The cathedral towers the city of Bordeaux…it was the first thing we noticed driving into the city today. This massive building took 400 years to build! We decided to take a break from wine tasting and visit the actual city. The vinexpo (the world’s main wine fair) was being held this week so there were a lot of people in town both potential consumers and vineyard owners. We would have loved to sneak in but the fair is business only…you have to work in the industry to get in.
We started walking through the streets, we quickly found the “old town” area which was a pedestrian zone only. The streets were big and lined with boutique after boutique with all kinds of specialties specific to Bordeaux as well as your usual clothing stores, restaurants, pubs etc. We were ready for lunch and found a small cafe packed with people but with a table for two open on the patio. We snagged it and placed our order. The waitress didn’t speak a bit of English, Giff pointed to what he wanted which in hindsight is what I should have done. Instead, I tried to explain in English what I wanted to a women who only spoke French…then finally picked a random salad off the menu hoping for regular mixed greens but received smoked salmon, shrimp and some lettuce with a piece of white toast…not a bad lunch but not exactly what I had in mind. Giff got a piece of vegetable lasagna with a mixed green salad which was very good.
After lunch we continued strolling around the large city…it definitely wasn’t a small town or village…it was city with a city feel..it had taxi’s driving around and all types of people on the streets. Giff saw a little bakery and even though we had just eaten, he ordered a sandwich and a piping hot baguette. Giff literally made himself so full he was in pain but felt he had no option being the baguette was so delicious…it could not be wasted.
Did I mention how hot it was today? The city retained so much heat with all the buildings and people and we were slowly melting so found a square to sip on a smoothie and people watch for a bit. We left the main shopping area and found a few other major streets with impressive buildings before starting to walk back towards our car.
We saw a vendor with all kinds of fruits and veggies and purchased some cherries which were stacked up high and a couple of tomatoes to eat later and then walked back to our car to head to our B&B..
Published by Giff Kabat
I grew up in Ohio as a kid, so of course I went to college at “THE” Ohio State University. I graduated in 2001 with a major in business finance. A month after graduation, I moved out to California with my college girlfriend (whom I married in 2005)…and started my career in sales (industrial sales for 5 years…then moved into medical laser sales for 4 years).
In 2009 I was 31 years old. I had a great job, a new house, and a beautiful wife. Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby. Everything was going according to plan…and I couldn’t have scripted a better life for myself.
Then in the same year…everything changed. My wife, Brandey, called me when I was on my way to work and told me over the phone, something I never thought could be possible in a million years. My beautiful 30-year old pregnant wife was just told that she had breast cancer. At that moment, everything stopped all at once. I immediately went to her…and learned of our new plan…which began with her needing surgery immediately…and the rest we would find out later.
The day we returned from the hospital after Brandey’s surgery…my father died. He had been battling an aggressive cancer of his own…and although he was the one person I wanted to speak with about Brandey having cancer…I never told him. My sister, Brooke, had just gotten married a few months ago, and although he was weak, he was able to walk his little girl down the aisle of her wedding. On the night before my sister’s wedding, Brandey and I told him that we were pregnant and about to make him a grandfather. It made no sense to tell him that everything had changed for us…so he died in peace knowing everything was “the way it should be” for his only 2 children.
2010 was the worst year of my life. We had lost our baby…and for 12 months I watched my wife fight cancer with multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and drug therapy. It was a difficult year for us…but we made it. When you go through something like this in life, you learn a lot about yourself and the people around you. I was amazed at the strength and courage of my wife…and how many good people there are in this world. I will be forever grateful for the ones who never ceased to amaze me with their kindness during this hard time. Family, friends, and sometimes complete strangers…helped us make it through this. I am, and will always be especially grateful to my mother, who was with my dad at the very end, when I couldn’t be there, and when things were at their worst. She has been so supportive throughout all of this, and without her everything would have been so much harder for me.
It’s 2011 now…and the plan we have for our life this year…is to make it the best year of our lives. Brandey is officially in remission from breast cancer and she has a 95% chance the cancer will never come back. Besides the love that I have for my wife and family, the loves of my life are food, wine, and adventure travel. My wife and I love traveling to new places, seeing natural wonders, and meeting new people from different parts of the world. So for the next 400 days…we’ve decided to travel the world…and celebrate our lives. There are so many things I took for granted in life that I will never take for granted again. My father worked for over 30 years at the same job with the same company…rarely took time off…and died at 64 years old right after his retirement. For me, this trip is a combination of a tribute to him, along with wanting to spend the time of my life with the “love of my life.”
* The only thing I will miss while we are gone is our family and friends (who we hope will meet us somewhere throughout our trip) and especially our 3 little kitties we left with my mom in Ohio to catsit for the next 400 days. I will also miss watching “American Football” over the weekend…but I’ll do my best to check the scores in the middle of the night.
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One Reply to “Day 134 of 400: City of Bordeaux – France”
You both look so rested and happy! Love it! This cathedral is so wonderful!
Weare all fine! Ashley graduated and is getting ready for college. She got a summer job at a nursing home. Hailee just turned 14. Jordan’s just cut a CD with his band, Crusader. Kylie is trying out for Varsity Soccer team and is under a lot of stress! The little guys are fine and keeping me busy with Bible School next week.
Miss you and love the blog!!
Love, Aunt Teri