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Our first night, we stayed at La Grande Maison, near Saumur. What a place!
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Our room
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Fellow guest, historian Alex
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The house had its own standing stone.
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Nick in the garden
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We got a meal with wine tasting included.
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The old pigeon house is used for wine tastings.
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The system of underground caves and cellars runs under the house and all the way into the next town!
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Breakfast at La Grande Maison and the market in Saumur
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We bought our year's garlic from this seller.
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And organic tomatoes here for preserves!
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This is a supermarket display in Saumur
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Fête du Pain in St-Père-en-Retz
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A cute reveller
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The castle in Pornic
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A volley ball player
Our friends' lovely farmhouse in Bazoges, where we've spent many happy summers, including this one
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Lumière du Marais was a music and firework spectacular retracing the 1,000 years of the history of the abbey.
We followed the spooky monks into the abbey and watched the spectacle.
At the labyrinth. This is the last photo taken with my beloved camera before it crashed to the ground and broke.
One of the first photos taken with the new, replacement camera
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Trying out the new camera
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Garden pears were preserved in wine.
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A market seller in Fontenay
The woman who sold us our apricots for jam in Challans. Sunset on the beach. Baskets on display
The market in Challans, a riverside picnic and another market seller.
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Advertising in France never looked so good. Sexy man with glasses, the Vendée heart, and a poster for the Catholic church
Some of our exciting food back at the farmhouse
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Interesting light, Nick playing Frisbee, and looking at bats in the garden
This woman entertained us with stories of fairies and giants beside the streams and water mills at L'Aubonniere, near Chaillé-sur-les-Ormeaux.
We always see at least one bride and groom in France on our holidays.
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Sunset photography. We had the beach to ourselves!
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Scenes from the market, a lake we weren't allowed to swim in, and playing Backpacker, a card game we love (George has the coveted penguin card).
An ancient church near the Mervent forest
Great macaroons are to be had here!
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Read about Salt Boy here.
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On our way to Noirmoutier. You can cross the causway at low tide.
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We found a food market at Fromentine
Vouvent, sunrise in the garden, and making sun-dried tomatoes.
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Ben Cohen
Ben Cohen has nothing to do with Clisson - just a nice photo.
The streets of Niort are guarded by a dragon.
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Getting plums for jam could be dangerous!
Back home with all the preserves we made.

Click HERE to see our 2007 trip to the Vendée
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