by Borderstan Sponsor December 22, 2016 at 1:00 pm 0

It’s been barely a year of business for the Arlington-based family tour firm TripUSAFrance, but in that time, dozens of travelers have experienced the South of France with Julia Girard-Gervois and her Montpellier-based father Stephane, and the rave reviews are pouring in.

“I loved eating at places frequented by the locals and the picnic lunch catered by Julia’s mom at the beach was beautiful and delicious,” said Katie L. “We saw so much–from walled cities to Medieval castles to rides on Montpellier’s trolleys. Much better than fighting tourists in Paris!”

“We have traveled extensively throughout Europe and France, but had never been to Montpellier and its environs,” said Tim S. “TripUsaFrance put together a wonderful tour of Medieval cities, castles, cathedrals and country sides. Of particular note were the sound and light show of Chagall paintings and the cooking school. And hosts Julia and Stephane couldn’t have been nicer.  They went out of their way to make sure everyone in our group–ages 35 to 92–had a great time.”

The common theme to these comments is the personal touch Julia brings to each adventure. It’s part of the company’s purpose.

With the motto “Travel like a local,” TripUSAFrance crafts culturally interactive tours so you can actually experience the culture, not just see it.

“We want the travelers to experience France like a local would by sharing our culture and traditions, showing them our secret spots, teaching them our language and habits, introducing them to as many local French people as possible such as the owner of the hotel, friends, and neighbors. When these locals recognize our travelers and say hello to them it makes them feel like they are part of the community and even more welcome. This is only possible because we are a small group, no more than 14 people, and because they are staying in the same hotel and city for a week, which we consider more like a village. This is what makes our tour unique and special,” Julia said.

Upon arrival, Julia and Stephane drive you to your beautifully renovated beach hotel, just steps away from the Mediterranean Sea. Each morning you are treated to a French Breakfast at the hotel before they pick you up for the day’s activities. With most of the sites within 1 hour of driving and departure times around 9:00am every day, you get plenty of rest and still have enough time to see everything on the tour without feeling rushed.

Inclusive pricing provides you with daily breakfast, lunch and snacks, 3 dinners, local transportation and accommodations, admission to wine tastings and other activities.

According to clients, highlights include homemade picnics of regional dishes, learning to play Petanque, interacting with locals, attending cooking classes, wine-tastings, learning French, and, said Julia, “simply realizing that we are becoming friends by the end of the week.”

Julia and Stephane’s tour is a perfect combination of historical sites and experiencing the French lifestyle with two passionate local tour guides. No lines, no tourist traps, no hassle. It is a one-of-a-kind insider tour of Southern France that those who partake in the journey will never forget.

Act fast and book before Jan 31, 2017 to save $300 off the regular tour price with their early bird discount!

To learn more about the tour and book a trip, check out For more information call 703-485-6894 or email Julia at [email protected].

The preceding post was written by Buzz McClain and sponsored by TripUSAFrance.

by Borderstan Sponsor October 25, 2016 at 1:00 pm 0

The MacallanAs readers of Borderstan, here’s your chance to learn why The Macallan is the “world’s finest single malt Scotch Whisky” and is a tremendously popular spirit among Millennials.

As our guest at this private tasting event, you will be welcomed with a cocktail reception and hors d’oeuvres as you mingle and engage with interactive technology.

You will then head to a private room for a presentation from The Macallan’s brand ambassador to learn the secrets behind the award-winning whisky.

You must register in advance for the event, and you may invite a friend. The tastings will be held in the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium at 1301 Constitution Ave. NW from Nov. 2-4.

To learn more and register, please click here.

The preceding post was sponsored by The Macallan Distillers.

Be Happy in Pennsylvania

by September 13, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

School is back in session, work is heating up and vacation time is over. Or is it? We in the “DMV” are fortunate to have the “P” waiting to welcome us just to the north.

Pennsylvania is close enough for interesting day trips to historic city sites–where you can be out in the morning and back at night–and big enough for extended stays in scenic countryside that varies from picturesque lake fronts to slow rising mountains.

The scenery amid Pennsylvania’s 46,055 square miles seems to change every few miles: If you make the drive north and a little west from points in D.C. and Northern Virginia, you’ll reach the 51 miles of shoreline with Lake Erie; go east and you’ll get to the 57 miles of shore along the Delaware Estuary.

In between are opportunities to explore the Poconos and the Alleghenies, the Lehigh and Susquehanna Valleys, as well as, of course, the history, arts and cultural offerings of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Need ideas for destinations and activities? There is the handy “Happy Traveler” guide created by the Pennsylvania Tourism Board that catalogs the Keystone State’s highlights as well as some of the attractions off the beaten path (a trip along Dutch Country roads, anyone?). Download it at this address.

Meanwhile, consider some of these day trips that are an easy drive from D.C. and NoVa and start making plans for one- to three-day weekends this fall.

  • York: Explore Colonial history at the York Heritage Center.
  • Pittsburgh: Celebrate the city’s 200th birthday (born: 1816!) at the Senator John Heinz History Center.
  • Hershey: Hmmm. Let’s think. Oh, right, chocolate. Explore the candy at Hershey Chocolate World.
  • Bethlehem: Speaking of candy, did you know PEEPs were invented in Pennsylvania in 1953? Get the facts at the PEEPs Company Store.
  • Nazareth: Speaking of inventions, C.F. Martin built his innovative Martin guitars here. Visit the museum and factory here.

And we didn’t even get to Gettysburg yet.

The preceding post was sponsored by Pennsylvania tourism and written by Buzz McClain

by Borderstan Sponsor April 28, 2016 at 7:00 am 0

Now that hard-hat tours to the spectacular roof terrace have commenced, we can confirm that the new residences at Logan13 will have several spectacular features setting them apart.

One, of course, is location. Situated in the heart of Logan Circle–walking distance from countless eateries, cultural attractions and Metro–the building affords dramatic views of the surrounding neighborhoods.

The other feature that is drawing attention is the widely-available outdoor space residents will enjoy, either privately or in the spacious rooftop terrace for all residents to enjoy.

“Being a half-block off Logan Circle helps us stand apart from everything else that’s going on in the city,” said Craig Souza, Sales Manager for McWilliams|Ballard. “One two-bedroom floor plan has a great bump-out feature where, from the inside of the home on all floors, you can look north and see Logan Circle directly and look south and see down 13th Street. It’s really going to be a terrific view.”


by April 25, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

You like cute animals, right?

We’re launching a new feature here at Borderstan. Presenting: the Borderstan Pet of the Week, a bi-weekly posting that shows off some of our city’s premiere pets.

First up is Lil Joe, a 3-year-old dog who can be adopted. Here’s an excerpt from his bio shared by the Rural Dog Rescue:

Lil Joe came to Rural Dog Rescue in the Spring of 2015 with a big “391” spray painted on his side after being dumped by his hunters. He was adopted in June 2015 and within 12 hours of being in his new home, Lil Joe scaled the backyard fence and took off for a nearby park in Alexandria, where he remained for a long period of time. Dedicated volunteers kept vigil and set up feeding stations for Lil Joe. He was fed every night but never came close enough to any humans to be captured. He seemed content getting his nightly meal and going on his way. However, a life alone in the woods, especially during the winter months, is no life for a sweet dog. Lil Joe was captured on December 5 and is now in a foster home.

Lil Joe is very quiet and never barks. He gets along great with dogs of all sizes from Yorkies to large labs and is playful once he warms up to them. He has displayed NO aggression or resource guarding. Lil Joe completely ignores the cats and chickens. He is good with well-behaved children. Lil Joe likes to ride in the car and take long walks in the woods, trails and quiet neighborhoods – he does not pull on the leash. Lil Joe would be considered low energy; he is not a hyper hound and does not counter surf. Lil Joe will need to go to a home with a minimum 7′ privacy fence or a home that can hand walk on leash. Lil Joe has no hunting drive at all but does like to follow scents. Lil Joe is a very loving boy but not a confident dog. He will absolutely need to go to a home with another dog that will let him snuggle. The more dogs the better!

To adopt Lil Joe or other pets from the Rural Dog Rescue, visit the organization’s website.

Want your pet to be considered for the Borderstan Pet of the Week? Email us at [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least three horizontal photos of your pet.

Are you looking for dog walking, pet-sitting, basic training, or more advanced training solutions for your furry best friend? Anytime K9 has knowledgeable, well-trained staff willing to go the extra mile for you and your favorite quadruped.

Ready to satisfy all your pup’s needs for a healthy, fulfilled life, Anytime K9 is DC’s fastest growing pet services company! ABC-certified trainers offer private lessons for all temperaments, classes for all ages, and even agility training for the dog with boundless energy! Midday dog walkers cover the city, and with the use of the latest technology, give you real time updates on your dog’s walk status.

Ready to sign up? Get started by emailing [email protected] and visiting

Photo via Rural Dog Rescue

by Borderstan Sponsor March 8, 2016 at 7:00 am 0

Remy Martin

Join us for a unique immersive experience exploring the Heart of Cognac.

You and your friends will discover the timeless craftsmanship involved in the making of our cognacs and experience what it takes to be a skilled Cellar Master while partaking in your own cognac blending sessions.

This is a rare opportunity to taste some of the world’s most refined cognacs from the House of Rémy Martin. We look forward to sharing this unique experience with you.

Space is limited; secure your reservation today.

Click here to learn more and find the event location in your area.


by November 23, 2015 at 2:25 pm 0

Now’s your chance to peek into the homes of Washington’s most talked about neighborhood as the Logan Circle Community Association, LCCA, hosts the 37th annual Logan Circle Holiday House Tour on Sunday, Dec. 6, from 1 to 5pm.

This year you get a glimpse of the neighborhood’s historic renovation and modern future from homes and buildings that include a fixture of 14th Street’s Automobile Row, the former diplomatic headquarters of Korea’s Joseon Dynasty, a turn of the century carriage house to a distinct expression of 21st century green architecture. All are among the dozen properties on this year’s tour.

Each year the festive event kicks off the holiday season in style with carolers throughout the neighborhood and the merriment of the annual wassail party hosted at Studio Theatre.

Advance tickets are $30 and can be purchased online until Saturday, Dec. 5. Tickets on the day of the tour are $35 at Studio Theatre or Old City Farm and Guild.

Proceeds from the event will continue LCCA’s longtime mission of providing an effective voice for a diverse residential and business community in its historic neighborhood while building a thriving future.

The preceding post was written and sponsored by the Logan Circle Community Association.


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