35 before 35: Champagne in Champagne

Champagne

WordPress congratulated me on my anniversary this morning… apparently this blog has existed for a whole nine years today! So even though I didn’t intend to blog, I didn’t feel like I could let such a momentous occasion pass without a post. And what better way to celebrate than with champagne (albeit champagne that has already been drunk).

Whit Monday is a public holiday in Germany and Switzerland (or at least the parts that are relevant to us), which meant a long weekend. We didn’t want to let it go to waste, so with the Champagne region a mere four and a half hours’ drive from here, I decided it was time to check something else off my 35 before 35 list.

We were staying in Reims, but after arriving there on Saturday evening we decided to spend some time exploring other place and save Reims itself for the next day. First of all, we drove to a village called Avizes, where there’s a champagne company that one of Jan’s colleagues recommended (the one in the photo at the top of this post). Unfortunately they had already closed for the weekend so we couldn’t book a tour. We stopped in a little park just outside the village where even the landscaping featured champagne!

The next stop was Epernay… home of the (apparently) world-famous “Champagne street”. All the big names have headquarters there.

As you can see, it had started to rain by this point, so we were glad to head off and find some food (and actual champagne to drink!). We each chose the evening three course meal. Jan was driving, so he drank some delicious apricot juice, but I chose the version of the meal that came with three types of champagne. Sadly I don’t remember what they were, except that the first one did come from where it says on the glass. How’s that for a wine list though!

After breakfast the next day, we headed into Reims for a look around. I’m going to tell you about that in a separate post though, since there was no champagne drinking involved and this post is for the 35 before 35 item ūüėČ Instead let’s skip ahead to that afternoon, when we had a G. H. Mumm cellar tour booked.

We saw some of the barrels they originally used, each with the name of the village the grapes came from, learned about the villages where Mumm grow their grapes, saw all the different sizes of champagne bottle that exist (Mumm only has about 4 of them available!) and visited the museum.

Obviously the tour ended with a glass of champagne!

And that’s item 34 crossed off my list: Drink Champagne in Champagne.

 

Friday letters

It will be a short Friday letters today because I have a big, difficult translation at the moment and I need to cut my lunch break short then work longer tonight to make sure it’s done in time. I do get a long weekend to make up for it though. Thank you Whit Monday ūüėÄ

Mailbox

Dear Eurovision. I’ve purposely avoided all your semi-finals and things so I have no idea what to expect tomorrow. I can’t wait to revel in your cheesiness!

Dear weather. How very kind of you to turn awful just in time for the long weekend. (In case you didn’t get it, yes that was sarcasm!)

Dear new chest of drawers. I’m so excited for you to arrive next week! Hurry up, Wednesday. (Although, on second thoughts, don’t hurry too much. I want t enjoy my long weekend.)

Dear bulgur wheat. How did it take me so long to discover you? Since moving to Switzerland you’ve become a staple in our household. A delicious, easy to cook staple.

Dear summer reading challenge. The category list comes out this Sunday you say? Ooooh!

Happy Friday everyone. I’m off to eat a quick lunch. Hope your weekend is fabulous!

Friday letters, plus some links

This weekend is Pfingsten, or Whit weekend (Pentecost), which means Monday is yet another holiday! I’m also at a seminar on Friday/Saturday, so it will be a short week at the office for me. After that, there’s one more holiday to go (Fronleichnam – Corpus Christi), then it’s back to normal, 5-day working weeks until Christmas (there are 2 more public holiday this year, but both fall on weekend. Boo!).

letters

Dear May. No offence, but I’m glad you’re over! Much as I enjoyed my trip to Konstanz, May 2014 will forever be known as the month my Grandpa died. Now it’s June, I hope I can move on with the rest of 2014 without the shadow of illness/death hanging over everything…

Dear sleep. Pleeeeease can we catch up this weekend? I am so unbelievably tired!

Dear ice cream. Why must you be so irrististable? I’m never going to get rid of the belly fat at this rate!

Dear The Fault in Our Stars. You’re next on my reading list, and to be honest I’m slightly scared. I’ve been hearing about how sad you are and I just know there are going to be tears…

¬†And since this week didn’t produce too many letters, have some links as well:

  • Ever wondered what happens when someone dies on a plane? Here you go.
  • People are always claiming that various exams are getting easier, so the Liverpool Echo has published a test with genuine questions from past GCSE papers. Could you pass your GCSEs? (For non-UK readers, GCSEs are the exams you take at age 16). (I got 12 out of 16, in case anyone was wondering. Too many maths questions!!)
  • Think you understand Denglish? Take the Denglish Quiz! I got 9 out of 10 (This one is only for those who actually understand German!)
  • This is all over the Internet at the moment, but I shall give you the BBC News article on it. Apparantly learning a second language (even as an adult) slows brain aging. Take note, Britain, and bring back language lessons in schools!
  • This article in The Guardian amused me. Apparantly Cristiano Romaldo’s current injury woes are all down to a Ghanaian witch doctor who doesn’t want him to play against Ghana in the world cup. What?!

That’s it from me. Have a great weekend, everyone!

 

 

Pfingsten Friday letters

This weekend is Pfingstwochenende, or Pentecost weekend, which makes Monday Pfingstmontag (Whit Monday) and therefore the third of May’s four public holidays. YAY for long weekends!

English: Postbox, Drumree, Co Meath An Irish p...
An Irish postbox (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear boyfriend. Thank you for bringing me chocolates back from Belgium. They look very tasty… but how am I supposed to eat the one shaped like a hedgehog without feeling cruel?

Dear British Forces Brats group. I can see myself become obsessed with you! Sooo many people who have shared my experiences! It had never occurred to me that the army lifestyle could be to blame for any of my personality traits (although it’s obvious, when you think about it!)

Dear cake I have to bake tonight. Please work out! I need you for a post-wedding celebration barbecue thingy tomorrow (where I will probably know nobody!!) and there won’t be time for a second try.

Dear weather. Please be kind! A barbecue where I know nobody other than my boyfriend will be bad enough without getting soaked as well!

Dear Bonnie Tyler. Good luck in the Eurovision Song Contest! I hope we get home from this barbecue thing in time for me to watch you!

Happy weekend everyone! (And happy long weekend to those in Germany.)

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Friday letters

It’s Friday again! Always a good day in my world, but even better this week because I took the day off to use up some overtime, and because my colleague and I agreed right at the beginning of the year that we would take two each of this year’s four bridge days (yesterday, was a holiday in my part of Germany – for All Saints Day). Here are this week’s Friday letters:

Dear four-day weekend. You have been fun so far. I’m really glad we still have 2 days to spend together.

Dear weather. Thank you for being terrible on Thursday, when we were staying in anyway,  and brightening up today in time for our trip to Schwäbisch Hall.

Dear Schw√§bisch Hall. You are pretty. I’m so glad I chose you as the next place to cross off on my list of 30 German towns before 30.

Dear boyfriend. Thank you for making such a supreme effort to come home at a reasonable time each night, and even calling/texting to let me know you’re leaving. I appreciate this more than you know. Also, thank you for driving to Schw√§bisch Hall. To get their by train we would have had to change trains at least once (in Crailshaim, journey time 4 hours) and at most six times. SIX! By car it takes 1 hour 36 minutes (in theory). It’s a good job one of us can drive…

Dear sore throat. Please go away. I am invited to a birthday meal tomorrow night and I intend to go.

That’s all folks. Here’s a photo I took in Schw√§bisch Hall. A proper post about our day trip will follow, too.

For more Friday letters check out:
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All crafted out

Today was Reunification Day (Tag der deutschen Einheit), Germany’s national holiday, which meant my office was closed. ABout time a holiday fell on a useful day! A long weekend is never to be sneezed at. I decided to seize my extra day off and take the opportunity to get some crafting done ready for my auction – which I promise to actually explain to you all one of these days. I now have a grand total of eleven cards. For those of you who couldn’t believe I was starting on Christmas cards in September, now you know why. I am slow! I really must get on with things though, if I want to make all the Christmas cards to send to my family as well. Have I taken on too much, I wonder? I’m actually quite proud of a few of my cards. I’m definitely getting better at this creativity lark – surprising really, seeing as I had absolutely no talent for art at school. I’ve grown up knowing that my sister was the artistic one. The intelligent one as well, come to think of it. I wonder which one that makes me?
I’m planning on making some more cards after work one evening this week. For now though, I’m all crafted out. I shall dream of glitter tonight, I’m sure! At least that will be better than dreaming about being pregnant, which I have twice recently. And no, I am not before anyone gets any ideas!!

Too tired to type

I am going to tell you about our experiences with various flats at some point – promise – but it’s been such a tiring week (despite my half day on Monday and the fact that it’s only Thursday – tomorrow being a Good Friday and therefore a holiday) that right now I’m too tired to think, never mind form coherent sentences. I’m very much looking forward to four whole days of lie ins! Not so much to all the dissertation work that’s waiting to be done during my long weeknd, but you can’t have everything, and I’m hoping to persuade the boyfriend to drive me to Roller on Saturday so I can buy a wardrobe. We’re supposed to be saving up for the move and the big holiday in August but I’m getting ‚ā¨445 back from the electricity company (I knew I hadn’t been using nearly as much as I’ve been paying for!) so I think I can spare a few euros for a wardrobe. And maybe a few more if I happen to see a bedside table I like.
Right now, though, I really must do some washing…