Monday, July 18, 2011

la fin de la FRANCE

hey folks so i am in thailand but before i blog about that imma finish my posts about france. sorry if this is sloppy, long, and filled with crooked pictures. i am not perfect and this slow internet is slowing crushing my soul.

After we left Dinsneyland we drove to Amboise to stay the night. The next morning we to the Château de Amboise. I had already been there before (basically everything we did this day was a repeat) but we love it so we wanted to show it to Amber’s family as well. This is the “castle” that the movie “Ever After” takes place at in real life and I am pretty sure some of the scenes from the movie were filmed there. It has a great view and because Leonardo da Vinci was friends with the king he is also buried in the chapel there. 

i told him to stop kicking the bush and be nice, so he gave it a kiss haha

Then we went to Leonardo’s actual house that the he lived the last years of his life, given to him by the king so that he would be close enough to counsel with. They also say that there are underground tunnels connecting the two. They recreated some of his inventions and have lots of walkways through the woods surrounding the grounds.

Next we went to the Château de Chenonceau for a picnic lunch before we went in. Unfortunately for them part of it was under construction and it was a bit crowded but the place is still pretty awesome, and it even has its own labyrinth.

 we were both going to make a gofer face, but amber made her's too late. so i get to be the special one.

We then drove to our next place, we were staying at the Fontevraud Abbey and by the time we got in it was a bit late to go back out and find food for dinner so we decided to eat at the hotel. We figured it would be a bit more expensive but little did we know. It was a very very expensive not kid-friendly restaurant at all. Let the embarrassment began. One of the starters they brought out to us was a special made by the chef. It was a piece of sushi, a shot of this cold mushroom concoction, and one of those sucker syringe things {you know what i'm talking about}, and a little orange {nemo i’m guessing} fish egg right on the top. yummm. For dinner I ordered a steak and they brought it out cooking on pine needles. It was so good, although I ordered it medium-well and it came out bleeding, like a lot, I would hate to see what rare looked like {maybe they would’ve brought out a cow}. And for dessert they brought out these magical looking creations, I however ordered the cheese dish to be authentic of course, and I get a smattering of their best cheeses. Some were good but the goat cheeses were the hardest to swallow they were the strongest I had ever had and tasted like a dead goat wrapped in gym socks. But I ate them giving quite the show for my family. I ate lots of bread that night to get it all down. Stressful? Yes. Interesting experience? Definitely. Expensive? Most abso-freaking-lutely. 

In the morning we explored the abbey which we just had to walk to through the grounds. Inside there are 2 sets of kings and queens buried, all of which my family are related to {one of which is Richard the Lion-Hearted}. The courtyard in the middle of the abbey had a sculpture by Vincent Lamouroux that was winding boardwalk in the air resembling a roller coaster. Once you get on you don’t get off until the very end so the artist has you experience the entire work of art {which I love}. At one point the stairs are at such an angle that it looks like if you keep walking that you’ll ascend into the sky. We walked around the gardens and orchards on the grounds and then kept driving on to the next château. On the way we stopped by a huge field of sunflowers {further concreted my view that France is made of sunshine and happiness}. Next we made it to the Château de Chinon {Joan of Arc walked through those very halls to talk to the king about leading France into battle}. It had some pretty amazing views of the city below from the castle towers. 

That night we stayed in a hotel in a place called Brittany and went to a crêpe place for dinner. Except in this part of France {particularly this restaurant} they served a variation called a “gallete.” It comes out looking like a square and the batter is a little different. It was good but the best crêpes i’ve had are still the ones at the stand in London. 

That Sunday morning we drove to Normandy {I had already done this whole day last time as well} to see Mont St Michel Abbey. The last time I had went we didn’t go inside for the tour and I wanted to this time but we were in a hurry I guess so I still haven’t been inside, but it is situated on a huge hill and is lined by narrow streets filled with souvenir shops. I’ve always loved the view from the top. It overlooks the flat wet land and fields covered in sheep. During high tide the water even covers up the parking lot. 
After Mont St Michel we went to the WWII Cemetery which is right above Omaha Beach. We walked through the memorial inside, read, and watch clips on the war and the walked out to the cemetery to look at those who were buried. If I remember correctly around 9,000 men from the United States that died on D-Day have been put to rest there. We went down to the beach, upon my request, {i always have to touch the water} and it was quite a way down but definitely worth it. The water and sky were perfect shades of blue and the sand was a huge blanket of gold. I have never seen a wider beach before. After we hiked back up to the top we drove to our next hotel near the northern coast.

That morning we took the chunnel back into England and I was definitely happy to be back. We drove until the evening and when we got in I went straight to my computer to edit pictures, blog, and relax. That day it was the fourth of july so we had a cookout and tried to eat as american of food we could get. It was kind of ironic being in England on our day of independence from them but I feel like we celebrated our country the day before and it was the perfect weekend to do it. 


Steve and Donna said...

wow- you covered alot :)

Steve and Donna said...

I am still laughing about the cheese that tasted like a dead goat wrapped in gym socks - but at least it was really expensive cheese ! Voila !
(Dad - who paid for it!)