France – Wine, Food & History
June 7-17, 2013
NOTE ABOUT LINKS: Many of these sites are in French. Some have a British flag on site which will provide an English version. You can also drop the URL into Google Translate and get a pretty good translation on most.
Friday, June 7
5:50 p.m. – Depart Chicago’s O’Hare Airport at 5:20 p.m. via Air France #0667 for Paris.
Saturday, June 8
8:20 a.m.. Arrival at Charles De Gaulle Airport
1:20 p.m. flight to Montpellier, Air France #7680; Arrival at 2:40 p.m.
Check in Hotel Mecure Antigone - time to rest a bit.
7:30 p.m. – Leave hotel for walk to dinner.
Sunday, June 9
3:30 p.m. (approximately) tour the Gardens, historic Chateau, taste the wines of Chateau de Flaugerues on the outskirts of Montpellier.
Return to Montpellier for free evening.
Monday, June 10
9:00 a.m. – Depart for Narbonne
10:00 a.m. – Visit the covered ancient marketplace.
11:00 a.m. – Winery Visit followed by lunch.
1:30 p.m. – Second winery visit and opportunity to explore artisan shops.
3:30 – Third winery visit at a grand Chateau!
Tuesday, June 11
9:00 a.m. – Board bus for trip to World Heritage site and one of world’s best preserved walled cities, Carcasonne. (approximately 1 hour ride); Guided tour upon arrival; Two hours follow on your own to explore the ancient city.
2-3 p.m. – Wine tasting at O’Vineyards. Great story of a Florida family who picked up everything and moved to France to start a winery. We’ll tour the winery, taste the wines and enjoy Liz’s great hors d’oeuvres.
The link is to Ryan O’Connell’s blog with plenty of information about the winery. Here is a link to a story about the O’Connells written by Howard.
Check in hotel – Novotel Paris Les Halles, mid-afternoon walk around Paris to get familiar
9:30 p.m. – Our Paris Welcoming event will be a Siene River dinner cruise on the Capitaine Fracasse. – dinner and the lights of Paris. We’ll head down early that evening to spend a little time around the Eiffel Tower on our first night in the city. We’ll then board for dinner.
Thursday, June 13
Day Trip to Versailles, visit the famed grounds and palace. With our Museum passes in hand we won’t stand in the long line of people buying onsite. We will have to go through security but Michelle will give us some tips on touring. We’ll gather early afternoon and determine our time back to the city – or with your rail pass, stay as long as you like!
Friday, June 14
Visit Musée D’Orsay
We’ll also visit the Galleries Lafayette – a Paris shopping mecca. This will be a mid-day stop for you to find lunch and know your way around the famous department store. Here is link to the store’s website. Drop the link into Google’s website and you’ll get an all-English version!
After a lunch break, we’ll give you a chance to discover Paris on your own. We will be well acquainted with the city by Friday afternoon. We want you to explore whatever you desire then reconvene at pre-determined site for some late afternoon French wine and cheese. We’ll all want to hear about your discoveries!
Saturday, June 15
Morning half-day trip to Giverny, France). Tour the Gardens and House of Claude Monet; visit the Musee des impressionnismes Giverny.
12:30 – Lunch at L’Esquisse Gourmande in Giverny
Return to Paris early to mid-afternoon with remainder of the day devoted to free time.
Some optional group outings will be on tap.
Sunday, June 16
Start our day with a trip to the Sunday Morning Market.
Your last afternoon and evening in Paris will be yours! Explore Tuileries Gardens and Champs Elysées and take photos before the trip home.
Monday, June 17
1:30 p.m. – Paris to Chicago, Air France #0490; Arrival in Chicago 3:30 p.m.