July 21, 2004

Postcards from La Loire.

Back from the Loire Valley!

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The royal chateau in Blois.
[Click here for the BIG view.]
[Psst...don't miss the slideshow!]


Lots of chateaux, lots of wine, a perfect view of the July 14 fireworks from the terrace of the apartment, a visit with the white tigers at Beauval, ogling Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester at Chambord, rowing a small boat around the Cher river at Chenonceau castle, a magic show at Robert-Houdin's Maison de la Magie, a horse-drawn carriage ride through Blois, a light show at a royal castle...our trip to La Loire was incredibly fun and went by all too quickly. We made headquarters in Blois, where we stayed in an apartment ideally located in the vieux quartier with a beautiful view of the city. Some days we stayed in Blois; other days we hopped in the car for outings to Amboise, Chenonceau, Chambord and other places. Click the thumbnails below to see a few images of some of the wonderful things we saw and did during the first days of our vacation (there will be more photos in a subsequent entry):


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Even with all the activities, I got to do some summer knitting! We made several outings to surrounding areas which required 15-30 min rides in the car, so when I wasn't reading, admiring the scenery, or napping with face embarrassingly squished against the passenger window (happened only once, thankfully), I was KNITTING. (The MS&W Festival tote that my pal Claudia gifted me a few months ago rode with me all over the Loire Valley. XOXO, Claudia!)

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[Click here for the rest of the road knitting!]


road tripPhoto above is of the front piece of my Phil Ruban cardi, and I seamed it while I was there, opting to save the dreaded weaving of the ends for when I got back. The cardi was too big to tote around with me, so I spent time swatching for some projects when in the car. I got lucky with the gauge on two and decided to start one of them while I was there: The "Jacke in Apricot" from Rebecca 27, using GGH Java in light pink. [Rebecca 27 is from Athena, who sent it to me back in May. Java is from Marta, who sent it to me a few weeks ago. Photos here!] And just for you, I have car shots: Pictures I took of things I saw while knitting in the car. All photos were taken while the car was in motion, and some required that I stick the camera out of the window in order for me to get a good shot. [Hello, I'm just a photo-happy tourist with some knitting in her lap!]

But wait...there's more! I left the Loire Valley with some stashy goodness [click here to see it]. While driving through a town after a visit to Amboise, Monsieur Le Hubby said to me (and I'm sure he regretted it afterwards), "We just passed a Phildar." Oops! The car skidded to a halt and I ran inside the store, on a quest for yarn on sale (SOLDES - magic word, that). I was in the store for five minutes only, but all I'm gonna say is: If you live in Contres and were hoping to pick up some discontinued Phil Ruban in fabulous colors, a whack tourist rabbit already cleared it all out.

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45 comments to this entry:

Yay! You're back! I'm glad you had a lovely holiday, squished sleeping face and all :)
The pics, pics, pics and more pics! They are all fabulous. I just have to look at them again. What a great holiday! And great progress on the knits. How did you knit with all that there was to see? Could you even sleep with all the amazing places to see and take in.? Your little one is as adorable as ever. He only added to the beauty of Loire Valley. I just love the eye you have with the camera. It’s always great to see wonderful visual accounts of trips, but you definitely have a knack for making the most of every shot. The road knitting account was great! Wow, thanks for taking the time share your lovely vacation. I must say if you can’t get there, it’s definitely great to see it through your camera lens!!!
Your hubby is fantastic - spotting yarn shops for you is brilliant. My man would have speeded up and not told me! The woman in the shop must have wondered what hit her when you bought all the yarn. That cardigan you're swatching for looks great.
What wondeful, beautiful pics and a truly marvelous score of yarn! That's fantastic that you were able to get the sales woman to put it on sale right then. Thanks for allowing us to go on your trip with you!!
Quel beau voyage! Les photos sont magnifiques. J'adore ton diaporama de photos en voiture. Je pense que Captain Destructo avait peut-être envie de jouer au chevalier avec tous ces châteaux, ça lui donnait sans doute des idées... Rigolo ton épisode "les soldes chez Phildar"! J'arrive pas à croire que ce sont les clientes qui informent les gérantes sur leur inventaire. Trop fou et trop chanceuse!
Look at me. Jealous of the travels of a tote bag. Especially since I've been watching France on the television for two weeks. That apricot sweater is very cute. And that is an absolutely crazy amount of Ruban. But I would expect no less!
I'm very jealous of all of your yarn acquisitions and your wonderful trip (your pictures are great - I love the car pics complete with knitting progress!). I'm also very interested in what you'll do with all of that Phil Ruban as I have also been able to pick up some on sale and haven't figured out what to make with it yet. I guess there won't be any more patterns for it in upcoming Phildar issues since it has been discontinued. Can't wait to find out!
Welcome back! And thank you for the lovely pictures . . . and for letting me live vicariously through you (I've always wanted to travel to France!).
Thanks for sharing so many wonderful photos. No vacation for us this summer, as we're stuck in the wedding planning doldroms, so at least I get to travel vicariously through you. Welcome home!
Am I jealous or what?!? The Loire Valley looked absolutely charming, how could you even stand it? Too lovely for words. And the phildar? Score! Glad you had an awesome vacation!
Welcome back Becky! And thanks for the photos. I have Loire Valley envy! ;-) I've spent two wonderful vacations there and would love to go back. Some day . . .
Oh thank god Becky's back! I was getting severe withdrawal. That vacation looks SO LOVELY, I am seething with jealousy. I've been only to Chambord in that area and it's so beautiful, isn't it? Can't wait to see the newly knitted things finished!
Fabulous photos of great views and fab knitting.My favourite is of the new Ruban stash !
Welcome home you crazy rabbit. Oooh all that ruban! The lovely views of the loire valley! Captain D looked like he had a great time! Nice to hear that a hubby has yarn radar! beep, beep, beeeeeep Thank you for sharing your memories! Can't wait to see the cardi, I am sure it's gorgeous!
Wow! Sounds like you had an absolutely great trip. Love the pictures - especially of the little one. Oh stash and stash on sale even better. Welcome back!
I love love love the staircase at Chambord. I visited there more than 10 years ago and remember being fascinated by it. If I remember correctly, the staircase was actually designed as a double helix (fun for us biology-types) so that clandestine lovers could sneak around the chateau with less chance of being found out. Any sightings of le Tour de France? I'm glued to the Outdoor Life Network's coverage of it. Allez!
Yay, we missed you!!! The pictures are so great. You have such an eye for pretty views and sights, and also capturing the Cappy at adorable moments. Oh, the Phil Ruban looks so. yummy. I can't wait to see what you make with all that yumminess!
Hi Becky, I am also making that Rebecca Cardi at the moment! Isn't it a quick knit! Thanks for sharing your vacation pics with us, looks like you had a great time!
Yay! Becky's back! I was going into withdrawal too. Plus my computer was getting mad at me because I checked your website about 100 times a day to see if you were back! I love the Loire Valley - especially Chambord. Seeing the pic of Captain Destructo running along the paths brought back wonderful memories. I especially loved the pic of LUCY! She looks so much like my old crazy Bischon Lucy, who is now in doggie heaven. She also sounds just like her - crazy racing around the house when she knows she can go out. Love the pics! Glad you had an awesome vacation and even more glad that you are back!!!!!
Welcome back! The pics are gorgeous.Glad you had a fabulous trip.One day I'd love to visit there. I love the pink Rebecca sweater. That's been on my must knit list for awhile. My DH is alot like yours. He would have pointed out the yarn shops. We are lucky aren't we?
Hey welcome back! What a fabby picture-licious entry!!! The Loire looks georgeous. Nice stash additions - I love the idea of Mr. Fluffa pointing out stash enhancement opportunities!
I love that Rebecca sweater! It's on my list. I will really enjoy seeing you make it.
Loved looking at all your pics of Blois & the Loire valley! I was there three years ago and it took me right back! thanks Becky!
Welcome back! I loved your pics, wish I could live there *sigh*. Would you like to adopt me? As a sister, of course! Hee hee! Once again another great project! Don't forget to check Rebecca's web site for pattern errors, I remember seeing something about it.
You lucky bunny you!!! I'm drooling over your PhilRuban right now! Did I tell you that my lovely hubby was in Paris in June and brought me back some PhilRuban? That sweet man! I love your photos of your trip to the Loire Valley. 10 years ago (I can't believe it was so long ago!) I rode a bike around the Loire Valley with my friends and we went to Bois, Chambord, Chenonceau, etc. I don't remember seeing the cute houses in Blois....maybe we spent too much time exhausted on our bikes along the road! Thanks soooo much for the photos. They transported me back to a wonderful time in my life!
Glad you had a fabulous time. The pics are great - per usual - and the Phil Ruban looks splendid. I may have to delve into my own soon...
Glad you had such a nice trip, rabbit! We missed ya. Way to score on yarn! Vacation yarn rocks!
Yay! You're back! And you got us all fabulous goodies - lots of pics of sights and yarn. Thanks for sharing it all - that makes it up pretty adequately for the long wait. ;-) I've been swatching for that cardi myself! I'll be knitting along with the rabbit in the background.
Well, totally gorgeous. You must have knit while driving at night. I just can't imagine going out for a drive and passing a castle...
Jealousy I know thee! Thanks for sharing your vacation. You always do a great job in description and photo journaling.
Welcome back,I love that pink cardi and your photographs as always are fab.
A wonderful vacation ending with yarn purchase. You really have a perfect holiday, The Phil Ruban looks nice. I want to have some for myself too !
Looks like it was chilly en Blois. But with Becky to supply endless cozy knits, no one would suffer! Congrats on the excellent stashilicious acquisitions, too. I'm glad you're back -- I too have been checking about every half hour, and toward the end I believe I got an exasperated message from my browser to give it a rest!
She can knit in the car, write captivating travel-logues, convince store owners to put yarn on sale AND take beautiful photos -- is there anything the fabulous rabbit cannot do? So glad you're back -- I loved seeing all your pics and taking a little vicarious trip to France from my desk!
I agree with Cindy, it was lovely to have toured a portion of France while sitting at my desk. You have a gift for writing that always makes your site a pleasure to visit!
Thank you so much for the warm welcome! I always enjoy my vacations, but going offline totally (I don't go near a computer when I'm away) means that I miss my online buds. It's nice to be back :-) Jackie and Natalie: Chambord, with that double helix staircase, is so impressive. And there was an extra treat: I saw Leonardo da Vinci's Codex Leicester in an upper room, which was on temporary display there. Evelyn: I saw lots of people moving about the Loire on bikes, and that is something I'd love to do. In a few years, when the kid gets older. Jackie: No night knitting, as there was no driving at night. The only good amount of knitting I did was during the day if I was in the car. (The photos show it all.) Beverlee: I found the weather to be really nice. There were short spurts of summer rain with a light chill in the evening the first few days, and it got really warm during the second week, but it wasn't unbearable. Last year, when we took a summer trip to Paris and the temps were going through the roof, I could hardly stand the heat. Practically zero knitting (and not as many energetic outings) during that time. P.S. During that trip I met up with Marie [my pal at balade.blogspot.com] and we WALKED several blocks in 40+ degree celsius heat. It was like boot camp!
Fantastic new additions to the yarn stash! And the pics, my god your vacation seemed packed and I imagine Bastille Day was quite the celebration. Quick question, what would you recommend as your best reference for seaming. I have been knitting for 15 years, but my seams leave a bit to be desired and my references aren't any help at all. I look at your finishing and it is all so crisp and INVISIBLE! I have referred to the Phildar sketches in my pattern book, but I still wank it all up. Any tips or links? I appreciate it so.
Welcome back, Becky! Thanks for sharing all these great photos -- what a beautiful part of the world, and with knits, too! It doesn't get any better.
Thank you for sharing. Girl...you are talented! Donna
Becky, your pictures look fabulous. Look like you had quite some fun!!! I love the stash part :D
The whack rabbit strikes again! I could see it almost as a cartoon -- the car screeches to a HALT and you jump and bumrush the Phildar peeps. Good on you, dear. Glad you had fun!
Becky, your vacation looks fab. It brings me right back to my French architecture course! And managing to do all that knitting at the same time--nice work! Can't wait to see your sweaters grow.
Thank you for sharing your fabulous vaction, the pics are just wonderful. Question, wasn't Catherine de Medici the one in the movie Elizabeth which was related to Mary queen of Scott's? Your doggie is so cute...how old is she? Captain Destructo is as always in good form =) You sure do hog the yarn. LOL.
I love how you did the shaping on your Audrey very much. I've been going through all the Audrey comments as I prepare to start the lovely lady. What I'd like to know is where did you start your shaping (at what stitch, if you can remember). I know you did it on the side instead of closer to the middle. I LOVE how yours looks. Also did you do just the decreases and increases, but not the darts? Thanks so much in advance!!!!
Just thought I'd say hi.....i stumbled across your page and I love it....

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