Monday, July 11, 2011

Waiting for the Tour


On Friday, the Tour passed about an hour and a quarter from my house, so the kids and I went with friends visiting from the states. Halfway through the route was Herbault, a quaint little town of coffee shops and other small businesses. It was right off a highway and parking was a breeze, but we got there a good three hours early to stake a spot.


This was the crowd about an hour before... We chose to be on the "wrong" side of the street for more elbow room. We didn't have the better view of them coming in, but I think the kids cleaned up on getting goodies tossed from floats. More on that tomorrow...
 
The racers were coming through around 2 p.m., so we got there at 11. The caravan was coming through an hour before. But before the real caravan, you've got two or three stops from trucks like this:


They were hawking stuff like teeshirts, umbrellas, hats, etc. Amazingly, I saw no souvenirs in the shops! Nor in the large grocery store outside town! Unless you read the headlines in the local paper, you might not know the Tour was passing through...


And as you would expect, security was everywhere.

 
As I said there isn't a total saturation of marketing here, no Super Bowl commercials, etc... But when it comes to the caravan that passes by before the Tour, the big hitters are on board. A little after one p.m., the parade began rolling through, beginning with LCL, a French bank.


And of course, everyone's favorite mouse made an appearance early on, 

 

and later in the parade to tout a kids' magazine...


Many companies throw goodies to the crowds. Alex got a nightcap (not the alcoholic kind) from this company below. It came with a ten percent off coupon which I tried to use, but there was no place to enter the discount code in! <grumble> I called the hotel and made a reservation directly, which also cost a few cents a minute. <grumble again>

Another newspaper...

 

I think he's reading another newspaper, but we were so close! I gave the kids a big speech beforehand about staying back, even when goodies are at stake...

 

Blurry bread...


Carrefour is a big supermarket... Read here to see what else it means...



I never knew until just now what this company did....they offer loans...  I guess their advertising worked somewhat!


And who else but, Nestle...


 More on the caravan tomorrow, and I'll show you the loot we won!

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