Bonjour, mes amies! I am excited to share some pieces from the first china pattern I ever bought shortly after Mr. Ethereal and I were married… plus some exciting news!
Hubby and I moved to Southern California after he graduated from Officers Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. His first duty station was aboard Camp Pendleton, so we drove the 2700 miles from Connecticut to Sacramento, visiting both parents before the big move.
When I was home in our apartment by myself, sometimes I’d take the bus and go into Oceanside, Carlsbad or Vista to eat lunch out and go shopping at the local mall or to go antiquing. One day I found an Ethan Allen furniture store and as I was walking around inside, I turned a corner and there was an entire set (48 pieces!) of Villeroy & Boch Botanica staring back at me! I was ecstatic!!!
This is the same set of which I had collected a very few pieces while I was with my host family in Germany back in 1981. To find that Ethan Allen had brought over this lovely set of tableware, I was sooo happy!
I already owned a creamer & sugar bowl, a salt & pepper (behind the teapot here on the table) which I’d bought with my host mother at a tableware shop in a town along the Rhein River. Petja, my younger brother Gene’s exchange partner who came to our house three years later when Gene went on his own exchange program, later sent me the matching V&B Botanica china trivet.
Today there are only five dinner plates unbroken, all eight salad plates and all the cups and saucers survive. My mother often bought me pieces from a shop out near where she lived in Connecticut after my parents moved there. She would send me pieces for my birthday or Christmas and sent a lovely covered butter dish, which could hold up to a pound of butter (two sticks side-by-side, double stacked tall). Our son was making something on our Big House’s kitchen island one day and pushed things back to make more room and sadly the butter dish crashed off onto the floor…
It had been so lovely with its pinks and purple sweetpeas all over the dish top. I would love to have added it here to this table for you!
The dining room is now an orangery with many of Mr. Ethereal’s mother’s plants inside as well as our mandarin orange tree. It’s fun to set a table in there now with so many plants!
For our European breakfast, I tried to recreate the breakfasts we would have at my host family’s home in Leverkusen. My host father’s grandmother lived with the family and they had a large round breakfast table off the kitchen. Every morning, fresh danishes and bread (bröt) were delivered to the house for the day’s meals.
“Erdbeeren” (or strawberry jam) and lingonberry jam were breakfast staples. Several years ago I found lingonberry jam at Ikea so this last time I picked up another jar.
If you can find some, lingonberry is a really nice, tart jam! It is a good substitute for strawberry, if someone can’t eat seeds in their jams and jellies.
So what is the news?
A week ago, an invitation came to attend my niece’s wedding for this coming July. Her husband-to-be is from Venezuela and they both met as missionaries… They live in Grenoble, France!!!
So, after missing the opportunity as an exchange student as a young 19-year-old, I sure am NOT going to miss out this time! My daughter already has the time off from her work and I will be off for summer, so we will be going together.
So that’s my exciting news, dear friends!
So what can you tell me about going to France? Where do you recommend flying into? Charles De Gaulle airport, there in Paris? How do we get to Grenoble? Bus? Train?? Rent a car?
At least they drive on the same side of the road as we do here in the United States. 😉
And what about Air BnB’s?? How do I find out about this stuff?? After really not traveling for the last 35 years, I am pretty clueless, lol!
I thank you for all the tips in advance, Sweeties!!! <3