From the flower market on Île de la Cité to Le Tour Eiffel peaking through the trees to the irises at a bed and breakfast in Amboise to pink tulips in the garden at Chenonceau and its wisteria covered cottage to a colorful array of tulips behind Notre Dame to touches of color at Villandry to the spring green of the cloisters at Mont Saint-Michel and, finally, to the sacred grounds of Normandy.
Wind ‘n’ Sea Beach watching the sunset. I grew up in La Jolla and as a junior in college lived in a tiny apartment directly across from this famous surfing beach.
A must purchase every time I visit France is a few of the J Carlton miniatures of Paris and Provence. On each trip, a few of the charming and very accurately detailed buildings and figures have found their way home in my suitcase.
The majority were purchased at a favorite shop on Île Saint-Louis but I found a lovely shop near the Opera Garnier as well. You can see me in this picture bending over examining my next purchase with the store clerk. I have to take a list with me to ensure I don’t buy the same ones twice.
Enjoy this video of my entire collection. Now if I could just shrink myself down to about an 1/8th of an inch high, I could visit Paris or Provence as my pleasure.
A December day, Nearly Christmas. I was traveling with a friend and her seniors group. The weather casters on the news said it was the coldest December in forty years. Two inches of snow had fallen in Marseille! We had done the Riviera wrapped in layers and with newly purchased hats and scarfs and gloves. The night before we had almost frozen our toes off walking in open toed heels back from the Metro to our hotel near La Defense after seeing the ballet at the Opera Garnier. In the morning, everyone else was still snuggled in bed, but I hadn’t had my Tour Eiffel fix. So I walked there by myself. I was surprised to find no one in the ticket line. Even more surprised to find no wait at the elevators and only a patron or two on the ride up. As I slowly circled the top, identifying each Paris landmark below, I suddenly discovered why I was almost alone. The iconic landmark shuddered under my feet and began to perceptibly sway in the winter gale. I reminded myself of all the years it had stood strong while chicken-heartedly beating a path back to the elevators. Sometimes the only thing you really need to bring back from France is a memory.
My collection of Quimper china comes from the Quimper factory, from Paris flea markets, from eBay, and even matching petite dejeuner platters from my ancestral home in Maine, a gift from my beloved Aunt Midge. I loved seeing the artists at work in the Quimper factory. Amazing how each of their marvelous patterns is created with only single brush strokes.
Adding just the right ambiance to my table setting is the delightful musical petite poupée I bought at my favorite boutique on Île Saint–Louis.
And speaking of La Vie en Rose, here is my daughter’s recording of the Edith Piaf classic which was played to her guests’ delight for the last dance at her wedding (click below to play).