Monday, September 29, 2014

Chenonceaux Evenings

I wrote once abut Chenonceaux mornings, but this one has started out much more mundane.  
We did have another great breakfast in the hotel.  More cafe au lait for me, cereal, eggs and bacon for The Kids.  Yummy croissants for Kathy and I, interestingly enough Dean prefers the "French bread"  aka baguettes.  The Kids needed to do laundry so I asked the waitress in the hotel about a lavondrie and she sent us to Blere.  I stopped and asked a Post lady and she directed us tout doite and a gauche,  but it was really a doite.  We found it and with some serious but clenching we parked.  

I am currently praying that I can miss the post in front of the car on my way out!  
The Laundromat was a challenge of language, and figuring out machinery, but we did it and The Kids are exploring while I try furiously to catch up on the blog.  I left Jodi getting beauty sleep and resting for ballroom dancing this afternoon!  I came home to this:
We ended up lunching on the most expensive , least tasty food at the castle  before we went in.  There was nothing open in Chenonceaux and a couple of ladies at the Hotel Du Roy were braying donkeys about our wanting to eat lunch at 2 PM.  
Chenonceaux was still breathtakingly beautiful,  my favorite garden, 

the Catherine de Medici garden is still lovely this time of the year, 
the Diane Du Poitier garden was being dismantled for the winter, and not so lovely, but where we hung out quite a while waiting for sunset.   

We went partway into the castle with The Kids, and they danced in the ballroom and then we all danced.  

Jodi Speaking French!

Dinner was more corn soup and this time I had oxtail in croute with matchstick vegies in two corners and sauteed mushroom in the other two. 
It was delish!
This is the view out side of our bedroom window.  It is Delish too!

Old Friends

Breakfast today was immeasurably more delightful!  Croissants, Jam, All the coffee I wanted, as well as eggs and bacon for Kathy and Dean.  We were all happy and I even snuck out a goodie for Jodi!  Off we wenet to Amboise.  It was familiar, but had just enough "deviations" and changes to keep me on my toes.  
Close Luce was lovely and Jodi and I enjoyed it, 

even third time around.  
I was a bit bummed the thank does not spin any more, 

but such is life.  

Creps and coffee for a snack and while they toured the house we relaxed and I knitted, Jodi enjoyed the sun.  
Then we went to the castle where we were going to drop off the kids ( Kathy and Dean)  because Kathys knee was hurting, but we got a parking spot supreme!  I looked a bit and consedered photos that might interest the girls, 

but mosely just enjoyed the atmpsphere and sunshine.  
After all that enjoying we were hungry, of course not much was open, but there was a place and it had Tartare de Boeuf and was it good!  
On the way home we drove by Chaumont Sur Loire so the kids could see where Diane Du Poitier was banished.  Back to La Roserie for a hot bath and bed!

Driving to the Power of 10

The distance between Provence and the Loir, was longer than I thought, not in kilometers, but rather it just seemed to take for ever and there was the inevitable turning around because we were lost.  Jodi found lots of graffiti but sometimes I just could not find a way to stop  

Goodbye Siagnon

The drve was amazing, changing from mountaint, to hills and green valleys, to plains.

We stopped for lunch at a pizza place that delivered our pies to a picnic table outside with only a napkin for eating utensil.  It was pretty good though. 
 When we got to La Roserie, the hotel  staff told us that we had lost our rooms because we had not showed up the day before.  I am really not sure how all this mix up happened because I was pretty stinkin sure about  our itinerary.    No point in arguing after a bit of typical French posturing she found us rooms, Kathy and Dean had to move, they had a room for one night and then another for the other two.  

The room was charming as usual and had a bath tub and a bidet, Love, Love, Love 'em!  

Driving squared

The Drive to the coast took a LONG time, and we did not really get to spend too long there once we arrived.  I knew this would happen, but sometimes people have desires of which they do not know the consequences.  I had hurriedly picked out Cassis as a place to go when Kathy told me that she wanted to go the week before we left.
 Yikes, we were not well placed for that at all.  We took the scenic route partway there, but it was hair raising for me.  Here is am in a strange country, in a rental with some of the people who are very dear to me.......  I have too much of my dad in me to be totally comfortable with that.  Cassis was lovely, but it was so crowded that there was not place to park, flashback to years ago on the riveria.  AUGH!!!  So on we went to where Christophe had suggested to Le Lavandou.  
It was a cute little seaside town with some parking!  
YIPPEE  I had to powder my nose quite badly so we got a drink right away after some difficulty finding a place everyone could happily eat a bite.  

Dean and I took a ride on the Ferris wheel, and it offered a glorious view of the beach!

I had brought picnic stuff so Jodi and I happily munched on the benches and Kathy and Dean went for a walk.  Jodi fed the birds, we chatted and took pictures f the Mollies.  

Needless to say the drive back ( though it was the Autoroute this time) was LLLLOOOONNNNGGGGG....  This is Siagnon at nght.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Aqua, Arena and Ampitheater

 Today we had an early morning and then off to Arles, well sort of, it is dicey to get all of us going in the same direction at the same time.  We decided to skip the scintillating bread and coffee (though the coffee was stinkin good!) and  hit up a boulangerie.
 This was Kathy and Deans first Patisserie/Boulangerie moment and they both had a good first.  I had an Almond Croissant and it was heavenly!  Off to Arles it was, it was a longer trip, I probably, in retrospect, did not pick the accommodations well from a navigational standpoint.  We found a parking place with relative ease and walked right into town like we knew where we were going!  

As we approached there was a woman with a yorkie who ended up 

serenading us through much of our Arena visit.  She was working it, look at her feet!, And look at the Yorkie, he is one happy Pup!

The place is immense and it is amazing that is was built soon after Christ's visit to the earth!  It was built around 90 AD.  I could never figure out how to get to the top but Jodi and Dean did and got some great photos.

I tried to sense the things that had gone before, but truly all I cold sense was bull merde, as they now have bull fights in the arena. 

There is a roman amphitheater in Arles as well and it too was an amazing thing to see, to ponder at the life of people in that time.  
Life must have been terribly hard and yet they still found time to be entertained.  The theater is still in use for events today, I think I would bring a pillow!!  

Lunch was pizza and soft drinks, in the shadow of the arena.  

Jodi can take some killer pics, I am pretty fond of this one.

Kathy wanted to put her toe in the Medeteranian so Dean and I put our finger on the map, sort of, and picked a place close.  Not the best choice.   So it seems a trip to the coast is on the agenda for tomorrow.  After we returned (never the exact same way LOL)  to find the aquaduct.   

It is not really in Arles, but it is rather out in the country, all alone with little fanfare.  Unfortunately it was hard to figure out where it originally started and what it actually watered as it abruptly ended over a valley.  

Jodi found it necessary to clamber around on the ruins, which scared the heck out of me.  
My mother is coming out, all I could think of is: "We are out here in the middle of no where, how the heck would we get her out if she fell and hurt herself."  
Dinner on the way home was in St Remy de Provence, 

I had ( Drum roll)  Tartare de boeuf, hand cut though, the best is yet to come!