We try to use every weekend to our best advantage, as our time here is limited and we don’t want to waste a moment of it. However…we’re still leading normal busy lives during the week. My husband as a financial auditor of things I don’t understand, and me as the busy mom of a little whirlwind of a two year old. So sometimes our planning is a little lacking. Or non-existent. So it came to be that one evening we realized we had no plans for the following weekend and needed to figure something out asap. On a whim we opted for a weekend in Champagne country.
First stop: Reims, France. Home to a number of large champagne houses, Reims is a nice city, but wasn’t worth an entire day in our opinion. We saw a couple cathedrals and the Palace of Tau and I can’t say any of it was terribly interesting. Our last stop however, was the Taittinger champagne house for a tour of the caves, and this did not disappoint. Carved from Roman chalk mines dating to the 4th century, the caves hold thousands upon thousands of bottles of champagne more than 60 feet beneath the city. The tour was informative and interesting, though our two year old would probably beg to differ. Half a bag of gummy bears later (she can’t scream if her mouth is full right?) we made to the tasting portion of the tour. It turns out that the disapproving stares of what are clearly non-parents make me less angry after a few glasses of champagne. Yeah, my kid is running around like a midget on speed and you know what….I’m on vacation and I just don’t care. Also, theres really nothing I can do unless you’d like me to hold her down while she screams like a banshee. Pick your poison.
After the tour we packed up our newly acquired bottles of bubbly and our obnoxious baby and headed to Hautvillers. Nestled on a hillside in the Champagne-Ardennes region of France, the tiny village packs in more charm and beauty than most cities we’ve visited 20 times its size. We’d picked a small Airbnb on the edge of town overlooking the vineyards. Honestly, i could have just sat on the terrace with those bottles of champagne and never left the house. It was absolutely beautiful. We had only a hour or two left of the day though so we quickly headed to G. Tribaut, a small champagne house a few blocks away. We ordered a flight (ok a couple) and sat outside in the garden to enjoy the beautiful fall evening. E explored the garden while we sipped and watched the light slowly fade over the vineyards. Whatever disappointment we’d felt with our day in Reims faded away as well. It was, and still is, one of the most beautiful places i’ve seen with my own eyes.
I’ll let the photos do the rest of the explaining. If you need me i’ll just be here dreaming of our next trip to Champagne country…