Sunday, September 30, 2012


France Day 1 Part I: Blois

Well, bon jour.

Pulling these pictures together, I can't believe how much we squeezed into the first full day of our trip to France! Zow. The pace felt a bit frantic, being as we were a half-day behind due to a flight cancellation (Mais non, tu rigoles!!!) and a Kafka-esque four hours at Charles de Gaulle Airport trying to get the Europcar employees to come out from behind their desks and solve our car seat problem! (They never did come out from behind the desk -- c'est impossible, Monsieur -- but we managed to solve it in spite of them.)

In any case, rather than a leisurely day of driving toward the Loire Valley with a stop at Chambord, we made straight for the town of Blois, some 130ish miles, with the aid of road stop espresso.

first coffee in France

And thus began our love affair with French coffee and also French highway stops. Ohh! The espresso vending machines! The coffee was ridiculously good. Oh, France. Your coffee made up for your rental car agents.

Blois by night:

Can you see those floating figures above? They are illuminated wire sculptures. Here is the church and garden by day:

Blois was lovely, and I recommend our hotel, the Anne de Bretagne ...

... but there was really a particular reason I chose this town to stay in. 

It has dragons.

You guys. 


Do you see this stately and staid manor across the square from the chateau at the top of town?

It may not seem so at a glance, but it is special.

Have a seat at the cafe opposite and wait. 

Have a cafe au lait, and watch.

Second coffee in France :-)

Periodically, the windows will open, and the residents will emerge ...

... to have a look around.

Clementine loved it,

The place is La Maison de la Magie, and there is more to it than the dragons, but we didn't have time to tarry in Blois, not even for the chateau ...

Ah. Next time! It was really the most perfect beginning to a holiday in France. Dragons! There should be more dragons peering from windows in general, don't you think? How about this window?


Gargoyles will do in a pinch.

P.S. Here's where the Loire Valley is located in relation to Paris:

More of Day 1 to come ...


Anonymous said...

Brilliant! That is Houdin's home, Houdini's idol and name sake ( that is where he got it from). So wonderful, thanks for posting....

(won't let me post from wordpress account...)

Unknown said...

Gorgeous photos! Makes me want to go to France so badly!

I remember several years ago, maybe when Clementine was just a babe, you took a course on digital photography. Did that help you to take such awesome photos, or is it mostly practice, or good equipment?

Becca said...

The pictures are absolutely beautiful! You are so talented. :)

persnickety_jen said...

The dragon chateau pictures remind me of the Giraffe Hotel, for some reason... possibly because I want so very much to stay in a hotel on a dragon sanctuary. (Assuming the dragons are the old and friendly sort.)

Also, I think Clementine wins all the French fashion awards. Tres chic!


Clementine is adorable... the shot with daddy is such a keeper!

Wow I love love love the dragons. You have made me want to go to see them.

Illy coffee is sold at my work.. is that the coffee that is so good? Hummmm must try it :)

I can not wait for the next installment.

Kate said...

Love the pictures! Love the dragons!!! :) SO cool!!! :) :) :)


I LOVE the dragons and that beautiful church. It all looks so magical! Even the cafe au lait! I can't wait to see more!


Holly said...

Oh, my gosh, I LOVE the dragons! So does Ben. That totally makes my night, and totally makes me want to go to France very soon.

HelenPeters said...

Gorgeous post. I love the photos, and Clementine's outfit is so lovely!

Connie Onnie said...

Um Clementine's cap is so perfect! Debbie has my grandma's cape (I am not sure if they have a real name) and I love it!

Alix said...

Oh that is on my must visit list now - dragons!

Love Clementine's outfit, I want that coat!

Risaa Litchi said...

Ooow France!! My country ^^ (If you come next to where I live... ^^) I love the castles too!!

Just, I would tell you it's not "tu rigolle" but "tu rigoles" ;-)

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