The following day had been set aside for a jaunt through the countryside, which is always a priority for me. I live in a city, so when I'm on vacation, I want to see some green! At least part of the time :) I woke up that morning and walked out of the room to see...
A breakfast of champions! Do you see the pile of pastries on each plate? Mmm. So yummy. Our lovely hosts, who had been up for a little while, ran out to the local patisserie first thing and picked them up still warm from the oven. Heaven, people. Pure heaven.
Then we all piled into our little rental car. I drove while KP navigated, and the boys sat in the back and did their best to drive/navigate from there :) Our first stop...
Actually, there was nothing there except the sign but we had to stop and take a picture. How awesome would it be to be able to say that you lived in Sexey aux Forges? On to the next stop!
I've always wanted to visit a winery, so what better time than when driving through the French countryside? We found one in Lucey, and were given a tasting by the guy in the red sweatshirt. His name was David (pronounced Da-veed), and his family had run this winery for several generations. The region is best known for producing two things - a gris, which is a white wine version of a rose, and the mirabelle, a type of plum used to create various wines and liqeurs. All in all, we tried 2 different gris, a white wine, a pinot noir, a mirabelle liquer, a mirabelle brandy, and then the mirabelle liquer mixed with a sparkling wine. As the driver, I only had a very tiny bit of each, but they were all quite good. We ended up buying a bottle of the mirabelle liquer and a bottle of gris.
It was decided that before we jumped back in the car, we'd walk around a bit and try to find somewhere to have a picnic. Lucey turned out to be a very picturesque little village! The old winepress above was in a little park right next to the winery we'd visited. As we were sauntering about, David drove by and then stopped and told us about a water garden in the area. We looked, but weren't able to find it, so we sat at the first picnic table we came across and watched the local kids play soccer.
Our next stop was an abandonned abbey, which you see above. That was as close as we could get without trespassing (I took the picture through the iron gate that kept us out) - apparently it's only open to the public on Sundays.
That was a problem we ran into quite a bit in France - at least outside Paris. Things seem to be open whenever they feel like it, rather than following their posted hours, if they had any.
Everywhere we went, there were fields upon fields of canola. It was gorgeous!
Our last stop of the day was in the little town of St-Mihiel. Other than the cathedral, there wasn't much to see - at least that was open. But the cathedral was one of my favourites. You could tell while walking around that it's main purpose was to be used by an active congregation, not just to look pretty.
After having a little snack, we headed back to Nancy, driving through village after village, each with it's own little church, and flower-lined streets, and fields of canola.