Summary of the last few days, from Laurel

Laurel and I collaborated on a summary of what we’d done each day at the end of the day. Here is the oeuvre (mostly by Laurel) in final form:

-Laurel arrives
-Eileen feeds Laurel salad
-Walk around Reims with Ketsia
-Get ice cream (cassis, framboise) and spill on selves (except for Eileen)
-Go in cathedral
-Went out for pizza
-Got lost looking for bar which was closed

-Train to Tours: arrive at 2:45
-Walked to Manon’s, talked for an hour
-Walked to the gare. Got misled about where Chenonceau was; received incorrect Blois-Tours tickets.
-Went to tourist office, were misled further about where Chenonceau was. Is not in Chinon!
-Wandered around Tours, saw cathedral, garden with huge tree. Got ice cream (cookie) and ate in garden. Walked along river.
-Ate at La Souris Gourmande. First people there and then it filled up with people with reservations.
-Met Manon and friends at Greg’s house. Played Mario Kart on Wii. Had Ricard (anise drink).

-Got up early to fix Chenonceau tickets. Did so. Promptly missed train to Chenonceau. WTF
-Found tour group and joined them instead.
-Got driven in van by Russian lady. First went to Chenonceau FINALLY.
-Saw castle. Walked through castle. Walked through gardens. Talked to American. Walked through hedge maze!!! Very easy.
-Got back on bus. Went to Amboise. Wandered castle grounds. Had ice cream (café).
-Amboise was very cute. Castle on hill. Wandered a little bit in Amboise but didn’t have much time before had to catch bus.
-Took bus back to Tours. Had sandwiches at a little cafe. Found the commercial district and did some window shopping. Found the Hotel de Ville.
-Back to Manon’s. Packed up stuff. Back to gare. Did not miss train.
-Took train to Blois. Blois is cute!
-Found hotel by wandering up hilly streets and ramparts. Desk clerk was a little too friendly.
-Room is cute! FREE WI-FI!!!!!!! Check email.
-Wandered around Blois. Circled castle by accident trying to find restaurant.
-Ate at le Triboulet. Andouillette was a little weird. Sat outside where it was windy/coldish. Service was VERY SLOW. Resident dog clearly not neutered. Food was still good. Almost left before bill but waitress showed up. Moved inside for dessert (cheese!).

-Slept late. Thought it was dark out but it was the shutters!!!!!!
-Grabbed breakfast at boulangerie.
-Went to bike rental place that was out of rentable bikes! Guy gave us directions to another bike rental place.
-Walked through flea market along river. Took wrong turn to bike place, walked awhile in residential neighborhood. Turned back, went right way, found bike place.
-Rented bikes. (Eileen left carte bleue in passport left behind as collateral!)
-Hopped on bikes. Biked across Loire. Instantly got lost.
-Wandered around, picked a road to go down.
-Road down road along river for a long time. Had pretty fast going cars on it, but they gave us space. Saw Chateau de Menars on the other side of the river. Took pictures.
-Ended up in tiny village of Montlivaut. Got thirsty. Tried to stop at hotel-restaurant, but looked too fancy and bar wasn’t open. Saw a map and realized we weren’t where we thought we were.
-Got on the right path. Stopped in Maslives for lunch of vegetable appetizers at hotel-restaurant. Slow service. L had tomatoes stuffed with goat cheese, tuna, and some mysterious vegetable mix.
-Eileen realizes she doesn’t have her carte bleue!!!! Tries to call to cancel card; numbers don’t work. Calls bike shop and discovers she left it in passport. RELIEF.
-Find bike path signs. Not clear where they go. Take us out into big agricultural fields where mysterious tall green grass is growing. Plastic things with holes on ground. Turned around and went back to town. Bike paths really not well-marked.
-Took correct route to Chambord. Got to grounds. Found a bike path that didn’t clearly go anywhere useful. Finally asked where castle was.
-Found castle!!!! It only took 4 hours. Parked bikes, bought jam from market vendor.
-Went inside castle. Climbed double helix staircase. Lost each other. Found each other at top. Looked at views. Walked through fancy rooms.
-Tried to get out the back. Were blocked in by moat. Went out the right way.
-Stood in line for ice cream (pineapple). Tried to plan route back, failed.
-Biked back to Maslives. Got on correct bike path: no traffic. Very tranquil. Passed many vineyards.
-No problems until somehow ended up on highway past Vineuil. Scary. Got off highway in Blois. Made our way back to bike shop, dropped off bikes. Chatted with bike man about card. Only took 1 hour 20 min. to get back!
-Had croques-monseiur at a Brasserie. Walked back to hotel. In pain. Eileen is weirdly sunburned. Laurel’s thighs are chafed. All muscles hurt.


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