So when I told folks I was headed for France, it was readily understood that for me, as much as I love all the musical and familial richness I’ve come to expect from our Reich Ensemble tours, come on, it’s France… it was greatly gonna be about the food. Which is why it might come as no surprise that the photo above is labeled as it is…
On the way from Caen to LaHavre, we stopped at a pretty incredible scenic destination in the north of France, Étretat. Étretat is best known for its cliffs, including a famous natural arch. These cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted artists including Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet. And of course, us.
Garry Kvistad’s birthday celebration was the reason for the stop, and the restaurant right on the water gave us the best little party you could imagine, arranged by Delphine and Gilles and instigated by Liz Lim-Dutton, violinist and party planner, overall cruise-director. (Seriously, folks, no birthday or opportunity for celebration goes unnoticed on these trips)
Oh, and Garry Kvistad… I can’t remember the date exactly, but wasn’t it at least 17 years ago around the time I joined the band when Garry was starting Woodstock Chimes? They’re still one of best Holiday gifts around. And my geek-meter hit the sky when my business guru and I pulled out our Blackberrys at the same time… heaven. (I’ll save you a whole blog post on my first time actually having reliable phone and data service overseas, but it’s safe to say, that was heaven too.)
[Garry has since emailed me to recall to mind CORRECTLY that he started the company in 1979. Whoa. Was I dead wrong. probably 'cuz' I didn't have it in my Blackberry]
So, there you have it, Moules Frites, in a cream sauce, directly on the water, with a view unparalleled. And only the third day in France.
Steve Reich and Garry Kvistad on the way to the cliffs of Étretat.