Wednesday September 16
Chinon is known for its walnuts. I loved my breakfast of homemade walnut bread with homemade jams. Soon we left to visit the Chateau de Villandry, known for its spectacular gardens. The day would have been more enjoyable had there been less rainfall, but with our umbrellas and rain jackets keeping us dry, we wandered through the gardens admiring the plants and their phenomenal landscaping.
At lunchtime, we walked along the town’s main thoroughfare until we found just the right restaurant. I ordered a Margarita pizza, and Nick a pear tarte with glace vanille and crème Chantilly. Have you noticed that Nick’s lunches are desserts? As for me, there once was a TV commercial in which the main character said, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.” I can’t believe it, but I ate the whole pizza. A couple from our group at a table near us was chatting with Americans who were part of a bike tour through France. That reminded us of our friends Shelly and Susan, who have ridden their bikes though many countries.
In the afternoon there was a wine tasting at our hotel. I learned that the same type of grape could produce wines that taste different because you have to consider factors such as the amount of rainfall and the kind of soil under each grape vine. I also learned that wine tastes different with and without food. We all enjoyed many samples of wine. Surprise! There was a test after the wine tasting. No one got a perfect score.
We weren’t very hungry at dinnertime. We knew that if we went to a restaurant we would be expected to order at least two courses, so we decided to go to town in search of a café where we could order less. Walking to town with Barb, John, Pauline and Steve, we found a café at which we could order a full meal, a salad, or a “snack.” Nick ordered a seafood salad. Rather than seafood covered in mayo, it was a large green salad topped with shrimp and smoked salmon. I had another Croque Monsieur (ham and cheese sandwich) with a side salad. It was great fun getting to know our dinner companions.