Chateau Carrouges

February 28, 2011

What a happy weekend. It was very rainy, but we did lots of exploring in our van anyway. We went to Rouen and saw the site where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. And we stopped at Ikea to pick up a high chair.

On Sunday, we went to church. Our Mormon congregation here is teeny tiny — fifteen people not counting our family. And I have to say, I was delighted to realize how much of the Sunday School lesson (which was taught in French) that I understood.

The drive to church could not be more picturesque. In fact, every time we get in the car to go anywhere I am stunned by the beauty of the countryside. Rolling hills, meandering rivers, picturesque farms, manor houses and cathedrals off in the distance.

This building is at the entrance to the grounds of a castle, Chateau Carrouges, about 15 minutes from our house. We were driving by on our way home from church and decided to stop and check it out. Open grounds and we had the place absolutely to ourselves. Such a treat!

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 christy February 28, 2011 at 6:48 am

I hope you’re making a blog book (like from blurb or something) about all your France posts for your family – what a keepsake that would be. I have one from my first year of blogging and I LOVE it. My mom has one too and she loves it. That reminds me, I need to get started (and finish!) my 2010 book pronto!!!

Lovely photos, as usual!


2 Shannon February 28, 2011 at 7:16 am

“We went to Rouen and saw the site where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. And we stopped at Ikea to pick up a high chair.” – This is such an odd and delightful juxtaposition of sentences (and centuries). Happy adventures to you!


3 Ashlea Walter February 28, 2011 at 10:27 am

ha ha ha, I was thinking the same exact thing when I read it!


4 bdaiss February 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Make that “Me three!” Love it!


5 Haley March 2, 2011 at 10:13 am

i was also going to comment…I feel like only in Europe can one see both the site of a historical burning, AND hit up IKEA….oh how I miss it so… :) I once, saw the site of Hitler’s bunker and then bought a skirt from H&M…


6 Haley March 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

i was also going to comment…I feel like only in Europe can one see both the site of a historical burning, AND hit up IKEA….oh how I miss it so… :) I once saw the site of Hitler’s bunker and then bought a skirt from H&M…


7 JoLyn February 28, 2011 at 7:28 am

Your new little branch must be thrilled to have the eight of you! Thanks for sharing!


8 Erin February 28, 2011 at 7:51 am

I love that Joan of Arc and Ikea are referenced in the same sentence. Only in France… the full-spectrum of cultural experience! How fun!


9 Anna Lewis February 28, 2011 at 8:06 am

Aren’t Ikea high chairs the BEST! Such a streamlined design and so easy to clean. They also have some of the best baby spoons around, if you need any. :)


10 Jenni February 28, 2011 at 8:43 am

How spectacular. I am SO enjoying living vicariously through your family’s adventures. Thank you for sharing them.


11 Cindy J February 28, 2011 at 8:45 am

Great post, but now I have so many questions. I’ll start with three:

How did the kids feel about church in French?
Did the branch have to organize a Primary now that you have arrived or are some of the 15 members kids?
Do you anticipate the title of Primary President in your near future?



12 Kristin February 28, 2011 at 9:22 am

Please do share more church experiences. I’m sure the Branch President’s mouth was watering when the eight of you streamed in : )


13 sara February 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

Just WOW. And yes, your Branch President is probably over the moon right now – be prepared for callings ASAP :) And Ikea highchairs are the bomb – we have 2.


14 sarah February 28, 2011 at 11:48 am

amazing that you had a castle grounds to your selves:) viva la France:)


15 Bettijo @ Paging Supermom February 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

What a lovely castle. I’m trying so hard not to be green with envy!!


16 Monica February 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I love that you almost doubled the size of your little Branch. I bet the Primary President is stoked! :)

We lived in Italy for a few years when I was a kid and I remember many a drive where we would randomly happen upon a church or castle and my mom would make us get out and tour around. We, being punk kids, would whine about “another old church” but now, of course, I’m thankful for all I got to experience while living there. :)


17 bdaiss February 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Sounds like a wonderfully delightful weekend – no matter the weather. And what a fabulous photo as well.


18 Michelle Glauser February 28, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Yay for small congregations! And I bet they’re excited to have you!


19 Marianne Firth February 28, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I am living vicariously through you all as you spend your year abroad. We love France, and in fact, our last visit there was a weekend in Rouen. I hope you got to see “Monet’s” cathedral. If you aren’t too far away, you need to plan to go back this summer for their ‘Les Nuits Impressionnistes’ festival at the Musée des Beaux Arts. It’s something we plan to go back for one day.


20 kelly stewart February 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Oh Gabby,

Looking at this adventure is wonderful and you are only at the beginning! Glad you found the church. Like all other wards you have been in, they will not want to ever let you go!

Love your family!


21 Holly February 28, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Love the detail in the brickwork.


22 Kristen Duke February 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm

i LOVE the window panes outline on that chateau…red! Wow, 15 people in a branch, I bet they were happy to have you join them!


23 Erin February 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

I am loving reading your adventures in France and living vicariously through you.


24 Damaris @Kitchen Corners February 28, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Did Ben Blair get called to be bishop yet? Small wards are my favorite. How far was the church from your house?


25 Bridgette February 28, 2011 at 10:41 pm

You may never come back;)


26 nikki February 28, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Gosh, your kids look right at home in that picture! How lovely!


27 the emily February 28, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Do you know what mission you’re in? I have a cousin in the Paris mission and my uncle and aunt are serving in Tolouse(?–if that’s how you spell it). I had no idea the congregations were so small! Do they even have a primary?


28 Gandhali March 1, 2011 at 12:34 am

Wow, how beautiful! I live in New Zealand, so I’m used to rolling hills, sheep, and beautiful landscapes, but not castles! :)


29 Staci March 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm

So gorgeous! I’m sure your cute family will breath new life into that little ward. So awesome!


30 Lori March 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Oh, that photo is so stunning!

I had been curious about your new ward/branch. I’ve never been to one that small, do you love it? Also wondering how far a drive it is. Please share your callings if you get a chance!


31 Stephanie P March 2, 2011 at 9:04 pm

When I was young we moved to Iowa for 5 years. My Dad was called to be the branch President before the rest of us even got there. A few weeks after we moved in my mom became the Young Women’s President and ward chorister and each of us kids were the President’s of our classes. There are amazing experiences that I cherish from that time.


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