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Lost in the French Countryside

The start of a European family adventure.

John, my husband, I and the kids (Giulia and Adrian) plus my parents (Sandra & Anthony) landed in Paris early morning after a 9 hour flight from Houston, Texas.

We grabbed our rental van and started our journey to the remote village of Laignes located in the French Countryside of Burgundy. On the way there we stopped for lunch, fixed a flat tire and hit the road with our fingers crossed and a can of fix a flat. Yes, flat. Two hours into our rental.

Laignes is a remote village near the Route de Cremant (A Champagne Trail).
Driving through the French Countryside was very charming. But, John and I soon discovered that we had different definitions of remote & charming. After we passed through the 56th village, I too started to question my definition of remote. I think we drove through every village in Burgundy and covered every square inch/hectare of forest. We had moments of delirium and slapstick giddiness trying to navigate the French countryside and having one-sided arguments with the GPS system that we nicknamed Sally. Giulia never trusted Sally, which resulted in the GPS going missing from time to time.


Our arrival and collapse was met with new found energy and a mix bag of down time.Our Chalet, Maison des Anges (house of angels) was quite lovely….
My mother who is 4ft 11.5 inches felt a bit taller, and the kids were feeling like this was their own personal playhouse. Between John trapped in the cellar, Adrian leaving the hatch open in his room and waking up drenched in rain, and spiders keeping the house clear of bugs (that’s what we kept telling the kids and ourselves), it was a glorious three ring circus that still makes me smile.


We all had our ways of dealing with jet lag.
Our day trips gave the kids time to nap. John and I would opt for an extra shot of espresso; while my parents went to bed earlier. We didn’t miss a beat during our 3 days in Laignes.

We enjoyed walking around the village and discovering it’s charm. Like the local boulangerie & patisserie (bread and pastry shop).


In the center of town is a beautiful mermaid fountain. We sat and watched the ducks and even a family of beavers. All kinds are welcome here.



Interesting buildings with ornate statues above an entry way. This building used to be a bar, but is now a public library.


The town is full of cherry trees!


Every window was decorated with lace.


Tiny details were everywhere when you looked for them.


We visited friends and wineries in Aloxe Corton and Vougeot. We also spent a day in the beautiful village of Chatillion-sur-Seine, located in the north-eastern part of Burgundy. Chatillion-sur-Seine is a peaceful countryside town close to the source of the Seine.


We shopped for dinner at this deli. This family deli has been making specialties (such as curing their own ham) for generations.


There are tons of other villages and attractions. The famous village, Flavigny, where Chocolat was filmed, Abbey de Fontenay (a world heritage site), Renoirs Attic, Vezelay cathedral, Museum of Chatillonnais and much more.

Two things I’ve learned about traveling with children…you just can’t do everything and your plans never go exactly as hoped. Our saviors on the journey were flexibility and a good sense of humor.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    mary Kimbrough
    August 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Been to Burgundy several times and it is my favorite area in France. Enjoy!

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