Ever since I launched the blog, I have been dreaming of doing a trip with my very good friend The Catholic Traveler. Now my dream is coming true. Over the last few months, Mountain and I have been working behind the scenes to scheme and plot an amazing adventure for all of us. I’m proud to announce the very first Catholic Drinkie Pilgrimage … to France! We’ll pray together, eat together (oh I love me some French food) and drink together (Wine! Local! Awesome!)!
I was able to wrangle a priest to join us on the trip to celebrate daily Mass and lead us in prayer! Fr. Michael is Parochial Vicar at the Cathedral of Christ the King (my parish!) in Atlanta. It’s been such a pleasure to get to know Fr. Michael and I’m so honored to call him a friend – he is truly a gift to the Church and I’m so pleased he’s willing and able to help lead us on our adventure.
Now for the details …
FRANCE: Lourdes, Loire Valley, Paris
September 7 – 16, 2012
- Day 1 - We’ll land in Toulouse in the late morning so we’ll get to Lourdes in the early afternoon. We’ll have a brief intro to the area, Mass, then dinner and bed (we’ll all be tired!).
- Day 2/3 – Tour the life of Saint Bernadette, Stations of the Cross, bathe in the healing waters, Mass, confessions, candlelight procession.
- Day 4/5 – Head into the Loire Valley. We’ll stay in a Chateaux, tour a winery, and visit the beautiful Château de Chenonceau.
- Day 6/7/8 – To Paris. Tour the Louvre, Eiffel Tour, Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Montmartre. Free time for shopping. Perhaps a day trip to Versailles or a champagne house. With the museum pass, you’ll have several days to do everything covered, so in free time, we can really explore – we’ll do some as a group, but others can be done alone. We’ll can schedule more too, but these are the highlights!
- Day 9 – Depart France
Roundtrip airfare from ATL
September 7: Depart ATL for Paris (non-stop)
September 8: Arrive Paris and fly to Toulouse
September 16: Depart Paris, arrive ATL (non-stop)
Six meals together: Two in Lourdes, two in the Loire Valley and two in Paris
Water and ALL YOU CAN DRINK WINE are included in your price for all ground meals. It’s a Catholic Drinkie trip after all.
All tips for group meals, local guides, drivers, hotel staff
No need to worry about tipping, it’s already included!
All group ground transportation
We’ll take the train (sweet!) around as much as possible but there is also a chance of time on a bus. Details are in the works.
Full time service of a guide
Entry fees and tours
No hidden costs
If we do it as a group, it’s included in the price!
Once we receive your deposit, your tour price will not go up, even if the Euro increases!
Plan your trip with your traveling companions before you leave! We set up private Facebook groups for each tour. If you don’t already know everyone on the trip, this gives you a chance to meet before you meet!
We have a lot planned, but this is a pilgrimage and time on your own is important. We take our time in churches to give you the opportunity for prayer and reflection. We also include free time for you to explore, shop and relax on your own.
$3,400 per person
$500 deposit secures your space and will be required at the time you sign up. The deposit is fully refundable for two weeks and nonrefundable after that time. Final payment will be due August 1.
Small group! Space is limited!
Tour prices can be very deceiving, making it difficult to compare. Here’s a short list to consider when comparing prices:
- Where is your hotel located? Outside of town? If it’s not in the heart of the city, factor in transportation cost for free time activities! Not only does this add to the cost of the trip, but it also costs you valuable time! Our groups always stay in convenient, centrally located hotels!
- Where are you eating? Most tour companies stick to the hotel dining room. Did you really go to France to eat at a hotel? Our groups always dine in local, family owned restaurants!
- Are drinks included? Not usually! And wine at a three hour dinner can really add up! Our group meals always include unlimited water and wine!
- Are tips included? Most of the time, travelers are expected to provide daily tips for meals, drivers, guides and hotel staff. That’s fun to keep up with! The Catholic Traveler always includes all tips in the advertised price!
Is this tour for you?
Please review the following before committing to this trip!
This trip has an age requirement You must be at least 18 to travel on this trip. If you have any questions about this, please let me know!
You must be able to carry your own luggage. You are responsible for your luggage and buses are not always able to pull right up to our hotels. Keep this in mind when trying to decide how many pairs of shoes to bring!
You should be in good physical shape. We will do a lot of walking, much of it outside.
You must be flexible!
We might have a lot of fun! We are going to do some wine tours and may explore the cities, staying out late. There will be much pilgrimaging and plenty of time for prayer as well!
You don’t have to be Catholic. This is going to be an enjoyable trip with lots of time for fun and prayer … but you don’t have to be Catholic! (Not to say you won’t want to convert after … just kidding … sorta).
If you want to sign up, contact Sarah at vabs (at) CatholicDrinkie(dot)com and she’ll work with The Catholic Traveler to get you all necessary details!
Questions? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss!