Thursday, August 6, 2015

Visiting Champagne

When Pam wanted to visit vineyards rather than just cellars, I asked a local friend if she knew of any tours (that didn't cost an arm and a leg). Her cousin is a champagne grower, so she got us in touch with her. And her cousin was more than generous with her time - she spent over FIVE HOURS with us!

She showed us the vines, with the three different types of grapes that are used to make champagne (pinot noir, pinot meunier, and chardonnay). She explained how highly regulated the industry is, and how they interact with the vines during different seasons. Grapes for champagne are still harvested by hand. She patiently answered all of our questions.

Then she took us to the co-op cellar for a tour, where she even managed to get a guide for us in English. (Nice for me, to not have to translate!) And after the tour, she took us to see the Château-Thierry castle and park, and then back to her home for another tasting. And her champagne was delicious! They sell the majority of their grapes to the co-op, but do some of their own bottling. We can happily recommend Marchand Delpech Laborie champagne if you are ever in the area.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Historiale de la Grande Guerre

We ventured further afield with Pam this week, all the way to Péronne, in the Somme department, to visit a World War I museum we hadn't been to yet. It's called the Historiale de la Grande Guerre. I found it a bit different and smaller than the museum in Meaux, which we've been to a few times, but we all found it interesting, and I think it's great that we have access to all of this nearby.
I believe these are items found in the area, often by local farmers. The battlefields of the Somme are in this area. You can read more about just how much ordnance is left here.
My three history buffs!
We also took a quick walk around town, through the church and a chocolate shop.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Château de Compiègne

We continued our summer string of visitors with the arrival my high school friend, Pam. She and I visited the Château de Compiegne. I had been to the gardens before, but not inside the castle, so this was a new one for me.

Compiegne is located in a large forest, and was an ideal location for French nobles to go on hunting trips. Louis XV built the castle, and Napoleon restored it after the revolution.

This pink-saturated room was Napoleon's bedroom.
We visited the gardens, too, though it was too hot to wander for too long.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Wedding

I can't post pictures of the actual wedding here, since it's a public blog, but here are some non-people photos of it. In France, when you get married, you have to get married at city hall first. Then you can do the religious ceremony afterwards. So we all went to the city hall, which happened to be right next door to the church, and then we all walked over to the church.

There was a drinks reception and a dinner reception afterwards. We were some of the first to leave, around 1 am... we're getting too old for this stuff!  

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Frédéric and I went on a kid-free trip to Normandy this weekend for his sister's wedding.
We had a beautiful drive to get there!

The wedding was beautiful and we had a good time. Gala didn't have quite as good of a time, since my sister-in-law's dog's terrorized her, but she survived and was happy to go home afterwards.