Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Biking at Bois de Vincennes

So, it's Wednesday, and today is my second day of work this week because, once again, WE HAD A THREE DAY WEEKEND!!!! Seriously, that's the best thing about working in France - the fact that they love taking time off. It's just holiday after holiday after holiday. I have been back at work for four weeks now (I think that's right) since the last two week break, and this was my third three day weekend. Yes. :-) That's right, folks, the French love their vacation time. This Monday was lundi de Pentecote.

Anyhow, since we had Monday off, Margaret and I decided to spend the day biking. We rented bikes from this place by Metro Oberkampf that Margaret found (Paris Bike Tour - the guy was totally flirting with Margaret :-P), and from there we rode straight over to Bois de Vincennes, on the way realizing that Paris is actually quite a bit smaller than the metro system (which I am SO over) makes it seem. Luckily for us, it was a GORGEOUS day with the sun shining and everything just being beautiful and perfect.

We rode around a bit and did a loop around a very gorgeous lake that seemed to have a grotto right in the middle of it - we unfortunately never actually managed to get to said grotto - before picking a beautiful place in the sun close to the shade right next to the lake to sit down for a picnic lunch. We had hummus and guacamole and chips and bread and salad and strawberries and nuts. Yummmmy!!!! It was hard to find a place, though, to lay out our blanket, because there was dog poop EVERYWHERE (how oh so very French, I know). So at one point Margaret was trying to kick a small piece of poo out of the way so that we could lay the blanket there, but instead of kicking the poo out of the way, she kicked her shoe off. And right into the lake. It was sooooo so so so soooooooooooo funny, and neither of us could stop laughing. We tried to get it, but our arms weren't long enough. Finally, some woman lent us her picnic mat (which was long and rolled into a cylinder), which enabled us to reach said shoe. Notice in the picture how much brighter it is - this is because it's soaking wet.

After our picnic, we spent a few hours just riding around. Now, I had been to Bois de Vincennes before, but I had apparently come NOWHERE NEAR seeing the whole park. Which is actually HUGE. there were times when we really felt like we were in the middle of the wilderness nowhere near a big city. At one point we came across some bars, and so I of course had to do twirls (I can never stop myself when I see twirlable bars) - now, of course, I have bruises on the back of my right leg. Margaret has those pictures. And then there was another time we were riding down a very small path through this incredibly HIGH grass - that just so happened to be filled with very muscular men all sunbathing in speedos. It was kind of hilarious, actually. We think we found the gay man haven of Paris.

Our very last stop on our ride was Le Chateau de Vincennes (that's the castle, for all you non French speakers). It's a lovely castle, and I am sad that we didn't go in. Someday I would like to. There is also a pseudo botanical garden in the bois that I would like to check out someday. So, it looks like I'm definitely going back.

After we returned the bikes, we headed back chez Margaret to make a scrumptious vegan feast of brown rice with curried chickpeas and tofu. It was soooo good. And then for dessert we had strawberries and kiwis with granola in a chocolate coconut pudding type thing. I wish I had more of that curry now, though. It really was DELISH, and, happily, Guillaume got to join us for food eating. :-) He had actually had to work because Argon (that's where he works) for some reason decided that for its workers, it wouldn't be a holiday. Boo on that!

Anyhow, so that was my day off. I had a great day, and I have been sore ever since. But in a good way. A good way that makes me feel like I need to go biking way more often. Since I can't really do that, though, I have decided to up my exercise time. Instead of 30 minutes 3 times a week, I am going to do 45 minutes three times a week. And 15 minutes twice a week. I'll take the weekend off and just make sure to take a nice walk at least. I started today, and the last 10 minutes almost felt impossible. I hope I wasn't overworking myself. I feel really good now, though, so I think good things and health will come. :-)

And that's all for now, folks!

2 things said:

Ariane said...

Hey! So glad to hear about you! Je pensais justement a toi récemment, et je m'ennuie un peu! Je ne sais pas encore quand on va aller en France (pas d'argent) mais bientot bientot, j'espère... on se verra si tu es toujours la ;-P
Je n'ai pas mis mon blog a jour depuis un bon moment, mais le beau temps est arrivé a Montreal et je ne peux pas me résoudre a me mettre devant un écran!
Bertrand et moi on a un potager au jardin communautaire près de chez nous : on va bientot avec des légumes frais!

rachel said...

yay for more biking!