Beaujolais- the simple life


Before jumping on the TGV (bullet train) to Paris, I spent a Saturday in Beaujolais for a group excursion. Beaujolais is a wine region that consists of many vineyards, lots of greenery and beautiful, beautiful hills. Not only did we see such a beautiful place, we met the sweetest family, ate the yummiest food and had the best weather possible for a day trip like that. Honestly, nothing could have been better...

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a little housewarming party the night before and my friends slept over and we made breakfast. Then, we headed off to the meeting place to jump on a bus and head out to one of the most beautiful places I've ever experienced. The bus ride was about an hour long. I popped in my earphones, listened to soothing music, watched the hills of France pass by and knocked out. Before I knew it, we were driving up to a huge house with a vineyard, chickens, children and everything that you would think of when you hear the word "happy."
[Me & Jess when we first got there]

[I hate posing by myself]

[Learning about various grapes and their tastes]

[Father of the family, owner of the vineyard]

[Where the wine is made!]

[Before complete fermentation]
We went to the vineyards to learn a little bit about the various grapes and what exactly is wine from Beaujolais. The father of the family then led us to where the grapes ferment. He had these huge silver tins where he stores the wine. After 15 minutes of more learning and observing, we made our way into a room with 3 long dining tables which could only mean one thing: FOOD! His son poured us (all 45 of us) a glass of wine that we examined, smelled, held under the light, put against a white surface and finally tasted. We familiarized ourselves with what we're supposed to look for in various types of wine. Then, after about 30 minutes, the food began to come out. Bread, more bread, pâté, wine, more wine, more bread, beef, pork, rice, dessert (time to loosen the belt) and dessert wine. I was so miserably full that I literally thought I was going to explode. The food was absolutely delicious and lunch lasted THREE hours!

[DELICIOUS herb bread]

[Learning about wine]

[My delicious food gone before I thought to take a picture]

[Hanging out and enjoying each other's company]


[Jessica helping the family pass out café sweet!]

[Chris--director/discrete-photographer...also his birthday!]

After lunch (or should I say breakfast/lunch/dinner), we headed to the back of the house where the wife showed us where they bake their bread. We all gathered around this brick wall that looked like it had a painting of an oven. And then, she opened this little iron black door and everyone instantly felt the heat. The little door provided an opening to a HUGE oven. Her wooden stick/pole thing to get the bread from the oven was at least 15 feet long. It was a lot of fun to watch her make the dough, put the dough in the oven and then, take out a beautiful golden ball of delicious bread. When she finished her demonstration, I walked around the back and talked to their puppy, chased their 15 chickens (reminds me of home) and stood in awe as I tried to register just how beautiful their property was. Then, I noticed everyone was walking away with little bags of hotness so I ran back in to claim mine and to my surprise and utter joy, it was a hot, fresh loaf of bread. It was so fresh we couldn't eat it right away because the middle was still had to cook through with its own heat.

[The most perfect looking grapes ever...and the juiciest!]

[Picking the grapes to eat 'em]

[Another picture of the perfect grapes]

[Absolutely breathtaking]

[Me, Jessica & Jessica]

[Me & Cyan]

[The oven!]

[Preparing the bread to put in the oven]

[How to make the dough...cutest couple ever by the way]

[Chickens! I miss ours :-(]

[Their lovely house!]

Then, around 7 pm, all of us happy, satisfied, and slightly plump students made our way back onto the bus. Needless to say, I took the best food-coma-nap ever!

As we drove away, I thought about how wonderful/beautiful/magical the simple life must be. When you simplify your life, you have the opportunity to appreciate things that actually matter--the things that are absolutely necessary. Your perspective isn't tainted by fluffy junk...It inspired me to simply my life as much as possible. For example (as mentioned before), I temporarily deactivated my Facebook. I don't need to spend hours on FB, trying to keep up with everyone's lives while I'm here. I'm in France for 4 months (a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity) and the time that I'm not out exploring, I should be bettering my language skills by reading articles and such, right? Or blogging, of course ;-) Time is really flying here and if I don't keep my eyes open and stay aware at how beautiful and blessed my life is, I can really be missing out on some life lessons, experiences and memories.

Paris pictures coming soon. I love and miss you all.

Ciao...bisou <3

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