Thursday, July 29, 2010

France on 10,000 Calories A Day Without Gaining Weight

The advantage of being middle-aged is that you are more likely to risk stepping out of your comfort zone.  That is what we did.  We agreed to take a vacation with friends where our mode of transportation was a bicycle, a set of travel maps, and a hotel with good food at the end of the day.

I would hardly be described as a romantic but, I admit I had some pretty romantic notions of traveling through the Loire Valley of France on my bicycle.  That was a good thing.  If we had understood the reality completely, we would have said no.  Instead, we said yes and we embarked on a travel journey that at least for me was life changing.  My romantic notions were not fulfilled.  I experienced something very different than I was expecting.  My confidence, the capacity to endure, the determination to finish, the friendship that sustained us, made finishing this adventure possible.

Let me just say the food was fabulous, the people friendly, and the mishap of being pick-pocketed on a busy subway in Paris made for an amazing vacation.

I won't bore you with all the details.  I don't like reading long blog posts and I suspect that you don't either.  Instead, I will bore you with photos.  Indulge me.

We cycled past endless miles of wheat fields and poppies


My youngest son who was amazing on this trip and was my "BTB" Best talking buddy.
He talked me up more hills than I could count. Did I mention that France is not flat?



Here is proof


More proof


My husband who passed me more than once on his bicycle and said "Woman, what the hell were you thinking?" He is still my best friend and remains a willing partner in all my crazy escapades.


Our friends who kept us laughing and eating.


Does it count as stealing if the ripe Rainier cherries are hanging over the fence?


Oh my God, the food and wine.





At the end of the day, sunburned, windburned, swollen from the heat with fatigued muscles there was always room to share in the evening.



Cheers to France!




Pin It

54 comments:

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

It looks like you had an amazing trip!

Pam said...

Wow! I am hugely impressed!! Seriously! I want to see more pics!!! Or were you too tired to hold your camera?!

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

Don't worry about "boring us with detail..." More please! The trip look amazing. How many of you speak French?

From the Kitchen said...

I didn't expect to take such a lovely (strenuous) and delicious trip this morning but have enjoyed it all--to be honest, the food most of all.

Best,
Bonnie

Julie said...

What an amazing trip that must have been! Beautiful scenery and fabulous food. Also, I am so impressed that you did this by bicycle!

Joanne said...

I think whenever I go to france, this is the way I'm going to do it. you get to eat whatever you want and not feel guilty at all! I'm so impressed by you.

Sage said...

Fantastic post! I do really admire what you did; it takes courage. France is hilly for sure. Bravo to your son whoe kept you going.
Welcome home!
Rita

TKW said...

Girl, you are amazing. I stand in awe. What a terrific way to explore France!

Recipe for Delicious said...

Velva, I'm so jealous yet so terrified of what you did! Congratulations on taking a chance. Your rewards were many, but nice that they included food!

Lori said...

What a fabulous trip! I want to take some bike trips in Europe, but we haven't fit it in yet. I think we'll do a little more exploring and then head back for something just like this. France would be a wonderful location for it with the countryside and food. It looks like you had an amazing time!

Cathy said...

10,000 calories a day is just about right. We didn't bicycle but I was sure my daughter was trying to kill me by walking me to death in Paris. For the first week my legs were on fire every night.

Love your photos, Velva.Sorry about your metro incident. No fun and scary.

Joy said...

What a magic post! O to have been there!

smalltownoven said...

Oh I'm so happy you had a wonderful time in France with family and friends! Looked like a lovely vacation.

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

Excellent pictures! Glad you had a good time!! Thanks!

The Japanese Redneck said...

Only the prospect of a delicious meal could have gotten me over those hills.

Part of the reason I don't own a bike now other than being scared too death of the country road drivers is that we live in a bottom.

Hill going up on both sides of our driveway.

Big Dude said...

Looks like a great trip - except the bicycling part of course.

Claudia said...

Oh Velva - what an adventure. What a memory and what a grand way to be with with family and friends - experiencing all together. Even when it wasn't easy. Brava!

Ana Powell said...

Amazing trip, I must congratulate you. I would never have done it on a bicycle.
Thanks for sharing your vacation with us, great photos and lovely dishes.
Wishing you a great week ♥

Tracy said...

I am so jealous :)

lakeviewer said...

My goodness, you were adventurous! But then, that's what we gain from stepping out of our comfort zone, a new perspective and appreciation. Now we know why the French are so skinny.

Looking forward to your interpretations of these lovely dishes.

annie said...

Looks like you had an amazing trip! Love the scenery!

Anncoo said...

Oh..Look at those amazing pictures making me so jealous. ;DD

Sandi said...

just wonderful Velva!!

Chris said...

Jealous!

Laughing about the hills, at least he only had to "talk" you up them. On our first group ride in Tennessee, I literally rode beside Alexis with my hand on her seat/butt, pushing her up the steep climbs!

What a great trip, I am envious.

Katerina said...

France is a beautiful country and you managed to capture its beauty with your great pictures!

Barbara said...

Congratulations, Velva! I am so impressed. I love the post title and I bet it's true!
Super photos!

Kim said...

I'm so happy for you Velva! What a fantastic opportunity to vacation with great friends in one of the world's most beautiful places. I agree with the other readers- I'd love to see and hear more about the trip!

Faith said...

What a wonderful trip! Everything is gorgeous!

intuitive eggplant said...

What a memorable trip! Sounds like you had a lot of fun, except of course, when you didn't :) Great photos - thanks so much for sharing with those of us who don't get to go to such spectacular destinations.

merrilymarylee said...

Fabulous photos!

I would LOVE this trip--just not on a bike!

Fresh Local and Best said...

You are so lucky to be able to experience different places, cultures and food. I would have picked those cherries too, it's too tempting!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Great post and wonderful photos. I know just how hilly France can be as we also cycle. Our holiday in the Dordogne was the hilliest we have been on, we have not yet tried the Pyrenees !! There is nothing much that is flat around our home either! Diane

Keri said...

WHOA!!! I'm going to go eat worms now.

Sook said...

Yummy food!! I would love to go to France one day! :)

Jen_from_NJ said...

Good for you Velva! It sounds like you had the vacation of a lifetime!

Hungry Dog said...

What an adventure! I'm so impressed. And: welcome home!

Cinnamon Girl said...

I think that is just amazing that you biked everywhere! The pictures are gorgeous and the food so delicious looking!

Julie said...

What an amazing journey! I would have had to have someone to push me up those hills!

Susan Fields said...

Beautiful photos! I guess one advantage of biking through France is less opportunity to be pickpocketed. :)

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I don't like to read long and boring posts. This wasn't boring at all. I could not do a bicycle trip like that. What a great adventure. What a lifetime of memories! Great read.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

That sounds like a PERFECT vacation to me! My hubby would be less willing to indulge my inclination to take a bicycle vacation! LOL! Exertion + good company + good food and wine = perfect good time!

Chow and Chatter said...

oh wow your brave I love France and your right food is heaven good for you for cycling loved the snaps Rebecca

Rachel Cotterill said...

Did I tell you that we cycled around Iceland in 2006? Incredible and exhausting... but we camped out and the food wasn't great! This looks like luxury :D

Penny said...

Wow Velva, what a trip! I am so envious. We are determined to do France next year, but I think I am too old for the bicycle. I am looking more toward a cooking class. Post more of your adventure.

a-man said...

Lovely pictures from you Tour de France!
Thx.

Mimi said...

Fantastic trip. As they say a picture worth a thousand word.
Mimi

Chef E said...

Glad you shared the photos and food, oh and drinks! Great trip, I am afraid you would have to tie me up and drag me behind you when you got in super duper shape, lol, otherwise I hope to do it myself when I lose weight!

You guys rocks!

The Rowdy Chowgirl said...

Wow! I am so impressed. I've thought about doing a bicycle trip in France someday and this is really inspiring. I wish you'd go ahead and write some longer posts with all of the details--I'd love to hear more!

Kim said...

That sounds so fun. I would have been in your boat too. Puffing and huffing.

theUngourmet said...

Biking in France! What a wonderful way to spend part of a summer. The food is gorgeous! Glad you had a great time!

Foodessa said...

France is stunningly beautiful at that time of year...especially the cherry bonus ;)
Big applause for challenging yourself that way. I've been wanting to do something similar in Switzerland...however, walking would be my choice.
The food looks so appetizing...ahh France is special ;o)

Thanks for sharing a mini version of your trip...I wouldn't of minded a few more details ;)

Flavourful wishes,
Claudia

P.S. It was nice of you to have come for a visit...it gave me a chance to discover your blog again.

LaDivaCucina said...

HI Velva, thank you for a wonderfully eye opening post. My husband is going to take me to Paris for a special birthday in a few years and I'm a bit ambivalent about spending time in yet another city.(although everyone tells me how fabulous it is) Your cycling through the countryside has piqued my interest though and I might even suggest we do something like that to counter the city side of the trip! Merci!

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

I am so impressed with you! What a vacation! What a (nonstop) workout. I don't think I'd have been up for the cycling bit but I bet there's no better way to see it. Go on with your bad self!!

SuziCate said...

Thank you for letting me go to Paris with you. It was everything I dreamed...and yes, the food is what I dream about in Paris!!!!!

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails