Twelve degrees this morning (feels like zero according to the weather app – who decides that). But, still for the challenge of it, or to prove our manhood or womanhood, or for the sheer stupidity of it, we dipped in the pool…that is after breaking up the ice on top, slowly, as it feels like sharp glass.
Getting a pool wasn’t even on our radar, but we thought it would be easier than ice baths. You may ask what instigated this madness? Back in October of 2015 my husband and I began taking the Wim Hoff online course, also known as Innerfire. After over a year we still consider it to be one of the best things we’ve ever done together. It consists of breathing exercises, yoga exercises and immersing yourself in the cold. The cold is still not my bosom buddy, but at least we are somewhat on friendlier terms.
And later for lunch, a warm meal — vegetarian rueben and baked fries with hot tea.
Also, the experience has given me writing ideas. “The Color of Cold and Ice” was inspired by this cold adventure. The short story, “The Mermaids” from “The Missing Butler and Other Life Mysteries” was inspired by the pool. As they say, write what you know.
First deep snow walk of 2016. Yes, that’s me. My husband was taking the picture. I was trying to lift my foot out long enough to show off my pedicure. Useless. At last measure it was ten inches and still coming down. Twenty degrees. I don’t last long in that temperature – two minutes tops. I lasted a little over three minutes in an ice bath. Cold showers, ten minutes. #WimHofMethod We are practicing something called the Wim Hof Method. It involves walking barefoot in the cold among other things. It’s been one of the best things we’ve ever did. We started it in October. Work was called off for my husband. We enjoyed a veggie burger with sprouts that I had made and split pea soup.
We spent the holiday break traveling, a road trip. The plan was to surprise my husband’s family on Christmas Eve. And, that we did. They said, best Christmas present ever.
It was a long trip, two days down, three days back, three days on the way back because we decided to rest an extra day.
Our first overnight stay was in New Orleans, actually, where we spent our honeymoon. Finding vegetarian places is always a challenge. It has gotten easier over the years. We were in the mood for Mediterranean. The hotel recommended Cleo’s. At first glance we were a bit hesitant. It was nothing fancy, one side plain tables, the other side a grocery store. At first we thought we were to place our order at the register, but we were directed to sit down by a waiter who took our order. We did choose our own drinks out of the cooler.
The food, pictured above was excellent. I read later that the owners were Egyptian. Our brother-in-law is also Egyptian. We were on route to his house. While there he fixed us some excellent vegetarian dishes.
One of my new year goals is to learn to cook like this.
“Let them eat cake,” a phrase most commonly attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette, is the traditional translation of the French phrase “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, supposedly spoken upon learning that the peasants had no bread. Cake being made with butter and eggs was more expensive than bread, and showed whatever royal figure said it was totally out of touch with the plight of the common people. After seeing the many palaces of Paris, I am sure this is quite true.
By the same token, upon seeing the sheer magnitude of pastry shops, the French took this phrase to heart. I have a few friends who would like to make their residence in Paris. French pastries surely fits into the top ten reasons they would want to do so.
We could have taken more pictures of the food, but sometimes the sublime beauty of what was being served and our ravenous hunger after walking crowded Paris streets caused us to forget all about taking pictures of the food until we were half way through. By then it seemed too late.
The first place we discovered was by accident. It was called Boulangerie Paris Baguette. One might of thought first stop, pastry heaven. It was hard to choose. I went with creme brulee, one of my favorites.
When we stumbled across Boulangerie Paris Baguette, we were looking for some place for an early lunch, seeking out a particular vegan restaurant we had found online before making the trip. We quickly found that the eating habits of the French were quite different from ours. Restaurants may be open for breakfast. They may also serve lunch. They may stay open until around 5 PM. If they also serve dinner they may reopen at around 7 PM, although it seemed as if the prime dinner time was around 9 PM or 10 PM. Between the 5 and 7 PM period you could sit at a cafe and order drinks. Drinks might be wine, as was mostly the case, or espresso or tea, or cokes, warm with lemon. Tea is not iced tea but a pot of hot tea, the restaurant or cafe offering a good selection. That could be one of my reasons for living in Paris, although not quite a strong enough reason in and of itself.
The vegan, mostly organic, restaurant we were in pursuit of was called Saveurs Végét’Halles. We ended up eating there twice. It was overall our best dining experience. Another totally vegan place we ate at was in Nice. It was called le Speakeasy. The lady who ran it was from California. The food was filling and healthy. I would have loved to know the woman’s story who ran it, but she was busy serving.
Last night Chris picked blackberries which we had for breakfast. This morning I picked some kale and lettuce adding zucchini, cucumbers and potatoes from the garden. My goal is for us to eat this today. I’m thinking salad and a veggie casserole.