My Travel Blog

Invasion of the Rug Rats | Escaping to Dijon

The sky may be clear, but Lisa and I are consumed by that eerie feeling of an approaching storm.  What hidden catastrophe lurks just over the horizon?  Is it a hurricane, a tornado or could it be an earthquake?  OMG, it’s worse than I thought.  Cesar’s Roman legions, Napoleon’s Grande Armee, even Richard Simmons and his corpulent ladies would have been less intimidating. Why, it’s a disaster of biblical proportions. We’ve been invaded… by rug rats!

“David, Cecile and their two boys.”

“Kids playing on Rabelo. The buck naked one is actually the Heartbreak Hiking Fools Great Communicator.”

Lisa’s nephew David and his wife Cecile along with their two sons Julienne (2.5 years) and Remi (14 months) just arrived.  With Randy and his family along with Wilco and his daughter Marscha that makes twelve people on Rabelo, but it’s the four kids that will take up most of the room.  Like the guy in the movie said, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”  Actually Randy has always been a great coordinator, and set up some nice day trips for everyone.  At times things were a little hectic, but in general we enjoyed having David and family and hope they will join us again.

“Going out for pizza.”

We are tied up in the beautiful city of Dijon.  The spot where we are moored is perfect.  We are next to a park and less than 100 meters from a kids playground and pool.  Best of all the electricity, water and mooring are all free.  Just off our bow is the hotel barge Papillion that we chartered two years ago.  Cedric, the delightful captain, and their incredible chef Barbara are still on the boat.  If you are looking to charter a hotel barge and experience the canals of France surrounded by the best food, wine and crew imaginable then give Papillion a call.

“Rabelo tied up in Dijon.”

“The hotel barge Papillion tied up in front of us. She looks so small.”

We have enjoyed our time in Dijon. Lisa and I particularly like the cities’ architecture.  Their covered market is one of the best outside of Paris. Just a twenty-minute walk from the boat is a lake with a great swimming beach.  If you’re looking for a little slower pace, then the vineyards of Burgundy just outside of town is where you want to go. There are plenty of wineries offering great wines to taste, and the views are spectacular.  After visiting a cheese factory we went to the restaurant Au Clos Napoleon in the village of Fixin.  Their patio is in the middle of a vineyard with plenty of shade provided by a couple of large trees.  But for a few screams from the rug rats, or was it the parents, everyone enjoyed a delightful French lunch.

“Some of the timber homes in Dijon.”

“The covered market in Dijon. YUMMY!”

“Lisa touching the famous Dijon owl for good luck.”

“Lunch at Au Clos Napoleon.”

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave” – 
a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.