Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tour de France 2009

It has been about 15 weeks since I left for France. Yeah, I know. A bit late. Nonetheless, here it is! A little taste of mon voyage...

Le Hallier

Yes. Ed's grandparents own a chateau near Orleans, complete with a moat, a neighboring farm (we are talking cows, bulls, sheep, chicken, dogs, the works), a few lakes for fishing, and some gardens. I'm not typically a fisher, or a farmer for that matter, so it was difficult to know how to dress for the daily events. On one hand, I'm in France meeting much of Ed's family for the first time, so I want to look at least half decent. On the other hand, I am literally in the middle of the forest mushroom picking and wading into the lake to catch a massive fish; I certainly can't wear a Diane von Furstenberg dress with pumps. My go to gear this week was a forest green rubber pair of boots (compliments of Ed's grandmother), a graphic tank from Martin and Osa, and an American Apparel skirt (sometimes traded in for very heavy duty jean shorts when the fishing got serious).

Mr. Bull didn't like me too much.

"the living quarters"

Our fish!

After Orleans, we stopped in Paris a few days to meet up with some friends and visit Ed's awesome and extremely accommodating cousin, Pierre Antoine. We got a few drinks at a bar near the Eiffel Tower, and then went to this delicious creperie stand. Don't laugh, but I am actually wearing a tank and skirt from French Connection here. I love the stripes of the shirt and the pattern of the skirt together :) There was a lot of walking taking place, so I wore my used and abused white (turning grey) converse along with my Ithaca farmer's market bag. Its surprising the amount of comments you get just because your bag says NY on it. Actually, as a result of this trip and my general incapability to communicate with ANYONE, I am taking french at Cornell this semester, and loving it.

Pierre Antoine!

We also went to Montmarte where this is an extremely beautiful view of all of Paris, and some interesting characters dancing, singing, painting, drawing, or just about anything to get people's attention. I wore my multi-functional American Apparel skirt, Martin and Osa tiger tee, and a black belt from BCBG. The scarf I actually bought that day, so I just stuck it on... I think a scarf can add a lot to an outfit. It always adds that something that I was looking for in an outfit that seemed off. Its a great way to easily (and affordably) take ordinary clothes and make an exceptional outfit.

Ed and I at some point during this trip made our way to Chambort, a spectacular castle near Orleans. It was my favorite castle that we visited this summer (there were a lot, trust me). There is an incredible double helix staircase that has two entrances on the bottom and the two flights of stairs spiral around each other all the way to the top floor. It is incredible. If you are ever in the area, make sure to stop by because pictures don't even come close to doing this place justice.

A small picture of the staircase

We then took a train to Toulouse, stayed there a few days, and then drove to Tours to meet back up with Ed's family. One day, we biked to Villandry, a castle known (at least by me) for its gardens. It had fantastic grounds with at least 6 different sections of gardens. They had the most interesting stuff...

For example, this flower that looks like an egg!

I felt the need to include the fact that the place we stayed at in Tours had these two massive bears staying there. By bears I mean dogs, Newfoundlands to be more precise. They weighed around 200 pounds each, and immediately captured my heart. Here is the backyard of the house we stayed at...



Finally, we went stayed at a beach house in Royan for the last week. The ocean couldn't have been more amazing and we really lucked out with the weather. The trip in a whole was incredible... I just wish I could say I learned more french!