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The Town of Villandry

April 23rd, 2019

Back to our regularly scheduled posts from our trip to France earlier in the month. After we left Versailles, we drove to Villandry. After much on-line seraching, I had booked a room at Le Haut Des Lys that came with tickets to the Chateau of Villandry (more photos of the garden tomorrow). It ended up being the perfect choice. The room was fantastic, the hotel quiet, and there were lovely gardens. Since we arrived in mid afternoon, we walked around the garden after we got settled in our room.










After walking around the garden, we walked into town (the hotel was only a block away from town) where we peeked over the walls of the chateau to see the gardens.





After enjoying a lovely sunset, we headed down to L’Etape Gourmande for dinner and enjoyed a wonderful meal, complete with foie gras. We were lucky that our hotel got us a reservation for that evening as we had wanted to eat there but had heard reservations needed to be made months in advance (probably being there before the busy season helped).

How do you go about finding hotels and restaurants when you are traveling?

So Long Terrible T

April 22nd, 2019

She was called Sweet T and Terrible T, and was a gentle giant, but a little neurotic too. She wouldn’t hesitate to kill a coyote, raccoon, skunk, or fox, but was gentle with the ducklings (her favorites). We loved her independent spirit (though not all the time). On our way home from the emergency vet Friday night, Mr Chiots said “I can just see your mom, in her bathrobe, greeting T and feeding her milk bones from her pocket.” My mom loved this dog, as did everyone that met her. She will leave a giant Anatolian shaped hole in our hearts and on our farm. We are thankful she went out in her prime while still working and doing what she loved and we didn’t have to watch her fade to a shadow of herself. She lived a good, long life. It’s so difficult to lose pets, but they are such wonderful companions while they are with us.









They weren’t 100% what happened, but the best guess is hemangiosarcoma. While tragic for her to go so quickly, in the end we realized it’s a blessing that she was playing one and gone the next. She would not have tolerated treatment or a long illness. So long Tara…

Monet’s Giverny

April 11th, 2019

Our first evening in France found us at Monet’s Giverny garden. We stopped by late, which ended up being perfect because all the tour buses were just leaving. It was early spring, so the gardens were filled with the flowering bulbs, tulips, daffodils,
hyacinths, and more. The primroses were blooming here, as well as everywhere else in France. You could just see the peonies starting to unfurl their red leaves, promising a stunning display in a few months. We made our way across the street to look at the pond. We have a puzzle of one of his painting of the pond with the bridge which we put together every few years. As we walked around the pond we tried to pick out which angle it was.



















Even though the gardens were fairly dormant this early in the year, they were still fantastic (and much bigger than I had anticipated). I’ve read about these gardens, seen his paintings, and seen them on shows (most recently we watched Monty Don’s French Gardens again).

L’Orée de Giverny

April 10th, 2019

When planning our trip, I deliberated on where to stay in Giverny, finally booking the cottage at L’Orée de Giverny. It ended up being the perfect place, small, quaint, and surrounded by lovely gardens. Regis, our host, was wonderful. We thoroughly enjoyed chatting with him for many hours about France, politics, and gardening.



We were greeting with local cider and fresh apples and the gardens were absolutely lovely, a very calming atmosphere after the busyiness of the airport. It was the perfect pick me up after a LONG day and night of traveling!


















If you ever happen to end up in Giverny, I highly recommend booking a room at this lovely B&B! Check back tomorrow for the rest of our stay in Giverny…

France…

April 9th, 2019

Two weeks ago, we took the red eye from Boston to Paris. As soon as we landed, we picked up our rental car and headed off to Giverny. On our drive, we stopped in a little town looking for coffee and lunch. It was a lovely little place, just what you’d picture a French town to look like. As we walked the streets, we peeked over fences, enjoying the gardens. So many things were already blooming, forsythia being the one you notice most, with it’s bright pops of yellow. The magnolias were also blooming, they are truly spectacular trees, especially the old fashioned white and pink ones.













Driving through the countryside was also lovely, spring was unfurling around us, which was a sight for our eyes since we’d left Maine with snow on the ground. There’s just something about the vibrancy of green in spring, I’m not sure if it’s brighter in reality, or it just seems so because of the brown of winter.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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