Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wastin' away again in Great Big Chateau -Ville

Spent a weekend in Bretagne back in February. Squash's roommate Carole invited us to spend a couple of days at the family country home where her family and friends go for la chasse with big guns and cute outfits. (Remember that fresh Thanksgiving turkey? Yar.)

Well, I'm going to let the pictures do the talking because I just simply don't have the words (I know, shocker):
(nope, not yet, these are just the old stables...)

(getting closer...)

(et voilà!)

(et voilà, again...)

I walked up the Grand Staircase to the Great Hall that lead to our chambers (there's no way I can just say 'bedroom,' that's too plebe), whereupon I immediately had literary déjà vu* and an overwhelming urge to run around in a white dressing gown calling "Rochester! Darling Rochester!" or at the very least grab a candelabra and jump in a Neil Simon screenplay.
Grand Staircase

Great Hall

Dining room
Here is the view from the bathroom. Let me repeat that: This is the view from THE BATHROOM.

Oh yeah, and this would be me, slipping behind the mirror to the hidden door that opens into a PRIVATE CHAPEL. It was so beautiful and peaceful I almost wanted to get baptized. 

And of course, no self-respecting chateau is complete without the most important room of all:

La bibliothèque!

And no self-respecting bibliothèque, of course, is complete without...
Who's that poser in the horizontal striped shirt?

...a Santa Claus-sized fireplace!

That night there was Operation Dinner-Out with the chasse party at a Carole-dubbed "dive bar" restaurant. LOL. When we got to the eatery Squash and I simultaneously squared off and gave Carole a "Pshaw riiiiight, dive bar! You ain't even SEEN no dive bar, girlie!" look as we waltzed into a cozy, clean, well-lit room with long tables and proper upright dinner chairs. But really, if all it takes for a resto to make the dive list is a foosball table and homemade cidre (holy crap happiness-in-a-can-baby! Sorry Strongbow, you have been replaced by an unnamed-but-much-celebrated bubbly apple-y goodness from Bretagne), then I will hang the neon sign above the door myself.

Anyway, during dinner Squash and I kept noticing the same distinctive, non-wedding-band type gold ring on the ring fingers of a majority of the guys in the party. After several whispered guesses ("It's one 'a them Knights Templar fraternity thingies!" "It's a secret society where they do pseudo-scientific experiments on stolen dead bodies!") she shushed me by pouring a bit more liquid gold distraction into my glass and just asked the dude across from us what the hell it was all about. He obligingly explained that it was his family crest and showed us the design. And, not quite understanding, we were like, "So, everyone wears one of these things?" And he gave us a funny look, like, sorry-dudes-this-is-going-to-sound-snobby-but-oh-well-it's-the-truth, and said:

"Oui, la noblesse."



And then we all trooped into someone's humble manor and stood around the fireplace drinking champagne and eating nibbles of nougat, where I was drunk enough to be hilarious in French. (That's right kK, they were laughing with you.) I somehow managed to keep a conversation going en français about Thomas Jefferson, someone's American great-grandmother, and why I like animals better than people (just kidding, like I'd ever talk about someone's great-grandmother in a roomful of people who like to hunt) before collapsing into bed Princess And The Pea-style with a hot water bottle and 800 blankets to keep out the draft.

And thus was spent part of Saturday wastin' away in a Great Big Chateau. Stay tuned for Sunday, if you're really good.

*Literary déjà vu? Really? Um, NERD ALERT level raised to hot orangey red. (Also, can I get a round of applause for Peter Sellers as the Chinese Guy? KthxBai.)

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