I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Paris, France: Our Last Day

This morning we caught the train to Paris! We arrived around lunch time and took a taxi to the hotel. Our room was ready and after leaving our bags we left to find a place for lunch. We ate close by at Au Verre Siffleur. It was delicious! Danny had lamb and I had a nice cut of beef with a peppery cream sauce. After lunch we went back to the hotel to nibble on some of the sweets we have picked up along the way, drink a little espresso and enjoy our balcony. We walked to Montparnasse Tower and went up to the observation deck to see over the city. It is 56 floors up and a great view! We then walked over to Luxembourg Gardens. I have always wanted to watch the little sailboats on the water and today didn't disappoint. From there we found my favorite macaron shop, Pierre Herme. I had to stand in line today but it was worth it! Danny found the crepe stand in front of the St Germain church. We have always wanted to try their crepes and today's crepe sucre (sugar crepe) was delicious!! We then went to stand in line for Relais de l'Entrecote. We got there about 6:45 which is perfect timing for the opening at 7. As usual, it was delicious!!! We took the metro back to our hotel and are all packed up to go home tomorrow. It has been a wonderful and memorable trip!!

Bordeaux, France: After the Wedding

This morning Danny and I slept in a bit after such a late night and had a light breakfast. We were to go back to the winery for "brunch" but their brunch is timed for 12 which we would call lunch. Anna told us that she was told that many wouldn't be at the brunch until 1 or later so we timed our arrival for 1 to allow Anna a few extra minutes of sleep because she didn't get home until 5 a.m. There were a lot of problems securing a taxi. Brunch was delicious with more champagne, chicken, beef, and egg dishes and delicious strawberry and apple tarts. We enjoyed this time visiting with our family members before we all scattered to go back to our homes. We are excited that our cousin, Martin, will come to visit us next year if all goes well. He wants to be a farmer and fortunately we know a lot of people with farms that would like a young, interested worker for awhile in the summer. After brunch we toured the winery before driving back to Bordeaux. Danny dropped us off near the hotel and then took the rental car back to the airport. When he returned we walked some more to see the last Porte we hadn't seen. We met Renee and Anna for dinner but skipped dessert in lieu of Amorino, my favorite gelato stop. We are back in the hotel and preparing to go to Paris on the train on the morning. Until tomorrow....

Bordeaux, France: A Wedding Day

We woke up to a partly cloudy morning. It's a perfect day for the wedding of Laurène to Benjamin! Danny and I ate breakfast and then he left to take a taxi to the airport to pick up the rental car. Anna didn't sleep well so she and Renee were having a slower morning. I went for a walk to see some churches and another Porte (Portal). I walked for about an hour and a half until Danny told me he was back at the hotel. I went back to the hotel and together we walked more in the city taking in the architecture. We went back to the hotel to get dressed for the wedding and to pick up Anna and Renee. We stopped at Paul on the way to the car and grabbed a picnic lunch which we ate in the car. The wedding was located about a half hour from Bordeaux at a little stone church in La Brede. The name of the church was Eglise St. Jean d'Etampes. We arrived around 3 and waited outside with the other guests and our family members. We were still outside when Benjamin and his brother, Valentin, drove up in a vintage Porsche! When Cathy arrived, we all went into the church to await the bride who was driven to the church by her uncle, Christophe. The mothers were escorted into the church and then Laurène was escorted in by her grandfather, Ton Ton Michel. Laurène was beautiful in a custom made gown with a lace bodice, her hair twisted up with little white flowers. Benjamin also looked very handsome. Their son Lucas was attended by Benjamin's sister and behaved very well during the ceremony. We didn't hear a peep out of him! The ceremony was performed in French of course and although we didn't understand the words, we did understand the elements of the ceremony and the tender and emotional moments between Laurène and Benjamin. They are such a precious couple. They asked Danny to sing during the ceremony and he sang Michael W. Smith's Agnus Dei but he sang it in French! Our family said his accent was perfect and he was told by several people and family members, including Laurène and Benjamin, how much they enjoyed his song. After the ceremony, we waited outside the church and threw rose petals at the couple as they exited. They visited with all of their family and friends before getting in the Porsche to leave for the winery where the reception would be held. There was some trouble getting the car to start, but with a little help they were on their way. When we arrived at the winery, the couple were having pictures taken while we began with a cocktail and aperitifs event. There was water with fruit in it and Champagne. Waiters walked around with trays of small bites as we waited for all of the wedding pictures to be completed. The dinner was next and began at 8:30. We were served our first course sometime after 9 but we weren't super hungry because of all of the little bites we had been given. Throughout the meal we were entertained with slideshows first of Benjamin and then later of Laurène. After dessert, which was served around 1 a.m. I think, we watched a compilation of short videos that we had all contributed to. These were of us toasting the couple with wine that we had also gifted to them in lieu of a guest book. By 1:30, it was time for the reception. We watched Laurène dance with her grandfather and then he danced with Cathy. When everyone started dancing, Danny, Renee and I decided that we would like to head back to the hotel. We left Anna to stay at the reception and she was able to get a very late cab back to the hotel. She arrived back about 5 a.m. but I'm pretty sure we were asleep by 3 a.m. It was such a wonderful and perfect wedding day! We were all so happy that we made the trip to be a part of it!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Bordeaux, France: Arrival Day

We were up early for a 7:04 train to Bordeaux. We were surprised upon arriving at the train station to find the front of the station completely roped off and military men with oozie rifles keeping people away. This meant that we had to walk around the entire, very large train station and enter from the back. So I guess we got a good start with our exercise for today. I certainly sweated enough! We found a patisserie open for breakfast and purchased a Quiche Lorraine and a Pain au Chocolat for breakfast on the train. The train ride was long but we enjoyed views of little towns and fields of lavender and sunflowers along the way. The Bordeaux train station is a mess right now as construction is happening everywhere. Our train was one hour delayed and when we finally found the taxi line there were no taxis to be found! We ended up taking an uber which worked out just fine. It was 4:00 before we were settled in the hotel and we left to go and find some lunch. The lunch we ate was terrible at least for me. I didn't eat it and instead I ate Amorino ice cream while we were wandering. We went to Eglise Notre Dame Bordeaux and it was beautiful. We stayed long enough for me to try and take a few pictures but it was very dark in the church. We also located the place that Danny will park the car tomorrow when he goes to the airport and rents it. We wandered all over the city and found some of the old city gates. These are HUGE arched openings that are found around the old city. We also toured the Cathedral Saint-Andre also known as the Cathedral Bordeaux. It was intriguing to us that the main entrance is on the side of the church and that the front of the church is just a plain door. It was also very beautiful inside. I've seen so many beautiful Cathedrals and churches that the details all begin to run together, but that doesn't stop me from seeing as many as I can during my travels. We went back to the hotel to change for dinner and met Cathy, Bernard, Guillome and Ton Ton Michel for supper. Renee and Anna also came in from Paris and joined us. We had a delightful supper at Chez Jean nearby and caught up on all of the wedding details. Tomorrow is the wedding day of Laurene and Benjamin. We cannot wait! Until tomorrow....