May 14, 2019
Happy Tuesday and, ERRRMYGOOOODDDD, how is it that I am in Europe right now, at a BEAUTIFUL French Chateau, drinking wine amongst the beautiful 60 degree weather? Well, if I am being a smart ass, I got on a plane (Air France is awesome by the way), traveled overnight, arrived in Paris on Sunday morning, and met up with 12 other individuals - complete strangers mind you - 2 tour guides with Custom Experiences, and an influencer by the name of Juli Bauer of Paleomg. Have you heard of her?
And when I say INFLUENCER, I mean, she is kicking ass and a pretty f-ing big deal!
Although I am the only other influencer/blogger in attendance - most are in corporate America, a few in the military, small business owners, etc. - it has been extremely beneficial to pick up on some of Juli's tips and tricks with that she has done in the industry. I am totally behaving when it comes to wanting to pick her brain with ALL the things that come with becoming a BIG DEAL in the social media realm, but I am being reserved and not too "OMG." Get it? She is PaleOMG by the way. Ha!
To say it has been a whirlwind since arriving is a bit of an understatement. And, yes, the jet lag is FOR REAL people. I feel like I have not really slept since Friday night, into Saturday morning, and it has been crazy to think that when I am going to sleep, everyone back home is just finishing up their work day. I mean, I was drinking wine at a fabulous winery in Beaune, France earlier today, and, in Baltimore, it was still in the wee hours of the morning. There is something so wrong about that; wait, I take that back, something so right? Wine is like water here, and it is, TOTALLY, acceptable to drink at any hour of the day!
This has been an amazing experience, thus far, and it has been so scary at the same time. When I say scary, I mean traveling to a foreign country where the language barrier is no joke (and French was never a language I spoke but it's BEAUTIFUL), feeling out of my element with not knowing anyone (luckily, others felt the same way), and just trying to embrace the moment, try all the food that France is so well known for, and proving to myself that I can fucking do this. No, it is not California, or a conference I am attending, or something in my comfort wheelhouse. This is about getting comfortable with being uncomfortable!
Here is a brief re-cap of what has happened so far!
I arrived in Paris on Sunday, and proceeded to wait in the customs line for 1 hour 45 minutes. Yes, AMAZING. Lack of sleep, lack of coffee, and "OMG, where am I" gave me all the nerves. Luckily, I managed to grab my luggage and meet up with my group in time. From there, we drove from the airport to our boutique hotel called the Hotel George.
We dropped our stuff, and headed out for a little sightseeing in the town of Montmartre. Adorable, quaint, rolling hills, lunch in a cafe, and then made our way back to the hotel to check-in, unpack, have a little downtime, and get ready for an evening out on the town.
Okay, I talked about this on social media over the past 2 days BUT 2 things in Europe I am having a hard time wrapping my head around - the ridiculously small to-go coffee cups AND the tuna can rooms with 2 twin beds that are pushed together (especially when you have a roommate). I am embracing it but WTF.
Dinner was at a super authentic French restaurant - Le Mesturet - where we had lots of vino, and a prix fix menu for which to choose from. I opted for the squash soup and the sea bass. Soup was on point; sea bass was "okay." Lack of food for the day meant I ate it anyway. Oh, portions are a lot different here too. Not that I am surprised.
FINALLY, time for bed; needless to say, I was beyond tired! AHHHH!
Monday morning came with an early rise time to meet the group and head to our Chateau in Barbirey-sur-Ouche (more to come in a later blog post). FIRST, I was so French and found a nearby Starbucks where I could grab a VEINTE coffee to go! Dear God did I feel so much better! Our trip to Burgundy was, about, 5-6 hours (traffic dependent) but we split it up between rest stops and visiting the Palace of Fontainebleau. Talk about GORGEOUS!
Although super, super ornate, there were definitely pieces of furniture that I, totally, want to mirror AND the grounds were spectacular.
Luckily, the weather has been amazing; blue skies, sun, and a crisp low 60's, with a dip into the 40's at night. Perfect weather for a fire at our soon to be Chateau.
We stayed at the town of Fontainebleau for a few hours where we toured and then had another fabulous lunch. This time, I had a dish of Duck Confit which was flipping DIVINE, followed by a shared dish of a warm goat cheese.
After being refueled, it was time to get back on the bus and make our way to our new home for the next few days. AHH, cannot wait to share with you! Until then...Au Revoir! I know, my French is pretty amazing!