27 June to 3 July 2016
The start of this week was a normal uneventful week. The weather is still pretty chilly for the end of June but on the flip side, the metros are cool so they aren’t (overly) stinky.
I had a work conference in Deauville Thursday and Friday. It was for all managers and above in all of France. To get to Deauville from Paris it is a 2 hour train ride North, which is not bad. But for those coming from the South, it can be a bit of a hike. But it is an overall highlight for the people in the firm. I am not going to lie, I have always enjoyed these events and ‘drink the koolaid.’ However, this time was a little bit harder because almost all of the presentations were in French. Thankfully the people I know were willing to translate the important parts. I must say going to this definitely extended my professional network throughout France. My goal is for next year is to be able to understand what is said.
The hotel I stayed at for Thursday night was beautiful. It was the Hotel Barriere du Golf and it was picture perfect. Jer would love this place with their 27 holes of golf. My room looked out over the 18th fairway. One of the nuances that is different from the US is that you have a roommate. For out of town travel for conferences in the US all managers and above do not need to share rooms. Luckily, my roommate never showed up.
|Room with a view of 18|
One of the main highlights is the cocktail party at night. The French party differently that the US. They like to stay out to all hours of the night and it not about getting drunk but lasting until the lights turn on. This ‘cocktail hour’ started at 20:00 and went to 03:30. I called it a night around 00:30 because I didn’t want to waste the day Friday.
We wrapped up the conference early afternoon and Jer came and joined me in Deauville.
So the train you take from Paris comes to the Deauville-Trouville Station. For those for are familiar with the Jersey shore, Trouville is a little more Atlantic City and Deauville is more Ventnor/Margate, but you can walk in-between. Trouville was a 1700’s fishing town that still keeps to its roots and Deauville became popular in the 1800’s for French aristocrats and English lords and ladies. Since they are on the English Channel, the weather is a bit iffy. We had originally planned to make this a beach weekend (to work on my non-existent tan) but the weather was cold and dreary (but I still managed to get slightly burned on my face).
We met and then went to check into our hotel, Hotel Marie-Anne. It is a 3 star hotel about 5 long blocks from the beach. I actually really liked the hotel (much better than the 3 star hotel in Bordeaux we stayed at).
We then went walking around, all bundled up. We headed to the Deauville beach. Deauville is also known for its American Film festival. All down the boardwalk (which is at beach level, not raised like in Jersey), there are famous American actors. I found my favorite.
|Locker’s where celebrity names were|
|Lots of umbrellas for rent|
We decided to take a break and sit on a bench to enjoy the sounds of the waves. Jer was being uncooperative with picture taking. This is payback.
|Someone isn’t cooperating|
Another fun fact about the Deauville beach, it was original installed so that ladies in the long dresses could walk on the beach without ruining their dresses and shoes (since they had to be modest).
We then headed back in town. The weather was iffy all day and Jer noticed a small storm coming in. We found a café (La Licorne) and waited out a nice drenching rain.
|Cool architecture in Deauville|
Once the rain let up, we headed over the Trouville. Another fun fact, between Trouville and Deauville, there are 6 Marinas for boats. But the change in tides from low to high can be upwards of 29 feet. So you can only get in and out of the Marinas at certain times. The Marinas are for more small luxury boats, sail boats and fishing boats. Tiger’s yacht wouldn’t fit here.
|At high tide, the channel is full of water.|
|At low tide, not so much!|
We then walked over to Trouville to see their church. It is the North Dame Church. The front doors did not have handles on them so we went around the side. When we walked in, it was a bit dark but the organist was practicing. It was eerily beautiful to be in the dark church, just the 2 of us, listening to the organ. Jer swore we broke in so insisted on leaving.
|Notre Dame church in Trouville|
We walked around the Trouville boardwalk (almost identical to Deauville) where there were Pentaque fields, kid’s rides, sand mini golf and pony rides. Jer’s weather spidey-senses went off and he knew more drenching rain was on its way. So we stopped at Restaurant le Vivier for some Rose and frites. Nothing wrong with Rose and frites in the middle of the afternoon.
|Out at the end of the pier|
We starting walking again and we passed some fishing ships coming in to the Marina. There were hundreds of seagulls going after what the fisherman threw overboard. Check out the pictures.
|The seagulls are here for the fish!|
We then walked back to hotel to relax (Jer to go for a run and me to read my book/take a nap).
While walking around during the day, we were scoping out places to watch the Euro Cup match that night. They are now into the quarter final rounds this weekend. We found Le Nautica not far from our hotel which had a nice outside section (that was covered and heated thankfully) to watch the match. The one thing I had to say about France, is that it is hard to find a bad meal. Since we were by the Ocean, we had seafood. I had mussels in a cream and cider sauce. Jer had seafood Paella. We paired this with a nice Rose from Provence. The pictures speak for themselves (both the before and after):
|Jer – Before|
|Jer – After with one bite left|
|Kasey – Before|
|Kasey – After|
We enjoyed the match between Belgium and Wales (which Wales won 3-1 – Side note, this is who we saw play and win in Bordeaux a few weeks earlier). After the match, on our walk home, we passed a Spanish Tapas restaurant, La Plancha which had live music. I used my persuasion on Jer to finally get him to agree to go listen. We capped off our night with a Corona (Jer) and Sangria (me) and live music.
Step Count: 19,723, 14.28km
Today was another relatively cold, rather wet day. Although at least today we were able to see some sun!
We set out to walk around again. There was a morning market which was a mix of produce and just about everything else. After walking though the market, we picked up some food at Casino (grocery store) and sat by the harbor for breakfast. We also stopped at the Train station. We wanted to switch out our tickets to get home earlier on Sunday since the weather was poor (and to watch a Euro Cup match in the comfort of our own home since it was the last match of the quarter finals and France was playing). It was surprisingly easy and only a small cost difference. We then made a quick pit stop at the hotel before going to the Hippodrome Deauville-La Touques.
Luckily, there were races for the French Galop going on today (since we couldn’t go to the beach). I had never been to a live horse race before, and I have to say, I had a blast.
We watched 6 races (one every half hour). You would move around a lot from the grand stands, to the place to pace your bets to the show ring. It was great to have to do even with the rain because there was plenty of areas that were covered.
With betting, there minimums was 1 Euro. So we had hours of fun for cheap. And guess what, I won! Granted it was only 4 Euros on a 2 Euro bet. But a win is a win.
Jer was placing a 1.50 Euro bet on each race that the 10 horse would win. After this being unsuccessful a few times (and not liking the odds for the 10 that race), he picked a different horse number. That race he didn’t bet on the 10 horse, it won. I was literally rolling in laughter. To make it even better it was such a close photo finish with the 10 coming from behind that they changed the winner twice before making it official.
Here are some pictures from our day at the races. Don’t let the blue skies fool you, it rained on and off the entire time.
|They let you walk right down to the rail|
|Crossing the finish line|
The races were over mid/late afternoon. We headed back over to the Marche aux Poissons to get some fresher than fresh seafood. I was in heaven. Check out the pictures below:
|Some may have still been moving|
When we got to Les P’tits Mousses at the Marche we ordered a sampler for 2. So we had no idea what we got or how much it would cost. We estimated the seafood would be 50 to 70 Euros. We were pleasantly surprised that when the bill came, it was 36 Euros. What a deal! We had 7 fresh oysters, 4 clams, 12 sea snails, 3 different kinds of shrimp and 2 large prawns with claws. We were stuffed.
We then had some time so we went into the Casino. We were shocked at how small it was. They had slots and table games, but none of the tables were open. We took a spin then headed back to the hotel.
Back at the hotel we relaxed (Jer to go for a run and me to read my book/take a nap – there is a theme here).
We then walked into the center of town to find a place for dinner and to watch the German v Italy Euro Cup match. We settled on Le Café de Paris. The weather was nice enough to sit outside (uncovered) but the heaters were on. We had salads (which were huge) and watched the game with 60 others. What a great atmosphere to watch a game that went into PKs (and German won beating Italy for the first time in their history in 9 tries in a major tournament).
Step count: 21, 779, 14.8km (new all-time record)
Rain, rain go away. I am so over the chilly rainy weather. This morning we checked out from the hotel and set off to the center of town to find a café for breakfast. We settled on Le Morny’s Café for some coffee and quiche. We were right by the market so there was plenty of people watching.
After we finished, we had some time before out train. We walked around (and got unfortunately a bit wet). We called it quits and headed to the train station early to relax and dry off.
We boarded the train with ease. It was a shock when I first read the ticket that says you need to be there ‘2 minutes before departure.’ But it is no joke, you could get there just before and get on the train. Makes it so easy.
We are looking forward to getting home in time to start laundry and watch the France v Iceland Euro Cup match. This next week coming up is a bit crazy for Jer and I. My birthday is this weekend and I am looking forward to my birthday trip!
Things I learned this week:
1) When going out of town, always pack 2 umbrellas
2) Horse racing is fun, but could become very dangerous to the bank account
3) I’m over rain
4) French partying puts the US to shame in terms of stamina, not volume consumption
5) Sea snails are actually very tasty