We spent last weekend in the country driving through the Loire Valley, known for its high concentration of amazing wine and even better castles. Charlotte was hired for an event in the area so we used the occasion to stop by a few châteaux on the trip there and back. Wow.

This is the first of many picture posts of an incredible weekend. This is the Château de Chambord. It’s the largest castle of the hundreds in La Loire, and if you’re wondering what a Renaissance influence looks like, these roofs will teach you. Built in the 16th century by King François I, it served as an enormous hunting lodge built inside an enclosed property as large as the city of Paris. Amazingly, after decades of construction the king spent less than 40 days in the castle before meeting his end.

Just before World War II the Louvre was emptied to protect France’s works of art from the Nazis. Chambord is where pieces like the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo found asylum, after taking possibly the same road trip as us, 70 years earlier.

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