burgundy: ice cream with the negociant.

on monday we awoke with vigor, cracking the domaine fresh eggs into a hot pan, staring in disbelief at the dark orange color of the yolk, the free range, hormone free, european goodness transparent. the smell of fresh baguettes permeated the 2-foot thick walls. the day was ours!


we left the exposed, pier-beamed ceilings of our Burgundian fortress to brace the bright sun and infinite blue skies that had become our new normal. after all, carousels and cobblestone streets await.


daintily we sprinkled our texan flair around town, eventually stopping to admire the hospices du beaune.


a middle-aged relic in her own right, the hospices chanted softly into the back of our ears, reminding us of the holy ground on which we walked. we listened intently to the historical characterization of each room, and earnestly sought out every detail in the canvases which adorned the walls.


sommkid declared she wanted to travel back in time, assist the nuns, and take care of the sick of the day. the sommelier smiled.


after our history lesson, we walked the cobblestone streets down the passage ste helene, and into the courtyard across from the infamous ma cuisine.


aromas of roasted chicken twined in rosemary, sautéed mushrooms, and fried potatoes filled the air. we feasted on pickles and capers and homemade wild game terrine.


we sipped on champagne and chablis, laughing and telling stories of winemakers and road trips. it was easy to feel apart of it all the basement of Le Serbet, the air so welcoming and friendly.


sommkid grew restless as the hours wore on, so we gave kisses and hugs to the girls in the office and made our way out to the country to meet with the grand matriarch of negotiants, a pioneer in the field of wine.


after chasing kitty cats and pining after goats, horses, and cows, sommkid had her fill of healthy chocolate ice cream, and seconds… and thirds. and with her very full belly, she listened to the love story of two wine lovers entangled between England and France, the conversion of old barns, and the vintner parties that ensued there.


it was the end of the day, and we became tired and weary. the sommelier led us to maison columbiere for charcuterie and trios eoufs, our fill of cremant and a glass of villages du Bourgogne. our bellies burst with flavor as we struggled to stay awake. we would sleep well tonight.


and tomorrow, Bordeaux.

the Eiffel Tower: a sleeping seductress in the city of lights.

sleep is scarce in our seventh floor flat; the moon is bright and hazy and full, beaming through the skylights and windows of our airy living space. the Iron Lady sparkles on the horizon, glittering the ceiling in her seductive ways. sirens abound in this part of Paris, the tell tale alarms sing in my dreams, igniting memories of the high energy films often seen from my seat on the plane.


with little rest, we are up way too early. even so, tourists tend to congregate everywhere, from the moment we walk out the door we are covered in trinket shoppes and harassed by foreigners with rings of tiny Eiffel Towers, 5 for 10€. in obligatory tourist fashion, and after various complaints from sommkid regarding her tired legs, we opted to see Paris by bus, the hop-on hop-off providing a much needed break from the long blocks of the city.


the wind is cool and wet. gray clouds hover above us, threatening a dreary day full of umbrellas and hot chocolates and patisserie stops with macarons. as we pass the Arc de Triomphe, sommkid breaks out her camera and begins to snap away. all told so far, there are more than 100 photos from this trip alone, and it’s only the second day in. (I wonder where she gets it!) again, the city beckons me with her decadence.


we disembark at the Trocadero, and cross the busy roundabout into the gaggle of sightseers snapping and facebooking and instagramming their moments in time, the Iron Lady placidly sleeping in the background. again we find ourselves giving in to the selfie annoyance and retrieve our phones.  of course there is always time to find beauty in the foreground.


fresh gingerades and nutella banana crepes await us at the carousels. since it is technically winter, the fountains are silent and the statues dusty without their daily showers. sommkid eagerly rushes toward the painted ponies and pays for her 2€ ride.


later in the day, at the time printed on our Eiffel tickets, the sommelier sleeps off the jet lag and rillette and fromage from the previous day. sommkid and I once again brave the weather and forge our way back to the Iron Lady for our close up. after surviving two security details, we rode our way to the second platform, watching as a century of iron whisked past our gaping eyes.


arriving in what felt like seconds, we walked out to the terrace to breathe in the spectacular views of the city of lights.


we explored the high map of the city, and while we discovered, we took in all that was Paris, the enchantress of all things we love.


and then we hit the wall. hard. sommkid barely made her way to back to the bus, where she immediately fell asleep in my lap while I discreetly eyed the ornate, gold-rimmed city.


that night, awake with sugar and cream and a little caffeine, she awoke with silliness and playful giggles. we feasted on sweetbreads and steak frites and blood-center veal. sommkid further developed her nose for les vins, even sipping a small drop of sparkling to wet her palette. we talked through the night about our favorite things, serenading each other in lyrical fashion. and then there was this:


be still my heart…. bonne nuit, y’all!