today i survived the longest bicycle ride of my life. in 39 degree weather and with the wind against us the entire way (i am in no way dramatizing the experience) we biked 30 kilometers — 18 miles — to the "nearby" villandry château. and, though in the midst of the biking i never thought i would say this, it was worth it. so, so, so worth it. these gardens were among the most beautiful things i have ever seen. thus although these pictures are not particularly related to design, i just have to share with you a few of the more beautiful moments of my big adventure.
this trip made me realize my love of moats. how awesome is this? turquoise water, limestone architecture, and perfect green gardens meant i was in heaven.
a tree-lined reflecting pool beyond the balustrade. take me back (but preferably not by bike!).
these intricate low box hedges remind me of the queen of hearts scene in alice in wonderland. (anyone else?) topiaries everywhere, heart-shaped hedges in time for valentine's day... somehow the 18 miles were worth it.
no time to sit and reminisce, however. i'm off to blois and chenonceau (with a stop at a local chocolaterie!) with the bucknell group bright and early tomorrow morning. and so after a seemingly endless bike ride, it's back on the bus (not the one above, as much as i wish it were!) for me... wishing all of you an equally adventurous (though perhaps not as exhausting!) weekend wherever you may be! i'll be back monday with more desks du jour and plenty of other pretty things. à bientôt!