The best things in London and Paris are – just not in London and Paris. While we saw some amazing things in the cities, some of our favorites days were ones when we headed out of town and saw some of the other history-filled cities of England and France.
20130909-220918.jpg (Throwing coins and making wishes in Bath!)

In England, we went to beautiful Bath. It was just what I needed after the Day of the Great Tantrum (the less said about that the better because it was fairly embarassing). We toured the Roman Baths (very interesting and educational), took Holy Communion at Bath Abbey and had tea at the Pump Room. We both even tried “taking the waters” – that is, drinking a glass of the hot minerally water that Bath is famous for. It’s said to cure everything from gout to infertility, so we have our fingers crossed for developing good knees for Will and exceptional health and beauty for me in the near future.

20130909-221021.jpg (technically drinking champagne here, which also increases health and beauty obviously)

Tea at the Pump Room was too lovely. It wasn’t necessarily the food, although the tea, scones and desserts were tasty (although I do have to say that a puréed salmon sandwich is not something I hope to try again in life).

In all, the day was relaxing and invigorating – and I loved it because being there also fed my Jane Austen obsession. And then, the Most Glorious Moment happened there as well (more on this in a previous post)

In Paris, I was, to be honest, getting sick of the city. I like the history, but I do not like many of the modern-day Parisians I encountered. So, my lovely husband planned a little day-excursion to Reims. It was amazing. I cannot recommend this city highly enough. I thought the cathedral was more beautiful and more historic than Notre Dame. We visited a brasserie after our own hearts (vocab lesson: in France, a brasserie is a restaurant that brews its own beer). Will had a little flight of their brews while I had a flight of beer cocktails – l’apero du coleurs. Very refreshing and fun!

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Then, we toured a champagne cave and tried the champagne they made there.

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It was just the day we needed to shake the dust of Paris from our feet and to refresh.

So, when you go on vacation, I would encourage you to go off the beaten tracks and experience the small town loveliness outside of the world cities.

What has been your favorite vacation secret? Any little on-the-side getaways you’ve loved?

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