Tag Archives: wine

Wednesday recap

Another day, another blog post. I’m on a roll! I attribute it to being burned out at work – after working 80 hours last week, I just can’t bring myself to stay at the office later than 6:30, and rather than doing more work when I get home, I’m ordering glasses of wine from the hotel bar and binge watching the Food Network.

It’s ok, I still love her.

I guess I could be going out and exploring new restaurants rather than eating takeout in my hotel bed, but I’m in Arlington, also known as the Soulless Suburb, where hoards of families and tourists stay to avoid the crushing hotel prices of DC. If I’m going to spend $15 on an appetizer and $20 on a glass of wine, I need there to not be screaming children running around in the background. After a long day of mind-numbing work, I need to be able to enjoy my alcohol in peace, so hotel room it is.

Speaking of work, my job is especially tedious this week. Accounting is decently interesting at the best of times, but this week my job is to make sure a client is allocating expenses correctly. To make a long story very short, they got in trouble with the Department of Labor a few years ago for charging too much in expense to their retirement plan and now they get the pleasure of allocating expenses based on minute details – like the amount of bandwidth used (in terabytes) on each of their websites.

Y’all, I didn’t even know what bandwidth was until I looked it up on Wikipedia this morning. Technology and I don’t get along.

Fortunately for me, my hotel was offering free drinks in the lobby and the sweet man behind the bar didn’t even bat an eye when I asked for two glasses of wine to take up to my room. According to the signs posted, the free drinks were supposed to “give guests a chance to mingle and connect”, but I’m just not that social, even with free alcohol.

Between the wine and all the computer mumbo-jumbo I dealt with today, I might actually be lulled into sleep at a reasonable hour. Which would be great, because there’s a sunrise yoga class with my name on it. All this work/travel is wrecking havoc on my poor body, as my posture is horrendous. I blame it on being short and never being able to touch my feet to the ground, but it’s really because I’m lazy. I’m sure my poor vision and slouching over my computer doesn’t help either. I’m hoping a few sun salutations can work miracles tomorrow.

It’s time for me to wrap up this post, finish my glass of wine, and fall asleep to the sound of Guy Fieri stuffing his face with America’s finest bar food.

Europe 2014 – Mont Saint-Michel

Mont Saint-Michel is an abbey built up towards the heavens on an island off the coast of Normandy. It has been a pilgrimage site since 708 AD when the voice of Archangel Michael commanded the bishop of Avranches to build a church on the mount. Originally, pilgrims had to cross a mudflat, braving wild surging tides, disorienting fog, and quicksand. Today, it’s much easier to reach thanks to a paved causeway connecting the island to the nearby town and visitors center.

From Bayeux, it was an easy 75 minute drive. Our guidebook warned us that crowds were horrendous mid-day, so we planned to arrive early and leave shortly after lunch. After parking on the mainland, we boarded a free shuttle bus to take us across the causeway, and began the winding walk up to the abbey. Following our guidebook’s suggestion, we took a path to the left, avoiding both crowds and stairs, and happened upon some incredible views along the way.

At the tippy top of the mountain is the abbey, the idea being that the closer to heaven and the more removed from society and its temptations, the better. Because there wasn’t enough level ground to support a church of a decent size, the abbey actually sits on four large crypts which were built to hold up the wings of the church. This plan worked until 1421 when one of the wings collapsed. We were assured that the remaining and rebuilt wings were architecturally sound and that we would be perfectly safe exploring the abbey and the crypts below 🙂

The picture below was taken in the Hall of the Grand Pillars, which is the crypt that collapsed in the 15th century. Those columns are 15 feet around; the architects rebuilding this wing certainly didn’t want history to repeat itself.

After our tour of the abbey, we walked down the main street and were amazed at how crowded it had become. It truly was wall-to-wall people hiking up the mountain. We stopped at the Restaurant le St. Michel for huge, tasty platters of mussels and were thankful we’d gotten to the island early.

We drove back to Bayeux, picked up a bottle of wine, and spent the rest of the afternoon watching the world go by from our hotel room balcony. It was our last day of our Europe 2014 vacation, and I wouldn’t have spent it any other way.

Europe 2014 – Paris Part I

Early in the morning, we boarded a train from London’s St. Pancras International station and a few hours later, arrived at Paris’s Gare du Nord. From Gare du Nord, we made our way to our hotel, located southeast of Luxembourg Gardens. By the time we checked into our hotel and freshened up, it was time for lunch. Because we were staying in a very residential area away from the tourist hubbub, we decided that wandering the area and looking at menus was our best option. We didn’t have far to go, as there was a very enticing cafe only a block away from our hotel. It was clearly a local place, with daily specialties scrawled on a chalkboard and very little in the way of English translations.

Luckily for us, most of the waiters seemed to speak enough English that we were able to order lunch and wine without any hassle whatsoever. Adam ordered some heavenly casserole concoction of cheese, ham, potatoes, and enough cream to kill a cat, while I ordered a salad, which sounds healthy, but only because you don’t know that it came with cheese, bacon, and potatoes cooked in duck fat. If I could get that kind of salad in America, I’d be ordering a lot more of them, let me tell you! After an amazing first meal in Paris, we walked towards the Eiffel Tower through Luxembourg Gardens. There were statues, and fountains, and a former palace built by a Medici princess.

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