Between September 4 and September 9th hubs and I had the opportunity to travel to the French countryside and stay with an amazing host family in partnership with our sister city golf exchange program. We stayed outside of Compiegne in a small town called Rhotondes, in a beautiful country home on the river that connects the Seine to Belgium! It was just as you would imagine the countryside looking. We loved every second of our experience. Our hosts, Guilhene and Jaq, became like family to us. They helped teach us French, answered our questions about France, culture and etiquette, but they also took care of us by having pain au chocolates for us (me) every morning fresh from the bakery!! I didn’t take too many photos of our time because we were always busy doing something!
This is Guilhene and Jaq’s beautiful home in Rhotondes. It had a pool but the temperature was a little too cool to be enjoyed. We loved staying with them in their beautiful vacation home. They actually reside permanently in Paris!! (It couldn’t have been more meant to be that we stayed with them considering we rented our flat a few minutes away!)
Enjoying French cheese and wine on the beautiful porch. Cheers!
Our first day that we did arrive in Compiegne, we met with our group of Americans at the Chateau de Compiegne
, to take a private tour of the Chateau that was built for Louis XV and restored by Napoleon and was one of three seats of government.
I wish that I could put on an elegant gown and just dance all night in this ballroom…
After our tour of the chateau we headed to Hotel de Ville, which always just stands for the town hall, it’s not actually a hotel. We were greeted by the mayor to welcome the American’s to Compiegne!! Such a fun experience! Like I mentioned in my previous post,
I’d highly recommend everyone to look into their sister city program!
I still can’t get over how real wars are when you’re in Europe. To see the actual bullet holes from war in buildings is so surreal!! This was in the courtyard of the Compeigne Hotel de Ville. And speaking of wars, it was the 100th year anniversary of the beginning of World War I and there are monuments scattered about France and below is a photo of one in the center of town in Compeigne. It’s very touching..
We obviously had a busy first day, but it was still continuing! Luckily hubs and I had been in France for a couple of days so we weren’t tired but the other Americans were a little tired. Guilhene was hosting our dinner for everyone involved in the golf exchange program
at our wonderful country home and we had to stop at the bakery and butcher and I just couldn’t help but snap a few pictures of how beautiful the meats, pates and pastries were!
We had such beautiful weather while we were in France and were able to enjoy our dinner outside in the yard. Such a wonderful treat!! Guilhene baked a beautiful quiche and we were able to pick up a BEAUTIFUL charcuterie board from the butcher that I was just obsessed with! I can’t get over how wonderful the meats truly are!
We enjoyed spending our time surrounded by the locals learning about the culture and learning key catch phrases but also enjoying fabulous wine and conversation!
The next couple of days included the boys playing golf at different golf courses around the countryside and the ladies touring small towns and seeing the sites. It was so fun to see different small towns, pop into local shops and even see the outdoor markets. It was so special and especially because we were with people that knew the area and could really educate us on our experience! I even picked up clubs one day and played on the Compiegne golf course! It was home to the only Olympics ever hosted for golf! How neat is that?! It’s also a working horse track. Below is the clubhouse of Raray, which they actually shot the 1960’s version of Beauty and the Beast! It was a hunting lodge for royalty as Compeigne surrounds one of the largest forests in France.
Hubs and the pull carts that golfers use in France. There are no golf carts!
This is our group that traveled to Compiegne. Mostly it’s the Americans with their spouses, but a few of our wonderful French hosts are pictured as well! Guilhene is at the bottom in the gray sweater next to hubs! <3 her!! Hubs looks so tiny here.. too bad we walked so much on our trip, we didn’t gain any of that wonderful Europe weight from pastries and wine at every meal!
I’ll be back tomorrow with part 2 of our trip to the countryside. Oh how I wish we could go back ASAP! It was so wonderful!