After our wonderful (seriously, it was PERFECT) wedding, we jetted off to France for an amazingly romantic and exciting honeymoon.
We had an easy flight from JFK to Paris on Sunday night and arrived at just after 7am Paris time. Since we had gotten a couple of hours of sleep on the plane and were so excited to be in France, we weren't that tired. We had expected customs to take a while, but we were outside picking up our rental car in 5 minutes! Our car was a cute little Mercedes compact car that Kevin said felt like driving a go cart... it was petite! We had a GPS in the car, which was SO helpful in France. We got on our way and had a lot of fun driving through the beautiful countryside to Reims. We really enjoyed all of the farmland and trying to decipher what all of the unfamiliar traffic signs meant.
Once we got to Reims, we were able to check into our hotel early, which was awesome! We took a quick nap, by this time, we were starting to get tired! Then, we had lunch in town and walked around. We went to the cathedral, which was amazing. It was so cool to be in such an old place that is such a big part of France's history, nearly every French King until the 19th century was crowned here.
Later that afternoon, we visited the Champagne cellars of GH MUMM, who is the third largest Champagne producer in the world! It was really fun tour of the cellars and we learned a lot about how it's made. Of course, then we got to the fun part, the tasting! We got to taste their Brut and Demi Sec, which were both good, but their traditional Brut was amazing. It's amazing how much better the real stuff is than what comes from California!!
We were exhausted from the wedding weekend, traveling and time change that we fell asleep early that night. The next morning we had an amazing breakfast at the hotel. The chocolat chaud was amazing and they had unlimited mini pain au chocolats! After checking out of the hotel, we headed to another Champagne cellar tour. We went to Champagne Lanson, which is also in Reims. We had a private tour of the entire facility, where every single bottle of champagne is made. We even saw a hectare of vineyard that they had on their property for making a special champagne with only those grapes. It was really cool to see everything in the champagne process, from the grapes and bottling to the fermentation processes, labeling and packaging. We finished the tour off with another champagne tasting!
Then, we began our trip back towards Paris. We loved all of the scenery and stopped at a chateau outside of Compiegne, Chateau Pierrefonds. I had visited this chateau 5 years earlier when I went to France for a school exchange and I thought it would be a fun stop on our drive to Paris. We had lunch at the boulangerie in town and Kevin discovered his favorite French food, Jambon-Beurre(a French baguette with ham and butter). We walked around, enjoyed relaxing with the amazing scenery and then got back in the car for Paris!
As we got closer and closer to Paris, traffic got crazier and crazier. Everyone was in little cars and zipping around everywhere. We joked that there were basically no traffic laws in France. Kevin did an amazing job and we drove right through the middle of Paris, around the Place de la Concorde and over the Seine. It was such an awesome way to see the sights. Finally, we made it to Place des Invalides, where we were to return the car, but we couldn't figure out where to take it! So, after driving around the block about 5 times, we finally found a very small sign that said the rental car drop off was in a garage UNDERNEATH the road. Once we had the car parked in the right spot, we made it to the metro to go to our apartment.
The greeter at our apartment was so nice and gave us all of the info we needed for our stay. The apartment was gorgeous and just like we expected. We were so thrilled! It had a cute little balcony overlooking the bustling market street, Rue Cler. That evening, we took an evening walk towards the Eiffel Tower (only 3 blocks away) and took an evening boat cruise on the Seine. It was really great to be in Paris and just relaxing!
to be continued...