My name is Cynthia and I love interior design, architecture, antiques, all things vintage, all things British (a tried and true Anglophile), a love of things that are time worn and hold secrets of days gone by. I love animals and try to respect their place in our world. I enjoying talking about the most beautiful places in the world, some exotic, some in our own neck of the woods. I love family and friends, music and movies. And most importantly, I love talking about these things with a daily dose of humor because I love to laugh and we all deserve to. So come on...let's go for a stroll.

AND PLEASE CLICK ON THE ENTRY AND LEAVE ME A COMMENT - I can't talk to you if I don't know you were here, dearest dahling...

I'M A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR !!


Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Beauty of Paris



If you know me or follow my blog, you know that I am a tried and true Anglophile...my love of all things British, especially the homes and countryside of England, and the Queen of course, reach out for my soul like no other part of the world.  Second to that would be Italy..I have had the good fortune to have seen a lot of Italy, from Rome to Positano, from Venice to Naples, and I loved it all.  The Italian people make me feel alive...their appreciation for food, drink, family and life in general, is unsurpassed.  Seeing it with my own eyes was incredible.  But something that I haven't really experienced is Paris.  I adore French design, French furniture and decor, architecture, and of course the clothes.  But my only time in Paris was a missed flight back home...a connecting flight from Venice to Paris that was supposed to take my husband and I on to Atlanta.  We missed the connection by 10 minutes because the flight from Venice was late on takeoff.  I had a broken leg and was confined to a wheelchair because of the severity of the break and my dear sweet husband, God rest his soul, was trying to manage me, the wheelchair, the crutches, 6 pieces of luggage, and a very cherished antique music box I had purchased in Venice that I was guarding with my life. (The trip was booked and paid for before I took a tumble down the stairs outside our kitchen and suffered a compound fracture - with no trip insurance, we decided to make the trip anyway).  After learning that we had missed our flight, and after I proceeded to have a full blown nervous breakdown at the gate, we were given lousy instructions on how to get to the hotel where Air France would put us up for the evening, and left to our own devices.  The Chinese cab driver who took us there did not speak English, nor did he care.  We were dropped off at the top of a hill and from there everything went down that very hill, me in the wheelchair, the luggage and the crutches.  Tony managed to get his hands on the wheelchair before I slammed into the glass doors of the hotel, while I clung to the music box, as if it was my life savings LOL.  We finally got inside, checked in and got up to our room, which was about an 8x8 box with a bed, a television and an overhead light.  Keep in mind that checking in and getting me and all of our belongings up to the 4th floor in a tiny elevator was no small feat -- a good hour went by).   Of course, the only thing on our tiny television was a soccer game, which didn't matter to me but my TV addicted husband, who isn't a big soccer fan, wasn't happy.  I kindly reminded him that we were not in the US of A and that he needed to get over it.  We got over it alright.  We had to literally get over the bed to get to the bathroom, as there wasn't enough room around the end of the bed between the bed and the wall to walk to the bathroom! Once in the bathroom, we found one guest towel, no hand towel and no washcloths.  Tony turned to me and said, "We have enough Euro left to get a cab into the city, have dinner at a sidewalk cafe and pay for the cab ride back.  Do you want to try it?"  In my current state of frustration, I said "I want to come back here another time, when I can truly enjoy it and appreciate its beauty and what it has to offer, and not associate it with this room and the lack of towels." LOL.  So we stayed in, went to sleep, got up early and boarded our flight home.  This day is an example of how this trip went from the beginning to end.  A classic tale of "if anything can go wrong, it will."  I cannot tell you how many times I have been told "you should write a book about that trip...it would make the NY Times Bestseller List."  But in spite of it all, I saw Venice, I rode in a gondola at midnight through the canals, I sat in a water taxi through the Grand Canal, I saw Istanbul, and sat in my wheelchair at the top of a mountain and gazed at the Black Sea, where I was able to see one of the most beautiful views I have ever experienced... Istanbul as it spreads into Europe and Asia.  I rode through Istanbul with a cab driver named Oscar who knew its history and shared it with us.  I saw Dubrovnik, Croatia and sat in the sun in a courtyard and listened to minstrels play, watched children dance and saw couples kissing near the fountain.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  Now if you asked my husband, who sadly died this past January, if he enjoyed himself, he would say "Yes I did, but I would never do a trip to Europe with her in a wheelchair again."   He loved to point out that he spent 13 days eating anything and everything he wanted and still managed to lose 3 pounds.  It certainly gave me a new appreciation for those who spend their lives in wheelchairs and manage to do all sorts of things that I found overwhelming.  More power to you amazing folks!

Enjoy



The Louvre Museum -- Spectacular

I thought the windows in my house were special because they were Pella...hmmm...gotta rethink that one

This same photograph hung over my daughter's bed for years


Any discussion of all things French is not complete without Versailles

Aerial view of Versailles

Paris really does have the most charming windows in all of the world

Dark splendor
The old and the new mix beautifully in Paris

A Parisian Apartment Courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

The quintessential Paris Apartment


Pink prettiness 

More wonderful windows - love the railing

There are so many incredible doors to incredible buildings in  Paris -- I loved this blue one

Beautiful in all of its decay

I love the curves and lines of French buildings



5 comments:

Patti said...

Love it!

Ann said...

Cynthia, This is FABULOUS! I love it, and I miss you!!!

Desiree Scales said...

If you love collecting pictures and you want to share your antiques, please check out www.pinterest.com. Cynthia, you'll love it! Happy New Year. I love Paris too!

Cynthia Banks said...

Desiree, I know about Pinterext. I am trying to stay away. I think I could easily become obsessed! Haha!

Kristen said...

I just love your story! And I think my husband and I stayed in that same awful room in Paris! Well, until he broke down and took me to Hotel Lutetia for the remainder of our stay.

I am a new reader and can't wait to read more of your posts. I think we might be kindred spirits. I'll bet you have your DVR set for Downton Abbey, we've got just hours to go!

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