Out and About in Normandie (Part Two) and the Loire Valley

It has been an eventful week with visitors from the US, a trip to Caen to finalize our long-term stay visas, a jammed door, a backyard jam session, a thunderstorm, climbing around Roman ruins, a road trip to the Loire Valley, and loads of fun; whew!

It started with the arrival of our dear friends, Tim and Lisa, from the US on May 10th. The next day, we had to go to the prefecture in Caen to finalize the details of our long-term stay visas. This is an obligatory appointment (with a physical and chest x-ray) that allows absolutely NO flexibility whatsoever. So off we went to Caen less than 20 hours after our friends arrived, leaving them (and Neville) comfortably situated in our little cottage.

Living in a 230 year old cottage comes with some quirks, including doors that lock differently than what we’re use to in the US. We neglected to tell them to leave one particular door (with a lock) open for Neville, and now we realize there’s a good reason this door is never shut and locked. Apparently, this door has a history of getting jammed. Anyway, long story short, it took a while (with the help of our neighbors) to get the door to open again, as you will see in the video below.

On Saturday evening, we had our neighbors over for drinks, appetizers and a backyard jam session. Terry and Tim have been playing music together since they were teenagers, and it’s something we do every time we’re together. Our neighbor, Mike, has two guitars which he generously shared, much to everyone’s enjoyment.

We were all moving a little slow the next day, so we stayed home to cook, eat and enjoy the first rain storm we’ve had here in at least six weeks. I’m sure the local farmers were also relieved to see the rain.

We have enjoyed many sites around Normandie and Brittany including Mayenne, Fourères, a cider tasting, Roman ruins in Jublains, and lots of beautiful scenery.

Wednesday, we packed up the car and headed to Blois in the Loire Valley, leaving Neville in the care of our lovely neighbors. We’re looking forward to visiting some châteaux here before heading to the coast of Brittany on Monday. I love being retired!

Château Royal de Blois

Neville has completely settled into the neighborhood and is feeling quite bold. In fact, he often visits the neighbors and walks right into their homes if their doors are open! We have some new neighbors and when I introduced myself, they said Neville had already visited them. 😺

Oh, and we passed our physicals and are approved to stay in France for one year! C’est génial!

Je vous souhaitez de belles aventures,


20 thoughts on “Out and About in Normandie (Part Two) and the Loire Valley

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  1. Loved all of this! What incredible pictures and adventures. And a back yard jam session….wow! Your grand adventure is just that: Grand! And Neville…he is living The Life!

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  2. What I would trade to live in France again! I remember those chest X-rays, as I’ve had to do them at least twice/three times for each year I stayed in the country. Not the most fun, but thankfully, I had relatively-efficient experiences at the clinics. Glad to see you enjoying the slow, peaceful life in Normandy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, it must be so great to have your friends visiting you – I can see that you guys really enjoying your time together! And I’m happy to read that Neville settled in so well … and congrats on passing your physicals – at least you know now that you are ‘legally’ in France for the next year 😉.
    Oh, and once again … your photo’s are lovely!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That does sound like quite the eventful time! I had to laugh about Neville already knowing your neighbors and being comfortable going in their house. That sounds like what my dog would do. So glad your friends could come and visit. And I really love that picture of the spiraled turret at the chateaux- so incredible! I hope you have a great weekend 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Meg! I didn’t include a video I took of us having to climb through the window to get to the atrium. 😜 Neville is a funny cat for sure; he’s already the talk of the neighborhood. Thanks for your comments, and I hope you have a lovely weekend as well.

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  5. I envy you with all your busy-ness, it reminds me of when we first moved to Yakima, we were always going somewhere and doing something…until we got jobs. Now that we are retire, we would be doing more if Covid hadn’t happened. We need to get back into the swing of things, but after 2+ years of this that will be hard to do. I so enjoy seeing your videos and pictures, living life vicariously through you! Neville brought a smile to my face with his beautiful blue eyes. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Peg. It has been a bit too busy for me; mais, c’est la vie. I enjoy reading your blogs about life in the PNW (still my favorite place in the world) and seeing photos of the beautiful birds we have there. It seems like you have a wonderful life there. We’ll be back someday to the PNW someday, but are enjoying France for now. I hope you have a great weekend.

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  6. Glad to hear that your visa has been approved! Your life in retirement sounds absolutely amazing and makes me want to retire immediately! I wouldn’t mind some of that sunny weather either to accompany our wanderings in the Scottish Highlands, But, that’s not happening either.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, Tricia, I LOVED Normandy. I could turn right around, go back today and live there — how lucky you are! Thank you for welcoming us into your adorable cottage and for showing us the sights. Watching your “unjamming the jammed door video,” even makes me want to go back. What a hoot! Those French doors are STRONG!

    Liked by 1 person

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