Road Trip down the Loire Valley

Road Trip down the Loire Valley

Back in October, I took the long road home from a teaching day in Angers.

The day was beautiful, the onset of evening was slow coming, and no one needed to be picked up at the station in Châtellerault. Overall, the opportunity was too good to pass up.

I’d intended to document it long before this, but whatever the reason (there were likely a number of them) it didn’t happen until now.

Care to join me on an open-top drive down the Loire River Valley?

Gentle Warning:
This is my longest-ever blog post (3,500 words – about a 22 minute read). If you only have a few minutes, I’d recommend saving it for a time when you can enjoy it over a big steaming mug of coffee, not a small. 🙂

Ready? Let’s go…

Continue reading

A Walk Around Chambord

A Walk Around Chambord

Every once in a while I post a #Travel Tuesday post, just for fun. Today is one of those days.

As so many of you have been aware, Covid-19 lockdowns have affected just about everyone in some way, shape or form. One of the big things, here in France, has been the confinement that kept us almost exclusively at home back in the Spring and quite close to home in the Fall. Although we managed to get out and about during the ‘in-between’ times, once the second lockdown hit, we were limited to local trips, for specific reasons and always with government issued paperwork.

That’s why a recent Saturday was a real treat for me.

I needed to go up to Seine-et-Marne (77) for work, back on the 12th, and had all the appropriate paperwork to justify a trip out of my region. Since, on our attestation we have work-related tick-boxes and a tick-box for short periods of outdoor exercise, I took full advantage of both boxes and broke up my 3.5hr drive home with a walk around Chambord Castle.

Join me as I give you the short version of a one-hour stroll around one of the incredible castles of the Loire Valley.

Continue reading

Ocean Therapy amid Corona-Chaos

Ocean Therapy amid Corona-Chaos

First off… I hope you’ll allow me the latitude to not go into a “Coronavirus in France” update. It’s as crazy here as it is elsewhere. I think we all need a bit of a Corona-break, don’t you?

Let me focus on an incredibly positive part of the week instead. Deal? 🙂


Last weekend began like any other, but then on Saturday night I realized that we were going to need to change to things up on Monday, rather than following our normal rhythm… well, at least for Sophie & I.

Let me explain…

Continue reading

“Snow Day” in Angers

“Snow Day” in Angers

If you’ve been following the blog for any length of time, you’ll know that the chances of having an actual snow day are slim to none. You will also have seen me use the expression back in early December when I had an unexpected Saturday respite from travel to the Paris region.

What do I mean by a “snow day”?

Growing up in the throws of a Canadian winter, snow was just part of the drill. You dressed a little warmer and on a good day, you got a fresh bread bag to slip your feet into before placing them in the snow boot. This wasn’t a “poor” thing, it was a “keep your feet dry despite snow getting into your boot” thing… and very effective.

Getting a snow day was when it had snowed particularly vigorously overnight, snowplows hadn’t reached all of the primary & secondary streets and the school board deemed it precautionary to cancel school for the day.

In other words… you woke up fully prepared and expecting to go to school (or work) and then… surprise, surprise… your day was completely yours… total freedom.

Those days happen less as an adult, but they do happen.
Let me tell you about mine yesterday…

Continue reading

Chateau de Brissac… the upper floors

Chateau de Brissac… the upper floors

In my last post, I introduced to to the Chateau de Brissac and showed you the principal rooms on the main floor. Today I want to take you further.

As promised, I’ll take you through a dramatic episode in the history of the French monarchy, we’ll talk about the arts and I’ll reveal how it is that hunting at Brissac is not reserved for men only! I’ll also tell you about how you can spend a night there and live like a Duke or Duchess yourself!

Let’s go!

Continue reading

Chateau de Brissac… a stately country home

Chateau de Brissac… a stately country home

The road between Châtellerault and Angers takes you through portions of three French departments (la Vienne, l’Indre et Loire, la Maine et Loire) passing by wide swaths of agricultural land and, as you approach Angers, field after field of vineyards. For the past seven months I’ve been making the 130km weekly, with the exception of school holidays, in order to teach English at a business school there.

Each trip makes me a bit more familiar with the general surrounding and from time to time my schedule allows me to explore points of interest along the way. Regular readers will recall that I first stopped in Brissac back in January, but was unable to visit the castle as it was closed for the season.  Last week was different… last week I had a guided tour.

Continue reading