France

Saturday, June 16th, 2012
Friday, June 15th, 2012
Our last day in France and the weather is perfect. Prepared to enjoy every minute, we started early with a walk through town and a visit to the Friday morning market. The merchants were helpful and patient with our French.

Nicolas arranged a wine tasting for us at Château de Santenay, castle of Philippe le Hardi or Philip the Bold, son of Jean le Bon or John the Good.


Thursday, June 14th, 2012
The messy weather has not slowed us down, but we had high expectations for today when we saw the brilliant blue sky and puffy white clouds. We've taken full advantage of the warm dry day-from enjoying the hot air balloons on our morning walk to dinner on the terrace in the evening.
Wednesday, June 13th, 2012
Wednesday is mini-market day in Beaune, and we drove over from Meursault for our cooking class with Marjorie Taylor. We met at the Hess cheese shop to begin our day. Marjorie, a former pastry chef and restaurant entrepreneur, followed her daughter Kendall to France. Kendall, studied French, Art History and viticulture and has lived in France for over 10 years. When Marjorie came over in 2008, they created The Cook's Atelier to share their love of food and wine and all things French.
Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
Romanée-Conti wine sells for as much as 10,000 Euros a bottle, and today we saw the vines that will produce the 2012 vintage. Sadly, Romanée-Conti winery doesn't have a tasting room, but some of their neighbors do. Today, we toured the Côte de Nuits sub-region of the Côte d'Or with Nicholas and learned a lot about Burgundy wines-including the fact that not many of us in the car will ever drink Romanée-Conti!
Monday, June 11th, 2012
Today, we woke to clouds and drizzle.  We weren't concerned because it was a travel day with no outside activities scheduled.  Our first indoor activity was breakfast. Everything was delicious - especially the panne cotta. We would have stayed longer at Les Crayeres, but we had places to go and wines to taste.
Sunday, June 10th, 2012
The forecasts for dreary, rainy weather finally came true. We were up early and settled into our train seats a full ten minutes before departure-an auspicious start to a trip that was to take us from Bordeaux through Paris to Reims. We'd read that the drive from Gare Monparnasse to Paris Gare de l'Est takes about 20 minutes. We had about an hour to make the transfer.
Saturday, June 9th, 2012
Clouds loomed as we headed across the river to the right bank, or east, of the Gironde River to visit the Saint-Emilion region of Bordeaux. We met our tour guide Bruno for a tour of small vineyards and medium-scale production wineries. The terroir in the Saint-Emilion area varies slightly based on the elevation of the property along the plateau - the land higher up the edge and on the plateau has the best limestone and clay soil for growing grapes.
Friday, June 8th, 2012

We started the day on a high note: Château La Mission Haut-Brion. It's located next to sister property, Château Haut-Brion, which was the only wine outside of Médoc to be classified as a First Growth of Bordeaux. Château Haut-Brion has been closed two years for renovations. Château La Mission Haut-Brion sparkles now after renovations of its own.

Thursday, June 7th, 2012
Our first full day in Bordeaux was great. Bruno Delmas, wine expert and tour guide, met us at our house and we drove out to the Médoc wine region on the left bank of the Girond River. After years of an informal ranking, in1855 Napoleon III rated all wines in the region.
Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
Trains, planes, automobiles.....bus, tram, taxi, and feet.  All went well until we reached Bordeaux's St Jean train station. Bad maps, confusion, and general lack of knowledge of Bordeaux kept us walking up and down the streets for some time. Finally we hopped onto one of the city's very fine trams with all of our bags-good thing we're traveling light!
Friday, April 13th, 2012

Last year Andria and I stayed in a B&B with Danielle at Gwendrez Beach on the coast of Brittany. The house is lovely and the view amazing. Every season, Danielle sends us photos reminding us how beautiful her home and the area are. Here are a few of the pictures she's sent.

Bordeaux Chateaux
Wednesday, February 8th, 2012
Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said, "Burgundy makes you think of silly things, Bordeaux makes you talk of them and Champagne makes you do them."

We're going to test M. Brillat-Savarin's theory with a wild swing through these major wine regions of France.

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Monday, October 24th, 2011
When most people think of France, they think of Paris. But, the diverse region of Languedoc-Rousillion in the south, just across the border of Spain and a short drive north of Girona and Barcelona, is an enchanting place to see. The Languedoc region is often called the "poor man's south of France."
Italy tour group at Gaja Winery
Wednesday, September 28th, 2011
Hello Travelers!

The Good News Girlz are delighted to announce four fun and fantastic international tours for 2012. South America in January, Italy in May, France in June, and back to Italy with a slightly different route in September. Two of our tours will be prototrips -- new tours designed for those willing to jump out front and take life as it comes.

Thursday, June 30th, 2011
Years ago while traveling in France, I passed a sign that said Thalassotherapy. French friends told me that thalasso places use seawater for health benefits and that the French government sponsors these health spas. Apparently the French government no longer pays for thalassotherapy, and that had been my favorite part of the story. I'd love to think my government would pay for spa treatments. The real truth is that the French coast is dotted with these saltwater healing plants and everyone is welcome to go and pay their own way.
Wednesday, June 29th, 2011
The temps registered sixty degrees this morning in Saint-Malo, and a light mist drizzled down: that did not deter Andria from taking the morning dip she'd planned for today. Wrapped in coat, scarf and her towel, I held Andria's clothes while she swam.
Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Over thirty years ago my friend, Brad showed me photos of his trip to Mont Saint-Michel and St-Malo. Surely there would never be a more romantic place-beautiful, mystic cathedral built on land that becomes an island at high tide when water covers the causeway. Home to fewer than 50 people. Tucked away in the far edge of Normandy, Mont Saint-Michel never made it into my travel plans to France. Until this trip.
Monday, June 27th, 2011
Paleolithic folk spent a lot of time in southern Brittany around the picturesque Gulf of Morbihan. They left personal items such as jewelry and axes as well as carvings and remarkable megaliths. Among the stones left behind are huge menhirs, passage dolmens and stone circles. An outstanding site is located in Locmariaquer.
Friday, June 24th, 2011
Whoever told us that the southern part of Brittany is the sunny side must be selling real estate. It has rained some every day since we've arrived on the south coast, and today it poured all day long.

Refusing to let a little rain slow us down, we got up early and visited a medieval garden with Queen and Patrick.

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