Friday, April 24, 2020

About France, A Little More Virtual Travel, and French Inspiration



Welcome to  a post I've longed to write... Today is the day to share a little of my travels when I was younger and a few posts from some blogging friends who write about their travels to France and decorating in our favorite French style...


The North Sea ~ Left to right: My German sister through the Bayer-AGFA exchange program, summer of 1981, Katja, myself and her brother Jan.

Missed opportunity

I long to visit France and when I was 19 years old I had the opportunity as an exchange student to go to France one weekend.  I had studied one year of French in high school and had fallen in-love with everything French! Partly because my German exchange sister didn't want to go, I stayed home. She had been before and it just wasn't her thing. At the time I thought I should stay back with Katja, in Leverkusen... I thought it was the right thing to do, not abandon her.

I should have gone for the weekend with her sister Dagmar and friends to Paris... But that missed opportunity will make getting to France all the sweeter when I do get there!

The lead photo is of myself and the family up along the Rhein River (Rhine) visiting several castles with my German mother Ute and her daughter, Katja. Sometimes Ute and I would tour cities along the Rhein during the day while Katja was finishing her junior year of high school.


My host mother Ute.

Ute and I went to Koblenz, Köln (Cologne) and other medieval towns up and down the Rhein.  Along the way Ute took me to a seconds shop so I could buy a few pieces of a beautiful set of china. 

Dinner with my inlaws last summer and Mr. Yoda hoping for
a nibble or two (or three!). These plates have pretty yellow daisies
on them. Each type of plate, platter or dish has a different flower.

French tableware


The Gerlach family had a breakfast set of china which I fell in-love with ~ so beautiful with pinks and yellows, Wedgwood blue forget-me-nots, and bright white daisies with cheery yellow centers!!! 
To me then, this tableware embodied everything European, everything which was tasteful and French style.

My first pieces of Villeroy & Boch's tableware Botanica came from that store ~ a cream and sugar as well as a pair of candlesticks. Before coming back to the States, Ute gifted me with a mustard jar and a trivet. 

The rest of the china pieces I found shortly after Mr. Ethereal and I moved to Southern California at an Ethan Allen store. Later my mother sent us a pound butter dish with snapdragons on it that she ordered through a catalog as well as the heavy Botanica tray (below). 


Part of the Botanica china is used here to hold jam, Devonshire cream, and milk for tea sitting on a Botanica serving tray in the middle of the table. This was a tea I had for a friend from my first tea group, her granddaughter and our son.

We also visited Amsterdam and Alkmaar, Holland when the Gerlach family went on holiday in late June or early July 1981. We had the best time touring by glass boat on the waterways in Amsterdam and swimming in the Nord See (North Sea) during our trip. 


A Visit to France

So with my trip from long ago as inspiration, let's finish our vicarious visit to France today with  a visit with others. Their travels bring a little French style home to our abodes and to our lives...


Top 10 Things to See & Do Your First Time in Paris/Eiffel tower - So Much Better With Age


Jamie of  So Much Better With Age shared a huge list of Places to visit when you go to Paris, France in this post. I know I appreciate everyone's travel trips because we all know when we go somewhere new we want to see it all, but often we need to pick and choose since time is usually short. Great post!



Courtney of French Country Cottage went on a mini Grand Tour to Paris last summer and then onto London with her husband. A little work and a little holiday filled with incredible buildings, balconies, flower gardens and the Eiffel Tower she shared with all of her readers! She also hopped over to Italy and you can find more on her blog.  ;)


French lavender, wood carved cane-backed chairs, and ruffled linen pillows create a French Country home of your dreams


Closer to home, Judith of Botanic Bleu shared a lovely post with her new French market basket filled with French lavender. She  often shares tips on French styling and early last year she shared a trip to see her sister and the French garden and all her lavender plants at her California home. And then in winter her Spanish lavender decided to bloom!


Winter wishes for French garden vegetables



Garden thoughts and ideas


Judith also shared a list of French vegetables she found available for sale for wintertime planting ~ a little long term thinking for sure with summer just getting here but good to plan for!
:)




And our final French-European style visit today is to Lidy Baars who owns the wonderful business FrenchGardenHouse and is originally from the Netherlands. I met her at Vintage Bliss several years ago in San Diego. She has become a friend and this past summer she traveled to France on a buying trip. This post about making French Country Herb Butter is absolutely heavenly!




I do hope you have enjoyed this little virtual trip to The Continent and to France! Here's to wonderful memories and future ones...


Bisous, mes amis!

3 comments:

  1. I think everyone loves France! I know my posts on France/traveling and travel tips were some of my most viewed at the time. I loved revisiting your trip with you and wish you'd made it all the way to Paris. But oh, the Netherlands. That was so special to me. I think it's really good to do revisit our journeys -- and plan the next ones in our minds!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love all things French. I fell in love with the style years ago when we visited Newport, RI. Seeing all the Mansions and gilding drew me in immediately.

    Took me a bit to get it in our home but I love formal with rustic.

    I remember reading Courtney posting about her trip.

    I also enjoy Judith's style.

    I enjoyed reading your story. Do you still wish you went? Of course you do, you'll get there.

    Cindy

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  3. Such joyful memories! I enjoyed seeing your lovely photographs. Stay well!

    ReplyDelete

I am so glad you stopped by today! I appreciate your leaving me a comment, thank you.

Happy hugs to you,
Barb :)

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