Rappel, Rappel

10 Apr

A seriously sleep deprived week has just passed and I’m hoping that I am now feeling back to normal as I felt like my eyes were completely bloodshot as I kept them pried open to get through the short week. I think I started on the wrong foot with our party last weekend and my 5am bed time which I didn’t recover from due to consistent late nights all last week.

Monday night we spent our last night with Lauren and Mitch at our favourite Greek restaurant which ended up with an after midnight head-hitting-bed time.

Tuesday night we went over to our friends Bron and Tony’s place for dinner so the boys could discuss the finer details of the Raid Pyrenees cycling challenge in June as well as a better-late-than-never training plan.

Wednesday night our neighbour had her birthday party so after Mark got home around 9pm we went over and spent a couple of hours there celebrating with her and her friends resulting in another after midnight bed time.

We had 5 consecutive days of under 6 hours sleep which to those of you with young children probably sounds like pure bliss so I should stop my bitching but I ask that you just give me this one as its probably more like 4 months that I’ve had a broken sleep each and every night since I broke my arm and have been in utter discomfort when in bed. Ok-bitch of the day complete!

Our fantastic weekend began at 4:45am on Friday as we got up and ready to make our way to the airport to fly to Paris. We arrived and it was pretty cold and windy and jumped in our really poor BMW 1 series equivalent being a Seat Leon and drove to our hotel. Since we had the whole day we decided to use it and got out to see some sights including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre but didn’t manage to go in any as the lines were atrocious. We figured we’d be back so no need to waste the precious time with waiting. It had fined up a bit in the afternoon so we decided to go on a boat tour which was about an hour and went up and down the Siene seeig all the sights- I got to see about 1/2 as my movement sleeping habit kicked  in and I passed out on Marks shoulder for a good portion of it but I’ve seen Paris before 5 years ago so I wasn’t too upset about it. After the boat ride we slowly headed back to the hotel and climbed into bed for a nap deciding to forfeit dinner out and just get room service since we were so buggered. We scoffed down some luke warm bordering on cold meals and hit the town to see Moulin Rouge. It is very Vegas but really worth doing if you’re in Paris. The dancing boobs were great and the juggler was awesome but the best act had to be hands down the 2 acrobats with one trick of a guy holding another one in a head stand, flipping him up and catching him again from the turn mid air- incredible.

Saturday we had the most divine sleep in- I could hear harps and angels singing when I woke up and just as well as I was a pretty miserable bitch on Friday for poor Markie. We got on a train and headed to Le Marais for breakfast- although it was 1pm so we started the day with a glass of wine and turned it into a 2 course lunch at a restaurant we are positive had no kitchen as none of the dishes came out warm, from soup to salmon so we think they got away with a microwave but it was delicious nonetheless. We decided to check out the area and St Germain and saw some cool street acts of pop and lockers, piano players, and a guy doing some bicycle tricks on a bridge plus also stopping for some chocolate pastries and ice cream on our stroll.

Due to a required early morning on Sunday for our planned activities we found a restaurant in St Germain and had a very un-European early dinner after visiting the Pantheon. After we were done we walked around a bit and saw this great jazz band with some old dudes playing and one of their wives, we presume – unless it was someone who’d lost their marbles, dancing out in front of them…so cute. We were done with walking for the day so got the train back and had two kids jump on with an amplifier and a saxophone and did some rapping and playing for a few euro and really bloody rocked it. So nice to see this sort of thing in the cities and just really adds to how you view the place in a positive manner.

The main purpose of our trip to Paris was to watch the Paris-Roubaix cycling race which was on Sunday. We got up once more at sparrows fart and checked out of our hotel to drive to the start of the race about an hour and a half away. We arrived and got to see all the riders sign in and sart the race as a pack on some already sketchy cobblestoned path. It was a quick bolt to the car to drive to another section of the race to catch them 90km into their challenge and we got there just in the nick of time to see them whiz by. Not much had happened yet and there were only a few riders that had broken away from the peloton but man they were flying and beating the 42km/hr pace we had expected them to keep at a max.

Bck again to the car and raced to the Arenberg Forest for Section 16 which is the longer section of pave that they go on in the race at 3km of rough dodgy bumpy cobblestones. This time there were a few more splits in the group, a few stacks were had and they didn’t look as though they were loving life so much now. We had planned one more stop being section 4 and about 20km from the end so we met them all there and the pace had slowed significantly since our last stop. Tom Boonen (the winner) was well in front of the first small group of riders and he looked to be fairly at ease. The rest though came around all dirty, panting and this time completely hating life. They do come past so fast though that you can’t really see who they are, only what team they ride for with their jerseys. We decided to drive to Roubaix even though we’d missed the finish just to see where they ended up before continuing on to Brugge for part deux of our getaway weekend.

What a cute little place- love, love, love it. So beautiful, despite the miserable weather. We got in around dinner time and hadn’t eaten anything decent since 11am so we got showered and changed and went straight to dinner at a restaurant just across the bridge from the guesthouse we were staying in. Both falling asleep at the table after our dark chocolate fondue dessert with fruit, marshmallows and coconut biscuits after smashing a bottle of red wine, I decided to call it a night while Markie took the camera for 15 minutes and snapped some shots of the town with its lights on.

Monday we had another bit of a sleep in but since we really had only 5 hours to spend there before having to hit the road again it wasn’t a big one. We had bfast in our hotel and walked through the town square stopping for some Belgium chocolates, oooh yeah Happy Easter to us and a coffee where me thinking I was pretty tough and could handle Marks “it will burn your tongue” cup, took a sip and almost instantly dribble/spit it out on the pavement as my tongue lost every taste bud in a flash to the freakin heat of it. Leaving my mouth to rest and wait for the steam to ease off we walked some more and came across a bike rental shop. Sure what the hell, so we hired a tandem bike for a few hours and got peddling to see the whole town in the least amount of time as possible. We did our own Paris-Roubaix over the cobblestones but ours was,well, Brugge to Brugge. Not quite as challenging or well respected but we killed it. After going around in circles for just over an hour we stopped in to this famous beer shop/pub/brewery and I downed a couple of cherry beers (lame I know) while Mark did a couple of local 7%-ers. Me being the lightweight that I am felt a bit shiny and a hunger hit so we found a place that served mussels and stopped in for some lunch while enjoying another beer each. Slightly pissed we rode the bicycle back to the shop and walked to our car, with a quick stop for a take away quite-literal hot chocolate, to begin our 4 hour journey back to CDG airport.

Marks work may see us being shipped to France towards the end of the year and the area in which he’d work is called Beauvais. We thought since we were close we might as well make a slight detour and drive through to see if it was a livable city. Verdict….said in a sing song manner…”Shit.Hole.” We will be living there Nicht thanks very much so I’ve got some research to do.

We are currently on the plane on our way back home for a late 1030pm arrival when we will hopefully not begin the week in as tired a state as the last one. This week, however, I have some fantastic sleeping opportunities presenting themselves while my poor husband goes to work but no late nights planned thus far except for this weekend with a very exciting event.

I’ll leave you in suspense so I have something to report next week.

Till next time…..xx

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