Friday, January 25, 2008

Marseille, France

The best part of the trip had to be in Marseille. I was getting over my cold and no longer had bad food sitting in my innards. Since the Cuneo car snafoo, we had a taxi drive us from Cuneo, Italy into Marseille, France. We arrived at our host, Delilah's house in the late afternoon.

We hung out a bit to get settled before going out. Delilah took us to an old port in Marseille which had a killer view and impressive monuments. It was very scenic and romantic.

After a little sightseeing, we drove a couple minutes to a downtown area to grab dinner. What else is a must have than Bouillabaisse right? Hello? We were in the Provence region of France. Gotta have some of that. We perused all the little restaurants before settling on one that looked promising. The bouillabaisse was a touch on the salty side and I had no idea how to eat the small crab but otherwise, it helped settle my stomach and was perfect for the cold weather outside. The bouillabaisse was served with toasted croutons and rouille (sp?) with cheese.

The night was still young, so on the way into the downtown area, we passed an Irish Pub. When Justyn saw the pub he quickly exclaimed "OOH! An Irish bar! We're so going there!!". So after dinner was over, we walked over to the bar. Justyn had a couple pints of Guiness which made him very happy. For some reason, French beer is not served in pint glasses. Rather they're served in tiny fancy glasses. Justyn was happy to finally get a full pint of beer.

The trip into Marseille was a long one, so after the bar, we went home to go to bed. The next morning, I was excited. We would finally get to visit a French winery to see what the hype was all about. Delilah had set up a tour for us even though it was off-season. We had gotten there during lunch time, so the owner told us to have lunch first and then come back when we were done. The French are serious about taking their lunches even if there are paying customers at the door.

We ended up going to a restaurant that was recommended by the owner. Typical French fare, but done better and tastier. My stomach started feeling yucky again, so I got spaghetti bolognese. Justyn ordered Cordon Bleu which looked amazing. Unfortunately, I don't know where the picture went. Donoho got pizza. We had desserts and coffee and then we were off to the winery!

At the winery, called Chateau Virant, we got a quick tour of the grounds starting from the grape harvest all the way to bottling and packaging. It's no different from Napa so we weren't new to the process. After the tour, we got to taste 5 of their wines. Let me tell you, French wine is overrated. They all smelled like blue cheese and well, it's just not up to par with California wines. Sorry France, Napa pwns you n00bs. J/K hehe.. There is one redeeming thing about this winery. It just so happens to be their olive oil. Yum. High quality olive oil just does not compare to the stuff you buy at the grocery store. There is so much more depth and flavor the oil. I promptly bought a bottle of the high quality stuff right there.

We still had time to kill for the rest of the afternoon until dinner so we went to a casino to do a little gambling. Angel and I did horribly at the blackjack table right up until the last hour of playing. Go figure. Her friends arrived right when the dealer started busting like crazy, but we needed to get going anyway. Dinner was waiting.

By dinner, I mean dinner and a Caberet show! We hadn't celebrated Donoho's birthday yet, so we took him to a Caberet. Without giving too much away, I will just say that Donoho was VERY happy. I think you'll know why when you see the pictures below.

Unfortunately, since we had stayed longer in Cuneo, we had to cut our trip in Marsille short by a day. We needed to make it back before New Years afterall. You can read all about that in an earlier post :)

PS - Thanks goes out to Delilah for being an amazing host and so accomodating. We loved your cute apartment and your baby boy!

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