26 August to 3 September
This morning started out with as a crazy foggy morning at CDG which caused a few hour arrival delay from Frankfurt for our visitors! But Jeff and Corey made it to Paris!!!
We were back to apartment around 1pm to relax and settle in a little then we headed out for a walk around the city.
We started with our standard selfie spot at Trocadero then down to Pont Alexandre III for some normal Saturday Seine sitting and drinking. There is nothing like a good rosé by the Seine.
Then we went home to shower and get ready for dinner. We had a quick local dinner at L’Aéro since it was a long day. Unfortunately it wasn’t so quick to bed because of mishap with the air mattress (the plug is MIA), but at least now we know how to use the pull out couch!
Step Count: 13, 372, 9.3km
Everyone got a chance to have a relaxing morning followed by a very French breakfast of pastries and coffee! (Breakfast of champions).
Then we were off to Marche Bastille for a typical Sunday here in Paris. I just love this market.
We pre-bought tickets to go up Tour Eiffel at 2pm since their trip here was so full and this was on the must list. The views were just perfect today.
After we went back across the city and walked around Notre-Dame, Hôtel de Ville, and Le Marais including a stop at Mariage Frères (the best tea shop in Paris).
At this point we needed to start heading back because tonight we had reservations at Fish La Boissonnerie so went back to apartment and got ready for dinner. Fish never disappoints.
On our way home we stopped at our favorite/secret night time spot to see the tower twinkle.
We called it a relatively early night because we had an early train tomorrow!
Step Count: 22,273, 15.4km
Today we were up and out to catch an early train (8:00am) from Gare de L’Est to Reims for Champagne! We were welcomed by an amazing sunrise!
We were met at the train station around 9am for a tour of the champagne region! We used Chris-Event, which was in Rick Steve’s book and they did not know it. It was a small group tour of 8 and it was worth every penny.
We first stopped in the vineyards for some explanations of the process of making champagne and growing the grapes and how that has changed over time.
Our next stop was at a small champagne house, Fernand Lemaire, where we learned about their process, saw their caves and, had our first tasting (at like 9:30am, totally normally).
We then went to the church where Dom Pérignon was buried “Église Saint-Sindulphe de l’Abbaye Saint-Pierre d’Hautvillers”.
After the church we walked down the street to another champagne house “J.M. Gobillard et Fils”. This tasting was absolutely amazing!
We went through 4 bottles of champagne for 8 people. And each bottle was opened with a saber! Corey and I are now pros!
Keep in mind, all this tasting was before lunch. Which made for some very happy tourists.
We finished the tour back in Reims around 1pm and needed lunch to off set all the bubbly.
We had a quick lunch at Gin Pamp before walking to the Cathedral. Our creepy angel was there to great us again.
After lunch we walked to Taittinger for another tasting and so that Jeff and Corey could see what the caves were all about. This wasn’t the best idea as it was hot and early afternoon but we survived and the caves were nice and cool.
So by the end of the day we had experienced the vineyards, got to a small, medium and large champagne producer and saw a wonderful French city.
We then walked back into town and made a quick stop at Monoprix for some snacks. We sat in the parc for a little before our train back to Paris just after 7pm.
We were back to the apartment around 9pm and after a quick dinner we went right to bed because we have an even early morning tomorrow to go to Italy!
Step Count: 17,060, 11.9km
We were in the Uber at 4:30am for our 6:20am flight to Rome!
We thankfully had no issues with our flight and after quick taxi into city we were at our hotel, Hotel Romanico Palace, by 9am.
We had 11:30am tickets to the Vatican so on our way to the metro we made a stop at the Spanish Steps followed by a coffee and some snacks. Well let’s be honest, we had tiramisu for breakfast. When in Rome, literally!
After our sugary breakfast, we made our way via metro to the Vatican. This place never ceases to amaze me.
At this point it was time to get lunch so we walked down the street just outside the Vatican and had amazing pizza (and air conditioning) at Il Mozzicone. This is when Jeff and Jer said they were determined to have pizza everyday while we were in Italy.
After lunch we walked through the entire town stopping at sights like Ponte Sant’Angelo, Piazza Navona, The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Trajan’s Market, The Roman Forum, and the Colosseum. This was with a few stops for gelato of course.
I must say the Colosseum was full of déjà vu fo us because Jer and I had been there 8 years before and we took the exact same picture. Also, we went to the Colosseum within an hour of it closing and there was literally no line to get in which was wonderful.
At this point we were all dead tired and returned to the hotel as we had free drinks on the rooftop and needed to figure out dinner. We were treated to an amazing sunset at the rooftop bar!
We settled on dinner at the hotel restaurant on the top floor which was full of delicious wine and pasta!
We went bed relatively early because yup you guessed it early morning again!
Step CountL 26,283, 17.2km
This morning we were up early for our train from Rome to Verona at 6:45am! Luckily we had picked a hotel close enough to the train station purposefully.
After our arrival at the train station in Verona we took a bus from train station to airport to pick up car. It was easier to rent the car from the airport since we were flying back to Paris in a few days.
Once we had the car we made our way up towards our final destination Lake Garda. If you are thinking to yourself, I feel like I have read about them going there before, well you are correct as we took our first trip after we moved here and more than fell in love.
Our first stop on the lake was Lazise for a market which was very chintzy and overwhelming. Very different from Marché Bastille in Paris.
Our next stop was Bardolino. We walked around town and down by lake which was just beautiful. We then stopped for lunch along the lake at Ristorante Pizzeria Villa Mimosa. And yes, the guys had pizza.
We then weaved our way around town some more finding a beautiful church and a rose garden while making our way back to the car.
We then made a quick pit stop at the supermarket to pick up supplies for our Airbnb (since we couldn’t check in until mid afternoon).
We got settled into our Airbnb and went down to the lake to enjoy some relaxation time.
For dinner we used a recommendation from our Airbnb after a few places were fully booked and had a great dinner up into the top of the closest town (Castelletto) at Trattoria dal Sarsissa, which lasted for 3 hours and we had very fully tummies.
We then went back to the Airbnb for a good night sleep after a few long days of early mornings.
Step Count: 13,122, 8.6km
Today we finally slept in and had a relaxing morning.
Our hope for today was to spend the day out on the lake in a boat however we didn’t make a boat reservation beforehand cause of the unknown of the weather so had to wait until 2:30pm until we could rent a boat.
So we went back to the Airbnb and got in the car to drive to our favorite lakeside pizza place, Gelato Artigionale in Brenzone sul Garda. And yes, I think we all had pizza for lunch followed by gelato!
After enjoying lunch we headed back to the Airbnb to get ready for our day on the lake and we then spent the next 3hours and 30mins out on the lake! We started out by going north up to Malcesine, then across towards Limone, then we headed south down the opposite side of the lake stopping every so often to take in the towns until we reached Maderno where we stopped for a picnic and a swim.
We were back at the Airbnb to clean up before our 8pm dinner reservation. Tonights dinner was along the water at the harbor at Ristorante Da Umberto. The place was packed because there was a sailing tournament in town this week. During dinner our waiter was one of the owners and was so apologetic for the slow meal due to all the extra people in town. What he didn’t realize is that we liked the time to slow down and are truly used to dinners at this kind of pace. At the end of the meal he dropped off a bottle of grappa and 4 shot glasses on the house. Boy, that stuff is strong!
Step Count: 12,217, 7.4km
Today, we slept in again then packed and headed out from the Airbnb.
Our flight was not until 9pm so today we spent the day driving around the lake. Our first stop was Malcesine where we walked around town, did some shopping, and went up into the castle.
We continued driving north until we reached Riva del Garda which is at the top of the lake. After walking around we had lunch at Hotel Sole Ristorante Pizzeria on the water. The weather wasn’t ideal but we made the most of it. And yes, we ate even more pizza.
Once we were done we took our first ever drive down the other side of the lake (western side)! We eventually made it to Sirmione, which is a town on the bottom of the lake is out on a peninsula that is only accessible by car to residents. We walked around town for a while before getting some excellent gelato and coffee at Gelateria Gino. It hit the spot.
Around 6:30pm we had to head to the airport for our flight back to Paris. After dropping the car off and checking our bags, since we had bought a bunch of olive oil and other goodies (the made the weight thankfully!!), we were quickly through security and headed back to Paris without much issue. After picking up everything and getting our Uber we arrived back at the apartment around midnight.
Step Count: 13,331, 9km
With our late arrival we were late waking up and getting a move on it today. Once we got up and moving we went out to La Defense and Decathlon, because we had a few errands to run.
We then had lunch at Framboise, the crêperie by our apartment and as usual it didn’t disappoint. We also made a stop at Jeff de Bruges in order to get some chocolates (my personal favorite).
Then, because when in Paris on a relatively nice day you go to Parc Monceau! We packed some snacks and wine and headed over to the park to relax for a few hours.
After the park, we had dinner at the apartment while Jeff and Corey packed for their early departure tomorrow.
Step Count: 17,344, 10.6km
Jeff and Corey had one last really early morning for the trip! At 5:45am they took an Uber to CDG for their flight home. What an amazing European adventure we had!
The rest of the day Jer and I did not move from the apartment.