Saturday, October 09, 2004
Well I'm back from my blissful night away. I am happy to report that my nephew survived watching my children for the night.
The Loire Valley was rainy for the last two days but that didn't stop my husband and me from enjoying our time away. We headed out of Paris in the early afternoon and stopped by the Chateau Blois. Usually we just walk around the outside of the French monuments and Chateaux that we visit since we have the kids, but yesterday we leisurely walked around inside the Chateau. It's a nice place to visit, because it has a lot of history, which is described in a pamphlet they give you for the price of admission. There isn't a lot of furniture, but it's a beautiful building in which many interesting people lived, including the famous Catherine de Medici.
After that we drove through Vouvray, on the way to our hotel. The local wine, Vouvray, is a white and generally fruity wine. We had a wine tasting and bought six bottles to enjoy at a later date (and give one to my nephew). It was apt since we went wine tasting on our honeymoon 10 years ago....except that occurred in the Napa Valley in California.
After the wine tasting we headed to our hotel a little ways down the road. It's a hotel built into the mountain. The hotel has "cave" rooms called troglodyte rooms. It was a luxurious, but not charming room. However, the dinner was absolutely wonderful. We ordered the menu, so we ate whatever they brought us and it was all very tasty.... my husband doesn't care for fish, but ate every bite of the white fish they prepared. I generally stay away from lamb, but was licking the plate of my lamb chops.
Today we left the hotel in a rain storm and headed out through Azay-le-Rideau. We'd been to this Chateau just a few years before with my sisters and our families, so we didn't pay the admission. We just took a look and walked around the quaint town.
We drove from there to take a check out Langeais Chateau. Neither of us had ever been there. It's not as famous as some of the other chateaux in the area. We really enjoyed visiting this chateau. It's in another small and very quaint town. It's beautiful, but the tour is not that interesting. It kind of reminded me of walking through Edinburgh Castle earlier this year. You knew a lot of history took place here, but walking through the rooms you didn't get a feel of what went on in the castle. In Langeais the rooms did have some furniture, but the descriptions were like "tapestry on left wall tells story of a saint blessing animals." Personally, I'd much rather hear about how Anne of Brittany had her first fight with her new husband King Charles VIII in the room aptly called the "Argument Room." The room where the secret wedding between Charles and Anne took place does have a nice history page (in English too!) of the event and a kind of re-enactment. The garden is lovely. A wall of the dungeon remains and it provides a beautiful backdrop. It's really worth a visit.... but not before you visit Chenonceau, Chambord, and Amboise.
Before I go, I wanted to let you know that my son received 3 euro from the tooth fairy. He woke up the next morning and found the money and promptly woke me up to tell me that there must have been a mix-up. He informed me that his best friend received 20 euro for his first tooth. Surely, there must have been a mistake... only getting 3 euro. He nearly took his bed apart looking for more money. What is the going rate anymore??
-- said Auntie M in Paris
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