Briscoe Darling Transformed!

11 Jul

We had no trouble sleeping last night after our bike ride yesterday.  The owner of the B and B told us breakfast would be served at 8:30 am.  We were seated at a table with another couple visiting from Denmark.  They spoke very good English and had arrived the same day we did.  They had spent 8 days prior, with the family of their future son-in-law in Ottawa. Having given them a thorough checking out, they travelled to this area to hike for 5 days.  Breakfast was served to us, and as the owner placed the prepared food in front of us. He said, “I have for you French toast which is made with olive and chocolate bread”. Hmmm.  But then he said, “wait, I missed a word.  It is dates and chocolate”. Whew, that’s a relief.  They both have pits, so I guess that is why he couldn’t recall the English word at first, lol.  It was very good.  It’s interesting that so far, all of our meals at B and Bs have been prepared by men, and all have been very good cooks.

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After breakfast, we loaded our gear onto the bikes and headed out.  Our plan from the start was to ride the trail from end to end and back, not having to coordinate with a shuttle service. Jimmy had made arrangements with the owner of a B and B in Nominingue to park the truck at this location all week. Therefore, the first two days were spent riding to the northern end of the trail and back to the truck (about 80 miles round trip, over 2 days). The next 5 days will be spent riding to the southern end of the trail and back to the truck.

I didn’t take quite as many pictures today since it was a section of trail we’d already ridden the day before, but I could not resist some. The weather was gorgeous once again, cool enough to sleep with the windows open at night, and warm enough to be comfortable but not hot during the day.

Our first stop for a snack came after we’d travelled a few miles.  We spotted a little restaurant/convenience store right off to the side of the trail.  There were several picnic tables outside under a shade awning and we noted a number of bikes parked there.  We figured it must be a popular stop for bicyclists.  We coasted to a stop and were just discussing what we wanted to eat, when a group of men sitting at the tables called out to us in French. There were 8 of them, all older gentlemen, enjoying cups of coffee.  We of course, did not understand them, and we shrugged our shoulders and said, sorry, English?

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I did not get the full shot of the group of 8, but you get the idea…

This seemed to catch the attention of the whole group.  We greeted them as best we could and they knew a few words of English, but not much.  Jimmy pointed to the bikes parked there and said, “yours”?  They understood and nodded yes.  He then complimented them on the bikes, and they seemed to understand that.  He was two for two at this point. I said a few things along the way, but can’t recall what it was.  I’m sure it made no sense to them.  One of them looked directly at me and said, “Where are you from?” (Funny, I always get that question, never Jimmy).  I said, “Kentucky”.  All 8 of them repeated each syllable of Ken-tu-cky , quietly a few times, rehearsing each syllable, looking at each other as they did.  One of them finally said, “America?”  I said, ” Yes!  America!”, nodding my head vigorously, so happy that I’d finally made someone understand me! So they had Kentucky, and they had America, but they still seemed confused.  So I said, “Kentucky Fried Chicken?”  The whole group broke out in laughter, “Oui, oui” they cried, “Kentucky Fried Chicken!”  Apparently that did it, they smiled and nodded that finally they could pinpoint where I was from.

About that time, a woman exited the convenience store and they called out to her, obviously well acquainted.  They must have told her that we were from America.  She stopped and asked us about our visit, and welcomed us. She was interested to learn what had brought us to their area, and asked all about our travel plans.  She spoke perfect English and told us that it is very unusual to have English speaking visitors in the area.  She asked where we’d travelled from today.  I spoke up and said that we’d spent the night in Sainte Laurier. (Wrong!) I am having trouble with the Saintes and the Monts, I keep getting them confused.  It could happen to anybody.  Where we actually stayed was Mont Laurier, and it is pronounced mon-la-ree, not Mount Lar-wee-ay, as I say.  Well at this point, Briscoe Darling changed into Sir Laurence Olivier right before my very eyes, (wait, actually I think he is English), but think of a French man with a flawless French accent and that was Jimmy in that moment.

Jimmy said to her, “No, we stayed in Mont Laurier”, and he sounded exactly like he was born in Paris!  I’d never seen this side of him!  He continued on with this conversation, conveying our itinerary, rolling French words off his tongue as if it were his native language.  I said something else dumb, and mispronounced it at that and he looked at the woman as if to say, as he cast his eyes towards me, “I do not know this woman Mademoiselle”. He nailed the pronunciations of the B and B’s and towns we would be visiting!  Briscoe Darling no more!  The lady was very interested in our adventure and she was very nice.  At one point she looked at me in a sorrowful way, and said, “French is a very hard language to pronounce, is it not?”  I agreed whole-heartedly.

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We had finished our snack and drank some water, bid our new friends farewell and jumped back on the trail. For lunch, we paid a return visit to the Resto-bar (don’t know what that means exactly, but many places are labeled resto-bar) where we’d eaten the day before.  We had a different server who did not speak English, but was very sweet.  She tried her best to communicate.  I felt a little more confident in my ordering today (I can’t imagine why), but nonetheless, I decided to try to figure out what to order from the menu that was printed all in French.  I saw the words pita, poulet (which from my extensive preparations for this trip, I knew meant chicken) and salade all on one line.  I figured that had to mean that I was ordering some kind of greek chicken pita thing.  And I was exactly right! It was delicious.

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Jimmy pushed the easy button and ordered pizza, exactly spelled out on the menu.  His only mistake was trying to say he wanted pepperoni.  That was a little tricky to convey, but he managed. They did not skimp on the toppings!  The base of the crust was covered with layers and layers of pepperoni.  It was delicious!

After lunch we finished our ride for the day, having covered about 40 miles again, and checked into our B and B.  I love each unique place we’ve stayed so far.  No cookie cutter hotels.  Each is owned by an individual or family, and each is unique in its own way.

We’ve found that dinner is often offered as well.  So we opted to eat dinner at the B and B.  We were seated on the screened in porch overlooking the lake (or Lac in French) and the temperatures were cool and I actually needed my sweater before dinner was over.  The owner of the B and B speaks no English, but he has wisely printed his French menu, with English translations to the side.  We were able to choose each course, which was easy with the translations and we enjoyed the scenery and the temperature while waiting for our food.

I chose curry chicken for my entree, and Jimmy ordered the walleye.  We chose cheesecake and chocolate mousse for dessert.  Have to fortify for tomorrow’s ride after all!

Until tomorrow! Jusqua’a’ demain!

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3 Responses to “Briscoe Darling Transformed!”

  1. lisa July 12, 2017 at 6:39 am #

    Love, love, love!! I am having a great time on your vacation! The food all looks so amazing! Have a great day and God bless. Briscoe Darling..hahaha!

    • Deb July 12, 2017 at 7:06 am #

      Lol! Thanks!

  2. Sarah July 12, 2017 at 12:32 pm #

    Food pictures look awesome!!

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