Musings from a Seattle personal chef
Archive for the 'Medoc Madness' Category
I can’t believe more than a week has passed since I was sitting in a Paris bistro sipping café noir and taking in the sights and sounds of the street.
The primary reason for our trip to France was to run the Marathon du Medoc — 26.2 miles through the chateaux of Bordeaux featuring the wine and food of the region (for a race report, click here). But considering the race was a week before our 7-year anniversary, my darling and I decided to tack on a few days in Paris. He’s been promising to take me there ever since we got together and finally our day came. It lived up to — if not surpassed — all my expectations.
We lucked out on our air travel, having secured a nonstop flight on Air France from Seattle to Charles de Gaulle. The flight leaves Seattle at 5 p.m. and arrives in Paris the next morning at 11:30. Although we both got limited sleep on the plane, we were determined to stay up until at least 7 p.m. in an attempt to stave off jet lag.
It was cool and overcast when we arrived — perfect running weather! We took the RER from the airport to the Notre Dame station, then walked the 5 blocks to the St. Jacques Hotel on rue des Ecoles. The hotel was recommended by our friends and is in the heart of the Latin Quarter. After checking in we set out for a bite to eat before our run.
In planning our trip I scoured the Internet searching for recommendations for good eats in Paris (as if they’re difficult to find). David Lebovitz was a treasure trove of information, as was Serious Eats. However, those would have to wait; we were hungry and decided to just find a place nearby. But given we were in the Latin Quarter, we had plenty of options from which to choose.
I had a hankering for moules frites and soon spied a quaint place offering a special (10 euros, including a beer). But I didn’t want to settle on the first place I saw, so we meandered down the alley to the next bistro. They too offered moules frites, but the price was a bit higher (12 euros). And just when I was about to say I thought the first place had better ambiance, I saw the name:
How could we NOT eat there?!!! While the moules were delicious (they were much tinier than what we get here), the frites were merely so-so. No matter; I knew there’d be other opportunities.
After lunch we changed into our running togs and took off toward Notre Dame. The streets were packed with tourists, but once we reached the Seine the crowds thinned out somewhat. The Voie Georges Pompidou closes to automobile traffic on Sundays, so we ran along that until we reached the Louvre. We continued through the Jardin des Tuileries and back down to the Port des Champs Elysées until we were across from the Eiffel Tower. C’est Magnifique! Pictures just do not do it justice.
My darling has had a love affair with Paris ever since his 6-month stay in college. He’s vowed to take his lovely bride to the City of Light someday, so when we heard about the Marathon du Medoc, we were captivated. Running+drinking+France: now THAT’S a winning combination. That the race is held the weekend before our 7-year wedding anniversary was the cerise sur le gÃ¢teau.
“How perfect,” we thought. We’d begin our journey in Paris, strolling hand-in-hand along the banks of the Seine nibbling on a crusty baguette and wedge of brie. We’d meander down to Bordeaux for the race and accompanying festivities, then head to Provence to savor the sights and smells of the countryside. I envisioned a romantic 2-week celebration of our love where we affirm the endurance of our adoration and faithfulness while testing the stamina of our bodies.
That is, of course, if my darling doesn’t divorce me first.
Why, you may ask, is 43 such a fabulous number? For starters, yours truly turned 43 today (although I feel just as fit and sassy as when I turned 33). It’s 43 days until Christmas, one of my favorite holidays (I actually like Halloween better, but for some reason I tend to get into the Christmas spirit more). And most significantly, it’s 43 weeks until the Marathon du Medoc — our first full marathon.
When I first read about it in Runner’s World in an article about the most fun marathons in the world, I was intrigued: 26.2 miles through the chateaux of Bordeaux with 22 wine tastings DURING THE RACE, including stops at Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Mouton Rothschild, and the famed oyster bar at mile 23. What better a marathon for drinkers with a running problem? But it wasn’t until we were basking in the delirium after the Seafair half marathon that we became committed.