Sunday, July 1, 2018

Our Beautiful Adventure Through France {Part 1}

I've been home now for almost a week and I feel like I'm still trying to wrap my mind around all the beautiful memories we made on our epic ten year anniversary trip through the beautiful country of France. 

Over the years, couples that we admire and trust have often encouraged us to prioritize our marriage by taking trips where it would just be the two of us. We started dreaming and planning this trip a few years ago and I'm so thankful that we did, because it was just... us.  Just Mike and Tab.  It's incredibly hard to leave your children, but I realized one night in Paris, as we sat enjoying a romantic dinner, that 12 days was actually a short amount of time that I had intentionally invested in my husband and in our marriage.  The shift in thinking was subtle, but a sweet lesson that I took away and I hope to share with all my married friends.  Take the trip.  Invite people into your life that can help with your children, and go on an adventure with your husband. 

Even now as I type this post, I still can't believe I was actually there.  Give me five minutes, and I can make you fall in love with France y'all.  It was the most beautiful country I think I've ever seen.  I would definitely recommend renting a car and driving through as much of it as you can.  There is so much to see.  

We started our trip by hopping in our rental car at the airport and driving a few hours south of Paris into the lovely region known as Burgundy.  We were able to explore 4 different regions of France on this trip.  Our driving route started in the wine country of Burgundy.  We then traveled into the French Alps, down the coast line to the South of France, and of course through the lovely region of Provence as we made our way back up to Paris. 

Burgundy.  This lovely slice of France is sprinkled with farmland, vineyards, and romantic castles.  The drive was so beautiful and I loved that we were able to take our time and explore a few different towns.  We made our first stop in the charming town of Semur-en-Auxois.  
We have friends that visited this little town and I'm so glad we were encouraged to check it out.  It's gorgeous architecture and winding cobblestone streets were just what my little heart was hoping for.  We spent our first afternoon exploring Semur-en-Auxois before making our way to our Airbnb in the larger town of Beaune.  

We had incredible experiences with Airbnb throughout France, but this little cottage was special.  Our hosts greeted us with kisses and congratulated us on our anniversary.  In fact, the sweet lady that owned our cottage took the opportunity to kiss Mike each time we passed by...or walked out to the car...every chance she got.  She was the sweetest! 
On Saturday morning, we slept in, enjoyed the first of many chocolate croissants, and made our way to the quaint farmers market, held every Saturday in the town center of Beaune.  
Mike and I enjoyed strolling past all the vibrant flowers, and fruits and vegetables.  We grabbed a box of the brightest strawberries I've ever seen and found sandwiches in one of the markets nearby for our picnic lunch later that afternoon.  

After making our way through the charming streets of Beaune, we visited the Hospice de Beaune.  It was a hospital foundation from the Middle Ages.  It's gothic architecture and magnificent tile roofs make this museum one of Burgundy's gems for sure. 

I was really drawn to this museum, because it was once a place that  some of the poorest people came to die.  The charitable owners wanted every single person, rich or poor, to have the opportunity to be loved and taken care of before they died. 

As we left Beaune, we made our way through beautiful vineyards with our picnic in tow.  We found a quiet spot to stop for lunch and enjoyed a gorgeous view of the vineyard. I remember thinking, I can't believe I am here with my man sitting in this gorgeous France.  So perfect. 
Of course, if I thought our romantic lunch was the highlight of the day, it's because I hadn't made it up to the Chateau de La Rochepot just yet.  We took the scenic route through the vineyards up to a beautiful castle on top of the hill.  It is in that moment, as we sat enjoying a cappuccino at a table for two outside this incredible castle that I thought.  I am absolutely certain I am dreaming. 
The history of this castle dates back to the 12th Century.  It was destroyed during the French Revolution.  This medieval fortress was  later restored in the 1800s and is now a museum.  We walked across the drawbridge and explored each room of the Chateau de La Rochepot.  We actually had the entire castle to ourselves and wandered through each room in awe. Burgundy was so good to us.  

We would have spent a few more days in this area, but I came across this picture on pinterest one day and completely re-routed our trip.  And I will tell you, that was a clutch move!  I saw a picture of the gorgeous lake town of Annecy with this intriguing castle in the town center that looked like a ship.  I immediately thought - I have to see this gorgeous town with my own eyes.  It was a two hour drive from Beaune, so we made it happen.  It may actually be my favorite region of France.  The French Alps are dreamy. 
 { Next Post - The French Alps}

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