France Part I: Dijon & Chablis

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France!  France was great.  France was amazing.  France was hard for me to get over.  A week after returning I talked to my mom and she asked me how I was doing.  “Well, I’m okay but I probably should have scheduled more play dates but I didn’t know how I would feel,” I said.  That wasn’t what she’d meant so she went ahead and said, “returning from a trip was always so hard for me when you girls were young.  I often felt a little sad after a trip.”  I was so grateful for the permission.  For the understanding that I wasn’t alone.  That just because maybe I was feeling like I wanted to be back in France with my husband instead of in the playroom with my son I wasn’t the worst mother.  Or even a bad mother.  It is very difficult to go from all the freedom to all the routines and structure.  I feel better now, but the struggle was real.

Anyway, for this trip we decided to go with a tour group called Backroads, who specialize in active vacations.  We chose a bike trip through Chablis and Burgundy as a way to further our understanding of Pinot Noir.  Which is something we’ve been doing for awhile, just never in France.  We also wanted to gain some understanding of Burgundy wine generally.  More importantly, Sean can’t relax without an activity so this was the perfect solution.

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We had half a day in Dijon to ourselves before the trip got started.  I think I might have gotten in trouble for taking this picture above, but I’m so glad I snapped it.  This simple tomato and cheese salad at Loiseau des Ducs was probably one of the food highlights of the entire trip!

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Then we met up with our group, had lunch, and went for our first bike ride!  Sean and I were leaders of the pack that day.  Along with two others.  Something that never happened to us again….

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Our first hotel, Château de Vault de Lugny, had a mote!  Yes, it was really used as defense at one time.

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This is the swimming pool!  Sean and I beelined it for the pool after our first ride.  We had the whole space to ourselves!  I think everyone else opted to walk around and take pictures.  Not only was it nice to have the pool all to ourselves, it was so nice to be in the water without being responsible for a small child’s life.

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Most of the fields we passed during this part of the trip were mostly farms.  The sunflowers were very exciting to find since most of it was brown at this point in the year.

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The towns were so sleepy!

On this second day of biking, my seat was all wrong.  I’m not much of a biker, and I thought my seat was too high on the first day.  Well it turns out if your seat is too low that’s a problem too.  I didn’t have any power going up hills and really killed my legs.  I only made it half a day the second day and then relaxed at the hotel, which was great.  Sean made it the full day!

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We’re mostly tasting Chablis wine at this point, which is all chardonnay grapes.

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These are the only two group shots from the trip, but at least we have them!  We made friends with a couple that will likely move to DC next summer!

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I loved this tree so much!

In case you missed it, our video of the whole bike ride is here.

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