5 Random Things I Did This Weekend

Brrr…it got chilly here in the city this weekend, which I suppose only makes it appropriate for winterish things like holiday parties and Christmas trees.  Here’s what I’ve been up to the last few days!

1) A lunch date:

The Girl and I made an excruciatingly long trip from the DCR Cave & Bertie’s Cake Studio on Friday for lunch.  We walked about…30 meters…to a newish restaurant next door.  I guess technically like three doors down.

In any event, the place (Alliance) got their first Michelin star this past winter, making for three different Michelin star restaurants within one block of the DCR Cave.  Now, as any regular of my foodie adventures knows – the best deals for such restaurants are at lunch.  That’s when it’s far cheaper to go and you get virtually the same food.

Along the way we had sea urchin with a grapefruit and Campari (it’s an herby liqueur) foam, below:

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In this case, there’s a four-course meal for 44EUR (but remember, in these types of restaurants, four official courses is really like 6-8 actual courses…including two dessert courses).  Below is beef from Normandy.

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Also, remember a sit-down lunch in France at a place like this is a 2-3 hour experience, depending on the restaurant and your group size.  Anything less would be considered uncivilized here. Winking smile

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In the above photo, those are actually incredibly thinly sliced apples for each layer of that dessert.

The food was great, and we’d definitely recommend it.  It’s always good to see startups like this do well, and it was fun watching them build out the space and then their evolution from opening Day 0 with an empty dining room to now being basically sold out daily for lunch and dinner.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Peanut 2 simply slept next to us on the floor in her car seat bucket the entire time.

2) Preparing for the DCR Open House:

Unlike past years, I actually had been preparing for the DCR open house for the last 30 days.  And by preparing, I mean, making the Cave space half-way presentable.  This was partially because a major magazine was doing a photo shoot in there two weeks ago, and partially because I was getting inundated with stuff that I needed to organize a bit.  Either way, the actual organization/clean-up of the Cave was fairly minimal for this event.

Still, there were many other tasks to get done like going to get wine, cheese, meats, bread and so on.  It was totally normal that I ordered 30 pain au chocolates and croissants at the bakery (only to follow that up later with ordering a dozen baguettes).

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And then The Peanuts and The Girl and I went around the corner and picked out a mini Christmas tree for the Cave too.  But more on that in a minute.

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There were probably a bunch of other things I did, but thankfully this year was a little less hectic on the prep front.

3) The DCR Run & Open House

Now, I’ve got an entire post coming in just an hour or three, so I’m going to merely give you two photos as an appetizer of sorts.

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But it was great!  Hang tight for all the details momentarily…after lunch (don’t worry, not a three-hour lunch, don’t got no time for that today!).

4) Paddling invaders!

No matter how late I was up at the DCR party, The Peanut didn’t really care.  When the sun rose, she wanted to play.  Thankfully, the sun rises late these days.  In any case, as I was sleepily playing with her in the living room I heard some shouting/chants outside somewhere out of view from my spot on the floor.

This isn’t unusual.  In general, noises outside our window fall into three camps:

1) Official scheduled events with road closures
2) Protestors (scheduled or otherwise)
3) Drunk people

Usually when it’s drunk people, it’s mostly not French drunk people that make the most noise. Not sure why.  Also, usually drunk people bang/beat up on the green boxes along the river (book seller boxes).  Seriously folks: You can’t break those boxes.  We’ve watched you try every night for 5.5 years.  They should make armored tanks out of them.  You’re going to break your arm first trying.

Anyways, back to the noises, the chanting of sorts.  It didn’t really make sense for drunks that time of the morning.  And it was also a bit early for any church stuff.

Then I heard music being played.  It was too early though for party boats (or even tourist boats), so that didn’t make sense either.

So I got off the floor to see what was up:

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Woot!  It was the annual stand up paddle boarding event that goes down the river.  Each year this occurs, for some ungodly reason in the middle of winter.  And this morning they selected the very coldest day thus far this season (by a long shot).

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The event sells out super quick, and one of our friends is down there somewhere among the many hundreds of SUP’ers.  Had I known about the actual sign-up date I’d definitely had done it, super cool (…and cold).

Oh well, still fun to see them go by.

5) Let the Christmas Parties Begin!

Last but not least, on Sunday we headed across town to a friend’s house for a kid-packed Christmas party.

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I believe I counted 12 tiny kids, with all but one under the age of three (and even then, almost all under the age of two).  It was like one giant daycare, which made it hilariously fun.

And the Dutch among you might recognize the tradition above, since the party was organized by a Dutch friend.

With that – thanks for reading – and stay tuned for a rather busy week of posts!


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  1. Kevin

    Yum, yum, yum. A description of each course please – that food looks wonderful.

    • Couldn’t quite remember all the dishes, but just walked next door and took a picture of the menu that had some of the dishes still on it for today (about half of changed since Friday). Updated the above with more detail.

  2. Job

    Number 5 is not a christmasparty but a Sinterklaasparty! Far better in my opinion.

    • It’s a great party plan!

    • minimaLL

      Actually, the tradition of the spaniards even is better (6th of january). The 3 kings bring their presents to the children…Makes more sence… given the original history.

      Santa Claus is just american Coca Cola-marketing.

      As I’m Belgian, we’re also with ‘Sinterklaas’.

      Anyway, maybe their is still hope for a new garmin for me ;-).

    • SwimNbike


      Sinterklaas, even in Paris..


      good to know friends who are in the same stage with little critters!
      Enjoy with the peanuts!! plural.

      Happy holidays.


  3. Harry Roberts

    Can you post a Zoomed in view of the multiple people on that one SUP? My mind is seeing a small band on it. Is that even possible? Probably seeing a band because you mentioned music.

    • I wish, unfortunately, that is a bit zoomed in. It was last second, and still kinda dawn, so I was using my phone. What you’re seeing those is just 4 or so people on a single board with paddles, no band that I can see. The music was another boat or board with speakers on it.

  4. Dave Kirkpatrick

    I always enjoy your 5 random things post. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Florian Lungu

    Is there a website / registration link for the SUP event in Paris?

  6. Thomas

    Those food photos are torture ;)
    what’s the dress code like for lunch in paris at such a quality restaurant?

    • For a 1-star, nice jeans and some sort of non t-shirt top. I just had a sweater on. Totally normal.

      For above a 1-star, then it might be suit coat, but totally depends on the place.

  7. Kevin

    Did they have a Zwarte Piet? The Dutch store in LA had a Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet. If you’re not familiar with the tradition, this is a great listen link to youtube.com

  8. Mike S.

    Any updates on the podcast?

  9. The Real Bob

    I have always wondered what happens at those bread shops with the bread that gets old. Do they keep it for two days, a week? How would you know when buying the bread whether you got the fresh loaf or not?

    I know, rambling.

    • Almost all bread sells out daily. Especially things like baguettes, which would be considered useless the next day.

      In our case, with the boulangerie we primarily go to, the baguettes are usually hot more or less right off the cooling racks, and in the morning, the same with the pain au chocolates and croissants – they came straight off the racks for me (since I ordered so many).

      For some of the bigger loafs, they might stay one day, but that’s about it.

  10. Kyle

    What does sea urchin taste like? Texture/consistency?

    • It honestly depends a lot on how its prepared and what else is floating around it. I’ve had it both here and at a restaurant in Las Vegas before. Texture wise it was kinda a bit gelatin like (on the firmer side).

      I’m actually not a huge seafood person, so while I greatly appreciate this particular dish in terms of execution, it’s not something I’m personally swoon over.

  11. Tim Johnson

    Killing me with the suspense.

  12. JD

    Not sure if this affects other visitors but it is becoming hard to read your blog on my Windows 10 laptop after sunset.
    A recent update allows Night light settings similar to how f.lux works for all versions of Windows.
    As soon as the sun goes down any orange titles and hyperlink text on your posts are difficult to read. The smaller the type the worse it is.
    You can tweak screen brightness and the Night light setting for color temperature but that does not help much. Orange text on white background — or in this case warm white with blue diminshed — is just diifficult to read IME.Example attached.
    I could turn off Night light but that defeats the purpose..;-)

  13. KGG

    So your apartment looks out on the river and Notre Dame? Nice!

  14. Melanie W.

    I’m obviously way behind on ‘Keeping up with the Makers’ but what’s this?

    “This was partially because a major magazine was doing a photo shoot in there two weeks ago…” what magazine? When do we need to be on the look out?

    Also, I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that a podcast in my stocking on Christmas day….or any day…would be spectacular. Merry Christmas to all the Makers, short and tall, large and small, and 4 legged.

    • It’s set to be published in March. Though, I’m not sure if that’s the March issue (thus February), or the March timeframe. I suspect it’s the March issue, given where they are right now on timelines.

      In any case…I’ll detail more once it publishes – fear not!

      And I know, so sad on podcast. Gotta figure out something there logistics wise. :(

      Hope all is well!