The last update from France left you with us in the quiet farm house well after midnight on Sunday the 8th, drinking wine and eating chocolate mousse before getting some much needed rest.
Apologies for the delay in sharing the rest of the trip, but life has gotten in the way! That whole being an adult thing.
So, here is some more of the French adventure!
I woke up later that morning to this.
Naturally, way before everyone else, but I did not mind because it gave me a chance to explore and enjoy the quiet. The mornings were the only quiet time in the house as the house was full of people and most everyone slept in until the croissants arrived after 10 AM.
The air was cool, the sun was shining, the sky was blue, and the birds were chirping. This is how every single morning greeted me. As you can assume, a bit more my speed than busy Paris.
I was staying near Chateau-Gontier, a very cute and quint little town surrounded by rolling hills of golden wheat fields, dairy producers, and French Trotters in the Mayenne department. I will tell you, there is nothing quite like seeing one of those golden wheat fields on a hill as it is lit on fire by the late evening sun. It truly redefines the color gold like Lito’s coat will do when the sun hits it just right.
This first day began, as the rest of the days, with croissants from the local bakery. They really are better over there if you were wondering and that is why I ate so many of them! No excuses! I was in France! Good thing I have never had a croissant over here that tasted as good as the real French ones or I might just make that part of my lifestyle.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the farm. Meeting the horses. Enjoying the yard and the breeze. Talking about what we wanted to do that week.
Monday, after croissant and fresh black current jam from currents grown on the farm, we drove three hours to Normandy to visit some of the brood mares and foals, see some of the young horses in training, and bring one of them back to the farm.
On the way there, we stopped in Fougeres to walk around the castle and have lunch.
The castle and the view were better than the actual lunch and we continued on our way.
It was a long day of driving, but we were greeted back at the farm with wine, cheese, and charcuterie for dinner. I believe it was at this time I tried the magic butter on a piece of baguette (which are also really as prevalent as croissant if you thought that was not true). Magic butter is no lightly used term. It will change your life. It has huge salt crystals in it and it is nothing short of amazing. Word has it you can buy it here in The States and I am going to go buy some for EVERYONE as soon as I can.
Tuesday was another quiet, slow day on the farm where I spent time in a hammock reading next to one of the paddocks.
Wednesday was a good horse day. We trailered one of the horses to a near by equestrian center that used to function as one of the state studs, Le Lion-d’Angers, for a visit to a farrier. It was a really cool place with an amazing cross country course and race track. Hedge lined, white sand, outdoor jump arenas. Rows and rows of militaristic stables (not my most favorite part). A breeding center for the standing race studs.
I walked the grounds as the mare got her new set of kicks. It was beautiful. If there was any kind of event going on there while I was there, I would have definitely gone back. If you are ever in the area, give it a visit. You will not be disappointed.
Then, back at the farm that evening, I finally got to ride! A big, lovely French bred warmblood bay mare named Top Girl. We got along famously the whole time I was there. It was most needed.
We rode at the magic golden hour in France. 8PM. It stays light till about 10:30 there. The air was cool, the lighting was wonderful, and the grass and wheat fields. Words can not describe it. Atop a fine horse and nothing could have been better.
Wednesday was a good day, but not nearly as great as Thursday!
But. You will have to check back for that later!
I am currently out on location for work trying to enjoy some down time in my life this month as a traveling vagabond. I got to have two much too short days at home with my Darcy before I drove the three and a half hours out of state.
So, this is where I sit. I hope to be home by next week and you can bet your boots the first place I go will be directly to the farm. This is the longest I have gone without my animals, but this is what pays the bills.
Being an adult man…
Walk in love, dear readers!