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Paris > Loire Valley > Provence - Transportation?

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Hi all,

We are planning to spend a night or two in Amboise, Loire Valley after staying in Paris and before goint to Provence. My question is that, should we take TGV to Loire Valley and rent a car there, and drop it off before we head over to Avignon via TGV train; or, should we rent a car while still in Paris and drive to Loire Valley and drop the car off there before taking a TGV train to Avignon? Any better way? If it helps, we are interested in seeing Chambord and Chenonceau chateaus.

We would appreciate any suggestions.

P.S. We will carry 2 full size suitcases as well as carry-on bags. Will it be very hard getting in-out of trains and finding storage on trains? If taking train is very inconvenient, we can also keep the car and drive to Avignon.

Thank you!

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