Day 29 The Chateau and A.J’s Doppelganger

Day 29- November 2nd- Belfort to Sacy-le-Petit and then Paris…. Okay so we left the IBIS Budget ASAP and hit the road towards Sacy-le-Petit where the chateau is.  Now to say that I was nervous is an understatement!  Yet again, this trip has forced us to step out of our comfort zone…and this was stepping out BIGTIME!  The way that we discovered this chateau was on the WOOFing website.  We wanted to do a farm-stay in France in December.  When it came down to it we had two choices…a farm north of Nice with an 11 year old boy…or an historic chateau 45 north of Paris.  Of course I wanted to stay at the chateau…but I knew deep down that the farm with an 11 year old boy would be the best for Reid! So we chose the farm in Nice and I let the lady who owns the chateau know that it was not going to work out…somehow though we ended up changing the dates to later in December…and got a gig house sitting instead of farming.  Perfect!  This was going to be over Christmas…what a great place to spend it!!!  So we arranged to meet up at the beginning of November so she could show us around, etc.

So here we were getting ready to head to the chateau, meet this women, and see where we would be spending our Christmas holidays!

So, into the French countryside we go…and go…and go…and go.  We finally get to the chateau…it is gated…it is big…it is old… As we approach, I am somewhat transported back in time…a few hundred years!  The place has a beauty in it’s somewhat state of decay.  We meet the owner Hermine, a very kind, eccentric, french, and somewhat outspoken women who was not so sure about us!  First of all, she thought that we were going to be staying a couple of nights with heron this visit (which we were not) and that did not sit well with her.  She basically told us that it was not going to be possible for us to house sit for her, because she would not have enough time to show us what to do.  She invited us to tea (she had a WOOFer staying with her who made some cake) and we all sat down to tea together.  As we talked, I think she began to take a liking to us.  She told us that she would at least show us around… and as we walked around and talked…I think she changed her mind about us!  At the end she even kissed us goodbye!

Even as we left, we were not sure if we were going to stay.  She needed to check on her husband…etc… and we needed to decide if we wanted to stay in the French countryside in a beautiful, if a bit rundown chateau… I have taken to calling it the haunted chateau…only because it has the charm, history, and beautiful decay of a haunted house…hopefully without the ghosts!!! But as it turns out, she wants us to come stay, and we have decided that this is a life opportunity that we cannot miss!

Oh and are you wondering what I mean by A.J.’s doppelganger?  Well as most of you may know, I have an amazing aunt…Aunt Justine.  She was married to my mother’s brother and has always been somewhat of an enigma to me!  She was a career woman before that was cool, she is smart, outspoken, quirky, and very independent!  She can make you feel like the most special and amazing person…and yet can make you feel quite the opposite in an instant!

I love to spend time with her, play cards with her, and listen to her stories!  She is a treasure for sure…but quirky!  Hard to explain…I love her and she makes me want to cry all at the same time…it’s complicated!  That is the same feeling I get from Hermine…the owner of the chateau!  She has led an incredible life, is married to a famous poet, and is as interesting and quirky as they come!  I am sure that she can upset and put people off…but I understand her…she is just who she is…direct, unflinching, and yet a very kind person deep down…complicated for sure!

I am sure that we are going to have a very interesting time at the chateau…a once in a lifetime unforgettable one for sure!!