Category Archives: Travel

One Lovely Blog Award

A most thoughtful Madame de Pique, history obsessive and blogger of peculiarities, has bestowed upon Life Takes Lemons the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’, so here I am, passing on the blog love.  This, incidentally, is the best part about awards, discovering fantabulous new-to-you blogs.  There are also rules guidelines to this sort of thing, but they are generally the same across time and space:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.  (Thanks again, Madame P!)
  2. Add the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’ image to your post.
  3. Share seven things about you. 
  4. Pass the award on to seven nominees. 
  5. Include this set of rules.  
  6. Inform your nominees* by posting a comment on their blogs. 

7 Random Things about Your Host

I decided it would be more fun to reveal in pictures 7 places I’ve been . . .

Hoh Rainforest outside Forks, Washington | Olympics
Hoh Rainforest outside Forks, Washington | Olympics
Window from inside the palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Window from inside the city palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
Crocuses in my backyard
Crocuses in my backyard
Path from Aiguille d'Midi station onto Mt. Chamonix, France
Path from Aiguille du Midi station onto Mt. Chamonix, France
Close-up of the semi-precious jewels on exterior of Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Close-up of the semi-precious jewels and flower relief on exterior of Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Random cow chowing in his field near the Blue Smokey Mountains, North Carolina
Cow chowing in his field near the Blue Smokey Mountains, North Carolina.  Possibly annoyed with me.
Sacre Couer, Montmarte, Paris
A view from the side of Sacre Coeur, Montmarte, Paris

Bloggers I recommend on account of their excellence in loveliness

Joyful Molly – Molly keeps a wonderful blog on naval history with lots of 18th century posts to boot.  Her ‘list of naval and historic resources’ is so, so useful.

Number One London – I could spend afternoons browsing around this blog on English history and daily living in the Georgian, Regency, and Victorian eras.

Treasure for Your Pleasure – a tumblr curating all things Marie Antoinette (and Versailles court) that’s visually diverting.  Good luck trying not to Pin during your visit.

The Virtual Victorian –  I’m getting more and more interested in the Victorian era and Ms. Fox is partly to blame.  Her ‘facts, fancies, and fabrications’ are delightful.

Regency History – Rachel Knowles’s blog on a well-rounded variety of  topics from the late Georgian period through the Regency makes for pleasurable and informative reading.

World of Poe – a self described ‘crotchety, contrarian chronicler of the stranger and more neglected highways and byways of all things Poe’.  Pretty much, yeah.  If you like a sharp-tongue, you will absolutely love Undine.  Her tweets are amusing as well.

Dressed in Time – One of my go-to blogs for historical costuming.  Caroline’s posts make me wish I could attain the patience for sewing, but for now I have her creations & inspirations to drool over.

To the seven bloggers named above, thank you for keeping our web spaces lovely!

*If you’re curious about the ‘nominee’ part, I’m not sure either.  One supposes we are all winners by default of nomination.  Either way, enjoy!

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On the Road to Rouen: Photos

Admittedly, this post has nothing to do with the 18th century.  It does, however, have travel photos of Rouen that include pastoral scenes, pockmarked buildings, fruit stalls, one pissing boy foundation, and Gothic churches aplenty.  Plus, the Tour de France ends in Rouen today.  Need any more convincing?  (I hope not cause I’m not giving any!)

En route from Paris

In town

Rouen Cathedral

Joan of Arc memorial

Église St. Maclou

I’m in the process of researching the Mad Monks of Medmenham and the Dilettanti Society. This means that those of you hungering for lascivious 18th century tales of ritualistic sex, scandal, and art will soon get your fix.  You have been warned.

A Night at Chambord & Chenonceau

While visiting these châteaux you just have to wonder–what’s it like at night when you are NOT ALLOWED to visit?  What does it feel like to, say, slink around in the shadows, watching the royals sleep?

Okay, that’s creepy.  But you kind of want to know, don’t you?  When nobody else is around but ghosts, when all is dark and silent, what mood stirs beneath the moonlight?  An imaginary nocturnal visit to Chambord and Chenonceau, if you will . . .

Chambord

Louis XIV Ceremonial Bedroom

(I didn’t scale down the resolution – click away for the full experience)

The dude who (occasionally) slept here

Louis XIV – Charles le Brun (1661)

The Queen’s Bedroom

Marie Thérèse of Austria, wife of Louis XIV – attributed to Charles Beaubrun (1666)

Chenonceau

Louise of Lorraine’s bedroom

The Lady in White (aka Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont, one time Queen of France) designed this room for her retirement from Court.  In grief after the assassination of her husband Henri III, she bedded down here for the remainder of her years.  The matte black walls and white motifs are symbols of mourning.  Take a closer look at the chandelier-esque stencil on the lower lefthand wall.  It’s actually a cornucopia of eternal tears.  Images of death abound: crosses surrounded by spades and picks, widow’s cordons, crowns of thorns, and the Greek letter lambda to represent Louise’s and Henri’s initials intertwined.

I’m not sure what it says about me that I thought this room was amazing when I visited Chenonceau. I’m sure the pious Louise wouldn’t approve, but it looks positively witchy to me.

Regarding photography in this post:

Creative Commons License

Interstices (or What Other Folks Call Doors)

They open up magic or shut out the scary night.  Solicitors scratch their knuckles on them and lucky mail persons get to jam paper in boxes before them everyday.  In Narnia, they’re closets, which are just doors going someplace else.  However you wish to view them, here’s a small collection to enjoy.

On a sunny day in Key West, found on the way to Pepe’s on Caroline (which, by the way, is the definition of charming local cafe.)  Hemingway ate there, too.  This fact seems to go a long way in Key West.

Ringling Museum, Sarasota, Florida

Looks like maybe a thousand other cathedral doors, but this one’s special.  Notre Dame, Paris

On the way up to Mont St. Michel.  If you saw the Samantha Brown episode, this secret passage does indeed save you time.  Or at least it did at one time.  On the way down, think about getting an enormous omelette at Mere Poulard for $40, then resist.  You can watch them being made for free from your view on the street and recall the best omelettes taste like omelettes.  Mont St. Michel, France.

Okay, not a door.  These are pré salé sheep.  They’re a delicacy on the salt flats around Mont St. Michel.  They don’t get much glory except on the plate.  As such, they requested their 2 seconds of fame.  Getting shorter and shorter every day when you add sheep to the mix . . .

Residential home in Port Townsend, Washington (no, I did not trespass.  Zoom, baby, zoom).  Port Townsend is the twin of Duluth, Minnesota with warmer, wetter weather and slightly hipper people.  Sweet Laurette’s Cafe has Frenchified food and decadent caramelly coffee.

Fortunately, they no longer prod the elephants who transport visitors to Jaipur Palace with bull sticks.  This makes one feel slightly more secure when riding on top of the kindly giants up a long, winding hill.  I can’t account for the broken door.  Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.

Everything in India is too beguiling for words (except the shit in the streets).  This door is one of several in a courtyard in the City Palace.  Udaipur, Rajasthan, India.

City Palace, Udaipur, India

City Palace, Udaipur, India

While we’re in India, you must see the Taj Mahal in Agra.  Go inside and you’re in the burial chamber of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal (they are actually underneath the ground level on which you stand).  The lotus flower design above the door is made of semi-precious and precious stones.  When a flash light is shone against them, they glow.  The guy who is eager to demonstrate this is not just being friendly; he wants your money.  But it’s not so big of a deal.

The kid selling miniature Taj Mahal snow globe key chains on the walk outside is the cutest kid ever.  You might hear the word “cello” (roughly: get outta here!) thrown at him by a fellow Indian when, through sheer persistence, he offers you 17 snowglobes for the price of one.  “You cello!” might be his indignant reply.