It's been a minute since I checked in here! Theresa and I have been so busy with our lives lately. This blog was always a place for us to publish creative things we were working on, and thankfully, we've been doing creative things for work lately! But we're always happy to have this blog as a place to go to to share work and musings and get our thoughts out!
As I've mentioned before — I'm pregnant! And yep, that fact still remains. We're about a month out from baby's due date and the nesting is real! My house has never been so clean and my magpie tendencies have never been worse. It doesn't help that we leave Italy at the beginning of 2018 (date TBA! which is fun, of course) so I've been acting like the country of Italy will cease to exist after we leave and that I need to buy everything that I've ever considered wanting before we're out of here.
But, today I'm here to talk about Colmar! I've had the Alsace region on my travel list for a minute — mostly from adorable friends who visited and took a bunch of cute pictures that made me want to go there. Since carrying a human apparently inhibits your mobility (who knew?!) and our time in Europe was closing in, I booked a bunch of trips for September and October to get everything in before leaving. And the Alsace region made the cut!
We decided to go to Alsace for our babymoon. This is basically an excuse to vacation, but it's supposed to give you and your partner some time with just the two of your before your life gets insane and everything changes. Does this potentially result in hormonal fights, because of course all vacations are stress-free and without problems? I'll never tell.
We really had no expectations for this trip other than to enjoy France, because we just love the country so much, do some walking around and eat some damn French bread. I will say that I wouldn't recommend a 7-hour car ride at 30 weeks pregnant — here I am, thinking I'm invincible and better than all these other pregnant women, but really, my feet are swollen, I'm uncomfortable constantly and I'm simultaneously thirsty and my bladder is bursting. Pregnancy is beautiful, y'all.
WHAT WE DID:
- Explored Colmar: We spent most of our time in Alsace in the city of Colmar, and I'm very glad we did! We were between Colmar and Strasbourg before visiting, and Colmar ended up being the perfect size for us — it had plenty of shops and restaurants to explore, but it was incredibly quaint and picturesque. Our favorite spot was Petite Venise, which is a scenic view of colorful houses along the canal, and we enjoyed stopping at the covered market there, too! I would definitely recommend Colmar over Strasbourg for lodging if you're between the two.
- Did a day in Strasbourg: We spent a Sunday in Strasbourg, which I would not personally recommend unless you have no desire to pop into any stores — everything was closed! However, we did explore the streets, like Petite France (a canal view with colorful houses) and the Notre Dame cathedral. Strasbourg is much larger than Colmar and though it was cute, I was mostly unimpressed after visiting Colmar. However, we tend to prefer smaller towns — if you're looking for nightlife or better cuisine, Strasbourg may be for you! We found it more touristy and not as cute.
- Walked the alleys of Ribeauville: We stopped in the city of Ribeauville on our way to Strasbourgh because there was an antique market going on, and it was such a cute town! I'm glad we visited — we ended up exploring the antique market and stopped for a cup of coffee. The town also had a lot of impressive storks nests, which the region is known for.
- Picked through antique markets and garage sales: As we get closer to leaving Europe, my list of "must have" items from the region gets longer. Thankfully, my husband is a great sport about this, and actually enjoyed exploring antique markets with me, as he enjoys checking out old military memorabilia and surplus. One of the things I've done the last few times I've been in France is check out to see if there are any Vide Greniers going on — they're basically town garage sales! And dang, are they cheap. We stopped in one in the town of Bennwihr on our way to Strasbourg and I made out like a bandit — I found a lot of items that I'd been looking for for awhile for 10€ and under! Make sure you bring cash and be willing to barter. You'll also want to know your French numbers for bartering, though many people in the region also spoke German, if that's your thing! Vide Greniers are mostly on the weekend, so if you're visiting on weekends, I'd search Google Maps for brocantes, instead — they're French antique stores.
- Ate all the bread: What do I do every time I'm in France? Carboload. French bread is superior to all bread, and it barely matters where you buy it — at a local pastry shop or the grocery store, it's still going to be better than whatever you can get elsewhere. I stock our car up with baguettes, croissants and pain au chocolate and then freeze everything when we get home so I can have a little taste of France even when we can't be there!
- Wished we could've made the Christmas markets: Apparently, Strasbourg has quite the Christmas market! So if you're in the region in November or December, I'd highly recommend visiting. Christmas markets are little festivals of amazing comfort food, wooden huts, Christmas trees and hygge. Colmar has a market as well, and I'm sure other smaller towns in the region do, too!
- Relaxed in our Airbnb: We usually stay on the outskirts of cities when we travel, mostly because the lodging tends to be cheaper and we kind of like the rural life. However, I'm so glad we decided to stay in the midst of things during our stay in Colmar, as our Airbnb was perfect. The weather was a little hit or miss, so this allowed us to sneak back to our place when it would start to rain, and it also allowed me to run down to the bakery below every morning to get coffee and fresh croissants — the French dream, really. I'd highly recommend the place we stayed (which also had a gorgeous terrace and view of the city!). Also, if you haven't stayed in an Airbnb before, it's one of our favorite parts of traveling — enjoy this coupon for $25 off your first night!
- Mapped it all out: Be sure to check out my personalized map of the region below! It includes some restaurants we enjoyed, as well as helpful parking places and photo spots.
Photos and text © Katie Currid and Tyler Jackson, 2017. All rights reserved.