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20 April 2003 @ 08:43 pm
*happysigh*  
Had a brilliant weekend with zorac, who says this was very much a typical R-J holiday due to the excellent food consumption.
We stayed at the O'Hare Sofitel because I found an excellent deal and it was right by the airport. As we didn't intend to do anything but spend time together, I didn't see any reason to drive way out into the 'burbs when 2 minutes from the airport would do nicely.

I didn't get us lost this time (go me!) but I did manage to miss the handicapped parking in front of the hotel (-.-!), which resulted in my less-than-graceful walk down a fairly long tunnel from the parking garage to the hotel. Thank everything Mark is patient. Finally got to check in and collapse in our room, where we were amused to find one bathrobe (with a tag reading "Bathrobe" on it, just in case you got confused), a phone and intercom in the bathroom (the intercom is so that you can hear the television when you're in the bathroom, we later discovered), a bottle of Evian water, a keyboard for accessing the internet via the television ($10/24 hours or something stupid like that - needless to say we did not) and the next day's weather forecast on a little card. Mark brought me a gift - soaps from Lush! He had remembered me mentioning I wanted to go there and he went and got me a sampler of 9 different soaps - he good-naturedly complained that the entire plane could smell his bags. Isn't he the sweetest?!?

After catching up for a while we ordered room service. I hadn't had dinner before picking Mark up, so I had lobster bisque soup, and then we both had a chocolate mousse layered thing that was in French so I couldn't say it but Mark could - it was very good. Eventually I put Mark to bed, but I couldn't sleep yet so I read for a while and occasionally watched him. Because he's cute - I know what you're thinking and I am not Delenn! >:0!

Saturday we lazed a bit, then got up and went to check out the pool and sauna. The pool is on the top floor of the hotel - same floor as our room - which Mark found odd until he saw the view (it was a much better view than we had in our room). The ladders into the pool were not so good, so I abstained. We then went into the sauna, which was inside the empty gym area. I then used one of the machines half-heartedly and read a magazine while Mark got hot longer. There was a fruit bowl in the gym so we both took bananas - our effort towards eating healthy for the weekend.

Next we went down to see what they had at the bakery and then have lunch at the restaurant. We were the only patrons in the place, which was again strange - I don't know if it was dead because it was a holiday weekend or because the place is French. They sat us down and we looked at our menus - I was trying not to have a heart attack as I looked at the prices when Mark says, "Oh these prices are pretty reasonable." I believe I looked at him as though he had 3 heads. We didn't make the connection until we realized that something he was describing was not on my menu - he had the lunch menu, I had been given a dinner menu by mistake. Imagine my relief! We had a very good lunch - I had a brie and asparagus tart for appetizer and a lobster and crab club sandwich for main course. Then the server brought a tray of mini desserts - little chocolate mousses, little creme brulees, little dishes of raspberries - $1 each. We both were amazed at how clever that was - we were both rather full and would never have ordered a full dessert, but a tiny one for a dollar? You can always manage that. I had the creme brulee and it was incredible.

We then went back to the bakery to get croissants for the next morning - and found it was closed. We inquired at the front desk and the woman went and opened the bakery back up for us. She got the pastries we wanted and was back in 5 minutes. Wow, really.

The afternoon was quite nice.

We then watched The Birdcage on TV while getting ready to go out for dinner. Mark wore a nice shirt that felt really good to touch (ehehehe) and was a shade of blue that looked just fabulous on him, and I wore the dress in the picture where I'm standing next to Nancy. I managed to break the strap on my shoe, and as I only had my Reeboks otherwise, I was a bit stymied at first. Then I remembered I had another pair of shoes in the car (don't ask why I have dress shoes in my car), so I put on the shoes and Mark was kind enough to go and get my car from the way-far-and-gone parking garage - even though he'd never driven an automatic or on "the wrong side of the road." Meanwhile I went and asked the concierge about restaurants - he recommended an Italian restaurant, gave me directions and called in a reservation - again, the service was just amazing. I met Mark out front and he had done the driving with no problems, as I knew he would. I found the other shoes, but as they would not have matched at all and I didn't think anyone would notice the broken strap, I decided not to change them and we just went to the restaurant.

The food was just excellent. We had bruschetta, which Mark had never had before, and minestrone soup, and then I had gnocchi with spinach and ricotta in a dried tomato cream sauce - just. Wow. We managed to stop eating before getting completely full and had them pack the rest to go so we had room for dessert. The server offered us their newest dessert - sherberts in the shells of various fruits and nuts. It was really good, and not overly filling after the pasta - my favorites were the chestnut, the kiwi and the tangerine.

After dinner we stopped at a convenience store to get plastic forks so we could eat our leftovers the next day, Mountain Dew for Mark to take home (I didn't know they didn't sell Mountain Dew in the UK - weird), and we also got Vanilla Coke and Mountain Dew Code Red for the next day, so that Mark could try them. We then went back to the hotel and slept eventually.

Today we got up and watched a lot of stupid TV while eating croissants, pain au chocolate, and bananas. Mark then went down the bakery and bought more pastries for my mother, who had lived in France as a child and said that if I didn't bring her REAL French croissants I was not allowed to come home, and she wasn't kidding. They were having an obscenely expensive brunch downstairs that Mark said looked good but not worth the price they were charging. We later warmed up our pasta slightly by using my almost-intelligent suggestion of putting hot water in the bathtub and then setting the aluminum leftover containers into the hot water. The results were only slightly warm, but when you haven't got a microwave and the leftovers are worth it... We had eclairs after. We watched The Fifth Element for a while, then started to get packed and ready to go - we had a late checkout so we could just go right to the airport. We snogged goodbye and as Mark was heading into the airport he turned and blew me a kiss. *giggles*

Less than 3 weeks 'til we see each other again - I think I can handle that. *smiles happily*

I came home to this review, which I believe is for SitV although the person did not say:

i like your story but why does harry have to be gay he is suppose to be the pimp.

O_o Does that make sense to ANYONE?!?!
And also, I am really tired of being asked why Harry has to be gay. -.-!
 
 
I feel: contentcontent
I hear: Bliss - Alice Peacock w/John Mayer
 
 
 
Teesside Snog Monster: cuboctahedronjiggery_pokery on April 20th, 2003 03:38 pm (UTC)
Eee! Lots of fun to read - glad it went so well.

Chocolate dessert: millefeuilles?

Restaurants in Britain are frequently (perhaps even generally?) a lot more expensive than they are in the US, particularly in Oxford. Even without wine but with drinks, you're doing well to get away with much change from GBP 20 per head. Hotel restaurants are notably gougeacious, too.

You can get Vanilla Coke in the UK, but I only saw it for the first time last Tuesday, so it's perfectly possible that it's only regional at the moment.

May there be many, many more marvellous meetings!
Vicki: MWAHhermorrine on April 20th, 2003 03:56 pm (UTC)
Chocolate dessert: millefeuilles?

That's it! It was thin pieces of dark chocolate, the mousse, another piece of chocolate, and then sliced, sauteed bananas - very nice. Mark was constantly amused by the fact that he understood the menu better in French than English, because it was American English. *giggles a lot*

Restaurants in Britain are frequently (perhaps even generally?) a lot more expensive than they are in the US...

Well, if I go out to dinner I tend to go to places where you can get a main course for perhaps $10. If it's a special occasion, I'm willing to spend up to $20 for the main course. The dinner prices were about $30 each, which was why I was very O_O, especially when Mark said it was reasonable! We were very amused by the mixup, though. But really - there are PLENTY of restaurants that are more expensive - I just don't go to them.

You can get Vanilla Coke in the UK, but I only saw it for the first time last Tuesday, so it's perfectly possible that it's only regional at the moment.

That wouldn't surprise me. There have been a number of times when I've traveled to other parts of this country and seen drinks or items at a fast food restaurant that we don't have at home. Sometimes it's because it's truly regional - other times it's because they're test marketing the item before releasing it for general consumption. IMO, Vanilla Coke is okay but tastes a bit too much like vanilla extract in the aftertaste - I prefer Cherry Coke.
[will fuck for sex]: delicate and friendlyanatsuno on April 20th, 2003 05:13 pm (UTC)

Ok, then whatever reason they decided to call it Millefeuilles for (prolly because it was layered, and Millefeuilles is too) doesn't make it one. What you describe sounds lovely /though I'd hate it because I hate banana -.-) but i's not Millefeuille, that's for sure :)

On the same nitpick note: it's pain au chocolat, not chocolate

/Frenchpick

It sounds like a great week end, I'm feeling the warm and fuzzy glow from here :))
Vicki: HOTcha!hermorrine on April 20th, 2003 05:32 pm (UTC)
*laughs* Sorry hon - I have never claimed and will never claim to speak French! I took Spanish in high school and can only manage your basic greetings, so you'll have to forgive me. *hugs*

And by the by, Mark said it wasn't a real Millefeuilles but was called that because of the layering, yes - he knows of the French foods so hopefully he will post more about the things we ate and can talk about what was authentic and what wasn't, etc, and with correct spellings I'm sure. :)
[will fuck for sex]anatsuno on April 20th, 2003 06:31 pm (UTC)
Re:
the incorrect spelling doesn't bother me, I just HAVE to educate is all. and the wrongness of the name came from the place, not you ;-)

*hugs*
Zorac: m00sezorac on April 21st, 2003 05:59 am (UTC)
In fairness, the place actualy referred to them as 'Chocolate Croissants', despite them not being remotely crescent-shaped. I suspect this was so the staff didn't have to cringe at repeated mispronounciations of 'pain' - they certainly knew what I was talking about.

As for the whole millefeuille thing, I'm busy ranting about that on my own journal...
[will fuck for sex]anatsuno on April 21st, 2003 06:17 am (UTC)
Re:
A lot of people and places around the world seem to have adopted 'croissant' as a generic word to tag on any kind of 'French' pastries, disregarding the shape issue completel, mostly considering the kind of dough, I guess.

So I'm not realy surprised, I think it's becoming a convention in non-French-cultured places :)

Will check out your rant!
Zoraczorac on April 21st, 2003 06:51 am (UTC)
Restaurant pricing I would be most familiar with in France, where it's considerably cheaper than the UK - you can almost always find a good three course meal plus wine for under €15. I'd have to say that form my (admittedly limited) expericence of American dining that it's not hugely cheaper than the UK.

I think Vanilla Coke has just arrived on these shores - they were plugging it heavily when I was in Sainsbury's this afternoon. Such timing!

Still no Mountain Dew, though :-(