France

Claude Monet Garden Giverny Visit 2An Afternoon at Claude Monet’s Garden in Giverny

Artist Claude Monet’s name is synonymous with his dreamlike paintings which were inspired by his graceful gardens in Giverny, France, where he lived for 43 years. In 1980, his home and garden were opened to the public allowing Monet’s canvases to come to life. Today, visitors to Giverny can see the hunter green Japanese-style footbridge that spans the property’s small pond, as well as clusters of water lilies wearing faint pink flowers, and pathways studded with clusters of vibrant blooms.

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An Ascent at Notre Dame

This autumn, I found my new favorite niche of Notre Dame Cathedral…

During past journeys to Paris, I’ve visited the Gothic masterpiece in varying seasons. I once rang in a new year on the edge of the Seine while the magnificent cathedral towered over revelers with her exquisite and graceful silhouette. On the chilliest of winter days, I strolled through her drafty interiors to see her chapels dressed up for the holidays. I’ve also meandered past her towers on warm summer afternoons as fluffy clouds glided by. 

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The Gargoyles & Grotesques of Notre Dame Cathedral

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Once high above the rooftops of Paris, we strolled about the Galerie des Chimères marveling at the figures there. The statues gazing at La Tour Eiffel and Sacré Coeur are technically not gargoyles since they are spoutless. Also, the animal hybrids are not original to Gothic masterpiece Notre Dame as they were added during renovations in the nineteenth century. 

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 Golden Moments in Burgundy

It is no wonder why Bourgogne, or Burgundy, is known as the Côte d’Or! During our July sojourn in France’s ‘Golden Hillsides,’ the region’s fields were ablaze with vibrant tournesols (sunflowers), freshly-groomed wheat and vineyards where ever-maturing grapes glistened with dew.

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If Headstones Could Talk: Pondering at Paris’ Père-Lachaise Cemetery

I had long wanted to visit Paris’ famous Père-Lachaise Cemetery, yet during past jaunts to the ‘City of Lights,’ La Tour Eiffel, the Champs Elysées and Notre Dame had taken center stage on my itinerary. During our recent trip to Paris, our hotel, in Paris’ 11tharrondissement, was just a brief promenade from the cemetery. With blue skies overhead and the ground just starting to be carpeted with crisp, autumn leaves, we decided to embark on what we thought would just be a 30-minute stroll through the well-known cemetery named after Père-Lachaise, Louis XIV’s confessor. 

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reenactorsat american cemetery in normandy 2013 anniversaryHonoring the Greatest Generation at D-Day Celebrations in Normandy – 2013

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Looking For La Vie En Rose

In Europe, one can already feel summer’s upcoming departure from the stage; autumn is waiting not-so-patiently in the wings… To savor one of the last weekends of summer, Shawn and I have decided to go in search of ‘la vie en rose’ this long weekend. A return visit to Paris is on our itinerary as are two other French destinations that are new for both of us – Mont St. Michel and Versailles. Wishing everyone who is traveling this Labor Day weekend Bonne Route

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Eiffel Tower with spotlight and moon Tricia MitchellLove for La Tour Eiffel

I’ve long been a francophile, Parisian devotee and Tour Eiffel fan. When I first visited Paris at the age of 16, my father snapped an image of me aiming to hold up the legendary structure. Thereafter, miniature versions of engineer Gustave Eiffel’s masterpiece cropped up in my home – from an Eiffel Tower retro lamp base, to a miniature paper weight, to a silver pendant on my vintage charm bracelet.

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Memorial Day in Normandy

It was a fitting day to pay our respects at the American Military Cemetery in Normandy, France. Red, white and blue American and French flags adorned every snow white marker in the cemetery. Clouds made scarce appearances in the sky. Mother Nature had rolled out her best weather. It was Memorial Day 2010. 

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Mont-Saint-Michel in Black & White

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Mystical, Magical, Magnificent… France’s Mont-Saint-Michel

Mont-Saint-Michel… Ever since high school French class, the name has conjured images to me of a majestic abbey cloaked in fog, of tides ever-shifting around its formidable mountain base, and of waves dramatically crashing… Over the Labor Day weekend, my husband, Shawn, and I journeyed four hours west of Paris to see this legendary structure. 

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A Return to Père-Lachaise Cemetery

Père-Lachaise Cemetery has such extraordinary architectural detail; here is a second pictorial tribute to Paris’ largest cemetery.

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A Return to Versailles

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A September Day at Versailles – Paying Tribute to the Palace of the Sun King

On a day that was bathed in sunshine, we voyaged to Versailles, the decadent Baroque palace of France’s sun king, or roi soleil. As we strolled through the palace’s 250 gardened acres and peered through the windows into the gilded interiors (just as a subject might have done 300 years ago) the origins of one turbulent chapter of French history became crystal clear: the French Revolution. 

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Versailles in Black & White

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