More Catwater and Lots of Mangin’


Having gone out the previous night and being generally sleep deprived, I wasn’t too thrilled that we would be meeting at nine in the morning to go to yet another Chateau (Chat+Eau=Cat Water). But as those of my closest friends and family know, I complain to the end of the earth until after whatever it is I have to do and then rave about how much fun I had. This was no different. Our first stop was Chenonceau, which was and is by far one of my favorite chateaus.

This chateau is privately owned (I need to find the son of this family), and structured over  the River Cher (expensive river, indeed). The presence of water immediately made it that much more appealing. There is something so naturally beautifully about water; if there’s water in the equation, it’s automatically dubbed beautiful – the ocean, rivers, lakes, streams, tears, rain, dewdrops…

But with the beautiful facade, of course there is scandal behind castle walls. Henri II built this chateau for his favorite Diane de Poitiers, even though he was married to Catherine de Medici!! But then after the both of them died, Louise de Lorraine, Henri II’s stepdaughter, took over and redecorated. This chateau is often called “Le Château des Dames.” So catty.

The gardens were also flourished with an assortment of pink flowers and white stone statues (Lilly Pulitzer on crack). We also went through the labyrinth, although it wasn’t much of a challenge since I could see over the hedges, and if I could, that’s saying something. I also was constantly hoping there would be some opening at the center of the labyrinth where I would meet a faun…

Also pretty sure Rapunzel is stuck in one of those far towers…

My friends are pretty cool

Please tell me this reminded somebody else of Lord of the Rings too…

Our second stop for the day was Leonardo DaVinci’s house in Amboise. I don’t actually have that much to say about it. The outdoor gardens were much more expansive than the actual house itself, but a collection of models of his inventions were scattered throughout the property. My friends and I mostly just played in the playground because we’re maybe five years old.

Renaissance is so hot right now

The program leaders also gave us a very long time to spend in the little town of Amboise, so naturally we spent that time eating, or as I like to call it, “manging.” (Manger=to eat…je mange=I eat…hence, mangin’).

We got gelato from Amorino, a gelato chain that started in Italy. Apparently there is one in New York too, since all good things always end up there.

After this gelato, we had somehow apparated to the North Pole, so we decided we needed something warmer or at least fattening, so we went to a little patisserie. I got a VERY mini-sandwich. It was the size of my hand, and I have midget hands. Hopefully that gives you a good enough idea.

Prosciutto and Goat Cheese

Quick note of advice: NEVER use the bathrooms across from the tourist office in Amboise. I’ve never been in a bathroom that smelled that bad. I was practically crying while crouching to avoid touching the non-existent toilet seat.

Other than that, another very productive adventure in France.