Saturday, November 10, 2012

Loire Valley, Villeny, & Thanksgiving Prep!

Fun with the girls!

Vacations are always fun...but I often feel like I spend the next few days or even a week in recovery.  All the stuff to put away, the laundry to catch up on, the clothes to unpack - all in a day's work.  Still adjusting to the French laundry - the time it takes to hang things to dry (really don't like the dryer) - it's a non-stop job for 3 days.

Thought I would take a quick break to upload some photos and capture some of our memories.

My oldest daughter had a lot of fun taking photos on this trip.  She took this photo of her sisters and me and I can't wait to see some of her other photos.  She has a great eye for composition.  One day I plan on posting some of her photos - always fun to watch your kids develop their own style.

I have to say, that's why it's really nice here in France that we have had 2 weeks of vacation.  This weekend - we can just hang out, relax and prepare ourselves for the routine to begin again. It's also nice to hang out as a family - as I mentioned in the previous post, my husband was off in Florence, Italy on a business trip - so great to have family time!  The kids are feeling more refreshed, they had a fun week traveling and during the first week - they saw their friends and relaxed at home.  When we were away - we rented a quaint old farmhouse in the country - in a small town called Villeny. The house was situated 2 km in the woods and had beautiful grounds to enjoy.  The kids had lots of fun outside.  There was a swing set and trampoline at the house, not to mention a pond and plenty of animals to enjoy!  The Fall foliage provided such a beautiful backdrop.  We also enjoyed the fire in the wood stove each day - like stepping back in time.

As I said in my last post, I will write up separate posts about each of the places we visited - It was such a great get away...We toured 3 castles and went the to Zoo Parc de Beauval during the 6 days were were away.  Here's a quick taste.



Chateau de Clos Luce - home of Leonardo DaVinci

At the Zoo Parc de Beauval - St. Aignan

My thoughts are now heading toward Thanksgiving preparation - Thanksgiving is not celebrated in France but since it's such a huge family holiday in the States - we will enjoy our own festivities here.  It is a bit tricky getting exactly what we need here - but through my resources, I think we will be able to manage quite nicely.
Last year, my kids were a bit disappointed as I went shopping a couple of days before our celebration and couldn't find a turkey...(we had chicken instead), Cranberries for cranberry sauce doesn't exist here either, or canned pumpkin for pumpkin pie, did find sweet potatoes...but it was definitely a unique Thanksgiving!  We are already doing much better this year on the food front - a little more planning and organizing.  Just got confirmation that the butcher shop can order a large turkey!  Yeah!

We won't be able to celebrate until the Saturday after the real holiday - as it's a normal work and school week here - but I already feel better that it will be a bit more traditional.  We have also invited some family friends to join us - always fun to share traditions with others!

So other news - This blog has been nominated at Circle of Moms for a Top European blog award.  However, we need votes to qualify.  Please click on the Circle of Moms link on my page (located just above my bio) and vote if you enjoy reading this blog.  Also, share with your friends!  Voting is only until November 21st.  Thank you. - (or click on the link below)  You can vote once every 24 hours.

Circle of Moms - Top European Blog 2012

So I end this post with the peaceful view on the property where we stayed -
Just a visual reminder of how relaxing our time was there - and when things get crazy again - I know where to come back and look.


  1. Picard has frozen pumpkin puree. Works great in Pumpkin pie. Good luck with all your Thanksgiving preparations and the laundry. Deep in both myself!!!

    1. Merci for your advice...found it! Very successful and had lots of jealous expat friends!

  2. It sounds like a marvelous short vacation.

  3. I've been twice to the Loire Valley but I still remember how impressed I was the first time I saw the magnificent castles. Great photos.

    1. This was my second time there and I fell in love all over again!! Such a great area and the kids are still talking about the magical castles!


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