Vaux-le-Vicomte: The Model for Versailles

You’ve all probably heard of the Palace of Versailles, built by Louis XIV, used by Marie Antoinette and her husband Louis XVI until their arrest (and eventual beheading) and also occupied by Napoleon I. Well anyway, the gorgeous and elaborate palace was inspired by a much smaller one – Vaux-le-Vicomte, which I had the pleasure of visiting this past weekend.

It was a train and bus ride away and quite far away from the actual city but no matter. Whenever a castle is around, Gemma, Aimi and I are sure to be found there.

Upon arrival there is a horse and stable museum that we explored first. It was quite small but full of wax characters and posing horses. I made a joke to the girls that all of the wax people probably come to life at night; it’s probably true. They were so lifelike. 

 But anyway, our walk through the museum led us out onto the palace grounds and behold! There it was: a mini Versailles!

When we got inside I stopped mid-step in a flurry of excitement at the sign on the front desk.. YOU COULD RENT 17th CENTURY PRINCESS COSTUMES! So immediately I blurted out to the desk lady that I needed a costume and she took me to the back closet to pick out a princess dress. First one I saw I knew I needed it – it was a beige color with purple and pink (what I thought were) flowers. I grabbed it and had her button me up. Gemma and Aimi immediately laughed at me and teased me pointing out that they weren’t in fact flowers, they were roosters. Ugh.. Oh well, I was too thrilled at the fact that I WAS ABOUT TO DANCE THROUGH A CASTLE IN A PRINCESS DRESS. 

         So, that’s what I did, I danced through a castle in a princess dress. Gem and Aimes were such good sports, they took photos of me everywhere and even held my train while I walked up the stairs. They completely indulged me in my princess adventure.

Then came the time for me to take it off. I didn’t like that part. But I had to. So, slowly.. reluctantly.. and wearing an upside down smile.. I did.

After that, the girls and I toured the gardens on.. get this.. a golf cart! So fun! We just rented a golf cart and drove it around for an hour looking at the pretty waterfalls and lovely greenery. 

           It was just overall a spectacular time.. BECAUSE I RAN AROUND A CASTLE IN A REAL PRINCESS DRESS. 

 

A beautiful day in Annecy

Yesterday was a great day. I spent the day in the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen in my life and I now know where I will live later on in life.

Auburn and I woke up early yesterday to take the train to a town about two hours (by train) away from Lyon. Once we got to Annecy, I fell in love. We ate lunch on the river that leads into the lake and I had a view of the mountains from my meal. It was breathtaking. The mountains, I might add, are a part of the Swiss Alps (.. I think) if that gives you an idea of how gorgeous this place was. But first, let’s start with what I tried at lunch.

I’ve had a list this whole summer of things I’ve wanted to try while over here in France and thus far I’ve almost conquered my list and even added more to it. Yesterday I was able to check one more thing off of said list. That one thing was frog legs. Yup, I did it. Auburn ordered a plate of them and I ate the entirety of the one that she gave me. Not my favorite and it was completely shaped like the back half of a frog with the body intact even, but it also wasn’t completely horrible like other experiences that I’ve had while on this trip.. Ahem, pig’s feet.. steak tartare..

Anyway, after conquering frog legs, we headed to the lake to check it out. The water was the prettiest shade of blue that I’ve ever seen in my life, and then entire lake was this color. I was so amazed that I had to text one of my professors who is on the trip with us, and whose parents also live in Annecy, to ask if it was a real lake. Of course she replied that it is. I can’t express to you how beautiful this lake was. But wait, there’s more!

Aubs and I find a boat tour to go on for an hour on the lake and I was so excited I couldn’t contain myself. She was getting annoyed. But she loves me so it’s okay. Finally, after waiting around for 45 minutes for the boat, we can get on. The tour starts and I’m in Heaven. I had a seat at the open window and I could feel the breeze on my face as we cut through the beautiful waves. The tour took us around the entire lake and during it we were able to see three castles. However, only one of them sticks out in my mind. This castle was Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Yeah, you heard me. Sleeping Beauty! Walt Disney modeled her castle after this one after seeing how magnificent it was. I believe it was built in the 11th Century, but don’t quote me on that. I do know, though, that the same family has lived in it for 27 generations, which is mindblowing. And awesome. The lake is surrounded by mountains and mountains and more mountains. So much room for hiking and boating and even paragliding. We saw like a million paragliders out yesterday. I kept begging Auburn to go there so that I could paraglide too, but that plan was a no go.971502_10151816465908465_1945242730_n

The water was gorgeous, the mountains were beautiful, the town was adorable. Basically, I’ve found the perfect spot for when I can afford a castle of my own, which should be here in about seven years or so. Not too long.

Time Machine: Medieval Times

Today I visited a real-life castle for the first time in my life. It was incredible. I’m not quite sure that everyone else on the trip had as good a time as I did in Perouges but I have to say that I was completely in my element. The entire place reminded me of scenes from Lord of the Rings and the whole time I just wanted Frodo to come walking up the cobblestone road to greet me.

Seriously, I think I was born to be royalty or something because I know that I belong in a castle. I’m a princess, everybody knows that. But today I also realized that the lifestyle of the royalty makes me happier than almost anything in the world. Yeah, I’m that high-maintenance. At least, that’s what my Dad has been telling me since I was about two years old. Now I’ve fully realized how right he was; although, I’m pretty sure I’ve known it this whole time.

Yeah, so I just realized how much both of those paragraphs differ from one another. One is total geek out and the other is complete brat. Funny thing is that they go perfectly hand in hand in my personality. I’m such a weirdo. But..

I am the princess.1011722_10151982601317564_1134185310_n