How I Gained Six Pounds on My Summer Vacation (or Why You Wish You Were Me): Première Partie

Jake, Gemma, and I just returned from a nearly three week long vacation in France and Italy(with a toe dip into Switzerland), and it was truly unlike any vacation, European or otherwise, that we have ever taken.  The closest was maybe our honeymoon at an all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta since all we did was drink, eat, and lie by the pool…but while the food at the resort was good, it really wasn’t anything we couldn’t get at home.  We went to Paris for two weeks four years ago…we ate A LOT, but we were also walking all day long (and also up and down the 160 steps of the winding staircase that took us to the teeeeeny studio that we rented).  We went toItaly for 17 days three years ago…again…we ate A LOT…but we were sightseeing all day long and that takes quite a bit of energy and burns many many calories.

Those are vacations that you can take when you are a couple with no kids.  We took a different kind of trip this year.  We are so incredibly lucky to have friends who not only live in France and Italy, but who love us enough to welcome us into their lives and their homes as if we were family.  What I present to you today is only a small part of that story…

In a small town in France, not far from the border with Switzerland, Céline’s father, Jean, would head out to the boulangerie every morning before the rest of us were awake to procure not only the croissants and pains au chocolat for breakfast, but the baguettes for the entire day.  There was always a pot of coffee waiting for us in the kitchen and pastries (accompanied by a brick of butter and a jar of homemade blackcurrant jam) waiting on the table.  I will take this time to admit that I put a pat of butter on every single bite of croissant and baguette that I put in my mouth at breakfast during the six days that we were there.  If you have ever tasted French butter before, I dare you to judge me.  I cannot even fathom how many calories I consumed before 9am every single day…

We only ate in restaurants a few times during that leg of our trip:  Salade au Chèvre Chaud by Lake Geneva in Sciez, savory and sweet crèpes in Annecy, the lunch buffet at Manor while in Geneva.  Céline’s mother, Christine, prepared a full lunch and dinner for all 7 (and sometimes 8 or 9) of us whenever we were at home.  There is no way that I can fully describe these meals, and there are no photos because I knew already that no form of photography is advanced enough to do justice to the culinary magic that she conjured every single day. There was always meat for the meat eaters, but she made doubly sure that Gemma and I would not go hungry on her watch.  Golden potatoes sautéed in butter, fresh green beans, a green salad with a homemade vinaigrette, brown rice, cauliflower gratin with cheese and cream, a zucchini soufflé (that she claimed to have only made once before…yeah right…), and a salad consisting of tomatoes, chunks of fresh mozzarella, halved hard-boiled eggs, and a vinaigrette so divine that Céline and I are going to do our best to replicate at some point this summer…oh and let’s not forget: the cocktails that preceded both lunch and dinner (l’apero which will probably get its own post in the near future), the multiple bottles of wine (well there were 5 adults…and two toddlers…if you catch my drift)  and the magical magical cheese plate that appeared at the end of each meal…

Jake and I ate everything that was put in front of us.  We spent most of our time in the backyard with the kids or at the table.  There was very little sightseeing.  Not a bit of exercise was done.  We were happy.

End of How I Gained Six Pounds On My Summer Vacation:  Première Partie

Wish you were me yet??


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Tasha on July 17, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    That sounds like the best way to gain 6lbs if you’re going to do it! Have to love, love, love real butter and sounds like the French variety is amazing.


  2. Posted by saundra on July 18, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Ahhhhh … sounds like heaven


  3. I gained three pounds reading this…and I’ll add the other three after I get back from the kitchen! Sounds like a great time.


  4. Sounds worth every extra pound!!!


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