So, Christmas in France, I don't really know how to describe it in words (in a good way). That’s because it wasn’t a vacation, it wasn’t just a regular travel trip, it was an experience; It was spending Christmas in a foreign - foreign country (and I say foreign twice because where I call home right now is already a foreign country for me, obviously). Not only was this an experience like no other, but I was invited into my friend’s family home, what most people would consider, a very special time of year. Throw into the mix of being a natural introvert at heart… that takes a hell of a lot of energy! Some people think I'm insane for spending the holidays away from my family, with the recent death of my oldest brother….which is even more of an impractical thing to do. Call me selfish, but I needed the escape and my Christmas in France healed that for me.
Now to the France business! The food omg, anyone who knows me, knows my love for amazing food. Oh! and let’s not even get started on the wine….. or the wine consumption. Miki’s (my friend/housemate) family was like the best gift, the world could give back to me for the recent months I’d just endured. They had 100x more love and passion for food and wine than I did, it was heaven. My taste palate and Miki’s family…. are best friends. The amount of knowledge on food, wine, and culture that I consumed over those 10 days’ man… I am no longer the same person who left England on December 23, 2016. They were all super chill (works well with my introvert energy), wise, culturally full of knowledge, and loved food and wine; what more could I ask for.
I was introduced to the world of experts on wine. What a dope experience to have dinner with her family’s friends who were wine producers. In a room of the house, there were 4 languages being spoken, and spoken fluently all at once. Those 4 languages were French, Spanish, English, and Wine. Yes, wine is a language. Miki’s mom even runs her own business called Vinglish, that provides a service to translate the language of wine. That’s how real it is. I was asked by the wine producer’s daughter about what my thoughts were on the taste of each wine (one of the wines we were drinking were named after her. Yes, the bottle of wine she asked my opinion on had her name on it) talk about pressure. In that moment, I was speechless, at a loss for words, not because I was in shock or anything but because I didn’t know how to put it into words the tastes my palate were experiencing. That’s because I don’t speak the language of wine. Each wine had a different “something” about it I had no idea how to explain it, some wines have more of this “something” and others have less of this “something”, and some others have a mixture of these “somethings”. She then asked me for my marketing expertise and opinion on the logo and label of the wines, oh how good that felt! The blood, sweat, and tears I’ve put into my Master’s degree in Psychology of Advertising were being acknowledged, complimented, and put to good use.
To be clear, I didn’t just stay in France, but I stayed in the countryside of France… jaw dropping. Vineyards were like peoples’ front lawns, they were everywhere. The vineyards, the hiking, the old stone houses, the wine, the cheese, the bread, the croissants, the coffee, the Foie Gras, the hills, the mountains and my muddy running kicks. We first hiked up Berzé-la-Ville which is around the village of their house in Burgundy, Mácon. Here is where I had my first touristy moment. For them, it was, in translation my version of walking through 5th Ave - Central Park… pretty regular for them, but for me it was breathtaking. Second, we hiked up Solutré-Pouilly, which is also in Burgundy, Macon. This rock is the shape of a slice a cake, literally. It looks like someone sliced a piece of it off, pretty dope. When we reached the top of the rock we could see above the clouds. Picture that. There is some pretty interesting history on the Rock of Solutré about how they used the rock’s sharp cliff for horse hunting done 55,000 years ago…. but I won’t get into that right now. The third rock we hiked up was the Vergisson, it was my favorite hike. The hike up was pretty steep (you know I love cardio), filled with bushes so the only visual you had on the way up was directly in front of you. It was something about the energy of this rock and its village, it was calming. I loved it.
If anyone has any questions about my journey to Mácon or want any recco’s about traveling to France, feel free to ask me! I know the experts. xx
And America we need to step out isshh up in the high-speed train department. France’s TGV (French: Train à Grande Vitesse, "high-speed train") goes 357.2 mph. If we had that we could get from New York to North Carolina in an hour!