May 09, 2015

French Villages: Chateaus, Carousels, and Cute Little Shops

Garden of Diana, Fontainebleau Chateau

Our first stop on our journey home was Paris! There is not often that we will go back to a place because there is always somewhere else to explore (with the exception of Walt Disney World, we seem to find ourselves back there often), but Paris has now joined the good-enough-to-come-back-twice club. Even with it being rainy during the weekend, we enjoyed it.

As we landed early in the morning and with the rain, we decided to drive out to some of the French Villages so the Lucky Dragon could sleep for a while and hope that the rain would blow over by the time we arrived. It was surprising how fast the French countryside appears outside of Paris. Buildings were quickly replaced with randomly spaced villages tucked into the rolling green hills of farms. The first place we stopped in was Fontainebleau.

It was French Labor day so these were given out everywhere. Lady was given several bunches of them

Fontainebleau clearly has charm from the time you enter the city boundaries. On one end are large French country styled  mansions complete with their large fences, wisteria vines and bright shutters. Then there are the cute little row houses with small shops on the first floor that line the cobblestone streets. Tall manicured trees line all the of the main roads towards the city center where the impressively large Fontainebleau Chateau sits. The mansion (castle really) was home to French Royalty for years and therefore is extravagant, of course! The massive building is surrounded by hundreds of acres of gardens (not has big as Versailles, but big enough to have a nice work out exploring them) and expansive green lawns. We enjoyed a quiet stroll around the area before going to see the city center. This trip was extended in time because Lucky boy insisted he push the stroller instead of ride in it and the cobblestone streets were not easy to navigate for a little guy.

Village of Fontainebleau

My two traveling buddies

Chateau Fontainebleau

Helping him go over the cobblestones

He wanted to go swimming!

"Fish and the duck!"

A little bit easier to push folded up...

In the center of the city there are several little shops with historic boutique hotels that surround community squares. We stopped at several bakeries to buy a variety of bread and some amazing macarons. These were special (yes we have become macaron connoisseurs haha) because they were bigger and had a thin square piece of chocolate between the two macaron cookies. Even I liked it and that says a lot about it because I am not usually keen on chocolate or cookies.

 After a ride on the carousel that looked as if it was the original carousel, we drove to Milly la Foret. That too was cute. There was no Chateau, but there was a large Medieval cathedral and more of the quaint villages. People were so friendly. We loved just walking and driving around looking at it all. Including the large fields of yellow flowers. 

Milly la Foret

We ended the day back in Paris eating at some of our favorite places—haha, yeah we have regular places in Paris! Boeuf Burgeon and French Onion soup were staples the entire time. I think I could just eat the soup for every meal. 

The view out our window

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