Thursday, July 24, 2008
The weather in Paris for the past few days has been uncharacteristically beautiful - sunny, clear blue skies, and temps hovering around 80F. Too hot for most Parisians who don't seem to have the knack for dressing for warm weather (What's the deal with the knee high leather boots and the trenchcoats? For heaven's sake, it's late July!!) At any rate, it seemed like a good time for a day trip so the kids and I hopped a train out of Gare du Nord for the half hour ride to Chantilly. The town's main gift to the world is crème Chantilly, otherwise known as sweetened whipped cream, said to have been created by François Vatel, maître d'hôtel at the Château de Chantilly some four hundred years ago. Who really knows though? We didn't indulge in any wicked treats and instead enjoyed exploring the relatively small chateau with its impressive art collection and some pretty snazzy, at least by 18th century standards, stables which house a horse museum. The latter was a big hit and although the dressage demonstration was entirely in French, the points got across. A picnic on the grounds, a visit to the kangaroo enclosure (one step towards recreation of the former menagerie), and a walk around the grounds, and then we were back on the train, home in time for dinner.