After three days in Paris, we're ready to visit the countryside! Three days in the Loire Valley, visiting grand châteaux oughta do the heart good. Starting with Château de Chambord, we're setting the bar pretty high.
The girls are impressed with their first "real" castle. Though the audio tour did teach them that it wasn't ever used for defense purposes, seeing a king's "humble" (ha!) hunting lodge is still pretty magnificent. The winner of the entire castle was the grand staircase. It is a double-helix (designed by Leonardo da Vinci), such that two people can go up and down the stairs and never cross each other's paths. I'm sure generations of children have gotten a kick out of this, as did Ellie and Addie. They insisted that we couldn't all take the same path up or down. When visiting a château with a grand double helix staircase, there are rules to be met!
When Addie and I exited the staircase on the rooftop of the château, Addie squealed with delight, ran over to the edge and exclaimed, "I. AM. ON. THE. ROOF. OF. A. CASTLE!!!!! I can NOT believe it!" and followed this statement with a little happy dance. Or two. Or three.