Traveling is something that Adam and I have really enjoyed our first 4 years of marriage so when we had credit card points to use and noticed Adam was turning 29 we decided to go to Europe! Like I said we used credit card points to fly round trip (kinda of…more to come on that!) so we got a little creative with our flights. On our way there we flew with Iceland Air. We LOVED our experience with them and are so excited that they are as of May 2018 offering direct flights from KC to Iceland!! We will have to go back & spend more than 1 hour in Iceland next time!
We started our journey leaving KC heading to Chicago where we would pick up our international flight. While we waited in Chicago we stopped in the priority pass lounge where we stocked up on snack for our flight! And if you know my hubby that man loves a deal or anything that is free so he was SUPER jazzed!
The booked the economy class seats and they were super comfy! We had plenty of room and in flight entertainment in the seat backs. When the flight attendants turned the lights down, these lights appeared above the seats. It reminded me of the northern lights!
When we finally got to our final destination in Bordeaux we were SO excited and I needed food STAT! This large bottle of wine was a the baggage carousel, I loved how much Bordeaux embraced their wine culture! From the airport we took an uber to our Airbnb and I was so excited to see that we were being picked up by a Tesla! As a fellow electric car owner & lover it was so fun to finally ride in one! Sadly at this point I hadn’t downloaded the offline version of Google Translate so there was zero communication with our driver!
We LOVED the apartment we stayed in! It had a beautiful terrace that overlooked Basilica of St. Michael & the square. This area had a middle eastern influence and it was so fun to be fully immersed in the culture. If we were to visit Bordeaux again I would absolutely look to see if this place was available but I think we would stay a little father north to experience a different neighborhood.
After we checked into our amazing Airbnb we headed straight to dinner. Right outside of our place was an amazing restaurant called Moony. This is where we experienced one of the only people that spoke english so this lovely waitress gave us a few tips about the area.
The next morning was all about exploring! It was so fun to see how the french live! Their life is all about bread! We stared the day off with baked goods then headed out. We walked north towards the Grand Theater where the center of town was. Of course we found some coffee & Chai lattes along the way!
When we got there I made Adam stop for second breakfast and we ordered the traditional French breakfast. As a BIG fan of breakfast one pastry was not going to sustain me until lunch!
As we were wondering around town we browsed wine shops & markets on our way to the wine museum!
La Cité du Vin is an amazing museum & we probably only saw 30% of it! The main exhibit is all about wine. From where its grown to properly drinking it. The exhibit was self guided so you could hop around to different areas and go at your own pace. At the end of the tour you could visit the rooftop bar for a complementary glass of wine. I loved the wine bottles hanging from the ceiling!
We decided to leave the wine museum early because we were starving and had already eaten all the snacks we brought! As we were walking around town we noticed that all the restaurants were closed around 3pm but we couldn’t wait until dinner to eat! So we found this adorable little brasserie and had a seat. When the waiter came I said in broken french “Pain, fromage, vin rouge” and this is what he brought us! This was hands down some of the BEST cheese I’ve ever had!
On our way back of course we had to get MORE bread because, France. One thing I noticed about the french is that they would just walk around eating bread. I’m not sure why this isn’t some thing that I do!?
After a short break at our apartment we were out again for dinner! We stopped by this amazing Italian restaurant because the theme of this trip was carbs and wine apparently! Ha! Then we stopped by a wine bar! They had an outdoor patio area that was super cute! I loved sharing a bottle of wine here with Adam!
On the way home we found a carnival and it was hopping! We loved walking around, looking at all the food & doing some people watching. Clearly we stood out because a young french man stopped us and asked if we were Americans! He was so excited to meet an American! I am so sad to say that we had only ONE crepe while in France however it was delicious!!
In the middle of the night we kept hearing loud banging outside but dismissed it and went back to sleep. Well when we got up in the morning we were pleasantly surprised to see this HUGE market! While we were there they had 3 different markets that they fully broke down & set up every time! The first one was flea market, then one with just books and the final was a farmers market. At the farmers market one we got this delicious sweet bread that we ate way too quickly!
Our second day we explored all the city had to offer while stopping in little brasseries enjoying more carbs & wine!
Little areas like this is what I enjoyed most about Bordeaux. You would turn a corner and find ANOTHER cute little square with 5 -6 restaurants with outdoor seating where people were enjoying wine chatting with friends!
That night we went to a restaurant right by us at ordered steak frites, unsure of what we would be getting but it was delicious!! I believe there was a slice of foie gras on top of the steaks so I donated mine to Adam who’s palate is far more refined than mine! Haha! At this meal we heard another couple speaking english and we were SO excited to talk to them!! This was the first english we had heard since the first night! They were a wonderful couple that had been riding the train around France and that was their first night in Bordeaux!
The next day was Adam’s birthday so we spent the day wine tasting in the country!! We booked THIS wine tour with Viatour and loved it!! Our first stop was probably my favorite! Chateau Lamothe – Bergeron is a very modern winery and their tour really helped us understand how wine is made! I’m so glad we went here first! And I wish we would have bought more than one bottle of wine!!
When we finished our tasting we stopped in the little town of Pauillac. This town was SO cute & after enjoying ANOTHER burger we walked to the marina to enjoy the water and look at all the adorable boats! What a fun start to Adam’s birthday!
The second winery was Chateau La Tour Carnet. This winery has roots in the Middle Ages so the main building was a charming castle! This winery is part of the Premier Grand Cru Class of Bordeaux wineries. This means this winery is one of the top four wineries in all of Bordeaux which also means they can charge more! Ha! This tour was also very informative and it was nice to see how one of the founding wineries did it!
The last winery was Chateau Prieure Lichine. This winery was also included in the Grand classification however they wern’t as uppity about it! I really enjoyed their laid back approach to wine! And their beautiful Chateau didn’t hurt either!Adam being the angel he is, took me to ramen for his birthday dinner. Noodles have to be my favorite food & I was SO excited when we walked into FuFu. Their narrow restaurant held about 20 people and we were so lucky to get a seat at the bar! One of my favorite things to is watch people cook, I know I’m weird. So this was heaven for me!! I got their traditional ramen & Adam ordered the yakisoba. This was our last meal in Bordeaux and I’m so glad its how we left this amazing city! Up next was Rome!! We loved Bordeaux but were very excited for the second half of our trip!After we landed & checked into our second Airbnb we ran to pasta as quick as we could! Our second apartment had many pros & cons. Pro: Roof top terrace, Elevator, Wifi. Cons: Street noise, Towels, Shower water pressure, Shower doors, Shower size. While our stay here wasn’t terrible I would absolutely want to try another apartment when visiting. Thanks to the location of our apartment we were so close to everything! We walked to the Trevi fountain and enjoyed some delicious gelato before walking over to the Pantheon. Our second day in Rome started out with a tour of the Vatican! We booked THIS tour, also with viatour loved it! Skipping the line was definitely worth it!! When we entered the line was probably 300 people long! The Vatican is not only an amazing place for catholics it is the worlds largest collection of art! We spent about 3 hours walking very quickly through it and saw a tiny bit of what they have to offer.
This tour was super fun for me thanks to all of the art history classes I took at KSU. I might not remember EVERYTHING Dr. Dow taught us but it was fun to remember the paintings & sculptures!
This was our tour guide! He did an amazing job!
The second to last part of the tour was the sistine chapel. When you’re in the chapel photographs are prohibited because the Nippon Television Network Corporation funded the restoration of the ceiling so they own the rights to it. I guess after spending $4.2 Million on the renovations that isn’t a huge ask! When you enter they ask for silence while enjoying the frescoes. Looking up at them is truly an experience. That Leonardo fella knows how to paint.
The tour was concluded at St. Peter’s Basilica. This church is the burial place of St. Peter and is massive! The dome was designed by Michelangelo when he was 71 years old!
At the end of our tour we wanted to see the city but walking it all was a little daunting. So we hopped on a tour bus that allowed us to jump on and off at various locations. We got to see so many awesome locations & each more gelato!
Later that evening the AMAZING Christina M Photography snapped a few photos of us! I am truly blessed to have a hubby who puts up with photos every year! Here are a few of my favorites!
Our final day in Rome was a little bit more stressful than we expected. Earlier in the week we saw in the news that Air Berlin filed for bankruptcy but was finishing their flights through October. So we had high hopes that we would make it back to the states. When we got up I tried to confirm our flight only to learn that it was canceled. And since they filed for bankruptcy after we booked our flights they didn’t owe us anything. They didn’t have to give us our money back, rebook our flights, NOTHING. Since we were flying home the next day lets just say we were a little stressed. After hours on the phone with Chase trying to figure out our travel insurance we finally booked a flight back home. Good news/bad news… the cheapest flights were in first class but they were still quite pricey. So on the last day we ate our feelings in pizza, gelato & wine. Like I said our flights were first class so we were greeting with sparkling wine on the plane and our flight was now direct to the US!Our take away from the trip. We LOVED Bordeaux! The small town charm was amazing, we felt like we got an understanding of how they lived! Rome was okay, it was amazing to see the Vatican however it is so commercialized that it kinda felt like another US city with lots of beautiful architecture.
While I’m glad we got to experience Europe I’m not planning a trip back any time soon! It took FOREVER to get there when Colorado is an hour plane ride away! But, I also love Colorado so thats not really fair, Ha!
Also, after fighting with Chase on the phone for about 6 hours they finally refunded the cost of our original flights that covered 20% of the cost of the second flight we had to buy. So maybe thats another reason I’m not super motivated to go across the pond again! Ha!
Some of the fun stuff I bought for our trip!
Travel Pillow – Would not recommend