This is the end…..



Yes, sadly, today is our last day here, and although it’s been cloudy, rainy and a little cold, we’ve had a fantastic time getting to know our new neighbourhood. This is the last post for this trip, and it occurred to me that I called this edition “a study of contrasts”, so I feel I should talk about that a little.

First of all, India was 30 degrees and humid.





Paris was not. In Paris men wear turtlenecks. Seriously, they’re back in a big way here. With a scarf! I mean, it’s a little chilly, 8-10 degrees, but a turtleneck AND a scarf?

In India, any restaurant we went into was playing a bad, western-influenced techno-pop that made your teeth hurt. In Paris, every restaurant plays exactly….nothing. That’s right, no music in any Parisian restaurant we’ve been to. So refreshing! The only sounds are conversation, laughter, and maybe, music from the kitchen.



The overwhelming contrast, that I’m still processing, is order versus chaos. Everything in Paris speaks of order and cleanliness and high design. Not so much in India. That sounds like a judgement, and I don’t mean it to. Each country has its own great rewards. But I don’t think we could have gone any two places on earth that could be more different in the same trip.



Thanks for reading and taking the trip with us. It’s always fun to know you’re out there and following along. This isn’t hard to do, you know. Anyone could blog. 

Joe?

See you all next journey. Next time we rock. 



My feet are tired!

All we do is walk, walk, walk. Stupid Paris.

Clearly, it’s the grumpy time of day. Post walk and pre-wine. I’ll fill the time by posting.

Last night, we found a funky, but very, very good spot for dinner, called Au Passage. Small plates, traditional French bistro food, but yummy.



Today, our rainy morning walk was Pere Lachaise. Fascinating, of course. And huge. 



Lots of stars, from every firmament.



And, of course, my favourite rock star.



See the tiny Eifel Tower above the trees? That’s how you know we’re in Paris.

Howweroll

That’s what Casey thinks we should rename the blog if we’re going to keep eating like this. If this is, in fact, becoming a food blog, I expect to lose some followers. But maybe it’s not. I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s Paris.

At any rate, last night……six courses. All beautifully presented.
We’ve still not ordered off a menu. Three nights of surprises.

First, scallop ceviche, served over warm spinach with an Asian dressing and an exotic vegetable slaw. Fennel and a sweet potato chip. Looks like a flower

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Then, haddock served over maize flavoured with yuzu and topped with pickled onion and radicchio. What??!

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The main was chicken breast, perfectly cooked, of course, served over baked beans with lentils, a spicy Thai curry paste and greens on top.

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The cheese course was morbier, topped with a thin orange marmalade.

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And, for dessert, a deconstructed cheesecake….pistachio ice cream, served over pineapple and citrus, with a custard at the bottom, and candies pistachios on the side.

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And then, we rolled home. Because that’s howweroll.

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Dimanche

Oh, what a beautiful Sunday.
Sunny, cool and bright.
We went to the Richard Lenoir Market at the end of our street, and it was hard to stop buying food….it all looked so good.

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Markets are the same all over the world, and I love the people who work in them. We seem to speak a common language.

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But first, of course, breakfast. Ham cooked in coarse mustard, fried on a grill, and made into a sandwich that rivals back bacon at the St. Lawrence market. Well, not rivals. Beats it hands down. And I love that sandwich.

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Then we wandered for hours through the Marais, window shopped, people watched, and walked and walked.

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Oh yes, I was.

We ended up at Angelina’s, where I’ve been every time I’ve come to Paris for the Chocolate Africain.

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Here’s what Casey had for lunch:

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A great day.
Tonight, we’re off to Pierre Sang Boyer on Oberkampf. Check it out:
http://www.pierresangboyer.com

More tomorrow.
Enjoy the Oscars.

Dinner at Spring

I know Charlotte and Mary, at least, have been waiting to hear what we had at Spring. I promised, but by the time I thought to take a picture of the food, I couldn’t get my phone out of my pocket, and the plates were all empty.
But, here goes:

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Prix fixe:
We started with three appetizers:
quail egg fried over homemade “American” salami
Beet carpaccio with a slice of pear
Scallop ceviche with a lime pepper oil

The first course was a fresh John Dory with mint, basil and delicious on top
Second course was a pollock, pan seared and sauced ( it IS France)
Third course was a pigeon breast and let served with blood orange squash and braised endive with foie gras.

There were four deserts:
A pistachio cream, the waiter warned was like crack
A home-made (of course) chocolate ice cream
Grilled pineapple with ginger
And. Simple lemon tart.

Then we walked the three kilometres home.

City of Lights

This is certainly the best lit city in the world.
Take a look:

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This is the Tour Jacques, the starting point of the Camino de Santiago in Paris.

Here is City Hall at night:

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And, of course, my neighbourhood marker:

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Big market in the ‘hood tomorrow.
Stand by.

Cheeseburger Royale

Yes, we made it to Paris. After what, I would say, was the worst airport experience of my life. The flight was delayed by five hours, and the scene at the new Mumbai airport was like something out of a disaster movie. Moving people who landed in one terminal to one where they could depart by bus–with no idea of a plan how to do it. Mad crushes every time a bus pulled up. Seriously, insane. But, now, all that is forgotten. We are in the Bastille neighbourhood. Talk about a study in contrasts

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In in a charming apartment found by Cousin Paul (many thanks) and perfectly located. We even have the French Carrot Common down the street

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Here’s the view out our window:

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Much more to follow. We’re still a little wacky, having been up for 24 hours through the travelling, and only had two fantastic meals so far.

Tonight’s dinner sould be something special. Spring Restaurant.
Check this out: http://www.springparis.fr
Tell you more tomorrow.

Exotic? You bet!

Sorry I missed a day. Small case of Delhi Belly. Or Goa-Whoa-a. Or something. Anyway, back now and looking at some pretty bold and beautiful colours.
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And these are just in the yard.

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This is our last full day in India, so the plan is to find a beach, and, uh…..

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Off to Paris tomorrow. Stay tuned.

India Wins!

Just kidding. Of course I’m going to write about the wedding. How could I not, when the bride looked so beautiful?

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Emma and Clinton were walked by their parents down the petal-covered path to the sea. There, they were married in a multi-faith ceremony that was led by holy people from four different religious traditions.

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Afterward there were fine speeches, great food, and of course, dancing.

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When the party wrapped up and the old folks went home, the kids went to a club in the same town, and the bride won a contest for having the best biceps.
What a great day.

And India did win the cricket match.

An Indian Custom

The night before the wedding, the bride and groom sit together and prepare to be blessed by all the guests.

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Then, one by one, guests come up and bathed them first in coconut milk, then flour, then yogurt, then finally, eggs.

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Then, other games were played. The Newlywed Game, where, when they missed an answer, they were pelted with water balloons, and similar games, all of which quickly fell into chaos. They were good sports, and Clinton’s parents, Wilson and Melanie, were generous hosts for about eighty people.

Gotta go. The cricket match is starting.

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Valentine’s Day

Such a large family of lovers here….starting with Yeti and Bumble

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and ending, of course, with the happy couple themselves, Emma and Clinton.

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Valentine’s Day is very special in India, including special menus at our local restaurant.

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There’s a big conflict about what to write about for tomorrow’s post.
It’s the wedding day, of course, but it’s also the first day of the World Cup of Cricket.
India plays Pakistan, it’s reported that 1.2 billion people will watch the game! Fifteen percent of the entire population of the world!
Doesn’t a wedding pale in comparison?

Tune in and see.

Landed!

After pretty much 24 straight hours of travel, we come to THIS. Colva Beach, where Emma and Clinton have found their bliss.

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Our room looks right out onto the Arabian Sea and fishing boats.

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We are currently a little wacky with jet lag, but have been made to feel easy by seeing various, but not yet all, Bryant/hodges and with a couple of Kingfishers (the beer, not the bird).
Jamie survived his first thirty minute taxi ride and devoured some onion dosas. More when we have come to our senses.

Here we go!

Sitting at the airport….
Three legs to the journey:
First flight……..seven hours to Amsterdam. Land about 8:30 am.
Second flight……ten hours to Mumbai. Arrive about 11:30 pm.
Last leg……………one hour flight Mumbai to Goa. Landing about 6:30 am.
Fresh as daisies. Wish us luck.

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First Post

We’re still in the prep stages–buying white clothes, getting batteries for the noise-cancelling headphones, writing last e-mails for work, closing up shop in the Playter Estates. Casey knows what to expect (at least a little), but this is all new for me. A long flight and hopefully, an adventure at the end of it. Or, at least, summer.IMG_0232

Last Post…..

…at least for this journey.
We’re headed for the airport and an overnight flight back to the frozen north. Before we go, we just wanted to thank the people who helped us get here, and helped us once we got here.

Jane, of course, was our first inspiration. She gave us some fabulous recommendations for the whole trip, and made it all easier.

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And then, Karen and Joe had some great stories and some terrific recommendations, too.

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Then, there was Sam, Debbie, Kevin and Jack who came to South America last year, and also were full of excitement and advice for us.

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And Tom and Louise were so happy (jealous) that we were going to Garzón on their recommendation, they never imagined we would meet Matt Dillon.

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Which, of course, we didn’t.

Once we finally got here, Sebastian’s sister Deborah picked us up from the airport and got us settled in so nicely, with no aggravation or anxiety.

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And, in Salta, we would have been lost without Toqui. Seriously lost.

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And, as you heard, Ale and Richard were so generous and kind in Uruguay.

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And finally, Seba gave us his apartment for the last night and helped us on our way home.

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But most of all, thanks to you for reading and staying on this journey with us. It’s been fun to keep you informed and involved with where we were and what we were doing. If anyone had an idea about where we should go next, just send it along……we will give it serious consideration.

This is how we rock.