Day 1 and 2 - travel day June 6 and 7

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Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux
June 6th 2014
Published: June 10th 2014
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We arose at home at 4:15am so we would be ready for the pick up by Anthony's limo @ 5am for our ride to DIA so we will catch our 7;26am flight to JFK airport as the 1st leg on our journey. Our driver was prompt as usual and got us to DIA in good time. We went to the Delta counter and checked our 2 bags all the way to Bordeaux. Jim bought us 1st / business class flights for this trip. My bag weighed 35 lbs. and Jim's was at 40 lbs. We both really cut down on what we brought and tried to travel lighter. So far, we did good.

The flight Denver to New York was uneventful. For some reason delta chose me as TSA pre check. We were in seats 1A and B. As we flew over the city to land, I was hoping to see a closer view of the city and manhattan but after 9/11 this changed. We landed in terminal 4 and needed to go to terminal 1 for the flight on Air France to Paris but first we had a 3 hr layover to get though. We arrived at TM1 and an Air France agent told us their lounge was under renovation but we could go to the japan air lounge. At 2pm we walked in the japan lounge after reentering the secure zone and going back through the TSA check point. Once in the lounge we had snacks, charged my kindle and Jim's cell phone and oh yeh...enjoyed some champagne. Very relaxing and a great place to pass the time.

We boarded the Air France flight and sat in seats 3A and B. These were great sears and would lay flat so we could get a great night sleep. Right away the flight agent brought us each a glass of champagne. After we took off, she came around with a wine cart. I chose a 2011 Bourgogne Blanc by Maison Louis Jadot. Delicious, I enjoyed 2 glasses of this nice white wine. Jim chose a red, bordeaux rouge by Haut-Medoc Chateau Camensac 2008 5eme Grand Cru Classe. Again, delicious.

For dinner we started with a taster of guacamole with shrimp. Then an entree of Maine lobster with wasabi mayonnaise and mango salad. The main course was tournedos of beef with truffle butter, mashed potatoes with horseradish butter asparagus. Of course French baguette and yummy butter were included. We ordered a different wine to drink with the steak. A 2010 Valle du Rhone Rouge from Crozes- Hernitage Les Meysonniers by Michel chapoutlier. It was delicious. We had coffee and started to settle in for our necessary sleep. We both extended our seats to the full horizontal position. How wonderful to be comfortable on the flight. We awoke when the flight attendants turned the lights on.

We landed in Paris and the plane stopped way out on a Tarmac where a rolling stairway was used for us to disembark then we had to board busses that took us to the terminal 2. We did not have to retrieve our luggage then recheck to bordeaux so we went straight to the next terminal for the final leg of the day. We again had a 2 hr + layover so we sought the Air France salon (lounge) to wait in comfort. The final flight was only about 1 hour. Upon arrival in Bordeaux, we waited it seemed hours for our luggage to appear. They were among the last bags to come out on the baggage claim. I was so relieved.

We got in the taxi queue and jumped in the first taxi van. The very nice driver took us directly to our Hotel Burdigala. We checked inn and were able to go to our room early; so thankful. Our room 313 was really nice and we both took power naps then we walked 10 minutes to the pedestrian city center and had a mediocre lunch of croque Monsieur with salad. I was really tired so we headed back to the hotel to nap. Our friends Jane and Bill arrived around 5:30 and we met them in the hotel lobby to dine together. As with most restaurants, the restaurant did not open until 7:30pm so we went to the hotel lounge for a glass of wine to catch up. We met them 2 years ago on a Uniworld river cruise in Provence and in to Burgandy and really hit it off which made that trip fun to share experiences with another couple. They live in Tampa area, retired and Jane is a avid photographer. On our last trip she took 4,000 pictures!!

Dinner was really wonderful and we walked just a couple of blocks to Bistro de Sommelier. We ordered a bottle of 2006 bordeaux wine. The sommelier asked if we wanted left or right... He said left was more merlot style and right was Cabernet style wines. Very interesting to learn. We each ordered an entree (appetizer), Jane and I each enjoyed warm creamy goat cheese in a cream puff shell with a typical French salad with the famous vinaigrette dressing with Dijon. Jim and Bill each had pâté' with baguette that was so creamy it spread like butter, so delicious. For our main plat, I had pork shoulder braised for hours with scalloped potatoes; Jane ordered turbot fish and it came whole head and all with really tasty French fries; the guys each enjoyed a pork chop with mashed potatoes so buttery they were yellow!! Dessert was chocolate mousse and a pear cloufit and ice cream. We all had coffee. I need to remember to order coffee Americana so we get a normal cup instead of a demitasse of really strong French coffee.

We were going to walk a few blocks to the city center which is all a pedestrian area but it was now 9:30pm and after such a long travel day we were exhausted. Back to the hotel, made plans to meet in the lobby in the a.m. At 11;15am to go to lunch at Haui Smith Laffitte for lunch. We ordered a taxi to take us there for the 35-40 minute ride where we will meet the 3rd couple we will be spending our week with. We quickly started to get ready for bed, we both took showers to get refreshed after the very long day. From when we left our house at 5am Friday to when we finally arrived in bordeaux France it was a 23 hour day full of flights and layovers. We are so glad to be here ready for another adventure. Bonne nuit.


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