5.3.09 Happy Birthday to Me- and leaving Paris
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5.3.09 Happy Birthday to Me- and leaving
5:30 am- Up to drive Ned to the metro for his flight home. Ugh! I am not an early person and it is always just so sad and depressing to see him go. Fortunately, all went smoothly and 6am on Sunday beat all the traffic. We skipped right on out of
Chartres Cathedral (UNESCO site) was lovely, but closed at 8am- we checked every entrance after following itâ€™s pealing bells from our roadside â€śtouriste busâ€ť parking spot. We were the only ones awake from the looks of it. The 12th century cathedral was lovely from the outside- our 4th â€śNotre Dameâ€ť cathedral Jazy reports. â€śOur Ladyâ€ť is a popular name for churches.
Beautiful, country roads through fields of green grass and yellow flowers led us to Chambord- the biggest chateau (castle) of the
Inside, we enjoyed the movie of how it was built before self-touring through the double-helix marble staircase and the â€śmuseumâ€ť with things like products advertised as â€śChambord,â€ť portraits of residents (royalty), and some furnishings (like the Kingâ€™s bed, that looked just like the one at Versailles).
Entry was 9.50E adults, free for kids under 18. Yahoo! RV parking was free with ticket validated at the ticket desk. You could also stay overnight for 15E (may be 10- I had trouble reading the sign).
We walked through the local small town market on the way out and bought fresh baguette and a round bread. Yum!
Then we remembered that today is my 41st birthday! It seems a long time since our Granbury, TX celebration a year ago. What a terrific mid-life gap year my 40th was! I feel so grateful and lucky for this past year of travel.
But wait- thereâ€™s more- the day sure is long when you get up at 5:30! Goodness!
It was just 10 miles to
In the lovely ancient town, we stopped in one of the market stores to buy apples, another to get a local wine, jam, Perrier and foie gras pate (regional specialties). We already have fromage (cheese) bought yesterday and for dinner, we ate a feast in the RV.
Charles played the â€ś
Nathalie is an online French friend who is interested in doing a Canadian RV exchange next summer. Sheâ€™s my age with 4 kids, is an English teacher and lives within 30 miles of here. I hope we can meet up tomorrow, if only briefly. Sheâ€™s been very generous inviting us over and seems like a really neat person. Unfortunately, her youngest child just got chicken pox - my three kids havenâ€™t been exposed to it, since the vaccine virtually eradicated it from the
I was so tired that I forgot to check for wi-fi in town. Charles said that anywhere that said â€ś
So where are we now? Weâ€™re at a delightful free Aire along the
Anyway, back to our â€ścampground.â€ť There are about 8 motorhomes backed into marked spaces overlooking an island filled with birds and the beautiful, arched bridge into Blois. We are right across from the Police Station- feels very secure. After 50E a night in
I think the French governments and people are just nice about motorhoming in
Since we typically struggle to spend less than 100E a day (150E in cities), everything we can do to save is good. Traveling with 4-5 people can really add up (gas, food, entrance fees, campground fees, souvenirs, etc). While it did cost us $150 to change our airline tickets home, Jazy reminded me that every day costs us $150 essentially. Good point.
It depends on the country too and how far we drive.
Weâ€™ve only driven about 1500 miles since March 21st! Gas, while costing around 1E a liter for diesel (x 3.8 for a gallon), has been a negligible expense since Sugar seems to get mid-20â€™s mpg.
I need to warn the Behans to start their gas budget â€“ with Ciaoâ€™s 8-10 mpg and the enormous distances driven in the U.S. wild west states, they will be buying 20 gallons of gas daily. Hopefully, prices will stay under $2 per gallon for their trip. I just hated when the gas pumps cut off at $100 and the tank wasnâ€™t yet full (try over $7 a gallon in
I put together some
Bon soir! (p.s. people seem to speak less English now that weâ€™re out of