I would be remiss if I let February, the month of love, come and go without sharing my visit to the most romantic city in the world! It may seem cliché, but for me it’s true. Paris, France tops every list of most romantic cities, and it’s also an incredibly great tennis city! Paris is home to the second major of the year, the French Open, at Roland Garros (famous for its red clay), and is a bucket list destination for any true tennis fan.
For our first visit to the City of Lights, we packed in a lot! We stayed at the most special boutique hotel, Le Roch Hotel & Spa in the 1st Arrondissement. The staff was wonderful, so friendly, and even helped us secure tickets to the French Open. The location is perfect and walking distance to the Louvre, Opera Garnier, Jardin des Tuileries and Champs-Élysées.
I can't wait to share my complete Tennis Lover's Guide to Paris with you! I promise to get it out before Roland Garros, but here are a few pics of our adventures.
BOOK REVIEW: THE WINEMAKERS WIFE
"If only I had read The Winemakers Wife, by Kristin Harmel before our trip to Champagne."
One of the most incredible experiences we've ever had was taking a day trip to Champagne. We booked a Champagne Day Trip to Moët & Chandon and Family Winery with Lunch in Reims. From Paris, we drove to Reims, visited the Notre Dame Cathedral of Reims and had lunch in the small town before heading to Champagne. The city of Champagne is so beautiful, with rolling hills of grapes that have been passed down through generations. We visited a small family winery, Pierre Domi which was so special. It's run by two brothers, one of whom was our tour guide. After the small family winery, we went to tour the large commercial production of Moët & Chandon. The champagne caves go on for miles and miles, making the street above the caves one of the most expensive streets in the world! We both agreed we liked the charm, history, and personal touch of the small family winery.
I recently read The Winemakers Wife, by Kristin Harmel after seeing it recommended by one of my favorite French bloggers, Everyday Parisian (give her a follow if you love France). I've read lots of historical fiction about World War II. This is how I've learned most of what I know about what occurred throughout the time of German occupation in Europe. Reims, Champagne, and the people of these two cities were so important in the war. The caves were used to move information, arms for the resistance effort, and even housed Jewish refugees trying to flee before being captured and taken to the concentration camps. Reims in particular was especially important in the war. A schoolhouse in Reims was used by President Eisenhower as the Supreme Headquarters to the Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF). The first German surrender was signed there on May 7, 1945. I had no idea! I was disappointed that the tour didn't include anything about it, but nevertheless, it makes a visit there so much more meaningful.
Paris truly is a romantic tennis destination, rich with history, art, culture, and beauty. I know international travel regulations are ever evolving, and this may not be the best time to visit. In the meantime, books are a wonderful way to learn about the history of the places we want to visit, and make our visits so much more meaningful. If you have any great books about Paris that you love, please share!