Thursday, January 4, 2018

Welcome 2018 -" Au Revior" 2017 - A year full of fun, love, family & travel

Photo Review
We started off  ringing in the New Year with a quiet celebration.  Later on in the month we celebrated 2 birthdays - Turning 16 years old and adding an official teenager to the house.  These girls keep me on my toes between their activities and social life!  Our two kittens turned 6 & 7 months old - the boys have become inseparable and often sleep next to each other.
During our mild winter, we enjoyed outings in Bordeaux  (coffee is always a wonderful treat!) and it's surroundings on the weekends - Darwin - Casserne Niel is one of our favorite places to visit as a family.  Having teenagers means less time all together but it's great to find a place where they enjoy going.
In early April, my mother and I went on a river cruise up the Seine toward Normandy.  We enjoyed many of the small towns along the way, most noteable was Monet's gardens in Giverny and the city of Rouen.
Our ship sailed all the way up to Honfleur on the Northern coast and we spent a day visiting the Normandy beaches and the American Military cemetery.  Busy week, including some great weather.  After our week, my mother ventured South to spend the next 3 weeks in Bordeaux with us.
The tourist season kicked back into gear and I returned to work touring groups throughout the region.  A weekend escape in Ile de Re was beautiful and relaxing - as usual.  It's one of my favorite places to visit and only a mere two hours from Bordeaux.
April vacation brought a visit with a very dear friend from the US and her daughter.  We enjoyed showing them Bordeaux, Arcachon, the Dune du Pyla and Saint Emilion.  Loved having the opportunity to take photos of the girls!  Especially having a 16 year old who more often than not, enjoys being off with friends.
Work continued to take me around various wine vineyards - I very much enjoyed Chateau de Reignac.  Will be doing a post of this chateaux very shortly.  The end of April vacation took us on a day trip to Talmont sur Gironde - a beautiful quaint village set up on white cliffs on the East side of the Garonne River.  So quaint and adorable - this little village is pedestrian only and is a beautiful mix of shops, restaurants and art galleries.

Weekend fun also meant enjoying a soccer game between Bordeaux & Marseilles.  
The months of May & June included tour visits throughout the city plus Chateau Giruard La Rose in the Medoc.  Had the marvelous opportunity to meet Veronique of the blog "French Girl in Seattle" here in Bordeaux.  It was one of those connections that clicked from the moment we sat down to chat.  So fun to meet my French counterpart who lives in the States!  The final long weekend in May was a delightful getaway to the countryside in the Dordogne - barbecue, poolside and just plain rest and relaxing for before the girls headed into their final month of school.
 June continued to be busy for me - including more visits to the Medoc, Sauternes & Cadillac.  Even traveled North 2 hours to Cognac touring a group through the village and taking them to the Cognac House of Remy Martin.  Always more to learn about this region and it's pure delight to share it.
 July kicked off with Soiree Blanche in Arcachon to welcome in the summer.  This fabulous public party is a "bring your own picnic" and bottle and the town provides tables, DJ and fireworks.  This is our second time we have participated in this evening and it's a blast!!  I love the Bassin & love touring my clients around the town of Arcachon and Cap Ferret. 
Additionally, we said goodbye to our little house that we rented for the past 3 years...for the summer we enjoyed an apartment in Pessac Center with a beautiful evening view from the balcony.
July included a lot of work on my part all over the region - Bordeaux, Saint Emilion, Sauternes & Chateau Margaux in the Medoc.  This month also brought a visit from good friends from Albany, NY.  We toured Saint Emilion, Bordeaux & the Dune du Pyla....enjoying lots of delicious wine and Oysters!  The girls enjoyed the month of July with their father.
I enjoyed a trip to Futuroscope with my oldest and youngest (while my middle daughter was away in the South of France with a friend) and then we headed out to the French Alps for a week of vacation where we caught up with my middle daughter.  We enjoyed an evening in Lyon on the way East.  This city is quaint and colorful and a beautiful place to spend a warm summer's evening.
Our week in the Alps was highlighted by visits to Lac Annecy & Geneva, Switzerland.  The water was so blue in the Savoie region and the mountain just called to me.  
 We drove into the Haute Savoie region for a day visit to Chamonix at the base of Mount Blanc.  Stunning views and a storybook village highlighted this area.  A ride in a gondola took us up for some peaceful sitting an beautiful views.  It was amazing to see the glacier on the side of Mount Blanc.
 Our vacation ended with my oldest going paragliding before we left the area and headed South to Nice to see family.  As we headed back to Bordeaux, we stopped in Marseilles for a night including a stunning sunset on the beach and a tour of the Velodrome the next day.  School started in early September and we finally found a new home ready for us in early October.
 September was back to school for the girls and high intensive season of work for me.  The harvest season was upon us - making for some great tours and photos.  My work also included touring groups from several Ocean liners who came to port in Bordeaux for a couple of days.
 October was a very busy month - celebrating not one but 2 birthdays - my baby turned 10 and I hit the half century mark....we also moved into our new home - which meant a lot of re-organizing and settling in.  My youngest got to enjoy coming to work with me for a couple of days in October and of course, as Americans, we celebrated Halloween with a party!  Trick or treating is slowly growing here - and the girls enjoyed ringing doorbells on the new street.
 The end of October also meant the two week Toussaint school break for the girls.  We enjoyed having friends visit from Paris -and headed out to Cap Ferret for a day. 

My visits to Cognac also included touring a small producer and the House of  Martell this month.  As we headed into November, we closed the tourist season with a final couple weeks of work.  Looking forward to beginning again in late March.
This blog has continued to be a great place to share both from our family point of view and to allow readers to see more of the region.  Bordeaux is a highly ranked tourist destination at this time and we are seeing more and more people coming to visit.  I hope from the photos that you can see why.  It's truly a spectacular region and after 6 years of living here - it still continues to amaze me with its rich history and stunning diversity.

As a blogger, I've been invited to enjoy many festivals and events. Notably this year, the food festival - Bordeaux SoGood in November and the Great Wine Capitals Awards evening which recognizes wine properties that excel in tourism.  (A blog post will be coming shortly - highlighting many of these properties).

Due to my work schedule, I wasn't able to write as many posts as I would have liked.  But new year - new resolutions - I know 2018 will be a wonderful year and continued growth for all of us.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year - May 2018 be filled with joy, good health and prosperity.


  1. You have had a really great year! Wishing you a fantastic 2018! One of these days I will head down your way. Almost hoped on the train today to take the kids to Disney, but then I looked at the hotel prices and said no thanks. Train from my town to Paris 20 e per person, Disney ticket 88 e and the kicker was the hotel with no breakfast was like 1500 e for 2 nights. My kids are going nuts with needing something to do. We will probably go to Koln on Saturday and go on a chocolate factory tour.

  2. Thank you for sharing! It is lovely to publish pictures to show case your family, your life in Bordeaux, the region. I am also creating a blog : It will feature wine and slowtourism : no cars but hikes and bikes :-)

  3. Can't wait to read your next blog about the Best Of Wine Tourism awards ;)
    Best, Catherine


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