An American Couple in Paris: Part Deux

The title of this post is a nod to the series finale of Sex and the City - I figured it was fitting! Anyway, we went to the Louvre on our third day in Paris. I can't even describe how massive it is! It was so insanely cool - and crowded. Luckily, a little research led me to a secret side entrance to the museum which allowed us to skip the hour and a half wait! So worth it. DSCN0252 DSCN0253 DSCN0254Louvre selfies!securedownload-1I didn't take too many pictures inside the museum because I wanted to take it all in. Also, I was SO annoyed by all of the camera phones and iPads (yes, people were taking photos with iPads), blocking all of the paintings. Seriously, you could barely see the Mona Lisa because of all of the phones in the way! You're at the Louvre - just enjoy it! You can google pics of the Mona Lisa later. Sorry for the mini rant....anyway, check out this ceiling!DSCN0259 My favorite parts were all of the crowns and royal heirlooms, the Egyptian tombs and Napoleon's apartment! I did take a few pics of that because it was so extravagant...DSCN0261 DSCN0262 After the Louvre we just walked around Paris - it's amazing to just wander around and take in all of the sights. Like this building we walked by - I don't even know what it is, but it's magnificent! DSCN0266We had a low key night since we had to wake up super early for our champagne tour the next day, but we did find a amazing little pizza place called Cote Pizza. Fresh ingredients, great wine and some of the best tiramisu I've ever had in my life! After three days I needed a little break from French food and it was the perfect spot.

The next day we woke up super early - our ride picked us up at 7AM - and headed off to Reims for the day for our champagne tour! It's about 2 hours away, but I highly recommend it if you're in Paris and looking for a day trip. We used Paris Champagne Tour and they were awesome! It's 175 euros but it includes your transportation, 2 champagne tours and tastings, a delicious lunch and a tour of the Reims Cathedral. It was a small tour too - just us and two other couples, who happened to be young Australians also on their honeymoons! We lucked out with a great group.

Our first stop was at the actual vineyards - all of the grapes for champagne in the entire world are grown right here! Also, it's not called champagne unless it's grown in this area - they are very strict about that! securedownload-20 securedownload-21Ah, my fave!securedownload-22Our next stop was at Cuperly - a small, family owned champagne maker. We toured their entire facility and they walked us through the whole champagne making process, which is very extensive. We learned a ton! Afterwards, we had a well deserved tasting - and we took home a bottle of the delicious rose! securedownload-8Fun fact, the bigger the bottle, the better the champagne! And, champagne doesn't need to age - it's already been aged enough after it's bottled. So drink up!

After Cuperly, we had a delicious lunch in Reims - I don't even remember the name! It was traditional French cuisine and there were only 2 options for a three course meal. Luckily, our tour guide stayed with us to help us order. We also drank a lot of champagne - it's all part of the tour, right?

Next we toured the Reims Cathedral, which was absolutely beautiful. The photos speak for themselves!securedownload-23 securedownload-26securedownload-28The stained glass was just incredible. securedownload-30 securedownload-24My favorite statue - doesn't she look happy? Rock on. securedownload-25Next stop? The Pommery, which I've decided is the champagne equivalent of Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. It was so bizarre but really cool. Lots of contemporary art, bright colors and interesting architecture. securedownload-10 securedownload-11 securedownload-12This is what it looked like inside - completely different from Cuperly! And yes, that is a real stuffed circus elephant. Creepy!securedownload-9The whole tour was underground, and they make their champagne in these dark caverns. Again, a little creepy, but we were with a big group so it wasn't too scary. securedownload-15 securedownload-14 securedownload-16Really interesting place - one of those things you just have to see in person to get the full effect! Our last stop was the Veuve Clicquot tasting room, per our request! Completely different vibe from the last two - very clean cut and sophisticated. And of course, delicious!securedownload-19Another low key night - we didn't get back until almost 8 so we were exhausted. The next day we just walked around Paris, did some shopping and enjoyed our last day. That night, we had dinner at Saturne - by far our best meal in Paris! I had the best bottle of chardonnay of my life - here's a pic of the bottle. The meal was spectacular. The lobster with baby potatoes was absolutely to die for! Highly recommend - just make a reservation. securedownload-31

Tomorrow - all about our first few days in Barcelona! Ah I loved that city....can't wait to share it with you all!

xo Court

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Review - The Yoga Wine Trail

Hi there! Hope everyone had a great weekend. On Saturday, my mom and I went to a yoga/wine tasting event for Mother's Day and it was fabulous! It was an hour long yoga class outdoors at Plagido Winery in Hammonton, NJ, followed by a wine tasting and snacks - for only $25! Such a great idea for a girls day! Unique Yoga Events is hosting the Yoga Wine Trail this summer, and there are 6 different participating wineries around NJ. If you're in the area, definitely check it out! Here are a few pics from the day:securedownload securedownload-2Such a great view for our yoga class - and the weather was gorgeous!securedownload-1Aside from great wine, they had so many awesome gifts, like chocolate wine bottles!securedownload-4 My favorites from the tasting? The Cabernet Franc and the Blueberry wine, which doesn't have any added sugars so it's not super sweet. Also, Hammonton is the blueberry capital of the world, so naturally anything blueberry-flavored is delicious!securedownload-6An impressive awards collection!securedownload-3

I'll definitely be attending another event this summer - you should too!

xo Courtney

 

California: Day 2 {Santa Ynez Valley}

This past Sunday was my 25th birthday, and it was such a fabulous day! We drove an hour north of Santa Barbara to the Santa Ynez Valley (where the movie Sideways was filmed) and spent the day wine tasting. The scenery was breathtaking - mountains, rolling hills and vineyards for miles. It was so peaceful, and such a nice change of pace from the urban jungle aka Philadelphia. Our first stop was Demetria Estate in Los Olivos. So amazing. You do need a reservation, but it is absolutely worth it for the picturesque views and delicious wine. My favorite was the Grenache Rose - definitely brought a bottle of it back to the east coast! DSCN0053

 

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DSCN0059DSCN0045After Demetria, we ventured over to Kalyra Winery with Bert and Christine and enjoyed a bottle outside. If you've seen the movie, this is where Sandra Oh's character worked. Cute place - reminded me of a little beach bungalow. Next we headed into the town of Los Olivos, which is one of the most adorable towns I've ever seen. I fell in love. We shared a bottle of wine at the Carhartt Tasting Room, which was so cute I decided I want to put one in Philadelphia (wishful thinking, I know). All of their furniture was made from wine barrels - so awesome. DSCN0075

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That night, we headed over to Solvang, which is a quaint little Danish-style town equipped with windmills and all. We had dinner at Succulent, which was absolutely delicious. They even served homemade biscuits in flower pots - seriously, how cute is that? We spent the night at the Hamlet Inn - clean, super affordable and cute. Thanks for the recommendation designlovefest! Oh, and there was a store called  "C and R" - Courtney and Reese, get it? I'm a dork, I know...

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On Monday, we headed back down to LA to attend a reception for Reese's uncle, Roger Kelly, who was being inducted into the Southern California Professional Golf Hall of Fame. The reception was at Lakeside Country Club, and there was a statue of Roger right next to the club house - pretty cool experience.

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Overall, it was an amazing trip. I love the west coast and I can't wait to go back...which will actually be in 2 weeks! Reese has a business trip in San Francisco, so I'll be tagging along and blogging, of course! Until next time...

xo Court