Our Trip To Paris {The Highlights Part 2}

Time for part two highlights from our trip to Paris! Get ready for a massive photo dump :).

{If you missed part one, start here.}

We took two day trips while we were in Paris and they were some of the most fun parts of the trip. For the first, we headed out to the Champagne region on an e-bike tour (electric bike, that is - more on that in a sec) and it. was. AWESOME. It was kind of a spontaneous decision, and I'm so glad we did it. The same bike company that ran the tour we went on in Paris also offered this e-bike tour of the Champagne capital, Epernay, and the surrounding villages. The region is only about an hour away by train, but it feels worlds away from the city. It wasn't touristy at all either, which was so nice!

This part of France is quite hilly, so that was the reason for the "E" part of the e-bikes. The little electric motors they had on the back give an extra boost on the inclines so we didn't have to pedal as hard. Boy did that make biking up and down hills all day more enjoyable! These are the handy motor speed controls:

We biked to two champagne houses to learn about the process of making it and to taste it. The first was a very small, family-run house called Phillipe Martin. They produce about 80,000 bottles of champagne each year. The business has been in the family for nine(!) generations and the current owner's daughter gave us a tour of their cellars and taught us about their process. I learned so much! I'm now an expert in knowing how to make champagne.

Kidding. But I did learn a ton.

Champagne is bottled and stored in chalk cellars underground to age. The temperature and humidity are constant, which is ideal for the champagne manufacturing process. It's pretty spooky down there though ;).

At the end, we tasted! I'm not usually big on champagne, but this was excellent. We even bought a bottle to bring home with us.

Please excuse the goobery pose...we were thoroughly enjoying ourselves.

The views of the vineyards and villages were stunning! It reminded me of our day in Napa Valley and Sonoma last year.

One of the little villages we visited has this sweet little chapel where Dom Perignon is buried. He's the monk that lived in this area and perfected the art of making the champagne that we know today.

On a side note, I loved this giant candelabra that was on the ceiling.

Speaking of Dom Perignon, here we are with his statue at the second champagne house we visited - the famous Moet and Chandon! We toured their cellars and tasted champagne there as well. In contrast to the family-run house where they make 80,000 bottles per year, Moet and Chandon make about that much in TWO HOURS. And they have about 20 kilometers of chalk cellars underground in the town of Epernay. It's an enormous operation.

And to round out our e-bike day trip, I've got one last photo of us, helmets on (oh yeah), loving our tour of the beautiful countryside of France.

The second day trip we took was to Versailles. I had no idea that it included not only the legendary chateau, but a whole estate with thousands of acres, two other small palaces, elaborate gardens, and a charming little hamlet built by Marie Antoinette.

Here we are with the chateau and one of the gardens in the background.

A little more serious here...or not :). Hello Versailles!

The chateau was stunningly beautiful, over the top, elaborate and completely overwhelming - all at the same time.

The historic hall of mirrors. The chandeliers alone were amazing in there.

But I must say, my favorite part of all was walking the gardens and exploring the grounds.

Marie Antoinette's hamlet and working farm were a lovely change of pace from the over-the-top gilded craziness of the palaces. If you ever go, take the walk all the way to the back of the estate to see this. It's a trek, but it's so worth it.

The estate also has a grand canal were you could hang out with the chateau in the distance. You could even rent little row boats!

And that wraps up our trip to Versailles! Here's one last selfie for good measure.

We LOVE love loved our time in Paris. It was chock full of amazing and new experiences. I'll be back tomorrow to share some tips, tricks and resources for anyone planning a trip to Paris in the near future! I'll be sure to list some more details about some of things you've read about in the last two posts. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

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