Un jour sans vin est comme un jour sans soleil: a day without wine is a day without sunshine—so goes an old French proverb. Twenty-nine Flying Longhorns, accompanied by Texas Exes Career Services director Jennifer Duncan, savored an abundance of both pleasures from Sept. 30 – Oct. 8.
France may be a tried-and-true travel destination, but this group didn’t stick entirely to the beaten path.
Yes, they toured Paris’ world-famous museums, cruised the Seine, and climbed the Notre Dame tower’s 387 steps. But they also explored villages and cities with musical names: Gevrey-Chambertin, Le Fleury, Marais, Troyes, Beaune. And they drank glass after glass of French wine—in spooky cellars, airy champagne houses, and sun-kissed vineyards.
In Burgundy’s Cote d’Or, they visited the Romanée-Conti vineyard, producer of the world’s most expensive wine. The average price of a bottle corked there is $6, 455, and their primo bottles can cost hundreds of thousands. Last year, a scandal rocked the quiet village when someone left a note demanding a one-million-Euro ransom. When the winemaker didn’t pay up, two vines were poisoned.
Romanée-Conti wasn’t on the official itinerary, but when one traveler voiced his interest in the scandal, the travel guide took the group on a memorable detour there. “It was exciting to see a vineyard that famous and that elite,” says Duncan.
The rest of the trip was characterized by happy coincidences, Duncan says. In Paris, the group watched the Oklahoma game at a bar with the Texas Exes Paris Network. There, they happened to meet up with Garrett Keast, BM ’95, Life Member, a conductor now working in Berlin. Another night, they met up with Anna Shoemaker, BA ’06, ’07, a young alumna living in France.
Other coincidences abounded: Two travelers discovered they had graduated from the same high school class; two sets of parents realized their children had dated each other; and one traveler realized her son’s mother-in-law had sung at another traveler’s wedding. “Everyone had two degrees of separation,” says Duncan. “Which is pretty cool when you think about how big a school UT is.”
Photos by Jennifer Duncan and Nancy Crays. See more photos from the trip here.
Well said. Our founders were very aware of the narcissistic mindset of the monar...
He was a student for one year, right?...
Heather Haynes Wills:
Doesn't sound like a problem to me!...
CHARLES GEE, I AM SO PROUD OF THE YOUNG MEN YOU HAVE BECOME. LOVE YOU, YOUR SIST...
Debbie Maddox Harsch:
As a former art teacher, this is another awesome thing for Texas!...