France

A Lavender Sea

by Tessa on August 23, 2013

in France, Style, Trips & Travels

Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Deep breath
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Background behind this little blog of mine. When I was coming up with a name, I wanted it to represent something important to me; something that’s made me who I am. Instantly I thought of the sea, of the calm hushing melody of crashing waves that has been a constant part of my life. Then of lavender. Side story. When I was three, I was harshly burned and spent a week in the ICU. After returning home, my mother put lavender oil on my skin for months. It’s said that smell is most strongly connected to memory and lavender is a healing and calming scent for me. A scent so beautiful and wonderful! So you can imagine how intensely delighted I was to find fields of lavender in France! Well… seas of lavender;) It was a sublime moment, to walk through rows upon rows of the most beautiful and most delicious scented flower as the sun set and the wind caused the lavender to ripple like the waves of the sea. That evening won’t be easily forgotten.

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A Rabbit Hole in France

by Tessa on July 4, 2013

in France, Style, Trips & Travels

French tree-lined roadsFrench tree-lined roadsFrench tree-lined roadsFrench tree-lined roadsFrench tree-lined roadsFrench tree-lined roadsSunset via A Lavender Sea BLogSunset via A Lavender Sea BlogIt seems that in France, it’s a trend to line the streets with towering trees; and often, major tree-lined streets diverge into smaller tree-lined streets. But who can complain!? Especially when the roads are long and windy and make you feel as though you’re not actually driving through France but Wonderland instead.  And when the sun sets and casts a majestic glow through the canopy of leaves that you can hear rustling in the warm summer breeze, it’s nothing short of paradise. So, yes, I can understand the French infatuation with this wonderful combination of trees and streets. And I can only imagine what this little Wonderland-ish street would look like in the fall when the leaves would be a breathtaking array of autumn hues. Why, if this street were a rabbit hole, I’d fall through it dozens of times! Wouldn’t you!?

In other news, happy fourth of July to everyone in the States!! We’ll be back in America in a week so we’ve barely missed the celebrations of one of my favorite holidays!! No fireworks or bbqs for us but we’ll be meeting at the Arc de Triumph to picnic with some other expat friends today (because you honestly can’t not have watermelon and lemonade on the fourth!!).

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The Best Travel Days

by Tessa on July 2, 2013

in France, Trips & Travels

Pizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaSometimes when you travel, you just have to wear those really comfy European-like pants (which should probably be ironed again) that you bought at the neighborhood thrift shop and that feel like you’re walking around in pajamas all day. And sometimes you just have to buy pizza from the pizza truck because in France, everything is gourmet and whether you’re buying pizza from a restaurant or a truck, you’ll be eating heaven. And sometimes, comfy pants and pizza truck days are the best kind of days. And on those days, you just have to smile like the crazy man on the pizza box.

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Cherry standIt’s been a while. It’s been a while. We’ve been in France for the past week and a half, driving through all the quaint towns in Provence, WHICH brings me to theses adorable cherry stands! They were all along the sides of the major streets; you’d just pull off the road, buy your cherries, and head back on your way! Genius. Some cherry stands were run out of the big trucks of bearded men while others were run by adorable French ladies and set up with signs and adorable little decorations that I died over:)
Cherry standCherriesCherriesOur baskets of cherries added the perfect touch to our adventure. As we cruised through the south of France, French jazz played on the radio while the breeze that carried the delicious scent of the Lavender fields came in through the windows while cherry pits flew out; bread and cheese was passed around and for a few delightful moments we felt like we weren’t just visiting France but that we belonged there.
Cherry treeWhen we saw this lone but laden cherry tree, we stopped to admire its beauty. How can you not admire its grandeur!? It’s nothing short of majestic. I’d like to buy a small cottage with a large yard and plant a cherry pit in the middle. It’s just a shame it would take soooo long to grow into a tree as grand as this one!
By the cherry treeIn the cherry treeBy the cherry treeFruit standCherry standThese said cherry stands were everywhere and they completely stole my heart!! I believe that after my own cherry tree is big and grand, I’ll start having my own cherry stands! America needs more fruit stands. Right!?CherriesCherriesStrawberriesCherriesCherriesCherriesAlso, I’d eat the sign too, IT’S SO ADORABLE! But I guess hanging it on my wall would be more socially acceptable.

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Adventuring

by Tessa on May 15, 2013

in France, Trips & Travels

WindThe Road to SomewhereWindWindWindThe months seem to fly by! We’re already in May and in what’ll seem like only a few days, it’ll end. June will fly by just as quickly and then it’ll be me flying home to the states! When I talk with my friends at home, I feel as if the day of our flight couldn’t come soon enough, but once I’m out walking around this amazing city, I feel as though I could never leave! I have two homes now and I’ve realized that I can’t live in either country without missing the other!
My definition of an “adventure” has changed since living here. I used to spend my time at malls but when there are museums and cathedrals, alleys and street markets to explore, malls seem so dull! Sometimes, I get off the metro at a stop I’ve never been to before just to wander through someplace new and see what gems are to be found! We took these photos on the side of the road in France. I saw the green field and tree lined street and had my dad pull over just to take pictures! I would never have imagined that a field would excite me! I never wandered through my home city in California to find cool and unusual areas, so I’m excited to do just that. I’m excited to look at my own country through different eyes; through the eyes of someone looking for an adventure, through the eyes of someone who wants to find every gem in the city, and wander through every nook and cranny. Do you explore your city? What do your adventures look like?

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Toulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceNormally I love rainy days… when I’m wrapped up in blankets in my room, deep in a romance novel, sipping hot chocolate, and listening to the drops pelt my window. However, when you’re out traveling and the weather man forgot to mention that there was a chance of rain and that you’re going to want something more than just Mary Janes to walk around in, rainy days lose a little bit of their charm. Mr. Weather Man’s just lucky that I was pleased that the umbrella we conveniently had matched my scarf and jacket; little things like that just make everything better! So I forgive you, dear old weather man. This Time. Anyways, although our day in Toulouse, France was dreary, the next day was unbelievably gorgeous! So, we decided to call rainy days “production days”, because when the clouds go on their way, they leave behind skies so blue, they’re steroidal and hills so green you drool. So, now, anytime there’s a rainy day, my dad says “It’s a production day today but just wait until tomorrow; it’ll be beautiful!” And it always is;)

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Lourdes, FranceLourdes, FranceLourdes, FranceLourdes, FranceLourdes, FranceOutfit details // Jacket & blouse-thrifted // Sweater-Anthropologie  // Scarf-gift // Shoes-CoolwayLourdes, FranceLourdes, FranceLourdes, FranceLourdes, FranceLourdes, FranceLourdes, France I think that one of my favorite things about Europe is all the cathedrals. Honestly, I can’t count how many cathedrals I’ve been in but I can remember practically every one! I love how whenever you look out into a city, you can see all the steeples. I love how different countries have different styles of architecture; the stained glass windows in the French cathedrals are beyond magical! I love how detailed cathedrals are; the craftsmanship amazes me! I love the history behind cathedrals. I love walking up and up and up the spiral staircases. I love how calm and quiet cathedrals are. I love the organs and the bell towers. However, more than anything, I love when my sister sings in the cathedrals (you can watch here and here). I wish I could take all the cathedrals home with me and plant them in my backyard!

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French FarmlandFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandA Lavender SeaFrench FarmlandA Lavender SeaFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandA Lavender SeaFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandI wonder what life would be like on little farms like these. Hens clucking at your feet, goats on the side of the road, tractors in the front yard. It’s a life that’s completely unfamiliar to me but it looks absolutely charming! When we were winding through the Pyrenees, we stopped and bought some bread from a little bakery for lunch and an old man showed us around his farm and his work space where he makes cheese. We tried some and it was very potent! I like cheese, but I’ll stick with Gouda; however, even if my tastebuds aren’t refined enough to enjoy the cheese, I adore that old man and his little farm. He told us that he makes cheese because its a vocation that allows him to live in the countryside with beauty all around him. I can’t disagree! The scenery was completely dreamy! The people were kind! The weather was chilly but clean and wonderful! The goats and chickens wandering around just about stole my heart! The cottages and tractors looked like they were out of a children’s picture book! I need not go on;)

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Snow Capped Mountains in France This is just me forewarning you about how awkward my shirt is in these photos… it’s like a poncho/wrap kind of thing that I guess didn’t want to obey. So yes, I’m aware that it’s acting funky but we’ll just pretend it’s normal. Or maybe even a trend!!! I like that.Snow Capped Mountains in FranceSnow Capped Mountains in FranceI also have honestly no idea why I decided to run around a snowy area barefoot! But I don’t have frost bite so all is good. If anything, it adds drama, right!?! Snow Capped Mountains in FranceSnow Capped Mountains in FranceSnow Capped Mountains in FranceSnow Capped Mountains in FranceAnd just because we Davidson’s tend to fly everywhere we go (both gracefully and… awkwardly).Snow Capped MountainsSnow Capped Mountains in FranceSnow Capped Mountains in FranceSnow Capped Mountains in FranceSnow Capped Mountains in FranceSnow Capped Mountains in FranceHaving lived in California and Arizona for pretty much all of my life, I haven’t had too many opportunities to be in snowy mountains (looking out from the the top or wandering in the valley below).  Therefore, as curvy as the drive through the Pyrenees was, it was glorious and breathtakingSometimes I wish I had reclusive tendencies and was a natural introvert so I could live tucked back in the Pyrenees and gaze out at the heavenly valleys everyday! It’s just too bad that I love people too much to leave them to live in a town with a population of 1000. Maybe when I’m old and grey and can’t leave the house much anyway, I’ll live in the Pyrenees and have a large bay window that I can sit in front of in my grandma rocking chair each day. And even better, my old hubby can have a chair next to me and we can live like the adorable couple in Up (like this) but at the top of the Pyrenees rather than Paradise Falls. You know, I think that’s possibly the best plan I’ve ever made.

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Shutters in France vía A Lavender SeaShutters in France vía A Lavender SeaShuttersShuttersShutters in FranceShuttersShuttersShuttersShutters The pictures speak for themselves. You know, I think I would be completely content with my life if I could just live in one of these gorgeous French apartments and lean out the window as the wind whips through my hair. I guess I’m a romantisier. But how could I not be when there are buildings this beautiful out there in the world and not just in movies!?!? So, friends, if you know of any American suburbs with homes in blue and pink and yellow and green with shutters and victorian accents, then please notify me so I can move there straightaway when we return to the states!!

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