Anyone who knows Pam knows she loves her champagne. They also know her champagne of choice is Veuve Clicquot.
Bearing the trademark yellow label that was first used in 1876, the story of Veuve Clicquot's rise from its modest beginnings in 1772 to one of the world's leading luxury brands, shipping 20 million bottles a year, is the stuff of legend. At the center of the story is a woman -- the Widow Clicquot (veuve is French for "widow"), the recognized Grand Dame of champagne, whose business acumen and innovations helped create a global industry. If you don't know her remarkable story, check out Tilar Mazzeo's book, "The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled it."
The headquarters for Veuve Clicquot is in Reims in the Champagne region, about one hour east by train from Paris. On our recent trip to Paris, we decided making the trek to the "Mothership," as Pam calls it, was a must. "Two tickets to Reims, s'il te plaît." READ MORE.
PARIS -- The last time we saw Paris -- isn't that a song? -- we arrived on the Chunnel train from London and spent a glorious time exploring from the "Hop On, Hop Off" bus. This time, we planned to strike out on our own to experience the City of Light.
Timing-wise, August might not be the best month, only because it's the month many Parisians take their holiday. While we found some museums closed, as well a few shops and restaurants, you could hardly notice. In fact, it's still peak tourist season, and the usual hotspots, like the Eiffel Tower, Versailles and the Louvre, were swarming with people.
We thought about signing up for a guided tour, but ultimately decided to strike out on our own. So, with the help of the Internet, and Uber, we identified a few places to visit. By the way, we found Uber a great way to get around the city. Taking Uber from Orly Airport to our hotel was half the cost of a taxi, and anytime we needed a ride, it arrived in a few minutes. Plus with my credit card on file, paying was a snap.
As soon as we learned we would be taking an AmaWaterways “Colors of Provence” wine cruise on the Rhone River in France, the next task became getting there from South Florida. As we looked into flights, a newcomer caught our attention: French bee.
Billed as the “leading affordable, long-haul airline based in Paris,” they had just initiated service from Miami to Orly Airport last December. A direct flight on a budget-friendly carrier? As the British say, that’s “just the ticket.”
Founded in 2016, they expanded service to the United States in 2018, and currently offer flights to Orly from New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami. Additionally, they fly from San Francisco to Tahiti and from Orly to Reunion Island off the coast of Africa. They are the first airline to exclusively fly Airbus A350s.
Here’s a recap of our French bee experience: READ MORE.
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