A Chateau & A Croissant

O.K., this might be a little confusing, but stick with me.  After the old-time weekend and then recording with Polo and Nadine I returned to the little cottage in Champtocé that I was sharing with Clara (which involved the same 45 minute trek from the little train stop).

She had had a lovely, solitary week and a half reading books, drawing, journaling, working on the computer AND making fires in the fireplace.

Here is the rest of the story about how we found the cottage.  As some of you know, Laurie Corral, of Asheville Bookworks, and I were asked to teach a 9 day workshop at Chateau du Pin in the Loire Valley.  When Clara had the idea to find a place for a month-long retreat she suggested I ask, Peg Gignoux, the woman who hired us to teach at the Chateau.  As it turned out, Peg’s cousin Marie had cottages for rent just down the road from the Chateau.  Have I lost you yet?

During our time at the cottage we made buddies with Marie (our land lady) and Louise (Peg’s sister) who is living at the Chateau for 3 months to help with the family business.  This is how it came to be that we received a personal tour of the grounds.

The story of the Chateau is an interesting one.  Louise told us various tid-bits; it was seized as living quarters for the Nazi’s during the war and at present it’s owned by almost 20 members of the French-American Gignoux family.

Pretty nice eh?

The story continues…Clara has a rule for herself when it comes to France: Never go to France without going to Paris for a few days.  So, staying true to her rule, she had planned 5 days in Paris at the end of her month-long stay.  Being the lovely person she is, she invited me to come along.  Who passes up being in Paris? Not me!

Champtocé sur Loire: Travel Break

As you might have guessed by now, where I am in reality and where I am on the blog are not in alignment (though I promise to be caught up by the end of my trip).

I tell you this because what I’m about to write about is my mid-trip rest break, though in reality I am now nearing the end of my trip.  By the time I left Cathi’s house in Sisteron I had been visiting people via planes-trains-and-automobiles for 3 months.  While still in the U.S. my friend-marketing mentor-fellow bookmaker, Clara, suggested renting a place for a month-long artist’s retreat.  We found a little cottage near Angers (more on that later) and promised to meet there in the beginning of May.  So, here it is:

The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  I had 3 months worth of great people and experiences to reflect on.  I had a chance to catch up on emails and began to prepare my fall/winter schedule (searching for teaching and music gigs).  We enjoyed long walks, interesting talks (it was fun to see someone from home way over here), cooking our own meals, watching French T.V., reading books, making cozy fires and sleeping alot.

I even got to paint a little…