Friday, February 4, 2011

An exciting adventure is in store...

This all started right after Bowman was born when AJ's Aunt Ann "grAnny" and Uncle Jack came to visit. All though he would downplay it and try to tell you otherwise, Jack is in fact extremely knowledgeable in wine. The good stuff. He proclaims Bordeaux to be the center of the universe and each time they are together he gets AJ fired up on French wines, Bordeaux reds in particular. After their visit, AJ started bringing home bottles and bottles and bottles of left-bank Bordeaux reds; Pédesclaux, Dauzac, and countless others from Paulliac, Médoc, St. Estephe and Margaux. The left-bank Bordeaux reds are so much different than our Napa reds. I have come to like most of the Napa cabernets AJ has introduced me to, my preference being big and full with a fruity nose. The Bordeaux reds are different, more earthy than what I'm used to. Definitely a taste I'm working on acquiring.

We were so fortunate that AJ was able to stay home for 6 weeks after Bowman was born.After the first few weeks AJ was home, the french wine entered the scene. Typically in the afternoons while I napped with our new baby son, AJ would sit out on the front porch, pop the cork and try a new Bordeaux. One day I began to notice he'd been out there for quite a while and had been on and off the phone, so I walked out to see what he was up to. As soon as I stepped out the front door and onto the porch he looked up from his laptop, and exclaimed "Baby! We're going! I booked us to Bordeaux!"
"Huh?" I said. "Yep!! in June we're going to France for 16 days!" he said with a twinkle in his eye...
"Ummmmmm. ok, hmmmmmm... Ya know that little bundle sleeping upstairs, what about him? We have a son now remember?"
"YEP! He will be 11 months and he's coming too!" he said with a huge red-wine grin :~D
"Oh! Wow! Thats awesome babe! Ok, I'm going back inside now, love you." and I turned on my heels and headed back in.

That's my husband! He means what he says and he says what he means. That's something I love so much about him. He would never ever tell me something like that unless it was a 100% done deal and it was, and it will be a great adventure!! It's one of the things we do best :~)

After a few text messages and a phone call AJ announced that some of our best friends; Renzi, LeeAnne and their son Jackson were in, and would be joining us for some portion of the trip! grAnny, Uncle Jack, and my parents have indicated they'd like to join in the fun and we are hoping they will, along with other friends and family that are feeling adventurous!

Up until this week we had made no further plans, beyond the original flights AJ booked~ into Charles de Gaulle on June 12th and flying out of Charles de Gaulle on the 28th. So about 2 weeks ago we cracked the whip on ourselves to start planning! We have both been reading and researching with what little spare time we have, (mostly staying up too late past bedtime) and are finally piecing this fabulous trip together. What an adventure it will be!!

I minored in french but have since forgotten most all of it, but in the past couple weeks the more I read about France the more the language is surfacing in my memory! I've been to Monaco and to Paris twice, one of the trips AJ met me there, but I haven't spent time anywhere else in France. We both had an idea of areas we want to spend time exploring, and we love the idea of keeping off the beaten path by staying in small intimate chateaus in charming country villages rather than staying in the bigger cities. So with that in mind here is the plan thus far:

Bordeaux, Provence, Burgundy, Paris:

From the airport we will immediately head south-west to Bordeaux. We will be staying in a charming little inn where the owner/proprietor, Bernard, has a crêperie on site and makes crêpes daily at breakfast and dinner, mmmmm I can smell them now... waking to the French country side and the smell of crêpes , are you kidding me?!? (photos of our inn and the wine country)
After a few days in Bordeaux we will head south-east to Provence. In this region we are going to explore more inland rather than the the coast (Côte d'Azur) I'd prefer to spend our time in quaint charming areas rather than the South-of-France beach scene. While beautiful, St Tropez is played-out in my opinion, and since we won't be bumping yachts and rubbing shoulders with P-diddy, Jay-Z and Beyonce, they can have St Tropez for themselves as far as I'm concerned :~) We know we'll stay in one of the villages somewhere around Avignon, but haven't made up our mind quite yet.Photos of the towns and villages we will explore in Provence)
Next we'll move up north to the Côte-d'Or region of Burgundy aka Bourgone en français. AJ booked us at an beautiful petit chateau just outside of Beaune in a small village named Pommard. (Photos of some of the areas we will explore in the Côte-d'Or)

Then we'll finish out the trip in grand Paris!! Even though we've been before, it's like NYC~ I just don't think its possible to ever see everything there is to see, and who could get sick of la tour'd'eiffel, I could spend weeks in the Louvre, not to mention just plain perusing the streets of the city of lights, soaking in the sights.

AJ and I love to wander and explore without any particular agenda, and this trip will be perfect for just that! As long as we have a nice and comfortable place to lay our heads (especially with Baybo in toe) the rest is left up to whatever we feel like!!


  1. What a fun family trip! Bowman is going to love France!

  2. I hope he does, we may be nuts but hopefully it'll be fun!