Time Travel in France ~ Part 2

For the second installation of my time traveling post, we venture slightly forward in time. Many of the villages or chateaus were founded or built in the Middle Ages, but went through a reconstruction and revival in the 17th and 18th centuries, so the medieval architecture is all gone.

Château les Milandes, was built in 1489 and had many notable owners throughout it’s history, but probably the most famous  (at least to me) was Josephine Baker. She lived in this chateau from 1940 to 1968. It was left in ruin for many years, but fortunately the current owners have spent much time and money restoring it and creating a lovely museum dedicated to Josephine and her career as an entertainer. They even bring to light the little known fact that Josephine worked as a spy for the French government during WWII. Unfortunately, photos inside the chateau were not allowed.

The Château de Hautefort dates from the middle ages, but was completely transformed in the 17th century, as it was gradually stripped of its defensive functions to become a “modern-style” château. Unfortunately It suffered a devastating fire in 1968, but was beautifully reconstructed and restored to is 17th century splendor. The castle is where the movie “Ever After” was filmed and it and the gardens are absolutely gorgeous.

Very near the Château les Milandes is a fascinating little “museum” called La ru du temps qui passe (The street of times past)We were warmly greeting by the owner (Michel Boom) and his daughter (Christelle) and I think they loved our outfits as much as we loved their little museum of the past.

Michel has created a little indoor village of sorts with streets and storefronts of merchants of the past. He has fashioned little vignettes of life in the past with so much detail and care. According to the website the time frame ranges from 1860 – 1940. We didn’t get a lot of photos as we were so enthralled with strolling the streets, but do check out their website, there are lots of photos and a little video.

They were kind enough to allow us to go “behind the scenes” to take more photos. So Here are Laurence and I “shopping” for groceries. 

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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.

Another beautiful week in Paris

We were fortunate enough to have another long weekend in my favorite city, Paris. We took the fast train in on Thursday and stayed until Sunday. It’s not nearly enough time to spend in such a fantastic city, but it’s nice to be so close. We are going to make a point to visit every 3 months this year so we can experience all of the seasons. I’m also going to make more of an effort to photograph my outfits and excursions in Paris more.

The weather was lovely, a bit chilly in the mornings and evenings, but beautifully crisp and sunny during the day. So I’ll chronicle the four days of outfits here.

DAY ONE

After strolling around the 5th Arr. that afternoon, we attended a book signing/reading for Greg Proops’ book The Smartest Book in the World at Shakespeare & Company on Thursday night. We ended up hanging out and chatting with him afterwards for a little while, which was a real treat.

Our hotel is very near the Musee de Cluny and nearby is a quaint little park which makes for a delightful backdrop for photos.

Dress – eShakti
Purse ~ Mod Cloth
Brooch ~ The Jewellery Cloud
Shoes ~ Naturalizer

DAY TWO

We spent our second day at Disneyland Paris, we renewed our Annual Pass so we’ll be able to enjoy more Disney outings though out the year. We decided not to bring the big camera to Disneyland this time, so not many photos were taken.

Cardigan ~ Emmy Designs
Blouse ~ Tatyana
Sweater Vest ~ Land’s End
Trousers ~ Pinup Girl Clothing
Brooch ~ Kirbee Art

DAY THREE

Saturday was the sunniest and most beautiful day we were there. On our way to a museum, we strolled through the delightful Luxembourg Gardens and stopped at the Medici Fountain for a quick photo op.

Top ~ Slash Top from Vivien of Holloway
Skirt ~ Mod Cloth
Shoes ~ Naturalizer

DAY FOUR

On our final day in Paris, we took a leisurely breakfast and walked down along the Seine to the Jardin des Plantes. I could spend days walking around this garden, which includes a Ménagerie, the Natural History Museum, beautiful greenhouses and so much more.

The trees and flowers were just starting to bloom in Paris and it wasn’t quite as glorious as it will be in a few months, but it’s still an amazing place to walk around and take in all the loveliness.

Dress ~ eShakti
Beret ~ Broosky
Brooch ~ The Jewellery Cloud
Shoes ~ Remix Vintage Shoes

Venice Nights…during the day

This past October we took our first trip to Italy. My husband’s family visited us in Germany for a few months and this was their first time here in Europe. So we wanted to take a few trips so they could experience other places than Germany. They were excited to visit Italy…especially Rome and I really wanted to see Venice and Lake Como.

So off we went. We drove down to Venice, made our way down to Rome, then up to beautiful Lake Como. We had a great time in each location. We experienced and learned so much during this trip about the amazing architecture, art and history.

When we decided to visit Venice I was excited and of course started to plan my outfits for the trip. But when Trashy Diva came out with their Tourist Print Collection and I found out that it was called Venice Nights, I knew I had to have an item from the line to wear IN Venice. I bought the Circle Day Dress and as it was a bit chilly the day we went, I paired it with a mustard yellow cardigan from Mod Cloth. I really love how the colors mixed so well. I sized up in this dress as I’ve not worn this style, and it was a bit big on me. I will have to wear a belt next time to define my waist better. The skirt is wonderfully full and I really like the fabric. Strangely though, it only has a pocket on one side.

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When I ordered my dress, they included this darling brooch to match. img_8158 img_8150 venice-alleyfullsizeoutput_8cc1img_8145veniceimg_8156img_8155venice-1fullsizeoutput_8c18

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A rare photo of The Gentleman and me. He’s usually the one behind the camera. Thanks to his mom, Barbara, we got this great shot of us on the boat during our Night in Venice.

Flowers in Freinsheim

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The Gentleman and I met a friend in Freinsheim for the village’s Altstadfest (Old Town Fest) this afternoon. This village is nestled in a beautiful part of the wine country here in Rhineland-Pfalz near Bad Dürkheim. It’s a very old and very charming little town with a Late Gothic town wall which includes towers and gates, that has been almost wholly preserved.

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Dress ~ eShakti
Cardigan ~ Lane Bryant
Head Scarf ~ Vintage
Purse ~ Vintage
Sunglasses ~ A.J. Morgan
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There were so many beautiful flowers around the town and in beautiful little gardens. Some were even growing on and out of the walls!!

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Medieval Festival in a real Medieval Village

As a frequent attendee of Renaissance Faires, Celtic Flings and Scottish Highland Games in the States, I was elated to find that a variation of these events occur in Germany. Of course they typically happen in actual Castles or Medieval Villages, which ups the ante quite a bit in my book.

The Richard the Lionhearted Festival in Annweiler am Trifels commemorates the English king, Richard the Lionheart, being taken prisoner at Trifels Castle in Annweiler from 1193 to 1194. German Emperor Heinrich VI captured him on his way back from the Holy Land. Richard was obliged to stay in prison until the English paid an incredibly high ransom.

There was a medieval marketplace, sword fighting, falconry, fantastic food all with this beautiful medieval village as the backdrop.

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Dress ~ eShakti
Purse ~ Modcloth
Shoes ~ Softspots
Lips ~ La Vie en Rouge lipstick with Ruby Woo lipliner, both from MAC Cosmetics

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Don’t you just love the embroidery on this dress???

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A beautiful model of the Castle Trifels.

A beautiful model of the Castle Trifels.

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Castle Trifels looking down upon the village

Castle Trifels looking down upon the village

This little lady is used to prop open the shutters. Isn't she adorable?

This little lady is used to prop open the shutters. Isn’t she adorable?

Fried apple slices with sugar sprinkled over them. Decadent and delicious!

Fried apple slices with sugar sprinkled over them. Decadent and delicious!

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Can you spot the little duck??

Can you spot the little duck??

Let’s Get Personal

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This past year, especially the last 6 months has been a mixed bag of emotions for me.

As I am about to embark on a new chapter in my life, I would like to share some of the things that I’ve been contending with lately in hopes that, those of you who follow me on social media or just through this blog, will share in my journey with me and understand who I am a little more.

For the past 6 years I’ve been the co-owner/operator/esthetician/holistic health coach of a very successful Holistic Wellness Spa here in Baltimore. With my business partner, we built our spa from a one room studio, to a 2,500 sq. ft., 5 treatment room spa. We were voted Best Holistic Spa, Best Massage and Best Spa 4 out of the 6 years (there is still a chance we could win for 2015).

It has been both amazingly fulfilling and gut-wrenchingly stressful. Once it was no longer a joyous experience for us to come to work, we both knew it was time to move on.

So we made the decision to close our very successful spa. Once again this decision has been a combination of elation and sadness. But ultimately I know that we’ve made the best decision for our futures.

rachel & christine

In early March, shortly before my birthday, I had spinal surgery to correct a very painful disc herniation. I have been dealing with this chronic pain for many years. My recovery went extremely well and I am now pain free and working on gaining my strength back.

Also in March, my husband and I found out that the job that we’d been hoping for, for so long had finally come available. This job happens to be in Germany and it is the catalyst for making our dream of living in Europe come true. While the process of closing my business and an international move has been extraordinary stressful, the outcome of these events are sure to be amazing!

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For the first time since I started working (at age 14), I will not have a job when we move to Germany. Keeping with the contradiction theme I’m simultaneously terrified and excited about this. There are so many things that I’ve always wanted to do, that I just didn’t have the time (or frankly the energy) for. And of course I will be able to focus more of my time to my blog. So I’m going to try my hand at being a glamorous housewife 🙂

I’d love to share some of the things that I’m interested in learning or doing and hope that some of you out there are also interested and maybe we can share our successes together.

  • Get better at sewing. I’ve made a few things, but I really need to practice more

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  • Learn how to knit something other than a scarf

FREE VINTAGE KNITTING PATTERNS

  • I can start cooking again. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m a pretty great cook. And being a nutritionist, I love creating healthy and tasty dishes.

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  • I want to learn more about European History
  • Learn how to take better photos. Not only of myself, but the amazing things and places that I’ll be experiencing
  • Read more books
  • I can’t wait to shop at all the farmers markets and little shops for fresh food every day

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  • Learn and practice different languages. I can read and write Spanish fairly well and I’m decent at French, but now I will have the chance to actually use them. And of course I will be learning German for the first time.
  • I’m excited about getting outside more and enjoying nature….not to mention the CASTLES!!!
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  • And of course I am able to travel much more. All of the places I’ve always wanted to visit will be so much closer and easier to get to

I truly appreciate that you have followed me this far and hope that you will continue to join me on this journey of life. I hope that I can continue to entertain, educate and enlighten all of you and welcome any questions or comments you might have along the way.

Love,

Christine
~The Glambassador~