Since Notre Dame cathedral was packed with tourists during the weekend, we opted to visit her sister cathedral, another gothic beauty, on our way home. 2 hours outside of Paris and conveniently located just off the autobahn, Notre-Dame de Reims (Our Lady of Rheims) was once the place where the kings of France were crowned. It was built on the site of the basilica where Clovis was baptized by Saint Remi in AD 496…it’s really old. Built during a time of intense cathedral construction throughout France, Reims boasted taller vaults than that of the one in Paris. The guidebook told us it rhymes with “France” but every time I tried to pronounce it I would say to Tim, “It’s really Rance…but everyone calls it Reems.” So much for speaking like a native. After our brief and chilly tour of the cathedral, highlights include stained glass by Marc Chagall and a dedicated to Joan of Arc we stopped into a local grocery store and bought several bottles of Bordeaux wine and champagne. Even thought Reims is in the Champagne region and many champagne caves are scattered around, the delightful beverage is still expensive. “Cheap bottles” are 15 euros and run up to 60 euros on the grocery store shelves. On our next trip to France we are considering doing a tour of one of the champagne caves…Moet and Chandon perhaps?