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We are an American grandmother and grandfather, with three adult children and their spouses, and six grandchildren aged three to eleven. Altogether the 14 of us visited France for our vacations, and used this wonderful old farmhouse as our “home base” for trips to Paris (1 hour by train), Chartres, the Loire Valley, Normandy, and Rouen. Locally, the City of Dreux (about 6 km drive) has many fine shops in the downtown area, and a wonderful farmers’ morning market. We rented this property from 25/06/2011 to 23/07/2011, a total of four weeks, and during that time we also had several friends stay with us for a few days. It was the absolutely perfect choice for such a large family get-together!
Each of our three children flew in to De Gaulle Airport, rented a car, and drove to this house on their first day. We grandparents had arrived three days earlier to prepare for the arriving larger group. The house was fully capable of supporting this many; there were plenty of linens, beautiful dishes, glasses, beds, and separate bathrooms. The house is large enough that there was no “crowded” feeling—everyone had plenty of room. And a charcoal grille was useful for those warm summer evening dinners. What we did not anticipate was the high level of entertainment that was available right there on the property! For the little kids there is a trampoline, a sandbox, and a playroom full of toys.
In addition to the house itself, there was a spacious storage barn, and an estimated 4 hectares (10 acres) of level field with trees. Right away the older children were on the bicycles, having races from one end of the field to the other! And soon, they had set up a family competition tournament with ladder brackets for the players on the professional-grade tennis court. What fun! I’m sure the neighbors were wondering about all the cheering from the noisy Americans, but it opened up a whole new level of togetherness in our extended family. And then we did the same thing for the fine ping-pong table. The kids still talk about those experiences being better than the traveling. A billiard table was also available, better for use in the winter season.
I must compliment the owner of this house on her flexible business style. She speaks excellent English; she negotiated arrangements in good faith, and was helpful with the few questions that we had about the property. We certainly hope that at some future time we could repeat this experience at the same place!