France

Hello! I haven’t written on here for a while because I have been away on an epic vacation in France!

If you would like to hear a little bit about my trip, keep reading!

I went to France first and foremost to visit my best friend, the owner of The Hakuna Matata House , a charity organization that I hold near and dear to my heart. My friend’s family owns a beautiful chateau in the Northwest region of France, which is about a 3 hour drive away from Paris. This is my second time visiting my friend at her family’s chateau and I openly refer to it as “my favorite place on earth” because it really is the most heavenly, beautiful, peaceful place I have ever visited.

To give you a little bit of info about the chateau, I share with you a summary of it’s history, written by my friend’s family. They are the most amazing hosts and I am forever grateful to them for allowing me, my mom, and my boyfriend Jay to stay with them at their beautiful chateau.

“Chateau Cerisay was built on the medieval foundation of a fortified chateau, halfway between the

fortresses of Fresnay and of Saint Ceneri. The fortified chateau had seven towers connected by high walls looming over the moat. Two towers, pierced with arrow slits,

defended the entrance by the drawbridge. A well was located in the interior courtyard.

The chateau had been extensively renovated during the Renaissance and the 19th century but one

finds important remains of the ancient castle—a part of the moat, a round tower on the garden (North

side), a part of the East building with the guardroom large, the kitchen with its pavers and its large

chimney, a cellar with its dungeon, the postern next to what had been the drawbridge, and a winding

stone stairway.

In the 15th century, the fortified wall was demolished and the chateau was reconstructed in the

style of the manors of the time: a large rectangular structure capped with a high slate roof with two

sides embellished with gargoyles, mullioned windows, and a stone spiral staircase encased in an

octagonal tower facing the courtyard. The fire back in the living room dates to this era, bearing the

coat of arms of DuMesnil.

At the end of the 19th century, the chateau was again remodeled by the Beaurepos family, under

the direction of the architect Verite. This included the demolition of a tower decorated with ancient

paintings adjoining the East building, demolition of the old chapel and the building of a new chapel in

one of the entry towers, and modification of the stairway tower.”

I took hundreds of photos with my trusty iphone while I was in France, but today I share with you my absolute favorites.

This is a photo of Chateau Cerisay that I took from across the moat.

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Doesn’t it look like something out of a dream?

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This is the bonfire overlooking Chateau Cerisay. We would walk up here after dinner and stay until after dark, listening to music, enjoying great conversation, roasting marshmallows and chocolate (I ate the chocolate, but passed on the marshmallows) and watching the other guests play tether ball and “spike ball” down by the pool. It felt like an amazing adult summer camp, at a castle!

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These are the beautiful tennis courts on the property, a short walk from the castle. I can’t imagine a prettier place to play tennis! (p.s. I’m not very good at tennis, but luckily my boyfriend Jay isn’t either, so our lack of skills made us perfect tennis partners).

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Isn’t the french countryside picturesque? Every time I looked out the window, the scenery reminded me of a gorgeous painting.

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Hope you enjoyed a glimpse into my travels and I apologize that this took so long to post. I will share more photos in the following post!

Be well!

Lizzie

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