Thursday, March 1, 2012

Cafe au lait and Dreaming of France

{from our April 2010 Paris trip}

What has been your secret for getting thru the long winter??

Mine has been dreaming, planning, and making our travel plans for the upcoming year!  I jokingly say that sipping  a cafe au lait and making our travel plans for the year has become a favorite pass time for my husband and I!  It's what keeps me going when it's gloomy and cold and I am stuck in the house for endless winter days.

My first stop is actually coming up in a little over a best friend, Natasha, and I are going for a long "girl's weekend" to Savannah!

{Springtime in Savannah via *here*}

I would love any tips or suggestions for where to go while in Savannah, as it will be both Natasha and my first trip there!  We are staying right in the Historic District and hope to visit many of the cute vintage shops in that area.  Do any of you have a favorite??

Then in May, Steve and I are headed back to our beloved Paris!!

I can't wait to wander the streets of Paris again...

{from our October 2011 Paris trip} soak in the beautiful architecture, sit at the cafes, and, of course, shop at the flea markets {oh how I love the French flea markets!}...

However, this time we will be heading to Belgium beforehand and then taking the train down to Paris.  This will be our first trip to Belgium, so we will be staying in both Brussels and Brugge.  Brussels is supposed to have amazing flea markets, so I am very excited to go there :))

And, Brugge is known as the Venice of the North and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe...

{Brugge via *here*}

{via Daily Travel Photos which has amazingly beautiful photos from all over the world}

We also have a second trip to Europe planned for September.  Everything books up so quickly, so we have all plans for that trip booked already as well.  

First stop will be Turin, Italy...

{Turin via *here*}

Turin was Italy's first capital and is a major city in Italy, so it will give us a good feel for Italian city life and culture.  It also hosts one of the Top 10 European Flea Markets!  I found a lovely blog post about Turin {Torino in Italian} *HERE* . There is so much of Italy I want to see, but we felt like this would be a good start for us.

Plus, Turin is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the beautiful Piedmont Wine Country, which we definitely plan to spend time in...

{Piedmont wine country via *here*}

After Turin, we will take the train into France and stay for 5 days in Provence!!

After much research, we have booked our stay in this lovely vintage stone farmhouse just outside of Arles, France...Mas Du Petit Grava...

Photos of Mas Du Petit Grava, Arles
{This photo of Mas Du Petit Grava is courtesy of TripAdvisor}

Photos of Mas Du Petit Grava, Arles
{This photo of Mas Du Petit Grava is courtesy of TripAdvisor}

We will be renting a car for our stay in Provence so that we can explore as much of the countryside as possible and hit all of the incredible flea markets that this area is known for, including, Arles, Avignon, and Isle sur la Sorgue.

Then we will be heading up to Paris so that I can meet up with my good friend Jeanne!  While our husbands head home, Jeanne and I will head into the French countryside near Evreux to stay in Sharon's charming guest cottage.  Sharon writes the wonderful blog My French Country Home!

Here are some pictures of her lovely guest cottage...

You can view many more gorgeous photos and find out more about Sharon's home, garden, and guest cottage *HERE*

Sharon will be our personal tour guide for two of the days Jeanne and I will be in the French countryside, taking us to all of her favorite brocante stops!   Can't wait to meet you Sharon!!

Phew!  I think that's it!!  So now you know what has kept me busy this winter and gotten me thru the long months of January and February.  If you detected a theme, that is because flea marketing is definitely at the heart of our travels.  My husband and I have fallen in love with France and the old architecture of Europe, so we plan to keep going back again and again...and along the way, I am building and shaping new plans for my business.  I hope to continue to bring back wonderful finds to share with all of you in my shop.  It is a great joy for me to share with all of you my love for all things vintage!

Have a great day and thank you so much for stopping by!


p.s.  *this* stainless steel stove top espresso maker and *this* milk frother make the best cafe au lait right at home...


Susan said...

Wow - you've got a busy year of traveling! It's my goal to stay at Sharon's guest house for a week.

My travel plans this year are boring in comparison - my husband, son, and I will be traveling to Florida for spring break to visit my mother-in-law. My son (who is 11) will be traveling to Australia this summer for a month to visit my parents, while I stay in the US and work :(

Next year, my husband and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary, and we are planning a trip to Italy to celebrate.

MariCrea said...

How beautiful
Turin is my city and it is beautiful
There are many royal residences, palaces, churches, monuments, parks, museums ee
the central roads have kilometers of arcades
Then you can eat and drink well.
remember to enjoy chocolate and "bicerin" a drink made of coffee and chocolate
Have a nice trip

Shanon at Vintage Sparkle Chic said...

What gorgeous travel plans you have! I hope you "take" us with you! Oh the possibilities of European flea markets. I saw that Jeanne was staying at Sharon's cottage (soooo jealous!) but I didn't realize you were going to go, too! What fun you ladies will have. I can't wait to see what you ladies bring home!


Lili said...

You not only dream it DO it! Oh these images and your description of your travel plans make me long for a cup of that cafe au lait too! I'm so excited for you and it will be so much fun to "go" along with you via your images. xoxo ~Lili

stadtgarten said...

I am following your blog for just a while now - I also love France and everything french and so your blog is always a beautiful inspiration for me.

Your trip planned for May sounds wonderful! You will visit beautiful landscapes, villages and fleamarkets.

Belgium is a "Eldorado" for vintage lovers. The fleamarkets in Bruges are gorgious, but also Ghent is worth a visit. Each friday there is a (not so expensive) flea market on the "Vrijdagmarkt"
We had planned a trip to Ghent and Bruges for this weekend, but as we both are sick with bronichits, we are still at home and had to cancel our trip.
When you have the time, try to go to the "kringloop"-shops (secondhandshops with social background,, in every belgian city there is at least one and I know that my belgian and dutch blogfriends do find a lot of their vintage stuff there for little money.

And the Provence - my favorite region in France! I am sure you will very much enjoy it.

Thank you so much for your post today, which made me dream and forget that we had to cancel our vacation!

Monika from Germany

Low Tide High Style said...

You are venturing to some of my favorite places, and to some I've been dreaming of visiting! My husband and I both love France too and we just said the other day that if we win the lottery we will buy our small apartment there. The prospect of travel always keeps me going too, enjoy your various trips!

Kat :)

Svenja said...

france is just so beautiful, i am lucky that i live only 2 hours from paris :))
i love the city!
enjoy your day, svenja

Jill Elaine said...

ahhh! Now that would make anyones winter months better! Good for you - how exciting! I hope to be able to travel in Europe like that someday. Bring me some french linens!! LOL!!

maid marian said...

Savannah is one of my favorite places. Be sure to have a cupcake or lavender shortbread at Back in the Day Bakery. Shop at The Paris favorite store. There are tons of shops, antique stores and art galleries you will fall in love with. Forgo eating at The Lady and Sons...the lines are atrocious...but if you want to eat from one of Paula Deen's restaurants go to Uncle Bubba's (on the way to Tybee Island). It has the freshest seafood around and the best fried chicken. Usually the wait is MUCH shorter than the Lady and Sons. Other restaurant suggestions: Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room and Elizabeth on 37th. Have fun!

Anita said...

Tracey- You will LOVE Brugges...I spent MANY weekends there when I lived in Europe. Some great bands at pubs in the evenings, if you are into that :) Some cute cute shops along the canals.... It was definitely my refuge when city life got to this country girl...I'm hitting Paris in Juky this year and taking my 2 teenage daughters- we are very psyched! I'll miss Kane this month- Jamaica is calling our name for Spring Break. Maybe I'll see you in June....

Morning T said...

You lucky lady you~ I look forward to seeing your gorgeous photos after all of these trips!

We are headed to Amsterdam and Brugges over Spring Break (we leave next Saturday) so I'll be sure to pass along anything of interest in Brugges.

Savannah is fabulous~ enjoy!


Alabaster Rose Designs said...

Oh Tracey,
Can I just say that I am so envious!! I know you will have the most fabulous time and Italy will be amazing!!
I can't wait to see your photos from your trips when you get home each time.
Have a beautiful day.

Tracy is ... Loving Pretty Things said...

Happy European dreams to you! What an amazing lineup planned this year. Can't wait to read all about your adventures! xoxo

Sandi said...

Your french trip sounds amazing Tracey!
No overseas trips planned for us anytime soon, but I am planning a fairy party for my four granddaughters and that is keeping me busy buying and planning. I hope it all comes together as well as I envision it. :)
I wish I could hop in your wouldn't even know I was there. I could be a fly on the wall. lol

Vintage Home said...

I am having my 4 shot espresso latte & reading vicariously threw your year I might say!...wonderful trips!...we are getting our Vintage Home booth ready for a market...& thinking of meeting us my husbands cousins in England in Sept!
I look forward to your pictures of your travels!

Cynthia said...

Beautiful pictures. I wish I could go and be there sipping a cup of espresso. I have never been but I love it.

le ciel flamand said...

Oh, you'll be visiting 'my' town Bruges!!! If you want some adresses, I will be happy to inform you!


Fiona, LilyfieldLife said...

I just posted about a holiday in France also. You should check it for the Loire.

Have a great trip. I love all those places. I've spent 2.5 years travelling in the UK and Europe. Love it
Cheers Fiona

vosges paris said...

What a great post.... I recognize so much your feelings for France and Paris.. happily I am only 3 hours away from Paris.. but still also for me it is not just a day trip;)

Loving you going to the provence as well I stayed in the same area with my complete family of 20 persons some years a go in a mas ;)
Have fun and enjoy your trip.... curious about torino alos It is supposed to be the new design spot !

DustyLu said...

Yay I am so excited for you and can't wait to see the things in the shop! Have fun in Italy, Its amazing, from what I remember LOL

Sandy said...

aaaahhhh.. i think i will just live vicariously ... :)

Fleaing France said...

You will have a great time in both areas. Provence is my home base now and I love it. The brocantes are so much fun and I am at them every weekend!

Heaven's Walk said...

Oh my gosh, Tracey! I'm so envious! How incredibly exciting! And how fun that you get to meet Sharon and stay in her cottage!! Rest assured, I'll be following your blog extra closely while you share your trip with us! You lucky girl, you! :)

xoxo laurie

Stacey@A Sort Of Fairytale said...

oh my swoon! you lucky girl...this trip sounds unbelievable! the french farmhouse and cottage would be a dream come true for me. do share lots of pics after!

Rachel Pallas said...

I loved Paris..its been almost 13 years since Ive are sooo lucky!! :) xo Rachel

Sally Lee by the Sea, LLC said...

I'm drooling over all your photos - you're so lucky! Thank you for sharing.


Cynthia said...

I commented on this yesterday but I have to again beautiful pictures. I wish I could be there.

Debbie said...

How exciting, Tracey.
I think Brussels is the cleanest place in Europe! LOL seriously. It's just beautiful.
Although France was the most interesting for me, since my late husbands family lived there, and they took me everywhere!
You are so blessed to travel and spend time with friends in these wonderful places.

{Adventuresindinner} said...

Have lots and lots of fun. I've been ripping the house apart all winter and tackling all the ugly corners. I think travelling sounds much better.

Lulu and Co. said...

Absolutely fantastic! oh my goodness just thinking of your travel plans ahead would have me beaming!!! It's going to be an out of this world year for you!!
My little years were spent in Holland and Belgium~brussels. I moved with my parent to the USA when i was 9. I always tell my parents i wish we would have moved much later in my youth, but i guess i may have never ended up here with the family that i have it that were the case!

Barbara said...

Can I come with you and carry your bags? ;)

All of your planned trips look amazing. Paris is my favorite city, but I've heard Brugge is magical.

And Italy! Sigh....

Take lots of pics so we can live vicariously through you!

Leah C said...

Wow...what wonderful travel plans, Tracey!! Some really fabulous places to visit;any one of them would cure my "winter blahs", too:) You must be sooo excited!! One day I hope to get back to Italy, 'til then I'll just "follow" you through Europe;) Can't wait to see all the gorgeous photos that you'll take!

arielle @ a beautiful journey. said...

you have such a lovely blog. i always love coming by and visiting :) beautiful!

McMaster and Storm said...

there is a darling French restaurant in downtown's simple and I have a copy of their menu. We have been there twice now and love this city.
Also, the SCAD restaurant is yummy and in an old apothecary a must stop {building is beautiful}
The paris market is a shop you must visit as well.

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

Wonderful! I will be waiting to see all your fabulous photos and hear all about your adventures. :)

The Blue Farmhouse said...

All I can say is "Wow".

Anne@A Little Fur in the Paint said...

Be sure and check out the Christmas Shop on Bull...(Tell the Anne (I designed their sign) said Hi!)

Looking Glass said...

That Savannah picture is simply magical!! I look forward to seeing pictures from your many travels this year, Tracey. I've been dreaming of heading back to France & Italy so much of late...

~ Clare x

Veronica Roth said...

Your plans sound great! I remember several years of taking months to live in Geneva and from there driving into Annecy, Evian, Haute Savoy, some of my favorite places in the world. Now I split my year between Vancouver and Oxford, but you can't beat the car boot sales! You have a beautiful blog; now to take a day off to read thru it....:)

Heidi said...

Hi Tracey ~
I have been doing the same as you! I am going with my two sisters to Italy in June. Then I go back to Europe in July, my husband and I will spend our 20th in Paris. My parents have traveled several times to Brussels and Brugge (and all over Europe) and it is their favorite...It will be my first time in Paris, so I would love to hear your favorite spots! We are staying in the 1st district most of the trip, but have three days of time that I have not booked and I am trying to decide if we should travel a little outside of Paris ~ what do you think?

Barbara said...

What marvelous trips you have panned, Tracey! My daughter lived in Paris for 7 years so I know it well. (think I sent you her Paris restaurant list once, didn't I?)
Another favorite is Savannah. We go almost every spring for their home tours. Funky city. Fun restaurants and love to stay at Eliza Thompson House although there are so many lovely B&B's. We just have a history with Eliza Thompson hse.
We like Charleston house tours too.
Wish I could go with you!!!!

Barbara said...

What super plans you have, Tracey! My daughter lived in Paris for 7 years so I know it well. (didn't I sent you her restaurant list once?)
Savannah is another favorite. We love going for the home tours in the spring. We've stayed at The Gastonian, Ballastone and Eliza Thompson. Funky, fun city and great restaurants. We like Charleston home tours too.
Wish I could travel with you!!

A Cozy Cottage in the City said...

Oh Tracey!!!

I will have to experience these travels through you! lol You are sooo lucky to be going back to Paris and traveling to other parts of Europe too!!! And the trip to Savannah?!?! So lucky!!! Enjoy the planning!!! Oh and thank you for such lovely inspiration!!!


Chrissy said...

How lucky are you!? My husband and I have been to France twice and Italy once. As you already know France is wonderful from the North to the South. However, Italy is just as gorgeous and the people are just as nice.
I think I am going to start to show some of my photos on my blog. I always feel like people think I am bragging. Which is not my intention. I would definitely be interested in how you booked your trip to France and to stay at the Guest cottage.
Thanks for sharing your magnificent travel plans for 2012

Camilla Skovgaard said...

France is famous and popular city in all over the world. You share such amazing and beautiful city photo. I like so much.

Heather @ Post Road said...

thanks for letting me travel through your eyes Tracey :) It'll be a few years till I get to do that... but thankful for your pictures and you sharing!

Hope you're having a great day.. stay warm!!


Katy Noelle said...

Golly, Tracey! I'm sure that there's nothing like being there but your dreams are happy dreams, indeed! It seems like the anticipation is a fun, all on it's very own - even for us! =]


Katy Noelle xxo

sharon said...

Hi Tracey

I left a comment here a couple of days ago but apparently I didn't publish correctly because it seems to have vanished! :) I am really looking forward to your visit here in September and to meeting you and Jeanne, those two days are going to be fun I am just sure!
best wishes

gift ideas for men said...

France is famous and popular city in all over the world. I like this all fantastic pix of France. Its too beautiful and good.