Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A little game we call "catch up"

So, you may have noticed that I've been MIA for a little bit.  That's because my brother-in-law came to visit! (Hi Mr. CEK!) We were so happy he came.  He stayed for a week and then I had my birthday last Friday and lots of other things happened. But, well, you'll see. I apologize in advance for the long post, but it's mostly pictures. Bear with me?

Where to start... Oh I had my beautiful Amaryllis (or in French "Amaryllis") bloom! Thanks to some dear friends of mine, Mr. and Mrs. P,  who gave it to me as a Christmas gift. You guys rock!

 Then we had the most amazing sunset ever when the BIL (brother-in-law) arrived.

Taken from our balcony

Followed by a cheese platter as only the French now how to do. I went to the fromagerie in St. Rémy on market day with the wife of Mr. K's boss and told them I was having a guest who has never had French cheeses. This is what they gave me.
Starting from top left: Camembert, chevre, mild blue, a mild swiss cheese tasting one that you were not to eat the skin of probably called Petit  St. Nectaire, and then a harder cheese that was fantastic (my favorite)
The men picked up some "croquises" from the Gif bakery and we then met at home for a feast.
Of course, we all decided we didn't like Camembert. The chevre and the blue were mine; the gents were so nice as to leave it untouched for me. And, they were iffy about the moldy crust one. We liked the Tome with its very good/ buttery cheese flavor.  BIL preferred Emmentaler and bought himelf a bar of it. Mr. K liked Caprice des Anges, a mild brie type cheese. And there you go!

Because BIL was here, Mr. K took off from work all week. We got a chance to give BIL the tour of the town, see a little farm, walk in the country, and then do some real sightseeing!

We went to Disneyland Paris as a start.  These are the pics from that day, which was the coldest and wettest day possible. We were freezing the entire time (those smiles are plastered and frozen to the face, let me assure you). I don't think it got above 0C at all that day.

Classic Disney pose

Inside Sleeping Beauty's castle

Waffles instead of churros and turkey legs

After Disneyland Paris, which was a ton of fun, we went to the Loire valley on Valentine's Day. We had our own little celebration of the Love day (one of my fave holidays in the year) with a tiny gift to each other. He gave me tea and a new tea ball (sorely needed the way we drink tea here). He received a little bag of red candy covered almonds (he said it was a needed item too...but I think he just likes candy).

We borrowed a car from some lovely friends and away we went! First stop, Chambord!

The men, freezing their bodies for a photo.

Classic pose for Valentine's Day
We realized when we got there that though we dressed warmer this time around for French Winter, we were not planning on the Wet Cold that seeps into your bones and chills you from the inside out. That, and that the château with 100 fireplaces would only have two functioning for the entire château!

Needless to say, we were doing this:
Before and after seeing all this:

Double Helix staircase, made so you could look at your peers while walking around.

Frigid game/trophy room

Outside staircase, which was absolutely stunning!
So, after the freezing château, we got back in the car for our packed lunch.  Then we were off again, further south this time, to another château! Yep, you guessed it, Château de Chenonceau!

We actually saw some sunlight there!
Fairytale perfect, in every way
This was a beauty. Kept up and running by the women of France, this was called the Château des Dames. And you'll see why:

Entryway of the château

Herbal drying room
 The men disappeared and then I found the kitchen. I think they were a little hungry.

Grinning like a Cheshire Cat, he is

Kitchen of brass (all the walls were covered in sparkling bras pots)

Our best friend

 We said adieu to our favorite château and headed home. As we did so, we came across:

Saturated, yes, but we could see all the colors of this rainbow!
 Rainbow country! I think we saw about 5 rainbows that day on our drive home. Like a blessing to us weary cold travelers for having braved it all.

The following day we went to Paris, but I have no pictures of that day. We did go on top of the Arc de Triomphe and from there had a magnificent view of the entire city. We walked the Champs-Élysées and saw the Eiffel Tower up close and personal. However we did not "mont" the tower. We did decide to go to the Académie de la Bière in Port Royal. Great fries and good beer (if you don't order a side with your drink, they give you popcorn, unsalted, as bar food).
Then came home and had a nice rest of the week with BIL.

Well, thus ends the BIL tour. Until next time! Au revoir!


  1. Sounds like you had a great time :) - Looking at the cheeses, I would have said that the front right was the St. Nectaire...

    1. Thanks!!! You may be right! I couldn't remember the other name of one of the two front cheeses. I'll have to look/buy them again. Oh darn!