I’m writing you, dear Readers, from gay Pari. By the time you read this, I will be nestled back at Rosebrook Gardens with my beloved Violet. Although I’ve been to Paris several times before, this was the first combination business and pleasure trip. My French is minimal at best. However, the people of France with whom I engaged, were extremely generous to me when I began the conversation in French and politely asked, “parlez-vous anglais”? They were appreciative of my effort to initiate the conversation in French and were then only too happy to continue in English.
I love the French people. Their style is incomparable, their cuisine to die for. Paris, itself, is a grand dame. We have nothing here that comes close. But, I am American and I am proud of that. That said, I’ll never be caught dead wearing sneakers abroad. As my good friend Geri says, “Do you know where Italians were tennis shoes? On the tennis courts!”
The business part of the trip would be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life to date, as I visited Versailles as a field correspondent. Lights, camera, Versailles! What a historic wonder. The private apartments of Napoleon III took my breath away. And in some small way, shape or form, don’t be surprised if a few of the magical details show up at Rosebrook Gardens. Of course, on a more modest scale and much smaller budget. I will entitle this new article MARsailles and the focus will be on using French design principles in a new and exciting way, inspired by the castle and gardens of Versailles.
I was giddy with excitement when I saw the molding, the cherubs, the doorknobs, the window scale, the symmetry and consistency in repeating a design concept, all of which are imprinted and cataloged in my mind.
I took an afternoon to visit the Musee d’Orsay and walked out looking like a true Frenchman. The weather was perfectly sunny in the high 70’s. A hat was in order and a baseball cap would just not do. I purchased a straw “boater” for 16 euros in the gift shop. What a bargain! I arrived at Versailles in style and was encouraged by the crew to wear the hat during filming at the Marie-Antoinette estate.
With it being light out until 10:00 pm, we worked rather late into the evening. I now need a vacation from my vacation. Perhaps I’ll try a “staycation” this summer. So, dear Readers, no matter where I go and what I see, there’s nothing better than coming home to thee.