the Chartreuse area, a chalet owned and run by Marianne’s old neighbour (a story I will leave for our head of small human creation to expand upon), we left for Morzine to pet sit! Yes, we are house/pet sitting! Yes, that is a thing, and no, we didn’t know these people before! We arranged it through a great online site that allows people to go on vacation and have someone come to their home, stay for free, and look after their pets. Win-win. Free place to stay, someone to look after the house, and no dead pets! (Maybe I should talk to their marketing department, see if they have an opening, I feel I could help them out with gems like that!)

We are pet sitting a grand old lady, a beautiful golden retriever that is getting up there in years. She is around 11 years old, but still has some energy when the kids are around. We are also looking after a 1 year old black cat. It’s a cat, but is actually friendly. Maxine keeps trying to pick her up and carry her around like a baby – and so far, no scratches! I know, wow! The owners are away for 2 weeks, so we get to chill out here, relax, take in the local scene and look after some furry creatures. The girls really want to get a pet after travelling, so this is a great way to determine if they have any ability to look after one! or two! So far, so good! Maëlle has been great at taking the dog for walks so the dog can do her business! We are proud with how she has taken responsibility for looking after the dog.

The girls taking the dog for a walk in the woods!

While we have tucked our weary bones away in this little village for the past couple of weeks we have had the chance to explore a bit and take advantage of the last great weather of the fall. It has been glorious here, up until the last few days (rain!), with the amazing colours of the changing leaves, and the mountain peaks encircling us like pillars in a magnificent open air theatre. We have reveled in hiking and biking in the sun, been contented to bask on the back deck reading and having a glass of tasty beverage, and even have bounced like kangaroos on crack on the trampoline (mainly the girls… mainly…), because, why not?! Also, while the sun was out we explored the area and went to a couple of interesting local markets, historic sites, and seasonal events where we blended and mingled as if we weren’t from here.

The first weekend we ended up at a wine/beer/food event, eating local, drinking local, and enjoying something that should probably be more prevalent in our life than it is. Connecting with friends and neighbours over food and drink harkening back to times when it was more important to make acquaintances and to share, than to get likes or views on your opinions or photos from anonymous strangers online. And just this past weekend we stumbled upon a little market with goods from monasteries from all over France. Handmade, hand crafted, hand brewed, all made by monks who apparently have a lot of time on their hands! But they do make good stuff! We learnt a bit about the local abbey and that monks make a lot of good things! No idle hands there!

So here we are, out in the wilds of the Alps, keeping some very friendly animals fed, learning a bit about our surroundings, including how to drive in the Alps on some crazy twisty roads, and taking in the relaxation that we have been sorely lacking over the past years.

But, we are getting itchy to keep moving, as has been our M.O. for the last 3 months or so. Oh, and while something have changed, somethings have remained the same. The youngest of our brood decided, yesterday, that shoving something up her nose would be fun! Yay! You know the little baby bel cheese? The wax covered ones? Yes, she told us that she rolled up the wax and put in her nose. Why? I HAVE NO IDEA! Anyway, it was stuck so far up we couldn’t see it and of course it was causing her discomfort. She whined and whined and we tried to get her to blow it out, sneeze it out after sniffing pepper, and even pick it out – but nope! It was stuck fast! We gave up, hoping she would just get it out naturally. But after a while, no chance – so Marianne went in. She grabbed the tweezers and gently dug through the mini gold mine to find the red ball of treasure! Success, she seized it with her expert grasp and pulled forth, with a triumphant sigh of relief, the offender stuck deep in the nostril… and guess what? It wasn’t actually the little wax wrapper, it was the WHOLE PLASTIC WRAPPER on the outside of the wax. Like, what, are you kidding me? How the?? Anyway, our smallest, and well, strange little one was free of her plastic plug, free to breathe again! Oh, the joys of children sometimes! I’m not sure this will be the last time we have to do this.

When the next week comes we will be off! Off to different pastures and different mountains, exploring Europe from our little 4-wheeled oil burner. We shall update more later!

M (Undersecretary to the head of lodging, germ removal, and child bearing)