My Travel Blog

Snow-Birding Back to the US

After fifty years with Continental and then United Airlines our friend Scott recently retired.  Needless to say the guy loves airplanes, so we had to take him to Chateau Savigny-les-Beaune.  This is the chateau with the collection of post world War II fighter jets.  Of course they also have a wonderful collection of race cars, the largest private collection of motorcycles in France, and a collection of fire engines. The best part is they make some excellent wines.

Lisa has been to the chateau many times, and it is not exactly her cup of tea.  Fortunately at Savigny-les-Beaune that’s not a problem.  If you don’t like tea then drink wine, and that’s exactly what Lisa, Lovita and Cherolyn did while the guys checked out all the man toys.

Our friends Jon, Cherolyn, Lovita, and Scott at Chateau Savigny-les-Beaune.

Lovita and Cherolyn checking out the vineyard.

Just a small portion of the aircraft collection.

Chateau Savigny-les-Beaune.

Of course after all that sightseeing and wine tasting we needed sustenance. Our next stop was a small restaurant in the village of Savigny-les-Beaune.

Yummy steak with a creamy mushroom sauce.

Cherolyn tells me that little wine enhances any meal.

Spending time with our friends always passes too quickly.  They were headed home, but we would also be going home to California for our six-month winter sojourn in just a few days.  We needed to get Rabelo ready for the French winter.  While it’s not nearly as cold as many parts of the U.S. compared to Southern California it’s freezing.  Beds needed to be stripped, furniture covered, and many of the systems on Rabelo winterized. It was a busy few days.

Jon, myself, and Scott trying to figure out how to tie up Rabelo for the winter.

Many of our friends ask us about security in Europe after the terrorist’s attacks that have happened over the last few years.  They want to know is it safe, and do we see more signs of heightened security? The short answer to both questions is yes.  There is a much greater presence of both police and military in the major cities.  The smaller towns and villages haven’t changed much.  The biggest change we’ve noticed are the trains.  When traveling between countries there are military personnel on the trains. Check-in is now more like an airport, where as you use to just walk on a train now you have to go through security.  We flew out of Brussels where there were military or police everywhere we looked.  It is disconcerting to see so many armed soldiers and police, but then again it is also reassuring that they are there.

Here I am waiting in the security line to get my bags X-rayed.

These four troop carriers were parked in front of our hotel in Brussels.

This will be my last installment of Living barge until Lisa and I return to Rabelo in May 2017.  We have great things planned for this coming year. I hope you will join us.  Have a wonderful 2017.  Living Barge should be back online by the end of May.

A fond farewell to beautiful Burgundy.

– Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


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.