This last week Christopher had a Thursday off. It is always a little weird when you have a day in the middle of the week because you can’t really go too far and you sort of want to relax but who wants to waste a day off work?!? (Though Chris makes a pretty strong argument that hanging around is NOT wasting ha!)
We decided to explore one of the Chateaus that is with in an hours drive of Paris (there are several), Chateau Chantilly.
I am so glad we did! This is hands down the most child friendly chateau I have been to. The kids were in heaven exploring the gardens, maze and play ground.
My only regret of the trip was not bringing sunscreen. I didn’t think about the fact that we would be outside in the hot mid day sun.
I am always floored at the realization that people actually LIVED in these enormous places!
As we strolled around the sculpture garden I felt like Shannon and I should be donning big hoop skirt dresses with corsets, and commented that this is what I imagined Pemberley to be like.
Of all the genres of art Chris and I both appreciate sculpture the most so it was a special treat to be able to share such beautiful examples with the kids in very open and easy going environment.
Finn was a fan of the swans and kept trying to feed them grass, which you could see annoyed the swans ha! He also made several shadow puppets. He requested I take a picture of his snail, which I think was pretty darn good.
We moved on to the river which had stunningly clear water. The kids loved counting the fish and tossing leaves in only to watch them float away.
Shannon was kind enough to take a few pictures of Chloe and I as we lagged behind. It was nice to actually be “present” on this trip ha!
When we crossed the rock bridge I made all the kids go back as I nearly fell in the river trying to get a picture. Totally worth it for all that yummy flare!
It was getting really warm so we took a break for a drink and some treats. Our kids are so funny about treats. They always pick the smarties ice cream just to get the smarties in the stick. They usually end up asking someone to eat the ice cream part! I tried talking them out of it but the allure is just to great.
Next it was through the incredible maze. If you look closely in the pictures you can see that the walls of the maze are actual plants grown and twisted to interweave.
There were several openings through out with fun activities, cut outs to take pictures with or musical instruments to play etc. but the kids favorite by far was the giant dice game at the end.
Once through the maze you are at the playground! I could not get over these wooden bouncy sheep!
After a good amount of play we made the long walk up to see the Kangaroos… yes they have kangaroos. Why, I have no idea but the kids had fun watching them bounce around. Poor Chloe zonked half way through the walk up and her siblings were all dragging so we decided to call it a day and come back and explore the chateau itself during the winter when we want to be indoors.
It’s funny because on the drive there the kids were sort of whining about going and I thought back to when I was a child and my mom, who LOVES to garden, would want to go to the botanical gardens in San Diego. My Dad would load all us grumbling kids up in the car and off we would go. It had’t really truck me before how sweet it was for my dad to take control and make sure my hard working mom got to do something SHE wanted to do every now and again. Chris is the same way. As I mentioned before I am positive he would have preferred to relax and hang out at home on his day off but he knew I wanted to get out with the whole family so he took one for the team and made it happen. I am lucky to have such wonderful men in my life!
PS And just as with our trip to Chantilly, in the end we kids always had such a blast and had to be dragged back home
PPS If you are wondering about the title, growing up my family only listened to oldies music and it is from the oldie but goodie “Chantilly Lace” by the Big Bopper. Whenever I talk about anything “Chantilly” it is the first thing that comes to mind.