Monday, July 16, 2018

Saturday: Plein Air Painting at Moret sur Loing and Bastille Day Celebrations at the Chateau de Vaux Le Vicomte

After loading the van with easels and paints and canvases and picnic baskets, we had great aspirations to paint at the river side in Moret sur Loing, reenacting the impressionists' painting days. What a memory to go home with, and hopefully we'd have sweet paintings to capture the moment.

We had ice cream instead. We left Kippy to be the lone dedicated artist. With our huge ice cream cones, the rest of us roamed through winding neighborhoods where the locals were preparing for their Bastille Day celebrations. Tents and loudspeakers were being set up, bands were preparing their stages, locals were arriving with their coolers. A couple of hours later we made it back to the river, where Kippy was still painting, and we set up a picnic table for our dinner. We sipped wine and gobbled down our pasta salad and tomatoes tossed with olive oil and basil, tabouli and cheese, cleaned up our area, loaded the van and headed out to the Chateau de Vaux Le Vicomte for the candlelit tour and Bastille Day fireworks.

The chateau was breathtaking with hundreds of candles illuminating every window. We roamed through crowded rooms, listening to the audiophones (or whatever you call those things) and imagined the lifestyle in the 17th century. Most of us made it out to the back patio overlooking the formal gardens for the fireworks display; I squeezed through the door at the last minute, while Meg, Sophie and Kathy were stuck inside, having to watch the display from the great room.

We had an adventurous ride going home, with our rented van giving us alarming noises and lights; we made a few frantic phone calls, drove through little village after little village, roundabout after roundabout, trying to avoid the autoroute, got 'home' around 1:00 p.m. and went straight to bed.

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