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Trip Report yk's Trip Report to Loire Valley & Paris (inclu lots of good food, a gorgeous chateau wedding, and barely survived the strike in Paris!)

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Hi Fodorites-

We just returned from a wonderful trip to France (October 11-20, 2007). The main reason to go was to attend our friends' wedding in the Loire Valley. Our itinerary was as follows:

Oct 11-13 Wedding
Oct 14-17 Loire Valley
Oct 18-20 Paris (during the strike)

Who "we" are?
Some of you may have read my trip reports before. Anyway, on this trip, "we" are myself and DH, both in our 30s. My parents (60s & 70s) joined us from Oct 14 onward. In Paris, my parents did their own sightseeing.
[My parents actually flew to Brussels the week before and they traveled on their own in Belgium, Luxembourg, Nancy and then to the Loire.]

All 4 of us have been to Paris before, with Dad having been the most times. Mom, Dad and I visited briefly to the Loire Valley (mainly Blois) in the early 80s. I myself revisited the Loire Valley (using public transport) in the early 90s. This is DH's first time to the Loire.

Preparation
I read many trip reports here - so thanks to all who have posted them.

The main preparation I did was reading a few books about the history of the Loire before the trip. Thanks to those who replied to my thread
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2&tid=35068574

I read Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Loire Valley section of Ina Caro's The Road from the Past, and part of Diane Haeger's Courtesan (about François I, Henri II, Diane de Poitiers, and Catherine de Medici).

Weather
We were lucky to have sunny weather almost everyday. We had rain one morning. The first half of the trip temps were 50s-60s, the second half was cooler, 40s-50s. I get cold easily, so on the 2nd half of the trip, I had wool gloves, scarf and wool hat on.

-----------------------------

Okay, instead of my usual trip report format (day-to-day account), this time I'll list it by several headings:
Where we stayed
What we did
What/Where we ate
The Wedding
The Strike
Driving in France

I possibly will come up with a few more as I go on...

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