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Our French Jump Off

Our French Jump Off

August 2017

OUR FRENCH JUMP OFF

We went to France before Labor Day 2017, and we didn't want to come back. To get a taste, literally and figuratively, of traveling next year and to come back to Washington DC with the looming political upheaval was a challenge. Well, that's an understatement. Our time away was symbolic but also cathartic. Upon return, it truly feels like a tangible countdown, knowing this is our last season. The finality of it all. Although it comes with a pang of nostalgia for what this area and period of our lives provided, an overwhelming sense of readiness transcends. Knowing in a few months I won’t have to silence our travel aspirations is liberating. Our brief trip to the west coast of France was a window into another lifestyle, and intensified our yearning to get out there.

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We both caught the seemingly ever present travel bug. As much as I quell it, the longing to adventure constantly resurfaces. Although in France we were traveling with a suit and tie and a formal dress, the lifestyle was one that I craved. Salty hair, sun kissed skin, eager to explore.

 At the beach after too much  wine  in  Île de Ré

At the beach after too much wine in Île de Ré

We planned this trip for over a year. One of my roommates when I first moved to DC was from Paris, and was spending the year at Georgetown Law School. She was getting married near her family's country house near Mortagne-au-Percheoutside of Courgeout, and I vowed to be there. One of our other roommates made the same pledge. The wedding was over Labor Day weekend. So we planned to go the week before, and make a trip out of it. I posed Ile de Re. Our roommate from Paris would go on summer vacations there, and had the dreamiest stories of bike rides, ice cream, fresh seafood. It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit forever, primarily because my she described it was the French Cape Cod. I planted seeds early enough, that I ultimately won Will over. I emailed articles from The Telegraph that argued, “It’s easy to see why Ile de Re is such a popular bolt-hole for the well-heeled Parisians," since "This little Atlantic-coast island of dunes and pine forest” is filled with “long golden beaches and rural cycle paths.” Completely sold. Coincidentally, one of my best childhood friends was in Paris for the year for work. Since she says she likes France the more she escapes Paris, she joined as well. 

 Biking in the forest in  Île de Ré

Biking in the forest in Île de Ré

We had a crew of four, ready to unwind and expore Ile de Re.

    A house in  La Flotte

  A house in La Flotte

  A map of Ile de Ré on the wall of a bakery in  Saint-Martin

A map of Ile de Ré on the wall of a bakery in Saint-Martin

Our four day trip to Ile de Re was followed by an adventure to wine country in the Loire Valley. We rented a car and made our way through the back roads of the West of France. We stopped in towns like Parthenay (at Un Jour de Marche) and Le Mans (at Le Fou du Roy) for traditional, and decadent, multiple course meals.

 Before our dinner at  Le Fou du Roy  in Le Mans

Before our dinner at Le Fou du Roy in Le Mans

We stayed a night in Samuer. We toured the chateau, as well as several wineries accompanied with tastings.

 View from the  Chateau of Samur

View from the Chateau of Samur

The areas is known for their whites and their traditional bubbly’s.

 Grapes from our winery tour of  Domaine de RocheVille  in Parnay.

Grapes from our winery tour of Domaine de RocheVille in Parnay.

We ended the week in the village of Mort-Au-Perche for their wedding. It was dreamy for sure. Nothing short of magical.

 Snacking on  French hors d'oeuvres  at cocktail hour after the wedding.

Snacking on French hors d'oeuvres at cocktail hour after the wedding.

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When I gave notice for my job in November 2017, my boss questioned: "It was France, wasn't it?" Will and I had been planning our year away for a while. But, visiting France with only a few months left in DC only heightened our restlessness. We agreed we're ready to further explore. But our next big trip, far less polished.

A Farewell to Washington DC

A Farewell to Washington DC

Our Engagement - Raisin Spice Weekend Oats

Our Engagement - Raisin Spice Weekend Oats