At the behest of a good friend of mine, I'm posting today even though I don't have a recipe to share. Instead spurred by a recent post of hers I'm going to share a story about our trip to Paris last year.
Back in September, I met my husband in Europe after he had been working overseas for 2 1/2 months. We met in Germany and flew to Paris together for 2 glorious weeks of good food. I could tell you about all the amazing cheese we ate.
Or the amazing manicured gardens we visited.
Or the ridiculous pastries and sweets we ate on a daily basis.
Or even the amazing open air markets we visited and the food we ate from the markets.
Instead, spurred by this same friend and her recounting of a recent bicycle adventure, I'm going to share my own bicycle comedy.
But. Did I mention the cheese?
Like anyone who has watched Amelie and dreamed of going to Paris, I had visions of what I wanted to do (and of course eat) in Paris. One of the "to do" items on my list. Ride a Velib in the City of Lights. Easy enough. So I thought.
My first encounter using a Velib in Paris was less than romantic and more of a matter of not wanting to walk the mile to Sacre Coeur. We had done a lot of walking in the previous days and I thought it would be easier. Overall, it was and while I didn't feel quite as comfortable on the bike as my cycling husband, I did ok. Well, at least that's how I remember it.
The second time we used the Velib system, we picked up bikes near Galeries Lafayette. For those of you unfamiliar with Paris, this is a bustling area of the city with lots of pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Red flag number one.
Anyhow, we picked up the bikes and headed straight into the bustle of midday traffic. My husband's only request of me was to follow him. Simple enough I thought, since he's a seasoned cyclist and can maneuver through traffic well. Red flag number two.
Our destination was the Left Bank, so we planned on cutting through the Louvre and crossing at Pont du Carrousel. Red flag three.
I followed my husband diligently for about a 1/4 mile, after which I became so enchanted by the fact that I was in Paris. On a bike. Passing the Louvre. Folks it doesn't get much better than that. And in fact, it didn't.
Like I mentioned, I was feeling pretty good about myself after that first 1/4 mile and was enjoying the scenery all around. I somehow managed to get beside my husband as we approached the Louvre and were getting ready to cross the Seine. As we started to cross the Seine I started to pull away from my husband and into the middle of traffic. Literally. Instead of riding along on the farthest right lane, I had managed to ride myself across 2 lanes of traffic (if you can call them lanes) and found myself amongst an angry motorbike and a honking car. There could have possibly been lots more honking, but at this point I was fearing for my life and couldn't tell you with any certainty.
In the blink of an eye, I was jarred from my perfect Paris ride and couldn't figure out how to get back into the correct lane. So, I did what any sane, scared person would do. I rode right back across two lanes of traffic. Once on across and on the sidewalk, I promptly jumped off and got the ugliest stare from mon ami. In all fairness, he gave me more of a "what were you thinking you could have gotten yourself killed" worried stare.
Needless to say we didn't ride any more that day and walked the rest of the way.
Yet, somehow I managed to convince myself and, more importantly, my husband that we should do it again two days later. I rode white-knuckled all the way and that my friends was the last time we rode in Paris.
I don't know if we'll do it again the next time we find ourselves in Paris, but we'll always have that memory. It may not be the Amelie version, but it's my version. All mine.
|Me after our last ride in Paris with a "never again" smile.|