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5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Summer is definitely in full swing here in Paris – with this weekend being especially busy!  Here’s what we were up to!

1) Independence Day Celebrations!

For those non-Americans in the crowd, Independence Day (aka July 4th) was this past weekend.  For us here in Paris, the festivities actually started back on July 2nd.  That’s because we (our CupCakery) were invited to help cater the massive 2,000+ person Independence Day party at the US Ambassador’s Residence.

So…there were a lot of cupcakes made:

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Interestingly this event is a bit different than most others.  Notably that all of the companies present actually donate their time/goods, sorta like a giant potluck.  Be it us, Chipotle, or Disney – all of it was free of charge.  Also, the event is actually more for invited French guests than American ones.  Sort of a bit of show of Americana.

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For our part The Girl and our team (along with some friends in town assisting) made a large three-tier cake, and then the aforementioned crapton of cupcakes.

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We had our own little tent of sorts, which had a great view of the residence itself.

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This view was particularly notable because later in the night would be a sound/light show projected onto the Ambassador’s Residence.  When I first heard of the show, I wasn’t terribly excited – as usually such things end up being pretty lame.  But I’ve gotta say, I was blown away with how incredibly detailed and cool it was.  Every little nuance of the building was perfectly tracked (windows/edges/etc…) with various elements in the show, which was put on by Disney.  Everything seen below is actually projected onto the building (the windows were totally closed/shuttered).  It was hard capturing the show portion, since it was just too dark for my phone.

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At the end the CupCakery logo was up on one side too as part of the thanks!

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As we wrapped up the night we started cutting the cake (no reason to let that go to waste!).  Here’s what a multi-tier cake looks like inside to keep it all from collapsing (plastic straws).

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Definitely a pretty fun night!

2) Packet Pickup and Running Shoes Dropoff for the Paris Triathlon

Friday at lunchtime we went over to packet pickup to grab our Paris Triathlon race packets.  We figured this would be a reasonably quiet time to do so, since it was just opening up.  And for the most part it was pretty quiet.

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The packet pickup area (and ultimately the race finish area) was held on a nice running track just a few hundred meters from the Eiffel Tower.  Many clubs also use the track for weekly workouts, especially given the prime location.  I think it’d be hard to find a track anywhere with a better view.

The packet pickup portion was quick and simple.

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After packet pickup we went home and sorted out all of the various transition bags.  The event is a ‘point to point’ course, which means that you start and end in totally different places – requiring two different transition areas (many miles apart).  More on that later in the race report though:

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Then back on Saturday evening we made the short ride back to the Eiffel Tower to drop-off our run transition bag, which simply contained my running shoes:

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Then just another quick zip on the bikes back home.

3) Friends in town enjoying some food

We’ve had some friends arrive in town a few days ago, which will be hanging out with us the next few weeks.  They’re both very fitness focused (triathletes) as well as into enjoying food.  So obviously, we’ve been doing both.  Mostly starting with food.

So there was the hanging out at one of the many pop-up restaurants at Bercy for meat and cheese platters:

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Crepes for brunch:

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And a stop at our favorite grilled cheese place, where I got my usual pastrami grilled cheese with caramelized onions.

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Then more meat and cheese (and champagne) along the river.  Really you can never have enough of those items.

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And lest we forget – a surprise birthday party (disguised as a 4th of July party), held at the studio:

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Phew – lots of food!

4) Racing the Paris Triathlon

Sunday morning we got up around 6AM and worked our way out to the race start, which is about 10-15 miles from the center of Paris.

While I’ll dive into the Paris Triathlon in a race report in the next day or two, here’s one quick photo to tide you over:

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It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a triathlon course – so definitely some good stuff to share!

5) A night city walk

After the race Sunday there was a some multi-hour napping going on.  I think everyone was exhausted, especially given the week leading into it for us at the CupCakery we’d been working basically 24×7 in shifts due to all the parties/events that had collided on this short timespan with custom orders.  But post-nap it was time for a bit of a wander.  The Girl and I love walking around Paris at night, especially in the summer when it’s warmer out.

Last night we started along the river as we often do, hitting up many of the major sights.

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We then looped through the Louvre and over to the Tuileries, where on the edge of it is a carnival of sorts.  It shows up around the winter holidays for a few months, and then returns again from June till August.  This year though it certainly seems a bit bigger than past years.

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While it closed a bit earlier in the night than we expected (11:45PM) – we had a blast in the fun house.  It was sorta like those obstacle course type reality TV shows that are popular right now (mostly in the US I think).

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Definitely a bargain for 4EUR.  From there we wandered on back home, completing our 3-4 mile round-trip walk.

A fun week ahead – including some days at the Tour de France!.  Thanks for reading!

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20 Comments

  1. Halford

    Is that an elevated spinning platform in the last picture? Seems a tad unsafe, doesn’t it? Especially when the safety fence seems quite low.

  2. Burnnerman

    Your picture of the crow looks like you had some Aliens visiting, if you look at the 2 people closest to the camera. :-p

    • BillM

      I’m guessing its a panoramic shot with multiple images automatically stitched together. just had this problem over weekend while taking shot of family group on top of a mountain using sony RX100, some faces had the join line in them. Probably a way to avoid this.

  3. Jan

    Hiya Ray, My wife and I are planning a trip to Paris and also going to do the Alpe D’Huez Long Course. Your posts are always so inspiring and informative! Thank you! My wife is imploring me to ask the name of your favorite grilled cheese place.

    Best,
    Jan

  4. Julian

    Hey Ray,

    Sounds like the triathlon was a lot of fun. Just curious, do you ever get stopped at these type of events by readers? Do they recognize you while you’re getting ready?

    • Yup! At least 1-2 times per leg (pre-swim/swim start/bike/run/post-event). It’s fun and always awesome to meet up with readers! Definitely feel free to say hi!

  5. JimL

    Why so many crooked/sideways swim caps?

  6. Adam Lewis

    Not sure the best place to ask you this q. Probably your race report but I don’t see it yet. I have seen you comment on this before but can’t remember under what post….

    When you leave your bike in transition I think you leave you Garmin on and ready so when you jump on it it has gps etc. I have an 810 and raced this weekend. I fired it up, loaded the course (as I had used the best bike split power file to profile my power output) and connected all my sensors and then left it on but not started in transition during the swim. Now when I got out of transition and hit start my Stages Power meter was not connected and would not connect. It had obviously gone to sleep in transition and disconnected. I assumed it would wake up and connect again. After much faffing for 3 miles on the bike I restarted the 810 and if found all sensors and I loaded the course. But I’m wondering whether there is a better set up or whether I did something wrong as it were? I figured if anyone would know how to get the bike out of transition with sensor on and working straight away you would! I have a death lob this weekend so am keen to eliminate the 3 miles of faffing before getting down on to the Tri bars!

    Any advice much appreciated!

    • Adam Lewis

      Lol – duathlon seemed to get auto corrected to death lob!

    • What you did is pretty much spot-on what I do. The oddity is that it didn’t find the sensor (which it does 99.95% of the time for me). However, I have seen cases in that .05% of the time where when you press the start button without a sensor re-found, it’ll stop looking for sensors.

      I’m not sure which condition/bug causes that, but I’ve definitely seen it once or twice in the last year. The only fix I’ve had is just turning off and back on the Edge unit. :(

  7. Adam Lewis

    Perfect thx. I’ll try again at the death lob this weekend!! ?

    I thought maybe I hit start before I woke the stages up by pedalling but am 95% sure I waited 15 secs as we had a foot down and left turn out on to a major road. But as you say it should continue to look for it .

    Ps look forward to the stryd write up when you see the new form factor (following our tweets with them).

  8. Wow, busy week ! I was in the States for the Fourth…. for the first time in over 20 years and ran the LLBean 10K. It was nice being “home” and out of the Paris heat wave.

  9. Nigel

    Congratulations to The Girl and her team for the 2 July party, that looked fantastic!

  10. junction

    Hello ! Thanks for this awesome blogs ! Where is that creperie, that looks delicious !! As I am visiting Paris this weekend I would like to pay it a visit. Or any other creperie you suggest too ?

  11. Junction

    Thanks! I have also found out about this one via other sites :Breizh Cafe. Seems much more mainstream than the one you have on your list (not sure that’s a good thing!) I just hope I will manage to visit one!