“American Hooligans Invade Château de Chenonceau”

A French pique-nique underway!

Ok, so we weren’t really that mischievious after all. The guards were closing the chateau grounds – to the public – at a certain hour early on in the evening; we planned to hide in the woods as they patrolled the property for stragglers. Later on that night, they returned to open the property to the public for a summer evening concert / laser light show.

Our plan was simple – get caught and claim that we are clueless American tourists.

Sure enough, the guards cleared the property and we had the place to ourselves for a few hours. This set the party atmosphere for our special French pique-nique.

“Painting at Château de Chenonceau”, 2003, Photo by Monica Laird
Vicky & Gary get the party going early ; some of us are still working.

“French pique-nique at Château de Cenonceau”, 2003, Photo by Robert Leedy
Vicky, Gary & Monica open a bottle of Chinon for a special toast.

“Party at Château de Chenonceau”, 2003, Photo by Vicky Pagán
Drawing finished, Robert joins the party.

We stayed on until dark. Actually, we couldn’t leave anyway – the gates were closed. The chateau was gorgeous at night. The French are great at arranging theatrical light shows with concerts. People came back on to the property – we were no longer alone. The music was Medieval, if my memory serves me right. The mood was really cool. Here we were ending a wonderful day of painting, chateau-hopping, and pique–niquing! And sipping a nice Chinon. It was magical and I’m sure it will be a great, life-long memory for all of us.

“Château Chenonceau at Night”, 2003, Photo by Robert Leedy
The “bridge” part of the chateau was a later addition. Today the long hallway across the river serves as an art gallery space for public and private showings.

View Robert’s drawing of Château de Chenonceau .

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