So Blue at the Château de Fontainebleau

Dress ~ Miss Candyfloss
Hair Flowers ~ Shazam Hair Flowers
Brooch ~ Vintage
Shoes ~ Soft Spots

For our second stop on our “Weekend of Châteaus” we traveled about an hour south of Paris to the Château de Fontainebleau. I have been wanting to see this Palace since our first trip to France, and honestly I have no idea why we haven’t made it there before this. I suppose with so many wonderful things to see in France it’s hard to choose what to see.

Unfortunately several of the rooms were closed and they were doing a lot of reconstruction during our visit, which means there were so many more people going through the same rooms as us. We were not able to get as many photos and see as many things as we wanted, so I guess we’ll just have to go back at another time. I suppose that I can make that sacrifice for you 🙂

I recently received this dress to review from Miss Candyfloss, it’s part of their new Housewife Collection, and I am in love with it.

I’m a sucker for a shirtwaist dress, and this one has such a darling silhouette and details that I couldn’t pass it up. The fit is perfect and it’s a good weight, not to light not to heavy. I really like the little buttons on the sleeves and the slight peter pan collar give is that feminine touch.

I really love the combination of blue and yellow and I had planned to find some yellow shoes to go with this outfit, but alas I didn’t find what I was looking for before our trip. So the yellow flowers will have to be enough. The dress does come with a matching belt, but I liked the way a small white belt looks with it.

 

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Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte

Dress ~ The House of Foxy
Shoes ~ Rocket Originals

Living so close to France (about 45 minutes to the French border), we are fortunate enough to be able to travel to some of the most amazing places in France. For the 4th of July weekend, we decided to see two chateaus we’ve not yet been to and of course visit Disneyland Paris again.

There are a number of châteaus in the Île-de-France region, and we will certianly be visiting more in the future. But for this trip we decided on Vaux-le-Vicomte and Fontainebleau (stay tuned for that post). See below for a short history of this château.

A little history about the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte…

It was constructed from 1658 to 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, the superintendent of finances for King Louis XIV. He was young, 26, and very ambitious, and the king was quite suspicious of this. At the inauguration of Vaux-le-Vicomte in 1661, a Molière play was performed, along with a dinner event to include the King himself, as well as an impressive firework show.

However the celebration had proven to been far too impressive and the superintendent’s home too luxurious. Fouquet’s intentions were to flatter the king: part of Vaux-le-Vicomte was actually constructed specifically for the king, but Fouquet’s plan backfired.

Shortly after the fête, Nicolas Fouquet was arrested by the famous d’Artgnan, lieutenant of the king’s musketeers, and placed in prison. This is due in part to the fact that Jean-Baptiste Colbert led the king to believe that his minister’s magnificence was funded by the misappropriation of public funds. Fouquet died in prison in 1680.

It is believed that the magnificence and splendor of decoration was a forerunner of the Palace of Versailles and where he brought together three artists that the King would later take up for Versailles: the architect Louis Le Vau, the painter Charles Le Brun and the garden designer André le Nôtre.

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A New Start in an Old Land

Well I’ve made it to Germany! The trip over was gratefully uneventful. My three dogs travelled with us and they all did very well.

Today we spent the day driving around looking for houses. I fell in love with one in particular, but I’m not certain it will work out, we’ll see. We are determined to find something that suits us perfectly and we have more homes to look at tomorrow.

After a day of driving around we decided to do a bit of touristy sightseeing and we’d heard that there was castle not too far from us. So we headed up to Burg Nanstein, it was close to closing for the day so we just walked around the grounds. We will go back and take a tour some other time.

It was originally built around 1162 as a defense for the state of Palatinate. Then in 1518, German knight Franz von Sickingen acquired the entire castle and immediately began extensive refortification to make the castle suitable for firearms.

Nanstein is well known for an elaborate siege during the Knight’s Revolt in 1523 which claimed the life of von Sickingen. The fall of Nanstein was a symbol for the decline of castles in the Palatinate.

7:18:15 - 4Dress ~ eShakti
Brooch ~ Given to me by a friend
Shoes ~ Softspots

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The Voyage of L’Hermione

We were lucky enough to still be in Baltimore to see this beautiful ship come to to Inner Harbor. I’d heard about the reconstruction of this ship and have been following their voyage on social media. Living in this part of the U.S. has re-awakened my thirst for history, especially about the Revolutionary War. And anytime there is a connection to France I am deeply interested in it.

In 1780 the Hermione, a 12-pounder Concorde class frigate of the French Navy, sailed to the United States from Rochefort, France bringing General Lafayette, and with him the secret news that he had secured French reinforcements for General George Washington, to Boston Massachusets. She then sailed up the coast and was involved in several battles along the way.

After the Revolutionary War in 1782,  she returned to France. After several more battles against the British she she ran aground off Croisic, and was then wrecked by heavy seas on September 20, 1793.

In 1997 a reconstruction project started in Rochefort, France and the new ship is named L’Hermione. In April 2015, a full-size replica of the Hermione frigate started a return voyage to the United States from Rochefort, France. In June 2015 the frigate arrived safely on the American coast.

Click here for more information about the voyage and the ship

“Twenty years ago, a small group dreamed of reconstructing an exact replica of General Lafayette’s 18th-century ship called the Hermione. Today, the majestic vessel is the largest and most authentically built Tall Ship in the last 150 years. The Hermione has set sail in France, launching an adventure that comes to the USA in the summer of 2015 for an unprecedented voyage.”

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What a lovely day in Ellicott City

We spent the afternoon in Historic Ellicott City this past Sunday, as neither of us really cared about the Super Bowl (we did however set the DVR so we could watch the commercials of course). Every time I go to this charming part of Baltimore, I love it more and more. We are always drawn to historic places and love when Main Streets retain the charm of yesteryear.

A brief history and a few interesting facts about Ellicott City from Wikipedia:

  • It was founded by a Quaker family from Pennsylvania in the 1770s, known then as Ellicott Mills for the flour mills, it soon became one of the largest milling and manufacturing towns on the east coast.
  • In 1830, the first Baltimore & Ohio Railroad terminus outside of Baltimore was built. Created from huge blocks of locally quarried granite, it still stands today.  This living history museum and National Historic Landmark is the oldest surviving railroad station in America.
  • In 1958, The Goddess, a film loosely based on Marilyn Monroe’s life, was shot on location in the city.
  • The Ellicott City area was home to the fairy tale-themed amusement park known as the Enchanted Forest. The park has been closed to the general public since the early 1990s, and a shopping center (called the Enchanted Forest Shopping Center) was built on its parking lot. Many of the attractions have been moved to Clark’s Elioak Farm in Ellicott City, where they are being restored. The Enchanted Forest was featured in the 1990 John Waters-directed film Cry-Baby.

Tea on the Tiber

Ellicott City is known for it’s amazing antique and vintage shops and is home to a beautiful Victorian Tea House called Tea on the Tiber. The Tiber Creek runs behind and actually underneath the building. Last year, my friends and I celebrated the season 3 of Downton Abbey with a traditional victorian tea at this charming tea house.

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On May 24, 1830 the first railroad -- drawn by horses -- in the United States arrived in Ellicott City from Baltimore, thirteen miles away. The Baltimore & Ohio station in Ellicott City, pictured here c. 1905, was in continuous use for many years until it was converted into a museum.

On May 24, 1830 the first railroad — drawn by horses — in the United States arrived in Ellicott City from Baltimore, thirteen miles away. The Baltimore & Ohio station in Ellicott City, pictured here c. 1905, was in continuous use for many years until it was converted into a museum.

llicott City is the seat of Howard County government and its principal banking and trading center. Main Street follows a narrow ravine, and some buildings on the south side are constructed over the Tiber Creek. Many of the older homes and stores are made of local granite.

Ellicott City is the seat of Howard County government and its principal banking and trading center. Main Street follows a narrow ravine, and some buildings on the south side are constructed over the Tiber Creek. Many of the older homes and stores are made of local granite.

I found this photo of Dr. Edward and John J. Norton  outside their pharmacy in Ellicott City. I wonder if the actor Edward Norton is related to them, he is from Columbia Maryland......

I found this photo of Dr. Edward and John J. Norton outside their pharmacy in Ellicott City. I wonder if the actor Edward Norton is related to them, he is from Columbia Maryland……

Since it was a bit chilly out I wore my new wool double breasted houndstooth dress with a crepe tie pin tuck blouse underneath for modesty (the neckline is a bit low). I recently changed my hair color and I’m still getting use to it. As I was putting on my lipstick in the morning I realized that I looked a bit like the Black Dahlia!!!!

While my husband was taking these photos, a woman yelled from across the street “Excuse me! Can I take your picture?”, so I said yes and she runs up and starts taking photos of me, saying how great I looked and she loved how I was”dressed up”. During another part of our impromptu photo shoot, someone in a minivan pulled up and the sliding door slams open. A woman in the back seat pulled out her camera and just started snapping away. It’s always a strange feeling when strangers do this. It’s nice to have my efforts recognized and appreciated, but on the other hand I don’t know what these photos will be used for. I do appreciate it when people ask to take my photo as opposed to just doing it. At least that way I can hand them my card so they can refer to who I am and I can talk to them a bit. Anyway, here’s my outfit.

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Doublebreasted houndstooth dress ~ Eshakti
Crepe pin tuck tie blouse ~ Lands End
Vintage hummingbird brooch ~ Etsy
Black & White handbag ~ Target
Mary Jane shoes ~ Hotter
Magnolia hair flower ~ Made by me

We stopped in a cute bistro for lunch before our shopping adventure. The food was’t fantastic, but it was very beautiful, so I took a quick shot before we ate.

Will had the ruben sandwich on a pretzel bun with Williamsburg cole slaw (vintager base, no mayo)

Will had the ruben sandwich on a pretzel bun with Williamsburg cole slaw (vintager base, no mayo)

I had the seared Ahi tuna on spinach with a soy sesame dressing. They didn't have many gluten free options, so I was limited. I of course didn't eat the crackers.

I had the seared Ahi tuna on spinach with a soy sesame dressing. They didn’t have many gluten free options, so I was limited. I of course didn’t eat the crackers.

And now for the wonderful items we picked up. I think we went into at least 5 different antique and vintage shops along Main Street and saved the HUGE antique mall for the end.

A beautiful crystal blue bouquet of flowers with small rhinestones in the middle of each, this brooch is so unique and stunning. The stamp on the back says "West Germany"

A beautiful crystal blue bouquet of flowers, this brooch is so unique and stunning. The stamp on the back says “West Germany”

I've been looking for larger brooches and this was is just stunning. It measures just over 3 inches long.

I’ve been looking for larger brooches and this was is just stunning. It measures just over 3 inches long.

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This was in the window of the Antique Depot ~ a huge antique mall on Maryland Ave. ~ that we saved for last. We spent hours inside. Ever since we’ve discovered these antique malls we have been obsessed. We love perusing through each and every stall and finding some real gems.

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And of course Will found some things for himself. A few tie clips, a tie bar and below are some fun tie pins.

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Last year, Will started collecting straight razors. He has amassed a nice little collection and we are always looking for new ones. For Yule I made him a beautiful display case for them. Looks like I’m going to need to make another one with the addition of these beauties.

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