After a coffee and croissant, Lauren and I dragged our bags back down to the Bourse parking garage, loaded the car, and left Paris. While we had a swell time in Paris, it felt as if we had put our trip on hold for a week by staying there. Our trip has really always been about the countryside, the small towns. It is the individuality and persistence of these tiny hamlets that make up the heart, the identity of the culture of France and therefore it's cuisine. While all of the regions of France have some form of representation in the capital, it is a far cry from actually being in those regions. Belon oysters taste better sitting on a picnic bench overlooking Belon harbor. Reisling tastes better when you are sitting in the vineyards of Alsace. We moved east along the A4 through the flowering wheat fields of the Champagne and lower Lorraine regions. The yellow flowers in perfect rows give the effect of staring at a carpet from a distance. We rounded Metz by late afternoon, marking the first time Lauren and I have retraced a route we have been on. Our odometer passed the 10,000km mark about 2km over the boarder into Germany.