Catha and I took the boys on their first trip to France from the 25th March 2013 to the 13th April 2013. Long ago, we decided that we would take them to Europe when they are, in our judgment, mature enough to not get bored, and, rather, appreciate the trip. This is the first of a series of accounts of those days.
|A snack at Schipol's Café Chocolat, Amsterdam, before continuing on to Paris.|
Settled into the Novotel Tinqueux, we had a late lunch at the hotel. The waiter, though very friendly, barely spoke English, so I had to intercede for my children in ordering (as well as translate the menu).
|We managed well enough.|
Champagne Lanson Extra Age Blanc de Blancs NV - This is a relatively recent line from Lanson, created to commemorate the house's 250th anniversary , and presented at the Tax Free World Association World Exhibit in October 2012. Eager, toasty, freshly fruity (apple, citrus, lemon, a whispered suggestion of mango), slight minerality, and acacia flowers (which Catha said she couldn't detect). Round, lush, soft, creamy texture. Nice heft and middle. Easily accessible, dangerously drinkable, if rather straightforward at this stage. A blend of vintages 1999, 2002 and 2003, aged for a minimum of 5 years in bottle; Lanson eschews malolactic fermentation as a rule.
|The first bottle of champagne in Champagne. Cheers!|
|Catha had a Mushroom and Cheese Omelet with Fries.|
|Haché de Boeuf (a.k.a., burger steak) for Lorenzo.|
|Pan-Fried Veal for Joaqi.|
|Steak Tartare for Mauro (a huge serving, very well made).|
I wanted to see what a French Clubhouse Sandwich was like; and found out that it's the same as any other club sandwich anywhere in the world. Oh, well...
|After a couple of hours' rest, we drove to Reims, got some pastries and walked around.|
Latin text above the main doors, but my Southridge boys couldn't translate it for me. Huh.
Joaqi in the courtyard, by the statue of Jean d'Arc who liberated the cathedral from the English in 1429.
|Inside the cathedral.|
|The statue of Our Lady of Reims.|
As I understood the signs, this is where the kings were anointed/consecrated with holy oil, likening them to the kings of Israel.
|Lighting candles for our intentions.|
An ornate plaque that honors the million British soldiers killed in WWI, many of whom died in France.
|The boys by the carousel as Catha shivers off.|
It was extremely cold and windy, and, the temperature steadily dropped. Not even the hot chocolate and coffees we had at some café after the cathedral could warm Catha up, so we headed back to the hotel halfway past 7pm. Everyone heavily jet-lagged, we all fell asleep early and, consequently, missed dinner. Thus ended day 1 of the trip.