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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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Sarah has returned from France, thankfully. I am mighty jealous of her gastronomic journey however, as she was able to dine at the world-famous Pic restaurant in Valence. She (mercifully/mercilessly — I can’t decided) brought home the tasting menu that several of her party enjoyed, and it does no justice even then to what all was brought out, after hearing her recite, for about half an hour, the endless waves of food.

Alas, all is not lost, Sarah brought home pictures as she could. The photos of the countryside blurring by from the TGV are pretty impressive. Additionally, she brought home snacks from her first-class Air France cabin (along with the menu from that, which also sounded most excellent), and several tasty beverages of the fermented variety. First off is a free Camus XO thrown in the bag by the liquor store with the other purchases. This was quite smooth, nutty, a little fruity, and extremely pleasant after a meal. Next is a Boulard Calvados XO, which I enjoyed with several selections of French cheese. Depending on its mood, it ranges from smooth to fiery, with subtle flavors and complexity. Finally, she also brought home a Camus Borderies XO, which I am holding in reserve until I’ve fully beaten this cold, as it would be wasted on me otherwise. Altogether a lovely treat.

This weekend we did two quick hikes, one at the Darien Nature Center, which is most definitely not worth the trip unless you have small children. The trails are more some logs set down in a swamp, and I can only imagine it a pleasant hike when the ground is frozen and the trees are bare, which is not very pleasant indeed. I think a full circuit of their trail system takes about five minutes if you don’t get stuck in the mud. Second off we hit the Cherry Lane Park in Wilton, which was a little better, with some nice little views and little bits of elevation. But I do emphasize little; an entire circuit of the park complete with hitting a multicache took us well less than an hour. The weather was lovely and it was nice to be outside in both cases, but hikers looking for fulfillment in hiking itself may want to look elsewhere.