Saturday, July 04, 2009

Chateau Getaway Begins!

Well, we've arrived at Chateau Dumas and all is well! I spent the day Saturday meeting everyone in Toulouse and then we drove the hour north to the small town of Auty. Waiting at the airport, I spotted a few of the women right off - Cheryl and Sandy from Moda, a great old friend Cathy from Santa Barbara and a couple of gals who had taken a workshop at French General years ago. Everyone else who walked off the plane spotted me and soon we had our whole group - not one missed flight or connection - just a lost luggage that still has yet to be found! Chateau Dumas is everything you imagine a 17th century chateau to be.....grand, old rooms appointed with period antiques in the foyer and comfortable couches in the sitting room, oversized windows with pale blue shutters and lavender everywhere. Each bedroom has its own personality - some with great views of the lake and others with a view of the coach house. Chateau Dumas was originally built in the thirteenth century and was burned to the foundation during the French Revolution. It was rebuilt on the original footprint in the late nineteenth century. The Baron, who owned the Chateau, was a card enthusiast who continually gambled away the local farms he owned. His wife would then repurchase them the following days.
Our first meal together was shared outside on the veranda overlooking the local farms - fields of grapes, wheat and sunflowers. We sat down for a hand cooked meal prepared by Mamajo - Lizzie's mum - the resident chef.  Plenty of local wine to ease into a good night's rest. An early night to bed - tomorrow we are up at the crack of dawn for a trip to the St. Antonin flea market and then down to Toulouse to my favorite flea market. Bonsoir!