It was 18 years ago that we spent our second afternoon touring around with a French real estate agent looking at houses for sale to see if we could find one that was affordable and that we might want to live in one day. We didn't really have a plan to leave California and move to France. We were just exploring the options. We had struck out the day before. Actually, this was the first house we saw that seemed like the right kind of place... almost.
The house came with too much land — bare land — nearly 2½ acres (presque un hectare) of it. I don't think the horses were included in the sale package. The house was too exposed. We wanted privacy. It was also very close to a rail line, so if you lived there you'd have to get used to hearing trains day and night. Both passenger and freight trains run on the line, with runs from Tours in the Loire Valley to the major city of Lyon in the Rhône Valley. There seems to be a retail bakery right across the road from the house now, but I'm not sure it was there 18 years ago. The building was operated as a bakery, but the breads and pastries made there were sold in open-air markets all around the area.
The interior was not bad. It was obviously a new house. The kitchen was very modern and fully equipped, but it showed signs of wear — burn marks on countertops, for example. I think there were four bedrooms, three of them upstairs in a converted attic. One was on one end of the house, and the two others on the other end. You had do walk through one of those to get to the other. Again, no privacy. I don't remember how big they were. And I don't remember if there was more than one bathroom. We had to keep looking.