July 16, 2014

Still no sunshine in the Loire Valley

We left Trouville promptly at 9:00 AM on our way to Le Mans, where my sister Laura and husband Terrey would be joining us. They were arriving into CDG that morning and driving to a pre-determined lunch spot in Le Mans.

Obviously someone outside Trouville has a sense of humor . . .

Our plan for the afternoon was to meeting Terrey and Laura for lunch, then perhaps have a quick visit at the Le Mans car museum, then motor our way to our Gite in the Loire Valley, approximately 2-1/2 hours from Le Mans.

Someone obviously forgot this was supposed to be a SUNNY trip given that we are now well into July. Much to my dismay, the clouds hung around, threatening rain. We found a parking garage to park within a couple of blocks of the restaurant we were meeting the Terrey and Laura at. Terrey and Laura were having some issues with their GPS and couldn't seem to actually FIND the street where we were. So we waited, and waited, and waited.

The heavens opened up and rained, and we waited some more. Eventually, Laura called and we made plans to just go ahead and eat without them and meet them later that afternoon at the Gite (they had the directions). Just when I wandered back up the street to let the others know to go ahead and order lunch, around the corner appeared the weary travelers. I'm quite sure that arriving into CDG after an overnight flight and then hopping into a car and driving for 3 hours isn't a fun thing to do. They both looked exhausted, but happy to have finally found us.

This was a cute street where we ate lunch. After some delicious crepes for lunch, it was time to hit the road again. We agreed to meet up again in Descartes, which was a few km from our Gite in Abilly, where we would do some grocery shopping. It was a nice drive; not too long, with lots of nice scenery along the way.

We passed several fields of sunflowers along the route. Apparently the bulk of these fields are used in the perfume industry.

We arrived into Descartes and apparently Laura and Terrey's GPS had been set to only travel the "D" roads (no toll roads), so we beat them to Descartes by almost 30 minutes. The rest of the crew finally arrived and down the road we went to the Gite. There's always a little apprehension (especially after our horrible experience in Trouville) that your lodging accommodations aren't going to be up to snuff. The gite we reserved was next door to this place, so it was a "nice" neighborhood.

We pulled up to "Le Bouchet" and our hopes were restored that we could put the Trouville disaster behind us.

We rented "Les Ecuries" which was a 3-bedroom, 2 bath Gite that sleeps 7. April was pretty excited that she was actually going to get to sleep in an actual bed! Our rental was for 3 nights, and it was really, really, affordable. We were paying $27 per night, per person for this palace. The rooms were beyond spacious, the kitchen was large and well-equipped and the outdoor spaces were really nice.

There was even a pool. Too bad we never had a chance to use the pool; it remained cloudy and sometimes a little wet during our 3-night stay here.
But that didn't stop us from enjoying the outdoor space for meals and relaxing. My only complaint about Le Bouchet was that the internet was the worst I've encountered in all of Europe. It made working very difficult and at times, absolutely impossible.

We enjoyed a delicious dinner of pasta and all of us were looking forward to getting a great nights sleep.
À bientot.

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