Our Leap Day Vacay
For more & better photos of our vacations, be sure to check out my wife’s Instagram account – @Vaca_with_Katie
We have had enough of our winter time hibernation. Leap day is upon us, what better reason to get out of the house and do something than a once every four year free day.
A short two and a half hour drive south into France to see The Chateau de Luneville lit up for the evening is as good of a reason as any to pack the family into the car for a road trip. We booked an overnight stay at an incredible little bed and breakfast called “La Fee Maison” in nearby Chatel-sur-Moselle, touted for its delicious homemade breakfast. Built in 1722, it’s original, nearly 300 year old features are just as incredible as you could imagine.
Once we neared our destination, our drive left the highway and we found ourselves on scenic back roads with beautiful views and even a rainbow that caused us to pull off onto a muddy side road for an opportunistic photograph.
After arriving at our destination we took the afternoon to walk the streets while we still had some daylight. The sandy colored buildings testified to the age of the town and our tourist instincts kicked in, causing us to stop at the end of streets and in front of detailed buildings to pose our children for photos constantly. This is not the metropolitan city sights of Paris or Strasbourg that you imagine when you think of France. This is a quaint small town, with little traffic and few people walking the streets. Walking into a local shop, English is not spoken and our limited French makes conversation difficult, but a mix of charades and pointing sorts out most situations.
Our first meal is chosen for us by the host, a lunch special that he is sure everyone will enjoy. He was absolutely correct, a delicious lunch followed by dessert and a coffee is our introduction to the local French cuisine.
We visited the Chateau next, but icy rain and gusty winds forced us into hiding under the Chateau archways. While waiting for the rain to pass, we decided to forego hanging around until the cold, wet evening for the lights and retreat to the warmer, drier climate of our room until dinner.
The next morning, we awoke looking forward to the aforementioned breakfast and we were NOT disappointed! We received a traditional French breakfast complete with a delicious homemade jam prepared by our hostess. After satiating our appetite we enjoyed a conversation with the couple (Alex and Cyril) that owned the bed and breakfast and were even shown the kitchen and pot where the jam was made along with a little history of their ownership. I highly recommend anyone traveling to this area look into “La Fee Maison” for their accommodation.
Prior to checking out, Alex and Cyril recommended a stop over at “The Place Stanislas” in the French city of Nancy. So that was where we headed.
The Stanislas city square was a sight to see, and these photos hardly do it justice. It was enormous, surrounded by incredible buildings and a nearby park. We explored the square, the park and even stopped at a roadside cafe for a coffee. Roadside cafes are exactly what I picture when I think of France and now I found myself sitting at one, a mark off the old bucket list for sure.
The park was very popular on this Sunday afternoon, and everywhere you looked there were joggers, bikers and families enjoying the day with a hint of Spring in the air. There were even carnival style rides for the kids, and a small animal area with peacocks, monkeys, goats and donkeys to explore.
Less than two hours later, we were back home. Our leap day (weekend) vacay complete.