You'll have to forgive me for confusing two of the Dordogne châteaux. It's a wonder I have any clear memories at all of that first half of 2006. In early March, we had friends here from California. We were busy, out sightseeing, driving all around, going out for meals. The day our friends (Chris and Tony) left, our dog Collette had a severe stroke. She was completely paralyzed on one side and could only walk in circles. She died about 36 hours later.
By the way, I'm decorating this post with some more photos that I took in the Dordogne in 2006. The day after the dog died, other California friends, Susan and Ray arrived to spend a week with us. We were again very busy, running here and driving there, sightseeing, and eating in restaurants. It was good for us, because if we'd been alone we would have had time to realize how empty and lonely the house felt without poor Collette, who had lived with us for nearly 14 years.
When Susan and Ray left, we decided it was time to get away from the house and Saint-Aignan for a spell. We rented that apartment in Paris that I've blogged about recently and we spent a week walking the streets of the city. It was therapeutic. At the end of that week, our friend Sue was arriving in Paris and planned to come spend three months with us. We met her at the airport and we three took the train back to Saint-Aignan.
Not long after that, we had more visitors from the U.S. It was Evelyn and Lewis, and two friends of ours from Normandy, Marie and Florence, also came to visit. They all stayed in a chambre d'hôtes just down the road, and all of us again were busy driving all over the countryside, eating in restaurants, seeing châteaux and churches. Right after they left, Sue, Walt and I went to the Dordogne for 5 days.
It would continue that way into May. Friends John and Candy from California, as well as one of our closest friends, Sue's cousin Cheryl, came to stay for a week or so. Sue was still here. At the end of that time, we drove up to Paris, where Sue and Cheryl had rented an apartment for a week's stay together, spent a couple of days and nights there in a hotel, walking around the city, eating in restaurants, going to French Open tennis matches.
By then it was late May and it was time for us to get the vegetable garden planted. In the middle of all this, we had major excavation work done to get our house connected to the village's new sewer system. In mid-June, Walt, Sue, and I took a quick trip to see the Mont Saint-Michel, a four or five hour drive from Saint-Aignan. We stayed in hotels.
In late June, we drove Sue back to the airport north of Paris for her return to California. Read this post on my blog for a taste of the kinds of adventures we had that evening. We finally arrived a couple of hours late at CHM's, where we were going to spend the night before driving back home. Finally, in July, CHM came to Saint-Aignan for a week, maybe two, and he and I, and sometimes Walt, toured all around the region by car. I put more miles (kilometers) on the car in that one five-month period than in any other whole year since we've lived here.