2020 Covid-19 Road Trip Day 3Wyoming USA August 25 – September 5, 2020 Lincoln, Nebraska to Saratoga, Wyoming Day 3: Arrival at
France, home to the world’s finest cuisine and wine, famous for cheese, perfume. (Chanel, Dior, Givenchy) and cars (Renault, Citroen, Peugeot).
France is also famous for the Tour de France and the Eiffel Tower and that is just the beginning. On this nine-day adventure, you will get to explore some of France’s most productive wine regions and gain a deeper appreciation for why this country is a food and wine lover’s dream
Your journey begins in Paris, the City of Light. You will become captivated with charming cityscape, cobbled stone streets, and timeless seductiveness. The fashion capital of the world known for effortless style is filled with trendy boutiques and couture labels. It is home to The Louvre, the most visited museum in the world.
It’s a foodie’s haven. You can wine and dine with world-class chefs and in Michelin-star restaurants or you can people-watch in local cafes and bars.
Paris has something for everyone.
Then off to the lush vineyards of sparkling Champagne with acres and acres of rolling hills where you will meet the winemakers and get an inside look at some of the techniques and secrets behind Méthod Champenoise.
Be invited to VIP tastings at exclusive Champagne Houses including Nicolas Feuillatte along with select others and wander the narrow streets of Hautvillers, the burial place of monk Dom Perignon. The province of Champagne also produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes.
Located in the heart of Champagne country is Epernay, home to many wineries including Moet & Chandon. Reims is the premier tasting town and a UNESCO world heritage site where the kings of France were once crowned and home to the ornate 13th century Reims Cathedral, one of the great Gothic cathedrals of northern France.
Your visit includes a VIP tasting and tour of Ruinart, the oldest Champagne House in Reims.
Day 1-4 Paris
Paris is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world, the capital of France, of art, and of fashion.
With so many things to do and see it’s never enough and if you’ve been before you’re sure to go back again. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower and have dinner at Jules Verne. Walk down the Avenue Champs Elysees, the world’s most beautiful avenue, from Place de la Concorde to the majestic Arc de Triomphe, visit the Louvre, one of the most visited museums in the world, bike through the Palace of Versailles tour and get access to the private apartments. Enjoy the many parks, gardens, and boutiques and that is just the beginning.
There are a million things to do and see in Paris and no matter how long you plan, it’ll never be long enough.
One of Paris’s best-kept secrets of the Left Bank … In search of a friendly atmosphere, you will find it in this feel at home luxury hotel. A favorite address, jealously guarded by artists, Parisian romantics and lovers of Paris in one of the most beautiful neighborhoods of Paris: Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
The original palace hotel in the heart of historic Paris is the very epitome of quiet elegance alive with the artist’s soul of wit and magic. A living work of art and an inspirational and fascinating place where 18th-century splendor and the most innovative modern comforts sit happily side by side. So much more than a luxury hotel, this is a gallery, an adventure, a living work of art.
Admire the Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, Le Grand Palais, l’Opera Garnier and Palace Vendome and get an overview of the most spectacular and renowned historical sites of the city in a luxurious, air-conditioned Mercedes minivan. Your drive continues to Place Vendôme ( a jewel of architecture from the 17th century), the Palais Royal, and the Louvre (for an outside visit).
Continue along the Seine River, passing by the Conciergerie (former seat of the Royal power), the Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Ile St Louis. Cross the Seine River continue to the Left Bank, Old Paris, the scholastic Paris and the Latin Quarter. Discover the French Institute, the Orsay, Luxembourg Garden and so much more of what Paris has to offer.
Today’s tour takes you to the magnificent site of French architecture complete with extensive manicured gardens, the Palace of Versailles. Stroll through gardens before entering the Grand Hall furnished with a rare collection of art and mirrors.
Your visit includes the entrance to the Mari Antoinette Estate and to the private apartments that are closed to the public as well as the Royal Chapel. Your privileged access will show the intimate life of the royal family in Louis XV and Louis XVI’s private apartments.
Your private tour to Notre Dame Cathedral will allow you to marvel at its serene inner beauty without the crowds. The palace courtyard and the magnificent Sainte-Chapelle built to protect relics of the Crucifixion will dazzle you with spectacular 13th century stained glass images of Bible verses. End at Île de la Cité and experience the essence of the past, alive in the present.
The Louvre is one of the most important and most visited museums in the world and home to the Louvre’s three great ladies – Venus de Milo, Victory of Samothrace, and Mona Lisa, as well as other key works.
You will walk through the remains of the medieval castle, ascending to today’s former Royal Palace. This is a truly remarkable and unforgettable experience as your guide gets up close and personal brings to life the history and celebrated highlights.
Later, the castle will be transformed into a royal residence, the kingdom’s most valuable jewel, making this palace the most important one until Louis XIV’s creation of Versailles. Filled with the country’s most precious items you will visit the oldest part of the Louvre castle and then head up into the fabulous renaissance Palais. Through the immense galleries and maze of corridors, your art guide will take you on a journey where you can see the history of some of the museum’s most revered treasures including the Venus de Milo, the Winged Victory and of course the Mona Lisa, as well as some hidden gems.
Imagine under a glass canopy on an all-glass boat with the secret of Paris and the lights with freshly prepared cuisine that showcases the taste and authenticity of carefully selected ingredients. Not to mention your VIP Table at the front of the boat with champagne, appetizer, main dish, cheese, dessert, and fine wines.
A gastronomy experience like no other! Your visit includes 3 different Michelin Star Restaurants.
Alain Ducasse’s Benoit, the French bistro-style restaurant. The famous chef has received 21 Michelin stars. Enjoy signature dishes paired with French wine just for you.
The next two courses will be served at Le Violon d’Ingres, owned by world-renowned star chef Christian Constant, a culinary genius who owns six restaurants each famous for unique style and extraordinary flavors.
You will end with dessert at the 2 Michelin Starred Paris Ritz Hotel., crafted by Francois Perre, a specialist in the art of pastry making, and in whose words invents “desserts that spark astonishment and create desire.”
No trip to Paris is complete without stepping back to medieval Paris in the Le Marais district. Start in the north, the quietest part of the neighborhood and end in the busiest section. Your tour begins at a French Brasserie for a traditional French croissant and a coffee. Then a boulangerie where you can sample and learn about classic French bread and baguettes (and why you should never eat a baguette the wrong way around).
Next to one of the oldest markets in Paris to try some French cheeses and white wine, Ocellus Cadillac Bordeaux Moelleux. You will also drop into a typical Brasserie for Croque Monsieur or French pie. Perfect ending: French chocolates and macarons!
At the end of the tour, feel free to have a walk around to see all the numerous fashion boutiques, trendy shops, wine shops, and art galleries and museums.
The experience is dizzying at Le Jules Verne at the Eiffel Tower, 410 feet up in the heavens and in the middle of a dream. Your VIP experience begins with chef Frédéric Anton, a Triple Michelin-starred chef, and his brilliant team will deliver an unforgettable dining experience in the intimate setting of the City of Light. Truly a night to remember.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: (Additional Cost)
You no longer have to dream about having a personal and exclusive scent. Made by you and only for you! Do you know that the notes you choose are reflecting hidden parts of your personality? Rediscover yourself through perfume. You can break all the rules and codes. This is your time to shine.
With high-quality ingredients from Grasse, the world capital of perfume and a professional perfumer you will create your signature scent.
It’s time to take to the skies for a spectacular of Paris, the City of Light. During the scenic helicopter flight, see Notre Dame Cathedral and the iconic Eiffel Tower from overhead, followed by the grandiose Palace of Versailles and its surrounding gardens.
The best is yet to come as you prepare to land at the 17th-century château near Maincy. Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is one of Europe’s most influential and most important architectural landmarks of the 17th century. Its gardens are complete with fountains, canals and stone curbs, the gardens contain an interesting optical illusion, distorting its distance depending on where you look at it.
Recognize Vaux le Vicomte? It has been seen in many movies such as James Bond’s ‘Moonraker,’ ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ with Leonardo DiCaprio, ‘Marie Antoinette,’ and more recently, the TV show ‘Versailles.’ Today, the castle is privately owned, and the family still lives on the grounds.
Upon arrival at the historic estate, enjoy a guided tour of the grounds by golf cart. See the rooms decorated with period furniture, tapestries, and artwork. Explore the castle at your leisure before dinner is served. At dusk, the gardens come to life with the light of over 2,000 candles as you sit down in the castle for dinner. Enjoy a 3-course meal with wine and Champagne while you listen to classical music.
“Champagne is the only wine that leaves a woman beautiful after drinking it!”
How could anyone disagree with Madame de Pompadour’s assessment of Champagne? Ruinart 1729, Taittinger 1734, Moët 1772, Clicquot 1772, Pommery 1836, and Mumm 1827 are famous names, with a legacy and origins that bear witness to winemakers who have made the most of rich and fertile terrain. Pinot noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay are all used to make this famous wine
The Champagne region can be broken down into four major districts; the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs, the Marne Valley, and the Côte des Bar. Your visit will lead you towards Epernay and the surrounding region.
Reims and Epernay are the two commercial centers and major towns of Champagne.
In Reims, the center of French history with its Gothic art is sure to win your heart as, in addition to everything else there is to see, it is also home to all the major Champagne houses. Reims also claims to be the last work in Champagne production.
Epernay, on the other hand, challenges Reims for the title of capital of Champagne Region. Located on the south bank of the Marne, it is really the center of the bubbly. It was here in 1741 that the first full-blown Champagne house, Moët (now Moët et Chandon), took the lifetime passion of Dom Pérignon and turned it into an industry. The famous Avenue du Champagne is lined with splendiferous Champagne houses and no visit is complete without VIP tours and tastings.
Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa
Five-star Royal Champagne hosts panoramic views of the region’s natural beauty overlooking the vineyards that stripe the hills of France’s Champagne region and an exceptional spa. It’s the perfect spot to relax and replenish. Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa reimagines the wine-country retreat.
The youngest of the great Champagne wineries and brings together more than 4,500 growers from every corner of the Champagne appellation. Feuillatte has a daring approach, luxury, elegance, and attitude, emotion and pleasure. Champagne is an exceptional product, but its enjoyment extends far beyond special occasions. Share in their ethos with those who recognize the true value and beauty of the present moment.
Fine dining in the Michelin starred restaurant Le Royal, the chef invites a handful of privileged guests to experience the fresh, innovative gastronomy of Champagne. Chef Rieubland plates his perfectly balanced dishes on custom Maison Fragile china, designed for the resort by Nicolas Ouchenir. Multi-course tasting menus or a la carte meals are paired with wines carefully selected by sommelier Daniel Pires. Our award-winning pastry chef Cédric Servela signs for an unforgettable sweet finale.
Enter Moet & Chandon historic cellars, as you explore the House’s 270 years of innovation and symbol for celebration with your guide and interpreter. Then, discover the unique characters of different vintages through a vertical tasting, in the very salon where Jean-Rémy Moët, the founder’s grandson, entertained Emperor Napoleon himself. No wonder Moët & Chandon’s signature cuvée is named Impérial…
Meet a winemaker who will share his passion with you and discover firsthand some of the techniques and secrets of the “Méthod Champenoise”. The property of Champagne Henri Guiraud is located in the Grand Cru village of Ay – a producer of high-quality Champagne. This tour will give you privileged access to the history “Oak Barrel” Henri Giraud and A haute-couture tasting of some of the largest bottles in the Collection.
The Champagne Gonet family has been producing Grand Cru, Blanc de Blanc Champagne for seven generations using grapes from their favorite vineyards in Le Mesnil Sur Oger. You will also visit the village of Hautvillers where the monk Dom Perignon is buried. Wander along the narrow streets with colorful wrought-iron signs, and enjoy the breathtaking views over the vineyards. You will also visit the village of Hautvillers where the monk Dom Perignon is buried. Wander along the narrow streets with colorful wrought-iron signs, and enjoy the breathtaking views over the vineyards
Your visit will have you taste a minimum of 12 different growths Premier and Grand crus base wines. Learn about the winemaker and that way they think and create Cuvées every year. You will be able to try to create your own blend as a real winemaker. Discover the richness of Champagne wines. After, enjoy a special VIP dinner.
Your tour is to Ruinart, one of the best Cellar visits in Champagne with magnificent Cathedral like chalk cellars. The tasting includes Dom Ruinart, Dom Ruinart Rosé, Non-Vintage tasting in elegantly appointed 18th-century style tasting rooms. The top-quality experience makes this House a must for connoisseurs of Champagne.
For dinner, your once-in-a-lifetime experience is an immersive journey through the history of the Maison using 3D mapping. This virtual experience is presented at Ruinart’s historic home at 4 rue des Crayères in Reims. Using a process called anamorphosis this immersive experience, an animated film is projected on an equally immersive “screen” – a dinner table, set with plates, glasses, and tableware which stages the rich history and heritage of the Maison, embodied by its founder, Nicolas Ruinart. Drawn by Japanese artist Kanako Kuno, the characters and places associated with Ruinart come to life before amazed guests. The experience creates a contemporary vision of the Maison and the distinctive French art de Vivre.
Up close and personal visit to the vineyard and its terroirs by bike. Then, in the heart of it all, you will discover the champagne process. The tour includes the tasting of The Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label and Veuve Clicquot Extra Brut Extra Old.
Take your champagne experience to the next level. Enjoy the most breathtaking views while you sip a glass of champagne in a very stylish treehouse built on an majestic oak tree. Suspended on the highest point of the champagne, the Perchingbar is a place atypical where you can enjoy Champagnes of some producers of the mountain of Reims but also some big Champagne houses. Get your Indiana Jones on as you need to take several suspended bridges. Surely worth the adventures
Notre-Dame Cathedral, a majestic jewel of Gothic art, is an architectural marvel, the beauty of which will overwhelm you on your first view.
The Palais du Tau, right next to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Reims (map), was once the archbishop’s residence. It also served as the residence for the many Kings of France who came to Reims for their coronation. That’s a lot of royalty over the centuries!
Continue in amazement as you gaze in wonder at the city and its monuments that are rich in history with an overview of places that should not be missed, witnesses of a unique and inestimable heritage.
A gastronomic day in the heart of the Champagne countryside with an award-winning 1 Michelin Star star chef. All classes include printed recipe handouts and a multi-course meal of the food prepared served with wine/beverage.
“Musée du Vin de Champagne et d’Archéologie régionale“, the museum of wines of the Champagne region and its archeology located in the Château La Perriere and its garden. The museum is new and you will be one of the first to experience this. Located in the city center, on the Avenue de Champagne, one of the sites of the “Hillsides, Houses & Champagne Cellars”, inscribed on the List of World Heritage of UNESCO, in July 2015.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: (Additional Cost)
Take to the skies during a hot air balloon flight over Reims and its surroundings! Take in all of the region’s distinct natural and architectural heritage. It is a true escapade in the skies above Reims, the iconic vineyards and hillsides of Champagne and Montagne de Reims Regional Nature Park.
A package can be customized to your wishes.
Day 2 of my Road Trip to Wyoming! What a great experience. We traveled from Chattanooga, Tennessee to Lincoln, Nebraska, and found the most luxurious boutique hotel and had drinks at one of the most famous Olympic figure skaters of all time!!