Thank you all for your continued help as I've found this forum to be immensely helpful with previous trips.
My wife and I are in the very early initial planning stages of a trip to France for the beginning of March 2017. We have traveled to Europe twice during this time of year during the past 2 years (Italy in 2015 and Ireland/Spain in 2016) and enjoy it for the relative lack of crowds and lower prices albeit chillier weather. Venice/Florence have been my our favorite cities so far. Do not mind renting car if needed to get where we want to go, however would not mind minimizing car travel (drove in Ireland; found it draining and somewhat stressful; however this was with steering wheel on right side and driving directions switched from what it is in America). We would be spending 12-13 nights (excluding the overnight flight in). Our interests include walking around nice towns, people watching, architecture, churches, finding small cafes / squares to relax and drink coffee/wine in, art (we are not huge museum buffs; will see the Louvre and maybe 1-2 others on our stay but we by no means need to see it all). Would like to take a cooking class. Really would like to minimize hopping around and too many transitions. My initial thoughts (based on not a ton of research) are:
Arrive in AM
Paris x 4-5 nights
Loire Valley x 3 nights
Normandy Region x 3 nights
Return to Paris x 1 night
Flight back to USA
Would Loire / Normandy be active at this time of year or would we find them to be too sleepy to sustain 3 nights a piece? Are there other regions that would be more suitable? Should we abandon the North and head South? Thanks for all your help as always.