May 16, 2019
Okay, and maybe a lot of that went down in Paris too! :) Ahh, Bonjour & Happy Thursday loves; well, at least I think it is Thursday - ha! This jet lag has been real as F$%& and my sleeping has been ridiculous. At least I am consistent, no matter what continent I am on, right?
What a week it has been so far, and, as some of us chatted about today, the days have not felt super fast but it is hard to believe we are at the end of the trip. I admit, as much as I have loved every minute of this "getting out of my comfort zone" experience, and exploring France (and Europe for that matter) for the first time, I am so excited to get back home, get into a routine, enjoy my large cups of coffee in the morning, eat all the vegetables, and start this 2nd half of the year with a whole new outlook and perspective.
BUT, this does not come without a little shopping...I mean, did you think I would be coming to Paris without a game plan of shops to check out? That will be for tomorrow!
My last blog post left you off with showcasing the beautiful Palace of Fontainbleau and, TODAY, I want to share the beautiful chateau, and all the fun, that went down in beautiful Burgundy; a wine country that is very, very different from what I am used to in California (and even Oregon). Did you know - NO SWIRLING people! More on that in a moment!
The chateau where we stayed was in the beautiful French countryside of Barbirey-sur-Ouche, which is part of the Bourgogne region of eastern France. If you want a FULL peek of the accommodations, check it out HERE! This 15+ bedroom estate overlooked the lushest landscape and gardens that I have ever seen. I mean, the maintenance on this property must be mind-boggling. The greenery, the flowers, the blue skies and sun we had all week - just BREATHTAKING!
Once we settled into our rooms - so excited that I got one all to myself - we opened many bottles of wine and just chilled. We chatted, walked the grounds, and then settled in for a meal by our chef who made us an incredible dish of goat cheese and walnuts over fresh baguette and greens to start, then fish (although I cannot remember what it was; significant to region) and truffle potatoes for our main course. OMG - INCREDIBLE! And, yes, I have gone way out of my eating comfort zone here too. Because, as I have been saying for the past 5 days - "when in France." Post dinner, we stayed up for more vino and chatter, then time to hit the sheets!
Tuesday morning was met with an early morning workout from Ms. Paleomg, herself, then a quick turnaround to get ready and push on to our authentic French wine tasting. Every morning, the chateau provided a beautiful breakfast filled with scrambled eggs, fresh ham, homemade croissants & jam, fruit, yogurt, and all the coffee, juice, and water! Since it takes me FOREVER to get ready, and to try and stay organized, I barely made it in time to get on the bus. Btw, with this 6 hour time difference, it was crazy to think we were drinking all the wine before most people back home had not even grabbed their 1st cup of coffee!
We traveled about 45 minutes to Beaune, France where we had the most fabulous wine tasting at La Cave de l'ange Gardien, where Nicole, one of the owners (it's a husband and wife duo) taught us her passion for Burgundy wine. From how you hold you glass, to how you smell with one nostril open/closed, looking for the "legs," the color, the "diamond" on your napkin, etc., I am totally ready to throw a French dinner party and pair with some fabulous vino. Don't worry, a case is being shipped! We sampled everything from Chardonnay, to Pinot Noir, to Bubbly, and a fabulous Cassis liquor! Pretty epic!
From there, we walked around the adorable, quaint town, grabbed some eats at local cafe, then peeked in and out of the super cute boutiques.
Before we knew it, it was time to head back on the bus and travel back to the Chateau, where we would get an authentic cooking class with our chef! Did I mention more wine too? The menu included homemade ravioli stuffed with smoked salmon (and some kind of veggies), topped with a fennel and apple slaw, and then a main dish of roasted chicken and a vegetable medley - I opted out of the rice - topped with an incredible sauce that will stay my secret as to the ingredients. Post dinner, more wine and games, and in bed LATE...but so worth it! No wonder I have been in a sleep hangover!
Wednesday was a leisurely day at the Chateau, although it consisted of another booty-kicking morning from Juli Bauer, a bike ride along the Bourgogne Canal, and a hike to see castle ruins! Needless to say, my iWatch was going crazy! LOL! Check out this view along our bike route!
This was the 1st day I tried 1/2 a croissant - honestly, not really my thing but I had to try - with homemade jam, eggs, and a little ham. The perfect post-workout fuel & breakfast! Lunch took place at the adorable "Shopicieria," which is not only a Bed & Breakfast, but the owner lives there and makes all the food too! Again, went out of my comfort zone with smoked salmon, taboule, and fresh tomatoes. Great spot to chill and regroup during our bike ride.
Finally, without falling into our dinner plates after all the activity and wine, we helped the chef put together our appetizer of poached eggs on baguettes topped with a vegetable medley, then followed by duck breast and mashed potatoes. The only bummer to this meal with the overcooked duck, especially after the delicious dish of duck confit I had earlier in the week! We toasted with bubbly, more wine, and played one last game before we all said GOODNIGHT!
Thursday morning came so early, and we were back on the bus for our 5 hour bus ride back to Paris, where we dined at Chez Nous - the coolest wine bar and one of the highlights of the trip! If you come to Paris, this is a MUST try place! Ah, so f-ing #fit4janine! OMGOSH, the wine, the charcuterie, the cheese, more wine, tartare, more meats/cheese, and I think I have had my fill. WAIT, that did not stop me from getting the goat cheese, walnut, honey, and added mushroom crepe at dinner. Again, another quaint, but retro, eatery! Cheese really is a popular item here in France!
Prior to dinner, we checked into our hotel, I grabbed 2 kiddie sized Americanos (tired + day drinking = WOAH) with a friend, and we walked to the department store Lafayette. Another must see, and recommendation from a client, while in town. Apparently, the view from the top is AMAZING, and I look forward to checking it out tomorrow too.
One of the coolest things that we got to see was not only the Eiffel Tower at night BUT, TODAY, kicked off the 130th Anniversary Celebration which meant a fantastic laser show! Oh, one thing that I do not care for, though, is the rudeness and ALL THE PEOPLE!
What a day...and a week! My platform heels had me spent, and while I walked some of the way with the group, our tour guide, Lindsey, and I grabbed an Uber and headed back to the hotel. Another late night - in bed after 12:00 pm - but I great way to end this fabulous and life-changing trip!
Here's to you France! Look forward to your shopping tomorrow, and continuing to live the #fit4janine lifestyle!
P.S. Here is a picture of the fabulous Juli Bauer and I! Such a pleasure and thrill to meet a woman who is has been one of my biggest mentors in the influencer/blogger industry!