Everyday Champagne | 2016
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2016

So, apparently, social media believes 2016 sucked.

Well, I guess it’s all what you make of it.

To us, 2016 was a year filled with amazing experiences with family, friends, everyday celebrations and trips (yes, multiple) of a lifetime. We travel to experience, we travel to learn, and we travel to get inspired.

The highlights:

  • Celebrated the Lunar New Year in Ho Chi Minh City. (Park Hyatt Saigon)
  • Watched the Friday sunset from our dock over the lake with a bottle of Crémant. For 20 Fridays.
  • Traveled 160,000 miles.
  • Woke up to the sound of howler monkeys in Belize. (Belcampo)
  • Rode bikes to the hilltop towns in Provence’s Luberon Valley.
  • Drank a liter of wine in Bonnieux with our lunch to celebrate the last of those hilltop rides. (La Flambée)
  • Put our remaining vin rouge from lunch into our water bottles for the most spectacular 5K downhill bike ride in the world, from Bonnieux to and over Pont Julien—a Roman-built bridge circa 1 BC. (La Coquillade)
  • Watched the sunrise on the South China Sea, a few miles from where the American troops landed in the Vietnam War. (Nam Hai, Backroads)
  • Stopped our bikes to let a pack of goats and sheep command the entire road—in both Vietnam and Provence.
  • Mountain-biked through the vineyards in the Douro Valley of Portugal. (Six Senses Douro Valley)
  • Ate at five restaurants in Manhattan in one night. Seven times. (Eataly, Cut, Le Coucou, Cherche Midi, Saxon + Parole, Le Turtle, Lafayette, Estela, Pasquale Jones, Altro Paradiso, Fowler & Wells, Ivan Ramen, Parm, ABC Cocina, Upland, NoMad Bar, Marta, Augustine, La Sirena, Salvation Burger, High Street on Hudson, Locanda Verde, Il Buco Alimentari)
  • Drank Pappy’s as often as possible.
  • Drank moonshine from a homemade backyard still watching the beautiful barefoot children play (while bicycling in the villages of Cambodia).
  • Found the new love of my life, the sparkling negroni, at the Gin Joint in Charleston. To be repeated many successful times at Spoon & Stable in Minneapolis.
  • Searched for the perfect Sazerac in no less than 20 cities (including Miami, New Orleans, Chicago, Boston, Minneapolis, New York, Charleston, Savannah, Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Louisville, Raleigh, Orlando, Washington DC…)
  • Ate foie gras funnel cake at Otium in Los Angeles (believe me, this deserves a mention) after appreciating the resurgence of the historic downtown.
  • Received a water blessing from monks in Cambodia, then, soaking wet, rode our bikes to Angkor Thom.
  • Walked through the Louvre grounds at midnight in Paris. #nevergetsold
  • Collected apples from the hotel rooms and breakfast table to feed the donkeys in Alentejo, Portugal. (Imani Country House)
  • Drank bourbon slushies for lunch in Louisville, after the bourbon tasting the night before. (21C Museum Hotel, Feast, and Royals Hot Chicken)
  • Rode bikes from Charleston to Sullivan’s Island for a champagne lunch. And, yes, we rode back.
  • Ate oysters at some of the country’s best oyster bars. (San Francisco: Hog Island, Swan Oyster Depot, Leo’s; Boston: Neptune, B&G, Row 34; Washington DC: Pearl Dive; New Orleans: Seaworthy, Peche; New York: Maison Premiere, Grand Central Oyster Bar)
  • Found and ate pizza in every country, and most cities. (Pizzaria Lisboa, Black Sheep, Lucky Penny, Marta, Upland, Roberta’s, Rubirosa, Pasquale Jones)
  • Watched little children and tiny dogs live their beautiful lives while enjoying dinner on a neighborhood square in Alfama, Lisbon. (Santo Antonio de Alfama)
  • Tried cod fish seven ways in Porto, paired with 40-year-old Port. (1872 River House)
  • Hiked in the rain in the hills of California wine country. (Hotel Healdsburg)
  • Discovered salty chocolate balls in New Orleans. (Bakery Bar)
  • Watched the sunrise and sunset at every opportunity.
  • Ended 2016 with an earth-shattering chocolate soufflé and a resolution to never give up wine or dessert. (San Ysidro Ranch)
  • Appreciated our (not so) everyday lives with everyday champagne (Cava) toasting both 2016 and the 2017 experiences to come.

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