My husband and I are close to retirement, and we are fortunate to live in the scenic town of Wimberley, Texas, USA. We have called Central Texas home since 1971. Both of us returned to college in our 40's, and graduated from University of Texas at Austin. We have 5 grown children, and 10 precious grandchildren, all living within an hour's drive of our home. After traveling to Europe several times, our dream is to retire in France someday. My husband and I love art, dancing and live music, which is abundant in Central Texas. Our dog, Cognac, is a Briard, which is a French herding and guarding breed. We love all things French and have found the French people to be extremely friendly and generous, including in Paris.
Debi Hill purchased this house in 2006
'Love at first sight' inspired us to purchase Maison Kismet. We looked throughout France to find a home that was full of character, was located where our family could enjoy natural amenities and historic sites, and was enjoyable year-round. We wanted a home that would be comfortable for our retirement. When we saw Maison Kismet, we knew we had found a home that met all our hopes and expectations. Once we purchased the house, we were amazed by the kindness and generosity of the residents. The local hardware store owner came to our home to meet us and to offer us the ability to bring down the bits and pieces we needed just to make sure they were the right ones before we paid for them. The staff of the Marie's office were exceptionally helpful and told us how much they were glad to have Americans in the town. The garden was landscaped to show the best of each season, and the courtyard proved to be an marvelous spot for having coffee each morning and dining al fresco. We found wonderful French furniture so that you step into another age and time when you enter Maison Kismet. It's easy to access the highway and at the same time, it's far enough away that you do not realize it's so close. Bordeaux and LaRochelle are each an hour away. Flying to other parts of Europe and to the UK are inexpensive from LaRochelle, and flying internationally is convenient from Bordeaux...not to mention visiting some of the world's best vineyards. The area itself is not as well-known as others and therefore, less crowded. In fact, it's considered one of France's best kept secrets. Walking the promenade along the beach near sunset...visiting the sights of great historic significance, driving to Spain in only two hours, through the breathtaking Pyranees Mountains, stopping near a clear stream for a picnic. En route from Paris, the Loire Valley chateaux astounded us with their phenomenal architecture. It's a place for savoring each moment in the way that the French do so well.
Maison Kismet offers the charm of an earlier age with the convenience of modernity. Each room is appointed with furnishings that are both comfortable and that reflect the age of the house. As you enter the foyer, you are instantly transplanted in time. Sink into the couch in the salon, which opens to the walled garden, and has a view of the chateau de ville, just across the street. In winters, the flaming fireplace provides physical and emotional warmth. The sunny kitchens are equipped for preparing the simplest to the most complex meals, which can be enjoyed al fresco in the courtyard just outside the rose festooned door. Enchanting bedrooms await up the stairs, with carved headboards and comfortable beds fitted with high quality linens. You'll be happily surprised by the spacious, updated bath and shower room featuring a soaking tub, separate shower and vanity. The WC is in a completely separate room. By the way, there is a full half-bath downstairs, too. In the mornings, you'll head up the street for some of the delectable breads made by the Artisan baker - just right with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Go to different towns for the daily fresh markets or visit the night markets for music and dancing. Have coffee or wine at a cafe on the centre de ville. On Sundays, shop the brocantes for your souvenirs. During the summer, there are occasional horse races in the hippodrome, within walking distance of the house. Whether visiting historic sights such as the Gallo-Roman am phi-theatre in Saintes, tasting Cognac in the city of Cognac, visiting the old port of LaRochelle, or just relaxing by the beach, this area offers activities and fascinating historic venues for people of all ages and interests. Several restaurants are just a stroll away from Maison Kismet, as is the community pool. To 'stay in touch,' there's wireless internet. A bottle of wine, cheese and a baguette welcome you to Maison Kismet to begin your holiday with the French 'joie de vivre.'