Monday, February 15, 2010

Seasick on the Love Boat

Can you think of a better way to spend Valentine's Day then taking a cruise down the Seine River, passing all the sights hosted by this city of love, whilst enjoying the delights of French cuisine? Well, my girlfriend couldn't either, and thats why "we" decided it would be our way of telling the world "WE'RE IN LOVE!!!! WE'RE ON A BOAT! DEAL WITH IT"!!!

At first glance (usually from atop one of the bridges crossing the river), these luncheon cruises look like a "must-do" in Paris. But before you become a tourist attraction yourself (say Cheese!), you shall heed my warning, a disclaimer that oddly enough I can't seem to find anywhere on the pamphlet.

As we arrived at the Marina de Paris, directly in front of the Musee d'Orsay, the cruise-boat was closing its doors (Ah! We were a moment too soon!) and was preparing to set sail (um, float?) down the Seine. Opening their doors, the crew half-smiling half-smirking -its the French way, let us on. Immediately I noticed that all the good tables were taken, all of them, except for.. the one at the very front of the boat!! Somehow, above all the other tourists, (a weird collection of couples), we were getting the royal treatment and were seated at the front with an unobstructed view of the scenic tour...but sadly, it was all down-water from there.

Now, on any other day, the shining sun would have been a blessing, but oddly enough it was a curse on this one. The boat is entirely encased in windows, so trying to see the Notre-Dame Cathedral while the sun is staring you right in the eyes, was more difficult then you would think, and never-mind trying to look/squint at my girlfriend in the eyes during this uber-romantic date. And although she could see me, Anna was having her back slowly baked by the sunshine. Champagne done it's time for lunch!

The entree was a couple of slabs of foie gras with some -not enough, toasty crackers. Definitely tasty, but there was enough to feed a table of six...I became concerned that they were perhaps trying to make foie gras out of us. However we were determined to eat it all, that duck didn't gorge for nothing. Entree done, we were ready for the main dish...and a nap.

The mains arrived promptly after the entrees were cleared (they run a tight ship) and we were served what looked like to be airplane-food (boat-food?). The fish (straight out of the Seine itself!) was served on top of a creamy, excuse me, curdled, sauce on a bed of what looked to be the remnants of last weeks asparagus, all held delicately together within a plastic wrapping (I didn't realize the French were known for their microwave cooking). As good as this sounds, it wasn't.

Now, I don't normally get seasick, but I was hoping Gravel was going to be served on the side with desert, which incidentally was the cherry on top as far as disgusting food goes. Without going into too much detail, this heart-shaped (very cute guys) raspberry pistachio mousse was essentially unedible. No really, I think it was made with the same plastic that the fish was wrapped in.

Of course it wasn't all bad (the food was), it was indeed the most romantic date anyone could imagine to go on, on Valentine's Day with the girl he loves...the guy beside us seemed very interested in Anna as well. So, what did it all cost you -the Don Juan of finance- ask?
Taking the metro to the Seine: 3.2 Euros.
Eating a bag of BBQ Lays to stave off hunger: 1.1 Euros.
Lunch for two on a cruise down the Seine: 106 Euros*.
Being there with the love of his life: Priceless

*Anna paid for the lunch.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dan,
    You are such a good writer-I hope you put it all together and publish (I know-old-fashioned printed, real paper etc.) Your writing talent-hitherto unbeknownst-+ your photographic skills =SUCCESS! We are happy to know that you at least are not starving--BBQ Lays sounds like eminently great French cuisine. Are there still fish in the Seine? Keep up the blog. Love Mom and Dad from Cozumel