- Went to the Musee d'Orsay on Tuesday. It's a beautiful museum (their collection of Impressionist paintings is very extensive and quite impressive), but it was not a good idea to go on Tuesday as that's the day the Louvre is closed. I don't know if it's the proximity to the Louvre (everyone walks over from there once they figure out it's closed) or people plan to go to the Orsay because of that, but it was CROWDED. The boys were pretty good actually - but that's mostly because we promised them more carnival rides if they were.
- Doug and I had a nice dinner at an out-of-the-way restaurant called Les Elles. It was a mix of Asian and French cooking and was very good. We got to walk over which allowed us to see some of Less Halles and Le Marais.
- On Wednesday, we headed out of town for a day trip to the Loire. We stopped in Orleans and walked around - only okay. This was mostly due to the fact that it was really empty. I guess it's not much of a tourist town, so very little in the downtown area was open. Our lack of enthusiasm probably also has something to do with the fact that Quin whined NON-STOP for ice cream the WHOLE time we walked around.
- We then stopped at Chambord, which is one of the largest chateaus in the area. Built as a hunting lodge by Francois I in the 1500s, it's still the largest game preserve in Europe. The boys enjoyed walking on the double helix staircase (probably designed by da Vinci) and out on the ramparts.
- The hotel we stayed in was very family friendly. There was a pool and a kids' play area with the boys' favorite blocks. The pullout sofa actually pulled out into two twin beds, rather than one full, which is brilliant. It also had lovely views of the town of Amboise, its castle and the Loire valley - right from our room's window. After a brief swim and dinner at the hotel restaurant (we opened the place at 7:00), everyone thankfully hit the hay.
- Of course, when we woke up Thursday morning (when we planned to swim), it was grey and overcast. The boys still went swimming, but it wasn't as much fun as we had planned. The sun came out immediately after we checked out. We drove down to Amboise and had lunch in the shadow of the castle.
- At this point, the boys were a bit castled out (you can see them all over the place as you drive), so we planned to go to Chennenceaux. After arriving, we decided it was not worth 20 Euros just to get onto the grounds to see the place.
- So, we headed to Montrichard to visit a winery in the caves that were dug out when they quarried the stone for the valley's chateaux. As we rolled into town, we saw a little beach area on the Cher River. Perfect! The boys swam and rolled around in the sand (well, dirt, really).
- Then, we hit the winery. Tasted some champagne (amazing what just a touch of alchohol does for your orientation toward your children!), bought a few botles of wine, and headed back to Paris.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Okay - it's been quite a while since we posted. On Tuesday, Doug and I actually got the chance to go out to dinner together and then we all did an overnight trip to the Loire valley where we had no access to the internet. So, here's a brief update: