For our first overnight trip, we wanted to keep things easy and cheap. Luckily, the delightful storybook town of Colmar, France is only a 2.5 hr drive away. It’s in the Alsace region, known for exceptional wines and views. And it’s the kind of place you can continue to come back to throughout the different seasons, especially during Christmastime when the markets and decorations are out of this world! To be honest, I don’t think I would have known about it if we hadn’t moved here. It’s not a big city by any stretch of the imagination, but it is one of the prime destinations along the Alsace Wine Road. The destination didn’t matter much at all to the boys – they were just excited to add a new country to their list. 😉
We didn’t have much time because it was a typical weekend, plus we were picking up the keys to our new house on Sunday. But, we knew we needed a change of scenery and a little celebration to mark the end of 4 months of living out of suitcases.
Here’s how our weekend went:
- Friday: Pick up boys from school, drive to Colmar, check into Airbnb and walk about town
- Saturday: traditional French breakfast, Segway tour of Eguisheim vineyards, dinner and sunset boat ride
- Sunday: Breakfast and then head home to pick up our keys from the realtor!
Our Airbnb above a creperie!
Whenever it’s the four of us, I usually stick with Airbnb for lodging. Most hotels will not allow more than 3 people in one room, and it’s so much nicer when we have a little apartment set up where the kids can have their own space.
So when I saw this cute listing for an apartment above a creperie right in the Tanner’s District, I booked it right away. Not only was it super affordable at about $125 per night, but it was walkable to everything. The interior was FILLED with character – like old half-timbered beams and a cozy fireplace. And since we were at the tippy top of the building, the views were lovely, too. Turns out there was a plus side to having to schlep up 4 flights of stairs with a narrow spiral staircase!
After we checked in, we spent the rest of the evening wandering around, snapping pics of the sites. Flower boxes abound, and many of the buildings are decorated with various themes. For example, the brasserie next door to our Airbnb was covered in hearts and milk jugs and other farm decor. It’s really a thing to behold!
For dinner, we had a typical Alsatian dish of tartes flambée – basically like a flatbread with a garlicky sauce, cheese, and bacon. We have a similar dish here in Germany called Flammkuchen. Not surprising, given that the region has gone back and forth through the years between the French and the Germans. Overall, it was a relaxing evening and a cool experience for the boys to try ordering in French. Brady even sprung for a flight of white wine!
Our Segway Tour of Eguisheim
On that note, it was imperative that we spent some time tasting wine (or at least catching up to Brady). After all, this is the famed Alsatian wine region! That’s when Airbnb experiences hit me with the option of a Segway tour through vineyards in the nearby town of Eguisheim. The perfect blend of adventure and refinement! The kids were psyched and so were we…so that made up the bulk of our Saturday.
Eguisheim is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. Just a 20 min drive down the road from Colmar, there are fountains, MORE flowers, and even storks perched in huge nests atop the buildings.
We could have stayed there all day, but after the drama of trying to find a parking spot, it was time for our tour. None of us had ever been on a Segway before and frankly, I thought I’d either fall off or kill myself, but once I got the hang of it I was zipping around like nobody’s business – even on the bumpy terrain of the cobblestones and then the hills of the vineyard.
The weather was overcast and our tour guide spoke only a few words of English, but we didn’t need anyone describing to us the beauty of the landscape. It was divine!
Wine Tasting at Domaine Antoine Stoffel in Eguisheim
Luckily, wine tasting followed the Segway tour – you know, for safety! As far as wineries go, Domaine Antoine Stoffel was rather nondescript, especially compared to places we’d visited in Napa and Sonoma. There wasn’t a fancy tasting room or stunning grounds to explore. In fact, it was just a table in a parking lot with RVs parked nearby, apparently to offer a convenient service for people touring the region. But the wine…it was OH SO GOOD! From Rieslings to the bubbly Cremant, we marked down bottle after bottle for purchase. When it was all said and done, we had 16 bottles to savor as liquid souvenirs. And all for a fraction of what you’d pay for the same bottle in the States!
La Petite Venise – “Little Venice” by Boat
Back in Colmar after such an action packed day, we needed a little rest from all of our adventures. Nap time factors heavily into all of our trips, haha! So 90 mins later with our phones charged and bit more pep in our step, we set off for our short boat ride. Colmar is known for it’s La Petite Venise, a Venice-like little river that snakes through the town, complete with low bridges to duck under. But the rain couldn’t hold out any longer, and we glided down the river in a little flat-bottomed boat with our umbrellas overhead. The deep green of the water provided a gorgeous contrast to the gray of the overcast sky.
When Sunday rolled around, it was time to prepare to leave, but not without one last fabulous French breakfast! I wish I had photos. Imagine a wooden board with cheeses, bread, and meats, along with small bowls of jam and fruit. It was simply so good and I ended up trying to replicate it at home with my own little olive wood boards.
We also stopped by the Marché Couvert to buy a few French goodies to take home with us. Not much is open on Sundays so this was a sweet surprise and a lovely way to close out a memorable weekend. Wish we could have stayed longer, but we had to pick up the keys for our new house!
BONUS: Logan and Brady with mid-afternoon crepes. Hungry boys…