Wow - today kicks off our last week in France. In exactly one week, we'll be on a plane headed to Charlotte-Douglas. The next day, we'll be in cars back to Greenville. Everything went oh-so-fast. But there will be time for remembering and reflection later - today the only thing we're remembering (sort of) is our last full weekend in France that we spent with my little brudder and sissy-in-law.
Side note: Growing up, I did not want any siblings. When my mother was pregnant with my brother, they asked if I wanted a little brother or sister. My response? "Emmy run away." (True story. My parents got it on video).
But things change. At age 31, I've decided having siblings is the best thing ever. So we were pretty excited when Wes and Megan said they were coming to visit on our last full weekend in France. I cannot think of any other two people I'd rather have visit us for one last chance to play tourist, visit a chateau, go wine tasting, and to generally have a good time burning the olive oil to make boeuf bourguinon whilst drinking honest-to-God Champagne and listening to Eric Church on Spotify while discussing which 2009 UNC Clef Hanger best sang "Africa" by Toto. Among other things.
Boeuf bourguinon takes a few hours to simmer. Conversations got interesting while we waited. We're really not as crazy as we sound, I promise.
But besides general sibling and in-law insanity, what did we spend the weekend doing? Well...we went to Chateau Chenonceaux.
We tried to take pretty pictures at the gazebo in the labyrinth...
We sort of succeeded.
We took pictures in front of the "favorite lady's" garden. That went more smoothly.
Taking pictures in front of the wife's garden did not.
So we went wine tasting instead.
We explored the inside of the chateau and agreed we could definitely all live here.
We explored the outside of the chateau.
Some of us cheesed for the camera. Others did plank on a concrete wall.
We frolicked in fall leaves...
...and posed with giant pumpkins.
We found a mini pony and fed him apples from the garden...
He thanked us with some well-timed slobber.
We left the chateau and drove to the other side of the river for a nature walk.
We saw hot air balloons, and some really pretty views.
Then we drove back to Tours for dinner at La Belles Caves
It was really delicious.
We tried to take pretty, grown-up pictures of each other. That took a lot of work.
The next day, we went to Saturday market to get ingredients for boeuf bourguignon...
Then we headed to Vouvray. We found a Lamborghini convention along the way...
Then we drove to the vineyards of Vouvray.
We picked grapes and tasted them...
...and we played in the vines.
Some of us were more into the photography than others.
We saw a grape harvesting machine go down the road, so we turned around to follow it to see it in action.
Then we finally went wine-tasting.
It made us all very happy.
We went to another cave for tasting and played with heavy machinery.
We did a tasting with Florian.
Then we drove back to Tours.
Then everyone began doing their part to make boeuf bourguignon...
Too bad no one thought to check on the heating olive oil...
Somehow the recipe turned out phenomenal, though. My brother is a fantastic cook. The next morning, we shared fresh croissants and Irish coffees before we put them on the train to Munich.
We had so much fun, so much laughter, and so much fellowship this weekend. I'm beyond grateful for these two kids who have turned into such wonderful friends to us (and for my sissy-in-law who donated several of these pictures to the cause). Wes and Megan, we love you to bits and are SO glad you visited! Have a drink at Oktoberfest for us, and we'll see you at Christmas (if not sooner!)
E & B