After two straight days spent at the beach, we decided to take a break from the sun and chose to visit the city of Bordeaux. Its an 1.5 hour drive from our village and the perfect day for a city trip, cloudy and temps in the mid 70s. Sometimes referred to the “Napa of France”, Bordeaux is the fifth and is well known for its wineries. After the drive, we decided to let the kids release some energy, so we found a nice playground and let the kids run around while we relaxed for a little bit. Overall, Bordeaux as a city is very old and historic, with many neoclassical buildings stretched along the Garonne river. Our favorite part of our city excursion was a visit to The Miroir d’Eau, the world's largest reflecting pool. Its is located right across the street from the Palais de la Bourse in the central part of town. This attraction is set up on a black granite platform and gives you a fabulous reflection of the Palais. It looks spectacular and kinda spooky. Leo and Mila ran along the water for good 30-40 minutes and were soaked in their normal clothes. Kids being kids at this point. (Note to family travelers: No matter what attraction you are going to see, always bring a spare change of clothes. We forgot that part today and as a result, Leo was pretty much naked wrapped in a blanket and Mila wore a little pullover with a diaper on, nothing else. Thank goodness we were parked only 1 mile away.
After a few hours of fun in the city, we wanted to visit a winery. The great part of the Bordeaux region and the 1000+ wineries is there are plenty that attend to the kids. We picked Chateau Saint Ahon (about 15 miles outside of the city). It's a small winery that has your kids in mind first. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by the receptionist who handed our kids crayons and an activity sheet. We were then led to a trail that describes the wine making process while leading to a picnic area with a playground. We let Leo lead the way on the path so he was excited to be a part of the adventure. Along the way past the grape vines, we met horses, a donkey and ducks - a true paradise for Mila. This little trail was very interactive and fully engaging for kids. At the end of the trek, we relaxed at the picnic area with a little playground. Once we got back to the wine shop, we had a little wine tasting while Leo and Mila were given grape juice from the chateau while coloring at a desk. In other words, everyone was happy. We made a family toast to our amazing journey. Another day spent in the outdoors. Moments like this make me realize how lucky I am to be living the dream right now. We may not have all of tangible things like a car or home but I came to a conclusion that traveling with the ones you love is a home in motion.
Saturday was our laziest day yet. We all slept in, and that was actually needed. We took our time in the morning, worked out, ate breakfast and took the kids to a local playground. Exercising their creativity, Leo found a little track and instead of swinging and climbing onto things, he decided to run laps while Mila followed! It was so cute and funny because Mila was trying so hard to beat Leo. After their olympics practice, we drove a nearby village called Pons. A hilly climb from the parking lot, we walked all the way to the top and were treated to a beautiful medieval castle and witness a French wedding - very chic and, well French :-) We ended the night with a delicious grilled dinner and went to the bed early since this was our last night in the village of Thaims.
Yet again, an amazing week spent in the French countryside. I really don't have enough words to describe the hospitality of our hosts and beauty of this region. The first two weeks here have been nothing short of spectacular. I’d recommend to all folks who have a passion for traveling to consider these regions, particularly those with kids. As we were getting ready to leave, our hosts came over and handed us a beautifully written note and a jar of homemade honey (they own a bee farm). Funny enough, we also wrote them a short note showing our gratitude and thanks for everything they did for us (thank you google translate for making it possible). Kinda sad to be leaving this little charming village but also extremely excited for what's ahead of us...