The weekend has brought a number of great joys. After snow on Sunday, and freezing temperatures in the days following, we've had a spell around 50 degress F, 10 C. Pas mal, as they say here, always speaking in the negative.
On a greater note, my great friend from high school Tracy is in town. Its been the first time in a while that we've seen each other, so the reunion has of course been magnificent, and its given me a good chance to expel my icy [faux?] Parisien exterior and be the annoying tourist that the American in me dictates I should be.
Yesterday we went to the Eiffel Tower, St. Michel, Notre Dame, the Louvre and the Tuleries. Then back to the Eiffel Tower. You couldn't get more tourist. At the Louvre we had the good fortune to see Napoleon III's appartments - they've been closed the ten times I've tried to see them. Its humbling and awe-inspiring at the same time to see such luxury clouding things I'm accustomed to such as tables and chairs. We even went up to Eiffel Tower, which I'm glad I finally did - its a wonderful view from the top. They sell glasses of champagne for 24 euros if you have expensive taste...
Today we went to Montmartre, then Chartier for lunch. Chartier is a classic French restaurant, known for its good food, reasonable prices and history. Opened in 1890 or so, it was the daily lunch spot for men who worked in the area, as they ate their every day they had little placards for their silverware.
Per my weekend of doing new things, I had escargot and beouf tartare. Escargot is a novelty, I'm glad I tried it but wouldn't do it again, the texture and fat content isn't worth the experience or garlic taste. I was pleasantly surprised by the tartare however.
I first saw steak tartare (pretty much raw hamburger meat with some spices, lemon juice and onion) in the South of France when my dad "mistakenly" ordered it one night on our bike trip. I think he was expecting a steak and they brought out a little pile of raw meat with a raw egg yolk on top. I was impressed by his gusto as he ate every last bit of it.
Since coming to France, I knew I'd try it one day but just wasn't sure when. Today was the day. Being uncooked, it was actually slightly refreshing and cool, and the onions left a nice little crunch and juice. The verdict is that I'd eat it again.
It also left me full of protein for a good run. I'm making progress. T minus two weeks until the half marathon. The plan is to train my ass off this week, and "taper" the week after, meaning minimize my miles but keep running. With my lack of dedicated training, I can't truly taper.