|London's Tower Bridge in the gloaming|
Someone recently told me (or I read on someone's blog) that researchers have declared January 17th as the most depressing day of the year. A combination of holiday deflation, continuing bad weather and limited sunlight makes this the most difficult time of year to be cheerful.
I believe that.
I've fallen behind a bit on my visits to your blogs, and am struggling to be inspired enough to type up something intriguing, witty or informative for my own. All I came up with was a days-long craving for a Coke. Although I did hit a bit of a nerve there, that's not exactly what I like to fill my blog with.
So, as I imagine many of you are doing, I'm spending a fair amount of time looking to the future. And it's about time I came clean with you, my blog buddies...Miss Chef and I have been planning another trip; a big one.
We're going to London.
|Au pied de l'Arc de Triomphe|
If you've been reading awhile, you might remember that my
Honestly, these people, have they no consideration?
Miss Chef's reaction to the news was much more constructive than mine. "What a great excuse to go to London!" My love for her is so extensive that instead of snapping, "That's not the point!" my immediate response was, "And if we're already crossing the Atlantic, we really should go to Paris."
So. We have already purchased (and nearly paid for) two round-trip tickets to London in June, for a two-week stay. My brother's family and we are quizzing each other about what we'd like to do once there. And my sister-in-law and I have been starting to research places to stay in Paris. All of which is a great way to fight the winter doldrums, wouldn't you say?
Miss Chef wants to eat at The Fat Duck in London. It's one of those modern, molecular gastronomy places. 160 pounds per person (sterling, not weight. I hope). 13 pre-determined courses, including things like "jelly of quail" and "snail porridge." (But also including four different dessert courses, so, you know, totally worth it.) Miss Chef has programmed into her phone's calendar when we'll be able to reserve; she occasionally mentions it as she prepares to drift off to sleep at night..."We're going to eat at The Fat Duck." I have to smile with her, she's so excited.
As for Paris, we're considering renting an apartment for a week's stay. Paris apartment hunting! Doesn't that sound faaabulous!? Actually, I've done it before, and it was a horrible, miserable experience. But that was before the internet! Today, I can click from flat to flat, imagining ourselves tucking into a tiny double bed, Miss Chef playing with fresh market purchases in a lilliputian kitchen...I can even see the views out some of the windows. Paris is a city meant to be seen. And eaten, of course.
Now, the sad reality is that Miss Chef and I will be working our tails off and scrimping and saving to amass enough cash to pay for all this. As I said, I'm still paying off the tickets. And I'm only sharing this with you so that you, too, can look forward to coming along on this summer adventure (obviously, there will be pictures!). I certainly don't mean to brag--this is not going to be a luxurious, jet-setting vacation.
Still, having free room, board, and some transportation in London, along with a slight edge in my familiarity with Paris, will help us allocate funds. For instance, I'm hoping to rent a cheaper place outside the center of Paris and spend some time on the Métro, so we can afford a few upscale meals. Maybe a little insider help will make some of our champagne dreams possible on a beer budget.
Not that there's anything wrong with beer. Especially in England. Still...I think a champagne toast at the top of the Tour de Montparnasse might be possible too.
The first two photos are scanned from prints I took about 12 years ago. The third was taken last May.