Our last day in France went a little off script. The last farm we were supposed to visit was a lot further away than we originally thought, and the opposite direction of Paris, where we had to catch a train that evening. Given the drive, we thought that heading over there would be cutting it uncomfortably close timing wise to make our train, so we opted to hit a couple local tack shops instead. Just… you know… to browse…
The first one we went into was one that we just happened to drive past on the way out of town. It was more high end, and there was nothing in there that I really just had to have. When we got back in the car I googled for more tack shops and found another one just a half mile away, Equip’horse. Don’t mind if we do! That one had a little bit of everything – a custom saddler, barn supplies, tack, clothing, outbuildings, etc. A total one stop shop, and it had some more unique items I hadn’t seen yet, and good prices.
The guy working in the store that came up to help us spoke English (which was good, since the only thing I mastered in our 3 days in France was how to say “I don’t speak French”) and he seemed oddly fascinated by us and by Texas. This was kind of a common theme when someone asked where we were from. “Ah, Tex-asss, what is it like?”. The guy at the tack shop literally offered to trade places with me and go live in Texas and me stay in France. Bonkers.
It was a pretty cool store, having everything you could possibly need right there in one place. It was like if Tractor Supply was geared towards english riding and only had horse stuff. Out in the parking lot they had arena drags and fence materials (all wood, naturally, no t-posts to be found) and sheds. There was one in particular that caught our eye enough to walk over and take pictures of it. It was a double sided shelter, with an area in the middle to put a round bale or two that horses could access from each side. I think I’d like it more if the back was open, so horses didn’t get trapped in the back, but it was a cool concept I haven’t seen before. The hay is protected in it’s center area.
I did not escape the store totally unscathed, but we were worried about our baggage weight limitations (and uh… we’d already had to buy another bag to put all the Burghley purchases in) so we kept it to small things.
It was all cheap, and it all stuffed into my existing bags, so… I’m gonna say none of it counts. I will have to do a post with all the stuff I bought between France and Burghley and go through it more in depth, but that’ll have to wait.
After we left that tack shop we headed back to Paris, and our nav system happened to take us right through that super ridiculous giant roundabout around AdT. It was total chaos and pandemonium. Cars everywhere. Everyone going in a different direction. It was hilarious. Could not stop laughing.
From there we took the chunnel train back to London, then walked to our hotel for the night. Getting all our bags up the extremely steep and narrow stairs was like 3 days worth of cardio in and of itself. That was perhaps the only fleeting moment where I might have regretted all the Burghley purchases. The next morning we took the Underground to Victoria Station, then went up and got on another train line to Gatwick airport. I think the biggest accomplishment of the entire trip is how many trains we had to take, yet never once got lost. Small miracles.
Yesterday was long, between the trains and all the airport check in and security, and then a 10 hour flight home, customs, waiting for bags, driving home at rush hour, etc. I forgot how god awful hot it was here, and I was already regretting my choice to come back before we’d even made it off the shuttle to get to my truck. It’s not any cooler than it was when we left. Gross. Texas does have one thing going for it that Europe can’t match though…
Mexican food. Which was our first stop, naturally.
Although I have mixed feelings about being home, I am really pumped to go see my boys today. Almost two weeks is a long time to be without them. We’ll see how Presto’s foot is looking and make a decision next week about whether or not he’s going to Championships. Plus of course I get to try all of their new stuff on them. Won’t they be so excited?
This trip was a complete blast, and we got to do and see a little bit of everything. I have at least one more recap post I want to do, plus Michelle is going to upload all the nice pictures off of her camera, so stay tuned.