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Visiting le Château de Versailles{igh}!

Bonjour and rebonjour (hello again), mes amies!! As we enjoy these early days of fall, it feels like a good time for another visit to France with you. Today we will tour Le Château de Versailles… Grab a hot cup of thé or café, a croissant or other pastry, and let’s settle in for some amazingness!!!…

A bust of Marie Antoinette in her salon at Versailles. This was up on the bedroom’s fireplace mantel…

For this adventure, on our last day in France, after my niece and new nephew’s wedding the weekend before, we took a hired taxi service up to the castle and took a pre-paid tour of the castle and a beginning tour of the gardens which my daughter found and arranged on-line…

Technically, this was Day 7 of my daughter’s and my trip to France, so yes, these posts are out of order chronologically, but this feels like the best time for this post to come out!

The main street as you come into the city of Versailles, you take a left-hand turn and voilá, here is your view! Versailles is MASSIVE!

My daughter and I planned to visit Versailles on our second day in France, but there weren’t any tours available. So, she booked us an intimate tour with five other people plus our tour guide.

Our guide took us on a 2+ hour tour through the main center section of the Versailles museum, to King Louis XV and Queen Marie Antoinette’s bedrooms. Now, King Louis XV came later and wasn’t married to Marie Antoinette; his father, King Louis XIV was. But, since they are the two royals everyone remembers, these are the two bedrooms everyone sees and which were recreated at Versailles when the castle was restored as a museum, after the French Revolution.

Street view at the end of the day, but perfect to show how large Versailles really is.

We met our guide at the local Starbucks (can you believe it?), which was in a lovely, shaded area to the left of this photograph above, next to a small café.

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Outside the neighboring café

We talked about what was going on at the time of the French Revolution, about the politics of the time, and how Versailles was a political statement to the world as well as being “home.”

The wide angle lens does not make us look thin… Yes, the camera does add weight! Lol!!
Walking up towards the main entrance in the center of the Versailles complex.

As you enter the main residence and the anterooms, everything speaks of the power of the aristocracy and if you wanted anything, you had to go through the king to ask for it.

Parts of Versailles are under renovation, as you can see here to the left. We learned from our guide that even the gold which had been on top of this part of the castle had been stripped during the Revolution. This is faux gilding but still impressive!

One of the anterooms prior to going into the king’s private suite.

Ambassadors from other countries (late 1700’s up to the Revolution in May 1789- November 1790) who were brought into these rooms saw France and its king(s) as symbols of power, wealth, and influence.

A different kind view of The Hall of Mirrors ~ I wanted to capture a look people don’t usually see as they usually see the long part of the room with the views out to the back formal gardens. I was going for a sideways shot and I’m pretty happy with it.

Here in the Hall of Mirrors, symbols of Louis IV, the Sun King, appear up on the wall along with other symbols of the Heavens, astrological symbols, paintings from mythology (of which my brilliant daughter was able to share with us about Poseidon, Apollo, Zeus and many more!) ~ especially the incredible ceiling paintings!

If I remember correctly, this fireplace and its surround are original to the palace. The pink marble piers flanking the fireplace are also original.

During the Revolution, as the aristocracy and bourgeois classes were overthrown, often times beheaded, and sent into exile, the Place de Versailles was stripped of its furniture, chandeliers and all of the gilding work, but much of the plasterwork remained. So, as the palace was being restored, the “gilding” which was put back is just gold paint. Real gold was just too prohibitive a cost to add back!

Many of the furnishings were taken by members of the bourgeoisie as “souvenirs” but unerringly that act of wanting to own something owned by the king and queen helped save some of the original pieces. Much of what is in Versailles isn’t original but are pieces original to the period.

I can’t tell you where most of these tapestries and paintings are located as we rushed through many of the rooms, but just the opulence of the palace is something!

Loved the roses in this wall covering!
My favorite architectural photograph!

I was really excited to finally know what is French Bleu! It is this lovely soft blue-grey color which pairs beautifully with gold. One of the houses Mr. Ethereal and I looked at, when we were house hunting in Texas almost four years ago now, had a couple of chandeliers in it plus 1970’s wood paneling with good wood moulding.

If we had purchased that house in Lewisville on the very outskirts of Highland Village, I would have sanded those walls and painted my favorite Dove Grey and done gilding on the moulding… Just like this!

A closer look at this alcove ceiling painting. Check out the dentil moulding and the gorgeous columns and capitals atop them!

I do think about doing this in our living room and dining room areas in our current home… 😉

And Marie Antoinette’s chambre… sigh!

Here is the soft grey-blue with gold. So pretty! I loved this room!!! I could live here no problem, how about you??

Marie loved roses!

A bed worthy of a queen ~ part of Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. Some of the bedding in the rooms is original.

Here is the bust of Marie Antoinette upon the fireplace mantel in her bedroom. Funny, I think of her as wearing those hats with ships built into them! I did buy a book about her life from the giftshop written in French.

I figured that getting it in French would help me work on reading and speaking the language better. My suitcase was just light enough to be put on the airplane without paying extra with all of the books I bought (plus what clothes and shoes I’d brought with me!).

An orangish-red was Louis XV favorite color and the flocked velvet wallpapers were recreated much as the originals had been in his bedroom.

I know the bed curtains in King Louis XV’s room is original. I don’t remember how they survived or if they were returned by someone who took them for safekeeping, but pretty cool that Versailles has them!

King Louis XV’s bedroom. The bed is not original but the bed curtains are. The tapestry “blanket” is period and may also be original.

The king’s bedroom is set up as it would have been with places for visitors to sit, and those with the king’s favor sat closest to his bed.

I think this painting may have hung across the room from King Louis XV’s bed, but I may be totally wrong. It may have been on another wall or in an antechamber. Beautiful, though!
More of the little footstools for courtiers waiting to see the king.

A painting of Marie Antoinette with her children hung on the right hand wall. This was described also as a promotional piece as Marie was known as to not be very hands-on with her children, but rather nannies took care of them.

This painting was made to show her as a concerned, caring mother.

Louis XV apparently loved to dance ~ who knew he was so skilled? He was quite athletic and this painting was to show his athleticism and to show that he was very much into the arts.
Louis is the central figure.

As I spoke about earlier, the paintings were meant to impress and many show depictions of war. Here in this painting, King Louis is the main figure and he is depicted as a god.

Part of a painting which had these sweet children and their dog!

Louis banished the Catholic church from France as there was a power struggle between the Pope and the king and, of course, the king wanted to be top dog. When he did this, he got rid of God, per sé, and placed himself as a god, which shows in several paintings. We learned these facts from our tour guide.

Another painting showing a war image with its horse and chariot, and a herald. Love it!!!

Le Roi himself!

Versailles really needs more restoration, of which I was really surprised. Sadly, I think that the Louvre gets all the monetary donations and Versailles just doesn’t get enough to really take care of it.

I felt like the palace rooms inside were opulent, but the grounds outside were rather shabby. This is where I think Versailles could spend a little more of their monies, but that’s just me.

It was our last day and by then we were pretty tired, and ready to go home. Jet lag and the time difference finally had caught up with me by that Tuesday!

This painting may portray Zeus up in the heavens…

Versailles has incredible paintings on its ceilings and along its walls. I loved the mythology portrayed throughout the castle!

Visiting Versailles was a treat and a really nice way to end our time in France!

My time in the gift shop was long as the line was long. Turns out if I hadn’t followed our guide inside when he went in to pick up some gifts for us, I wouldn’t have been able to shop at all. Once outside, you weren’t allowed back in. 🙁

Next we headed into the gardens, but really there was less than an hour to try and see them. Our driver was coming to pick us up at 6:00p.m. so Amy went to meet him and I RAN through the garden snapping photos as fast as I could.

A little peak through the Hall of Mirrors’ windows out into the gardens…

So this will be all for today, friends! I’ll share the gardens next time, and in a further episode I will share our time in Grenoble, a beautiful city in the mountainous region of Val d’Isere.

Jusqu’à la prochaine fois,

until next time

Barb 🙂


France’s Cinematic Views: Day 2 in Paris’ 7th, 8th & 1st Arrondissements

Well, my friends, my blog is finally living up to its name: French Ethereal! I am sooo excited to share more from our trip abroad. I went absolutely nuts taking photographs… Everywhere you look (and I do mean everywhere) is like looking through a movie camera lens…

Lots of motorcyclists and bicyclists spin about the city, and did you know you could rent motorcycles while you are here? I saw them available on some websites and you can go for a tour around Paris on a 1:1 tour via vendors through AirBnB’s website. (not sponsored)

I fell in love with all of the different bistro chairs! Each café and restaurant had their own version. These were at the little café we ate at our very first evening in Paris. From here, we walked over to the Eiffel Tower for the tour that never happened. We got scammed and I let AirBnB know about it.

Cute fence and locks! Actually, the only ones we saw. Never got down to the right bridges crossing over from Rive Gauche to Rive Droit (Left Bank to the Right Bank of Paris) to find more.
Love all the mini gardens up on Parisians’ balconies!

I thought I might pick up a bouquet of flowers to have in our hotel or bnb rooms, but Amy talked me out of it because…

How would we carry them on the train out to Grenoble and back?? Along with our suitcases and backpacks, etc??

She was right, of course. But it would have been lovely to have a bouquet to enjoy!

And there were lavender plants… sigh!

What place is this?

Pretty little park… And look at that cute wrought iron in the front here! Literally as I write this, I am just noticing it…

More of the park with a grand building in the background. Anyone know what this building is??

Oh, duh! Nm, I answered my own question just a few photos from now ~ Le Musée de L’Armée Invalides.

I went for a walk late on the morning of the second day we were in Paris on my own as my daughter was really, really tired and wanted to take a nap mid-morning. This was the day I posted that first look at Paris post and I typed until around noon. We’d had breakfast in our room (I brought hers up on a tray from the restaurant downstairs), and she waited too long for me to be ready. Totally my fault!

Anyway, this building is the military museum I walked by and it was free to enter on this particular day!

I started to go inside, but decided to save it for another day as I was on a mission to find a wedding present for my niece and soon-to-be new nephew…

Love the canons!

It was Thursday, 21 Julliet 2022. I didn’t know how to use the Metro yet, so I walked a couple of miles down the quai (sounds like “Kay”), across a big bridge there along Rue de Grenelle.

Our driver, a few days later, when we came back from Grenoble, told us this was built sometime around the French Revolution. It may have been a hospital for the “invalides,” soldiers injured during the war… Not sure.

The gorgeous wrought iron and gilded entrance into the museum…
Louis the Sun King’s coat of arms??

For someone who has shot over 50,000 photographs on black & white and color film since I was 8 years old, and now digitally… France is a feast for the eyes and the camera lens!

It is no wonder why Paris is featured as THE CITY in so many movies…

I took these photos just with my iPhone 12… I did shoot some with my big Canon but didn’t want to haul it all over the city every time I went out, so chose to just use my phone. Sooo glad these came out well!

This bridge opposite Le Musée de L’Armée was dedicated to these French soldiers who were killed during WWII. The man memorialized on the left-hand plaque received the
Cross of War (Croix de Guerre) for what he did on the battlefield.
Part of the museum under exterior renovation and cleaning. Might be a different museum but I shot this that same day…
Part of the bridge and looking beyond to the Jardin des Tuleries and beyond.

After crossing over the bridge, I walked around the Luxor Obelisk heading toward the Galleries Lafayette, a shopping mall someone told me about which might have a culinary store. As it was, I headed left towards the mall after this park, and after going around the sidewalk of an enormous roundabout…

Here is the massive roundabout in front of the Luxor Obelisk, which I learned later is the Place de la Concorde, 8th Arrondissement. I knew it was important but didn’t know where I was at the time. You can read more about how this obelisk was a gift from Pasha Muhammed Ali to France here.

I was getting pretty tired from walking at this point, as I hadn’t eaten lunch, so I shot these photos but didn’t really know where I was or I would have walked down the Champs Élysées (left of here) ~ the “Elysian Fields” ~ a place for dead heroes (in Greek mythology).

Also where many people were guillotined during the French Revolution… Ick!

A lovely little shaded park and pathway… Sorry it is not centered. Bad photographing on my part!

I walked right by the Tuleries Garden and did go inside. I ate lunch at a cute café there but I want to share that later, so no photos here!

Eventually, I did find a culinary store called Boulanger, which I understand is a small chain store. For my niece and her fiancé, I bought a pasta maker. I wanted to get them something they might not buy for themselves but would be fun and useful! Ikea was across the street so I went there afterwards, and used their restroom (always important!) and to pick up a gift card, too. <3

After that, I forced myself to go figure out how to ride the Metro home…

My feet were tired… Riding back to our hotel aboard the Metro to our hotel ~ Les Jardins de Eiffel ~ was bliss! A French woman was very sweet and pulled down the fold-up seat for me so I could sit. She must have seen the harried look on my face, lol!

I got off at Quai d’Orsay Metro station, and headed back over the rue (street) and up a few blocks to our hotel. I felt a little more “Parisienne” that day and “less tourist!” I was learning how to get around. ;)’

Round deux!

I was totally excited when I got back (and now rested from sitting) and Amy was well rested after a two-hour+ nap. I told her about my adventures and that I had four €2.00 coins ~ enough for two trips out to L’Opéra Metro stop in the 1st Arrondissement and back ~ we could go back!?!

Amy caught the bug of excitement, so off we went to hop the Metro!!! She was excited about going shopping at a Parisienne mall, and maybe to dinner downtown (we actually ate when we got back to our little area in the 7th, which turned out to be perfect).

Le Grand Hôtel ~ one of the first beautiful buildings we saw in this part of Paris (1st Arrondissement) ~ with its outside café. Love the wrought iron and deep green patio covers and umbrellas!!!

L’Opéra National de Paris

After walking just a block or so from the Metro station, we came to Paris’ National Opera ~ the Palais Garnier. I asked my daughter if she’d like to go look inside but we decided to save L’Opéra for another time.

Wouldn’t it be fun to see a theatrical production here?!!

Part of the rear side of L’Opéra, if I remember correctly.
Another cinematic view…
The beginning of the shopping district

We continued on our walk and headed towards our final destination and a little shopping…

A little surprise garden down an alleyway…

Les Galeries Lafayette

We found a whole shopping area with stores like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and more. We followed the crown right into the glass doors of Les Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann. Opened in 1893, the Galeries has a magnificent cupola ceiling created by “master glassworkerJacques Grüber and finished around 1912 (The Good Life France).

The building underwent a major renovation in 1932 which “introduced some ‘modern’ angular and faceted Art Deco elements into its structure and decoration.”

The Good Life France

We browsed some lovely clothes and looked at lots of fun jewelry. After about an hour we decided it was time to head back to dinner… (Funny how “tired” sneaks up on you!)

We had a great time shopping and just browsing a few stores. Surprisingly, we only bought a few t-shirts but didn’t buy anything really fashionable.

On our way back towards the Metro station, we came across this light post. It was so ornate.

Now I see what looks like some kind of Viking warship… Perhaps this was erected when Napoleon was in power?

I wonder what its significance is? Anyway, thoughts for another day. 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed this day in Paris! A city of much military history and more.

Jusqu’à a la prochaine fois,

Barb 🙂


Let’s Visit the Musée du Louvre! (Épisode Un)

Thinking what it was going to be like to go to The Louvre in Paris, I never in my wildest imagination thought how magnificent everything would be…

Hang on to your hats, grab something cool to drink and let’s take a tour! I promise not to share all 300+ photos today but just some highlights. I’ll share more later but just the outside of the museum is enough for just one post!

The inner courtyard of the Musée du Louvre

The Louvre palace was begun by King Francis I in 1546 on the site of a 12th-century fortress built by King Philip II. Francis was a great art collector, and the Louvre was to serve as his royal residence. “


Grand Extraordinaire

The sheer immensity of the buildings which make up the Louvre just doesn’t show in anyone’s photographs! You really need to experience it…

One of the reasons I am sooooo glad I was able to finally visit Paris and to see it with my daughter Amy. This was her big bucket list item to see while we were there in France and it just kept on giving…

My desire was to see the Tulleries out back, and I had walked a bit through them the night we tried to go up into the Eiffel Tower (didn’t happen, long story!).

Looking left
Looking forward as we walked more forward

We tried to get tickets but they were sold out. I had paid for as much of our trip in cash as I could before we left, setting up our hotels/AirBnB’s. I just had no more money to set up our two big sightseeing trips to Versailles and the Louvre, so we just walked over and “took a chance” on getting in…

Incredible statues of famous people from Roman, Greek, and French cultures surround the courtyard.

Correct me if I am wrong, but most of these statues are to show the citizens of the time who these famous figures were. We decided not to pay for the headphones and went on our own guided tour just taking our time and browsing through the rooms we really wanted to see.

Amy had read on the Louvre website that upwards of 30,000 visitors come through the entrance here underneath the pyramid to tour each day.

Covid be damned! We were going!! Some people wore masks but it was a good 90+ degrees and we just decided to forego masks; too hot. We never wore masks after the airplane ride. Very few people coughed. Paris was having an increase in Covid cases but those were locals, from what we learned from a waitress at one of the cafés we ate at.

While visiting the Louvre, we met a lot of nice people and enjoyed visiting with staff members who sit in each room. They are there for you to ask questions and by doing this, we kept them from total boredom. 🙂 Okay, and they make sure you don’t sneak off with “some souvenir,” too!

An iconic view… Reminds me of a shot from one of Tom Hanks’ movies ~ The Da Vinci Code. Fun movie if you haven’t seen it!

We only waited about an hour as the security staff who checked bags and let tour groups inside were gracious enough to NOT just let in tour groups. They would go back and forth letting people queue up to enter.

It took about an hour, which we thought wasn’t bad. Better than Disneyland!

I was blown away by the incredible detail on the outsides of each building… This roof was de rigueur in its time ~ a masterpiece made of lead. We noticed that several chimneys had to be supported with cables to prevent them falling off. Wise decision!

Let’s go inside!

Our first stop was the restrooms (of course) followed by a trip to the counters for a map. Amy guided us through each floor and we began with the Greek and Roman section.

This was some kind of list of grain sales, I believe. Amy read out the description.

We took our time but moved quickly since we wanted to see most of the museum. My goal was to see Napoleon’s quarters, and Amy wanted to study all the Roman antiquities.

Really cool statuettes and bronze mirror!

I am not good with Roman and Greek mythology but my daughter amazed me with all of her knowledge and happily was my personal tour guide! She knows a massive amount about what was going on during each time period; she could be a commentator on a historical program.

If you haven’t seen any old episodes of Odyssey – Ancient History Documentaries and the original name Time Team on YouTube, you should check it out! Off the air since 2012, the British archeologists on the show’s 20-year run are brilliant at finding and sharing archeological finds and often very funny! Great show for seeing how people used to live back in Neolithic, Medieval and other times through digs all within the “three-days-to-do-it” motto. Filmed all within the United Kingdom with a few specials across Europe.

Look up!

The ceilings within the museum were massive and entire rooms were moved and reset within the museum or were there since the time of the Louises and Napoleon and later up to Louis XVIII.

The paintings, many for propaganda purposes to impress visitors, were scenes of famous mythological battles. I think it was in 1789, after the French Revolution was over and life had settled down, the Louvre became the place to house France’s treasures. Much of what was held within all six museums in Paris, the best was brought to the Louvre to become the main museum of France and one of the finest in the world.

Thankfully, not everything was destroyed during the fires and stripping of France’s castles during that time period. Some pieces were taken as souvenirs, some were taken by royalists to preserve and protect them.

After Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette lost their heads, Napoleon added a lot of treasures to the Louvre from his travels to Egypt and beyond.

Venus de Milo
Same lady from the rear. 😉

Venus de Milo was really one of the few super famous pieces we saw last Monday (just a week ago now). We couldn’t get near the Mona Lisa… We snapped from afar.

Venus with different hair styles.

Amazing detail in each statue! The stone just sparkles in the sunlight and some statues were luminescent!!

We were blown away by the musculature which shows through many of the statues. How did the carvers “see” this within each piece of stone?

Another of Venus’ gorgeous hairstyles!
Monsieur Paris ~ Many of the male figures were missing an important part of their anatomy… We guessed that perhaps that these statues were broken during shipping from wherever they found.

After a while, we knew we needed the tags with each statue or piece we photographed so we could identify them when we got home. So here is Paris’ info.!

“Off with her head!”

We learned from hearing some guides that often statues were made in pieces and pieced together. This woman’s upper body (head cavity) showed how the head bust would have been added on after the main body was in situ. Her arm was also missing but I didn’t get a close-up of that area.

Well, I would love to keep going with this post but I think this is a good place to stop for now. I will get more ready for the weekend for you.

Amy and I enjoyed a good six hours there at the Louvre wandering up and down the long corridors. We ate lunch at a cute restaurant and met another Amy (Emi) at our table. We also visited the gift shops and brought home some loot!

Thank you for pinning! 🙂

I hope you have enjoyed this post and please leave a comment about what you enjoyed when you toured the Louvre!

A bientôt,

Barb 🙂

Holidays, Travel

Bonjour de Paris!

Bonjour, mes amies! My daughter Amy and I made it safely to Paris aboard our super clean (and large) 787 aircraft taking an overnight hop from Dallas-Fort Worth to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport. Great trip! A bit cramped but at nine seats across the airplane, it really was quite spacious…

It was raining as we came into land at CDG around 1:15pm. The outskirts of Paris are surrounded with industrial buildings. We passed by headquarters for many European companies as well as an Ikea and Samsung building as our driver headed south from the airport into Paris proper.

It was raining fairly hard as we pulled into one of nine terminals at Charles de Gaulle airport.

There was a bit of traffic but the drive was a quick 40 minutes. I was really pleased with Welcome Pickups as a driver service! This company was recommended by our hotel ~ Les Jardins de Eiffel, a beautiful 3-star hotel in the heart of the 7th Arrondisement here in Paris.

Paris’ Stade de France, where France won its first FIFA World Cup title in 1998. In that year, France beat Brazil 3-0. This stadium was built to house that football (soccer) match and will also host track and field events during the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics.

Our driver was on-time (actually early, and booked for us for 2 hours or so), showed us where to get our American dollars exchanged at CDW, and toured us around Paris which is how I shot most of these photographs. 🙂

I have no idea who this rider is, and I looked… Apparently, Paris has many horse and rider statues placed about the city.

I appreciated his giving us a quick tour around the Arc de Triomphe, a big statue in the center of town, and a view of Paris’ enormous 80,000+ seat stadium, le Stade de France (can you imagine??).

Paris is sooo beautiful! Of course, it has modern buildings mixed in with the the ancient ones, but how can you not love a city with such gorgeous architecture?? Most of my photographs are of ironwork railings and plasterwork… This is what I am looking for amongst our travels about the city.

Les Jardines de Eiffel Hotel

Our room was upgraded by the hotel staff, which was wonderful! Upon arrival, we were told that our room has a view of the Eiffel Tower and it didn’t disappoint. Le Jardines de Eiffel Hotel is a beautiful small hotel was recommended to me by our friend Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy and is everything she said it would be!

Charming, right off a small street ~ 8, rue Amélie ~ about a mile from the Eiffel Tower (witha great view right outside our bedroom window!). Our room had a queen size bed, a tele for watching the news, a teapot to have a nice cuppa, and an en suite bathroom with a tall tub.

It took us a while to figure out how to turn on the lights! None of them worked at first but you have to slide your room card key into this slot on the wall and then the lights and a/c radiator units work. Always fun to learn how to use things in another country!

Stohrer Chocolate, Rue Cler, Paris, France

We ended our day with dinner at a little café and a stop by a chocolate store…

Yummy! Ils sont trés bons!

We picked up some milk chocolate truffles and I found a wonderfully chocolate mousee-filled éclair to snack on back in our room.

depuis 1738

This chocolate shop (magasin de chocolate) had beautiful marble counters and wooden display cases (why didn’t I take more photos??).

Seems as though all of the shops we poked our heads into have been there forever! Our café had solid wooden plank floors, my guess is at least 2″ thick, 10″ x 2″. They didn’t squeak or bend under my weight ~ good flooring!

It didn’t last long… ;)’

The young lady who helped us talked about how Parisienne chocolates were so different than any others. We had asked about why they tasted so much better! I do have to say, the mousse inside this éclair was really fluffy but not overly sweet, which was perfect.

And that was our first day in Paris, friends!!

Jusqu’à la prochaine fois,

Barb 🙂


Share Your Style #353

Welcome to this week’s Share Your Style #351! We have a lot of great features to share…

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you! I appreciate your subscribing, also. As always, I am glad that you are here… 💜

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

Bonsoir du Paris, my friends!!! Amy and I made it to the City of Light (La Ville-Lumière) flying all night and landing early this afternoon on French time. We are seven hours ahead so I will check on the party early Thursday morning your time when I wake up ~ about midnight for you. 😉

I have a reservation for us to walk up the Eiffel Tower stairs on Wednesday evening as part of a small guided tour. I am really looking forward to seeing the tower all lit up and twinkling! A YouTuber shared that the lights twinkle at 5 minutes past the hour every hour, so pretty!!! We hope to go to Versailles on Thursday but might just bum around the city instead, saving Versailles for the following week. No reservations yet so we will just see what’s what.

So, let’s catch up on some 4th of July posts along with this week’s features, shall we?

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

And here are this week’s featured posts…

french approved non-skinny jean summer basics
Jennifer from Curated by Jennifer brings us fun summery looks which are apropos for our summer travels! Trés bon!!! ~ French Approved Non-Skinny Jeans Summer Basics.
Penny of Penny’s Treasures shares with us a look at Celebrating the 4th of July in the Backyard. Looks so inviting (and cool!)!!
Shelbee on the Edge, Smoked Country Bluegrass Festival
Shelby from Shelby on the Edge shared her family’s fun experience Festival Camping at Smoked Country Jam + Link Up on the Edge #301. This is what summer is all about!
Soooo into the bright colors of summertime! Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home shared a Simple and Sunny Summer Kitchen Refresh look in her home’s newly renovated kitchen. Love it!!!
Rita from Panoply brings us treasures from storage in this post ~
Purse Collections Excavated from Storage. Aren’t these fantastic?!! Do check out her post for a whole lot more…
Summer Garden Updates is a bountiful post full of the fruits of her labor ~ from MaryJo at Master “Pieces” of My Life.
Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy brings us wonderful history and insights about this artist and his family during Nazi-occupied France during WWII in her post ~ Paris in July: Marc Chagall.
Debra from Common Ground brings out her flock in this adorable vintage-style post ~ The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost. Cute!!!
Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz shared her travel post from Sequoia National Park: Land of Giants. Wow…!

Honorable Mention

A hysterically funny post (okay, it’s all the sidebar Pinterest pins) as part of Amber from The Hungry Mountaineer‘s yummy post ~ Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins. Amber writes a lot of hiking posts from state parks and from around her home in California.

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy linking, stay cool and Happy July everyone!

Barb 🙂

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France Nous Voici! (Here We Come!)

It is done, mes amies! Two tickets to fly to Paris’ Charles De Gaulle Airport are now reserved in mine and my daughter’s names…

*Above photo courtesy of VacationPerfect.com.

Now the fun begins!

I need your help. Where have you stayed which was beautiful but around $400 or less/night? I did see that we could get bunk beds in a hostel, but would our suitcases and belongings be safe all day while we are out shopping/dining/browsing/touring?

My niece’s wedding is on Saturday in Grenoble, so my thought was take the red-eye to CDG airport on Tuesday/land on Wednesday, check into our hotel, leave our bags and get out right away for sight-seeing in Paris! We land at 1:25pm so hopefully we can get a cab or shuttle to the hotel. We will probably look around a bit, grab an early dinner and head to bed (ha!). (You know me, I’ll be out photographing EVERYTHING!!!)

Versailles ~ Hall of Mirrors

Amy and I will spend two days ooohing and aaahing over Versailles and the gardens, and seeing whatever we can squish into our days there in Paris. We may have a couple of days on our way back from Grenoble, too. I would love to go and see the lavender fields but I just think there isn’t enough time in one week…

What are your experiences in France with security out on the streets or in the hotels? Can we walk around with our purses hanging around our necks or should we just take small wallets and keep in our front pockets??

Now the fun stuff!

We will arrive on Wednesday and stay in Paris for two days. What are your must see things to do?

Which arrondisement did you enjoy staying in the most? Left Bank or Right Bank?

I’ve looked at Courtney of French Country Cottage‘s post The Most Charming Apartment to Stay In as a start for hotel ideas.

On that Friday, we hop on a train to Grenoble. How do we do this y’all? Totally excited, but I am concerned about getting to the train station.

I finally got into the USPS last week and my paperwork is sent/uploaded with “expedite” for my new passport’s return. Amy will go right to the main location there in Austin this coming week and get hers done.

A Grenoble Wedding

five unique summer experiences in france part two

So, yes, we will have to travel to Grenoble sometime during the day. I think there is a dinner Friday night for guests and then the wedding on Saturday. I know there is hiking around Grenoble and it’ll be nice to go for a short hike and just ogle over the scenery! What mountains… Hope the roses and lavender will be in bloom!

Well, I am going to fire off this post and listen to all of your thoughts and comments! Please feel free to share with friends who you think might have some tips and advice for a good trip, thank you!!! 💜

Here are a couple of other pre-France posts I’ve shared in the past:

About France and a Little More Virtual Travel and French Inspiration ~ really this was my trip to Germany as a 19 year old college student on an exchange program.

Happy Saturday, y’all,

Barb 🙂


The Crown Jewel of Crown Heights

Hello again, dear friends! There are pockets of gorgeous homes all throughout the United States and throughout the world, but when my friend Torrance and I drove up to visit a couple of garden centers this week, we pushed on to visit Crown Heights in Oklahoma City…

Built during the 1930’s and into the 1940’s and 1950’s, Crown Heights and eventually its sister neighborhood, Edgemere Heights, were upscale neighborhoods where doctors and Oklahoma City leaders first lived. There is a nice history on the Crown Heights/Edgemere Heights web page where I learned about the neighborhood and would you believe lots were offered at $750 each back then?

But my main reason for a tour through the neighborhood was to see if I could drive by the home of a favorite YouTube gardener, Linda Vater.

Linda’s home is to me the crown jewel of these two neighborhoods

Constructed of stone and brick in Tudor style, her home has a historical plaque dated 1935 set into its doorway. Linda has been gardening here for over 30 years and is a self-taught gardener (but you’d never know it!). She has a book coming out for new and long-time gardeners alike, plus her home has been featured in many magazines over the years.

If you’ve ever watched Linda’s YouTube channel, then you’ve seen her garden transform from season to season. In spring her front yard is a mass of tulips and azaleas blooming in whites, pinks and other soft colors befitting the English style of her home.

I love all the topiary in small urns up on the patio brick wall and the little sitting areas.

Here in summertime, pink roses are blooming while other plants have quieted down to summer greens. This year is a recovery year for so many gardeners across the midwest due to the Arctic freeze in February which killed so many of our plants. This yard is rebuilding, too.

Linda’s and her neighbor’s yards throughout Oklahoma City were double-hit with the freeze and a freak ice storm late in the fall. Her 100 year old oak tree. seen to the left in the first photograph above, lost many of its limbs because of this first blast, then the plantings underneath were hit again during the winter deep freeze. You’d never know it here as she has replanted many of the azaleas along the front patio wall (some a gift from Southern Living Plants, whom she is a spokesperson). She has also been nursing the surviving boxwood balls back to health, too. That’s why some look “wooly.”

Just gorgeous!!!

It’s not just Linda Vater’s home which is lovely, but the whole area is just beautiful with many neighbors having lovely gardens!

Torrance and I were ogling the whole area, deciding which houses we’d like to live in. 😉 It had just rained (was still dripping a little drizzle) as we drove through and this lent a nice quiet overcast with no shadows, good for photographing each home!

I loved all the gables, porticos, side porches, brick pathways, mullioned windows, and of course the gardens!

We turned a corner onto an adjoining street and found this home having its slate roof redone. Isn’t this Colonial Revival home pretty? (Or could it be a little Federal??) I love the adjoining room(s) above the garage.

I was actually surprised at really how small some of the homes actually are. Cameras and especially certain lenses really add depth and scale to homes, so I thought Linda’s home was bigger and further apart from her neighbors’ homes, but really it isn’t. She is always saying that her backyard is really pretty small, though it looks quite large on camera.

Torrance thought that these homes must be deeper than wider and sit into their respective backyards, which is quite likely. Most were just average size homes (to today’s standards). They would have been quite grand during the 1930’s ~ probably why those doctors and city leaders lived here!

Coming along another street, we found this backyard garden with its incredible brick and wrought iron fencing… I loved the fencing! Torrance loved the tall orange-striped tiger which was inside the back iron gate (she took a photo; I didn’t).

I would LOVE to do something like this at our home, but…

Yeah… ($$$)

I might be able to add some “windows” into our wooden fencing with a few wrought aluminum pieces, though. 🙂

Love the bay windows!

Just a really pretty neighborhood set into an older part of Oklahoma City…

Then we found the Crown Heights obelisk marker… A perfect addition to our home dream-shopping trip!!!

And some pretty garden areas along the city streets as we made our way to the freeway headed towards home… and a nice double-decker pizza restaurant we will have to try out another time. ;)’

Thought you’d enjoy a tour of Crown Heights and a drive-by… 😉

Happy dreaming!

Barb 🙂


Share Your Style #308

Welcome friends, to this week’s Share Your Style #308! Happy Wednesday to you all, dear friends!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you!
 As always, I am glad that you are here…

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

My inlaws drove home safely ~ it was really nice to visit with my mother-in-law Gini, SIL Jodi and nephew Corey over the past two weeks! I know they were happy to get home last Saturday afternoon, as we all are after a long trip away. 🙂

I am finally feeling better after coming down with an “unspecified virus” which the doctor at the local urgent care thinks might be Post-Covid Syndrome. I am just happy I tested negative for a number of things and the results just came back from the mammogram. Nothing out of the ordinary; just the usual-for-me fibrous tissue. 💜 

We took down the old shed and are waiting for the new one’s arrival! It looks like it might come on Friday so I sent off to the City to request a final permit. There should be no issues now since all their issues were with location and the rest had previously been finalized. I’ll be happy when it is fully installed and I no longer have to talk to the City…

And can you believe it is 4th of July this weekend, already??… Where has time flown?? Lots of fun ideas here this week for celebrating!

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

Prepping for a New Shed ~ the saga continues and I am ready to be DONE!

And here are this week’s featured posts…

sliced patriotic cake on white plate decorated with red, white and blue.
Lois of Walking on Sunshine Recipes brings us this yummy patriotic recipe for celebrating with our families and friends on our nation’s
Independence Day ~ 4th of July Cookie Cake. Yum!!!
Totally loving this fun wreath by Cindy of Cloches and Lavender! You’ll love these miniature pots… adorable! ~ How to Make This Grapevine Wreath.
Penny from Penny’s Treasures always has the neatest vintage-style decor posts and this update on her bedroom is just in keeping! Summer Bedroom ~ check out the new sheets and what she did with a second set…
Debbie from Debbie-Dabble Blog shared her pretty gardens in this post ~ A Bit of Yellow in the Gardens, June 2021 Garden Update. Wait until you see who came to visit??! She’s a cutie!!!
Jeanie from The Marmelade Gypsy shares her sweet paintings in this colorful post ~ From Palette to Paper. Isn’t this guy adorable and soooo realistic??!!
For our daughters and any of us still in shape to wear fun tops like this, Maya over at The Little Treasures shared this fun pattern to crochet! ~ Madison Top Pattern Release. When I was a teen, I had some really cute strappy tops like this but nowadays, it’d be a “backyard-only” on me! My daughter however… 😉 Love the retro 70’s vibe!!!
8 Spray Paint Projects To Do
Rachelle from My Hubbard Home shares this fun post for updating our home decor on a budget ~ 8 Spray Paint Projects to do This Weekend. Love ’em all!!!
An important thought as we come into Post-Covid times: 3 Tips for Improving Your Mental Health from Shelbee of Shelbee on the Edge.
woman in striped sweater and jeans against white background getting ready to declutter extra pillows
Julie from Filling the Jars shared this wonderful post for also mentally (and physically!) clearing and cleaning the cobwebs ~ Do These 3 Things When You Are Overwhelmed by Clutter.
Renae over at Peacock Ridge Farm shared this lovely post on Our French Country Front Porch Makeover. Love it and those urns!!!…
Debbee from Debbee’s Buzz shared this neat travel-related post ~ Steamboat Springs Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival. Don’t y’all just love seeing a balloon liftoff?!! I had to work the front gate on the night they did the “glow” for the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival (when we lived on Lake Skinner, our year + as RV camp hosts), BUT we could see a little from the main entry kiosk! 🙂 And of course lots of balloons flying over the next morning!
Free RV checklist printable packing list. Don't forget anything on your next camping trip in your travel trailer. This free printable camping list has everything covered!
For long-term RV living and just for summer camping, here’s a nice list from Sarah from Must Have Mom ~ Free RV Checklist Printable Packing List. She isn’t kidding, friends! It’s bigger (and pared-down) for long-term living. 🙂

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Happy linking, everyone!

Barb 🙂

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Share Your Style #307

Welcome friends, to this week’s Share Your Style #307! Happy Wednesday to you all, dear friends!

This link party is for home decor, DIY, crafts, recipes and the like, but you are more than welcome to share any of your family-friendly posts with us all. Please feel free to share this post too and join my small but loyal band of friends. I appreciate you!
 As always, I am glad that you are here…

I am Barbara Chapman and I’d love it if you’d follow me here on my blog and on any of my other social media sites, too.  Thank you!💜 

French Ethereal: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

This past week I’ve been over to McKinney with my mother- and sister-in-law visiting a friend of Jodi’s who moved there back about 20 years ago. Gini and I went over to the City of McKinney’s Vital Statistics building and happily found a microfiche of her grandfather and grandmother’s marriage license from 1897!

On Friday evening, we went to a Texas Rangers’ game down in Arlington. They ended up losing but we enjoyed getting out and trying some ballpark foods and listening to the crowds and announcer, and enjoying the ballgame live.

Saturday was a workday and Gini, Jodi and Corey (my nephew, who flew in on Friday morning) drove over to Farmersville to watch an IOOF and a group of local re-enactors honoring of an 1812 soldier from the area. Because of the busy week, I didn’t go but I would have enjoyed the ceremony. I slept all Saturday afternoon.

My mother-in-law Gini, sister-in-law Jodi and hubby Charles
Corey showing off his perfect pizza!

Sunday we enjoyed baking homemade pizzas out in the Ooni and then we worked on a satin banner project Gini is making for a future IOOF ceremony.

This banner will have a purple backing and other images placed around it and wording at the top and bottom. Should be neat when it is all done!

Since Monday, I’ve been down with a cold or Covid-type feeling illness… If it is Covid related, two days on, the vaccine is beating it down and I am feeling better today. 🙂

And thank you, friends! We had 84 links up last week, and there were so many good posts to look through to feature. Keep ’em coming!…

Here’s what I shared this past week at French Ethereal…

This month’s Pinterest Challenge was all about setting a Summer Table and here is my entry ~ Setting a Beautiful Summer Table with Castleton’s Dolly Madison China.

And here are this week’s featured posts…

Debbie from Debbie-Dabble Blog shares her home decorated for the upcoming 4th of July celebrations in this pretty RWB post ~
A Little Bit More RWB in the Living Room. Love love love this wreath!!!
Juliet from French Country Cottage shared her beautiful find in this DIY post ~ French Country Cottage Sideboard. Beautiful!!!
DIY Sock Gnome
Kippi of Kippi at Home shared her really in-depth instructions to make these
Easy DIY Gnomes [Tutorial]. Totally cute and perfect for us to create this summer for all the seasons coming up!
Awwwww! Puppy Challenges in the Garden was shared by Sandra from Come to Dinner at Eight. Puppies are a challenge but with time and good correction, all puppies can turn into the best dogs! Come check out this sweet post {and isn’t Finnegan just cute??!}…
Perfect as a follow-up, this post from Kelli at 3 Boys and a Dog looks like a fun recipe to make for your favorite furry friends! ~
Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Puppy Chow.
Vintage Botanical Print in the Early Summer Entry is this week’s share from Debra over at Common Ground. I love Debra’s wonderful mélange of goodies she puts together each season here in here entry, and I bet you do, too.
Lori over at Dinner for Eight shared her stunning table set for summer in this post ~ Blueberry Bliss Summer Tablescape. Love the soft blues!
purple floral kimono, olive green midi dress, caged sandals, wicker bag, Style Imitating Art, fashion over 40, Shelbee on the Edge
Shelbee from Shelbee on the Edge shared this lovely lavender-filled post
Style Imitating Art: Heather, Sweet Peas and Butterflies. Love Shelbee’s outfit for this garden tour!!
Tara from Stilettos and Shiplap brings us this DIY post ~ Thrift Store Challenge: Coffee Table Makeover. Love how it turned out!
Newcomer Lena from Way 2 Good Life brings us this fun travel post ~
Balloon Festivals in the United States. I can tell you they are so beautiful to
watch lift off! Welcome, Lena!!! She has also shared this post ~ With love from Medora, North Dakota’s Treasure.
Last up for this week is Amber from Follow the Yellow Brick Home sharing her finished kitchen remodel in this post ~ Cheerful Summer Kitchen Refresh. Love the bright pops of color for the season!

Thank You so much to everyone who linked up this past week. A special thank you to everyone for always promoting Share Your Style on your blog and on your social media channels! I do see it when I stop by and I appreciate the love. 💜

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

If you’d like to follow my Share Your Style board on Pinterest I’d appreciate it, thank you! I do post all of the featured posts from each week’s SYS there plus usually other photos from those posts to my boards. 💜  Thanks so much!!! If you are new to French Ethereal, I hope you will think about subscribing to my blog.

Have a great week, dear friends!

Barb 🙂

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Click here to enter

Let’s Take a Roadtrip to “The Greenhouse…”

My friend Torrance and I took a trip recently back up to Norman*, Oklahoma, since her daughter and son-in-law graduated from the University of Oklahoma and she knew the area pretty well. While touring around, I looked for garden centers we could possibly visit and I found a good one!!!

A lovely koi pond in the main side garden towards the entrance. Styled very naturalistically with local rocks and plants tucked in crevices surrounding the pond, this will be a wonderfully shady spot beneath the trees surrounding it!

Torrance loves garden centers as much as I do and we have a lot in common: she worked and retired from the same school district as I am currently working for here in North Texas, she loves to garden, and we belong to the IOOF, which is where we met.

But I digress! We actually drove up just to tour around Norman, Oklahoma, to see the university, have lunch and maybe do some shopping. I hadn’t been to a mall since Covid broke out over a year ago. We did do that later in the day, but while the weather was nice and cool and so sunny that day, we just had to stop by a few garden centers…

And by searching my phone for garden centers, that is how we found The Greenhouse…

The Greenhouse ~ 1708 24th Avenue SW, Norman, Oklahoma 73072

The archway in the lead photograph is one of the ways into seven or more actual cold frames and greenhouses on the property. This is a massive garden center where they actually pot-on clippings and root up seedlings for sale.

You can tour around most of the areas and piles of plastic trays are situated here and there for toting your garden finds around as you go about the yard. Customers can pick up a tray and plunk plants into them to carry around. Of course, then you find too many pretties to easily carry around, so you transfer them to a sweet Red Flyer wagon. There are “stands” of these wagons in the green houses and inside the main building. ;)’

Inside the main building are vignettes with indoor plants, planters, cute decorative pots for indoor plants as well as specialty items. I found a pretty “hose guide” to keep your hose from destroying blooms as you pull it out around the garden.

We had the best time enjoying running water fountains and watching the koi splashing about and waiting for food to drop into their pond in the main garden area! Each area is set up for either house plants or starts and bigger containers to plant outdoors.

Lots of small pots perfect for succulents and indoor plants, plus pretty spring pillows for entertaining outdoors…

We found areas with gorgeous ferns, banana trees and lush palms, other areas with tables full of roses… No English roses but many of the Knockout pinks and reds ~ which do well here in the southern midwest and plains of Oklahoma and Texas. I was just enjoying looking around and took no photographs of these… Sorry! I did however take a few videos and here is a link to my YouTube to see one.

I did take one of this sweet Fairy Garden planted inside an old hanging basket now set on a stand!

Here you can see a little more of how each covered area is laid out. Tiered stands hold plantings and tucked here and there are statues and water fountains for sale. I found a lovely maiden for $400 which would have tucked nicely into our garden, but she or another Girl will have to wait for another time. (no photo) 🙂

The Greenhouse is shaded by many oak trees and the greenhouses are built around them, which I thought was wonderful planning on the part of the garden designers.

I love this giant metal artichoke statue!! Doesn’t it make a fun statement here in the garden?

I love playful gardens!

Just a couple of last looks at a large pond and waterfall which inside one of the main greenhouses surrounded by gorgeous tropical plants…

Really a wonderfully curated garden center ~ if you ever come this way to Oklahoma City, do stop by Norman (about 30 minutes south on I-35) and visit The Greenhouse…

Hope you’ve enjoyed today’s tour!

Hugs, Barb 🙂