Thursday, June 25, 2009

DAY 9 (Thursday, June 4) - chateau hopping...

When checking in to the hotel the evening before, the inn keeper had asked if we would like to have the breakfast in the morning. We agreed and so by 8:30am we were in their little salon having a breakfast of bread and a croissant, hot chocolate and OJ. Apparently the cost of this breakfast was a bit on the expensive side and there was some conversation about that.

Off to visit a few castles. I think the initial idea was 4, but we only ended up going to 2. The first one was “Villandry”. Just beautiful! Extremely nice English gardens.

We walked around all over the gardens and at the end, Jerome purchased a rose bush for Francoise for Mother’s Day.

Drove some more and stopped for lunch. I had white pizza made with crème fresh and sautéed onions and some bacon-y things. It was large, but thin and pretty tasty. Jerome had a savory crepe.

On to the next castle; “Chenonceau les Chateau des Dames”. This castle was built over the river Cher. During WWII it was a means of escaping from the Nazi occupied zone on one side of the river to the "free" Vichy zone on the opposite bank. We stayed at this castle for some time; touring the grounds and the chateau. Nice – picturesque - busy.

We had spent so much time there that afterward; we decided to go home.

A couple of hours of driving and again they tried to have me pee on the roadside! I told Jerome “No, not on the side of the road. I’m sure there’s a bar, restaurant or a gas station we can stop at in the next village or a Carrefour or McDonalds – I don’t mind having to purchase a drink in order to use a bathroom”. Jerome had to tell his parents what I had said and explained to them that this is not something they “do” in America. In fact, that it is against the law.

So, they abandoned their plan to pull over and continued driving. I told Jerome I didn’t understand why they continued driving. If they needed to go to the bathroom and they are fine with going on the side of the road, why didn’t they and then continue driving until we found some (spoiled) American approved place? He told me that it is the way they are; once a new idea is presented, the old idea is abandoned.
Within 2 minutes, we were in another village and Francoise noticed a sign that said “Public WC”. So, we stopped. It was a newer place with two doors on either side of an open (to the world) area with urinals. On the left was a handicapped room, with a (normal) toilet and on the right was what they call a Turkish toilet where you have to squat. I was at the point where I didn’t care if I had to squat as long as it was within four walls.

We ate our leftovers in the parking lot and continued driving.

Got back to Corgoloin by around 10:30pm. Called mom at 11pm (so, 5pm her time) at home and listened to her complain about being home (she likes the break she gets when she's at the hospital) and then I told her about my experience with the “pee-pee” and she just cracked up. It was good to retell the story to someone who would understand both sides. I told her that I’d bet all the years Terry has lived in Europe, she has never had to pee on the side of the road.

A lot of walking these last few days and not as much eating so I’m hoping to have a respite from gaining weight.

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