Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The France trip continues

Oh, we've been having such fun. Running ourselves a little ragged (okay, a lot), but it's worth it. We have been to places like Aix-en-Provence (and we're currently staying at a B&B outside of that town), Arles, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Avignon, the Pont du Gard and other stops. And that's just the past day or so. Tomorrow, we head to Nice.

There will be photos to post eventually (but I can't do anything with them here, so please be patient if you want to see them). And Marc has been shooting tons of video, but that will takes a long time for him to edit after we're home. Besides, I doubt we'll try to make anyone sit through our trip videos. That's more for our enjoyment.

The main reason for this post is to share two things, First, someone should do a study of why French food is so fabulous. There are many reasons, but there's one area that I think deserves special focus: dairy products. Again and again, we encounter tastes that simply don't exist back home. In the case of dairy products, it's not just the fresh ingredients and excellent preparation. I think another factor is the availability of unpasteurized milk and milk products. In the US, all of our dairy products are pasteurized (unless you manage to go directly to a dairy farm that will sell it to you straight from the cow). I know it's meant as a public health measure, but the complete lack of real, raw milk and milk products seems to make a difference. At least that's my guess until I see an actual study.

Last night, we delighted in desserts that were delicious beyond measure. Marc ordered creme brulee, and I ordered profiteroles. We literally dubbed these the best of each item that we've ever encountered. I don't mean to diminish the work of the pastry chef at Bastide du Cours (in Aix), because he/she did an amazing job, but there's something about the taste of each dish that went beyond what seems to be possible back home, even when we eat at the very best restaurants in New York. I don't know how to explain it, but I think a big part of it goes right to the simplest part of each dish: the raw ingredients.

Okay, so the second thing I want to share is this: we've been to France before, and sure we've seen hot men here (there are hot men everywhere), but what is going on these days? I can't believe the number of breathtakingly gorgeous men walking around here. And not just in this town. Everywhere we've gone! As an added bonus, the dopey loose pants thing isn't in fashion here at all. Every one of these men was wearing pants that fit quite well and did wonders in showing off their fine butts! Yum!

Oh, while we're on the subject (and since I'm not on Facebook, where I might offend some delicate sensibilities), have I mentioned how great vacations are in general? It's like my husband almost goes into honeymoon mode! Yes, folks, fucking feels better than anything else I know, and that's just the truth! So the trip and the sights are great, but our repeatedly trying to get pregnant ain't so shabby either! Yes, we have fun at home, but the level of things just takes off as soon as we start our time away. So nice!

On that note, it's bedtime here. And eventually we may even get some sleep! ;) Goodnight, all! :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

First day in France

It's late here (almost midnight), and we have an early start tomorrow, so I can't write much. But I wanted to assure all of my readers (yes, both of you) that we're having a fabulous time in France. Our OpenSkies flight was late but otherwise fine. We arrived at Orly, got our rental car and headed out. We stopped at a rest stop on the way for a sandwich you'd never find at an American rest stop :) and then finished our trip here (Chenonceaux). We're at the lovely Hotel La Roseraie, a charming little place (at a very reasonable price). The proprietors are very friendly, and the room is nicely appointed and quite comfortable!

For dinner, we went to a little local place up the block, called Au Gateau Breton. They spoke French there (quelle surprise!), but we speak enough to get by. The meal was absolutely amazing! The tastes were out of this world, and everything was so fresh! Also, the total for a meal with appetizers, main course, cheese course (I don't like strong cheeses, but they worked with me and gave me some delicious selections that were "pas forte," as I requested in my broken French), dessert and coffee was 46.40 euros for both of us (about $62). For this kind of meal, that's dirt cheap!

I'd like to write more, but we really do need to get back to our room (the wi-fi in this 285-year-old hotel can't penetrate the walls--that darn quality contruction from the early 1700s!--so we have to sit in the bar area to use the computer).

Okay, time to call it a night. BTW, I haven't taken a single photo so far, but I'm sure I'll get one or two before we're done! :) Goodnight!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Just sayin'

When I was growing up, the Asian kids didn't look like this...

Yes, he plays rugby. He's not on Gotham. He was with a team we played against this past Saturday. Still, there's always plenty to admire on the rugby pitch.

Speaking of rugby, if I were a better blogger, I'd have posted a bunch more rugby photos. Maybe soon.

But if you don't see rugby photos in the next week or so, you won't see any for at least a few weeks. Why? Because my husband and I are leaving our home and pups in the care of our friend Jeff at the end of next week and heading out for two weeks in France! I can't wait!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

A book review? On here?

Yeah, well, I can't think of something better to post. I just started using a site called Goodreads. A friend pointed me to the site. I just started using it, and since it suggested I cross-post a review on my blog, I figured I might as well. It's a short review, but why not? So here we go...

Nine Dragons (Harry Bosch, #14) Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm a longtime fan of Michael Connelly and his Harry Bosch series of novels. He has yet to run out of steam in this series. With an overseas element in this latest novel, he has added a new twist and level of excitement. With surprises, painful twists and challenges that reach the very core of this intense character, taking the reader along for the ride, this is a thrill ride of a book. Connelly is one of the most compelling writers working today, and I loved every page of 9 Dragons.

View all my reviews >>