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“This is ridiculous.” “This, Madame, is Versailles.”

Published Friday, 10 August 2012 by Sydney Sunny

My last visit for a while to Versailles was shared by my good friends. A visit to Versailles shows a few new things every time. It is as though Versailles has secrets. The place is constantly being filled with different information, the massive gardens are ever changing with the seasons, across the way the Petit Trianon hides behind the garden side, and more fields and garden hides behind her. Easily one could spend a life time at Versailles.

Dark clouds loomed over Varsailles but the day grew brighter the longer we stayed.

Marine and I arrived by the wonderful RER, and Karima, by bus. We where not the early birds at the palace. The line was so terribly long at the doors to the palace. So, we decided to walk around in the gardens first and have a picnic by the lake. The garden’s main avenue is often full of people, but the said  paths are wonderful to wonder along. A new fountain or statue will always appear.

It was really, really windy.

The swirls are full of flowers.

There where modern sculptures in the garden around the palace. This one was my favorite because of the swirls which mimicked the garden’s swirls.

Credit to Marine: We stood behind a small lesser known fountain, but beautiful non-the-less!

After walking around in the garden, we headed to the lake. Karima says she often comes to the Versailles gardens to have a picnic with her friends when she is in school. Part of the green way was blocked because of a miniature firing canon boat on the lake. However, we found a nice area right beside the lake. We ate our packed lunches, talked about everything, watched the swans, and laughed about nonsense.

Credit to Karima: Our little picnic blanket was wonderful to sit for our lunch time!

I thought my friends looked so beautiful this day. Their outfit were not fancy or over the top. They were effortless. They were simply enjoying their favorite clothing during the weekend on a day out with friends.

I stole a picture of Marine when she smiled at me!

I also stole a picture of Karima smiling!

After our tummies were full, we wondered back to the palace.
I’ll give you a tip: If you are 26 and under with a visa for Europe or live in Europe, you can just stand in line at the gate. You do not need to buy/ receive a ticket. This is important because it is a long line for tickets and an other long line to enter in the gates pass security. To the buy tickets go to the left. There is a boutique too. Also, the rooms are very interesting. I found an unfinished room that reminds me of the horror that happen to the royal family.

“I’m just saying good-bye.”

The palace had a wonderful display of the history of Versailles. I wish there was a book I could have bought to read later with this exposition. There were old paintings of Versailles palace that I imagine the rich looked at to design there own chateaus. There were nice miniature displays of the different periods of Versailles. My favorite was a display of the Opera and I think, also, Marie Antoinette bedroom.

And of course, the wonderful palace is always there. I love the beginning with the long stone halls before the rich rooms. The halls are lined with kings or important men. The black and white floor is playful to the eye. And, I love large windows that cast a magical light.

Karima posing front of the large windows.

Once I enter the luxurious rooms, I forget about every thing. I am overwhelmed by the details of the walls, ceiling, furniture, paintings, frames, and colors. I love to look up at the ceilings at Greek myths and almost fall into the sky of blue and gold. The wallpaper shines with all the crystals.

Looking up to find the fleur de lys, paintings of war, justice, and hope.

Details of the luxuriousness of a Versailles room. Luxuriousness is all in the details.

I love chandeliers, and Versailles is a dreamland of chandeliers.

My favorite room is Marie Antoinette’s bedroom. It is stunning!

The mirrors in Marie Antoinette’s room has an infinity of chandeliers!

Here is another tip:
Don’t be the semi-early-bird. You need to arrive before it opens to be there with the least amount of people! However if you are running around or like to sleep in the morning, try arriving 2-3 hours before it closes or after lunch (after 14h/2pm). The line is not as long, but there will still be people but not as pressing!

” There are a lot of people at Versailles today. ” (Hall of Mirrors)

Versailles is not just a palace, but a museum. And, they don’t just have historical expositions. There is sometimes modern art incorporated in the scenes of the palace.
Personally, I could have the palace with no modern art in it ever! In it’s pure form. But, I understand the need to big the local French to the wonderful palace that is in their back yard more often.
When I went, the art was made by Jaona Vasconcelos. Her art was bold and interestingly crafted. The ideas were fresh and unseen by me.
Her statement:
“My work has developed around the idea that the world is an opera, and Versailles embodies the operatic and aesthetic ideal that inspires me.”
“Interpreting the dense mythology of Versailles, transporting it into the contemporary world, and evoking the presence of the important female figures that have lived here, while drawing on my identity and my experience as a Portuguese woman born in France, will certainly be the most fascinating challenge of my career.”  – from the Versailles Site

Joana Vasconcelos Versailles catalog

A pair of high heels made of cooking pots in the Hall of Mirrors.

A strange, turning sculpture made of plastic spoons contrast the elegant painted ceiling.

This sculpure is the same as the black. The two twins were at the ends of the Hall of Mirrors.

My favorite was marble(?)lions covered with lace. It is very strong  but “romantique” – like all women.

A small detail in Versailles is the writing on the mirrors. Some names dated 100 years ago! It is a horrible detail that hope doesn’t happen now, but somehow it is romantic. I wonder if these people are still alive or a relative has come to Versailles to see their Grand- something-or-another’s name.

The writing on the mirrors.

Afterwards we took pictures outside in the front. I love the front’s square with the black and white floor. It is a perfect place to take picture and would have been a stunning welcome to Versailles in the age of the Kings and Queens.
We had a wonderful, wonderful day together!!!

Marine, Karima, and I are in the front!

The golden gates are something to celebrate!

Finally, I want to talk about Lolitas and the entry into Versailles.
I have heard from word that sometimes lolitas not allowed into Versailles, and even read on Princess Sui‘s blog about it!
I have gone to Versailles 3 times in the past 6 months! I do not understand how I have slipped the fashion police!
The first time I had a pink blouse and pink jumpskirt! We were dressed up. And taking picture, but it was during low season.
The second time my friend and I twined in a one piece dress! We only went to the gardens but the workers loved our outfits! Also, Sui wasn’t allowed in the gardens in her lolita outfit!
And, I got by the third time in my most casual outfit!

Tips to get into Versailles*:
Don’t wear a huge bow –wear simple hair bows or put them on later
Don’t wear a big wig –  go natural or if you must wear a natural looking wig
Don’t wear sweet prints –wear a darker print or classical print
Don’t go crazy with makeup- wear natural makeup! *you are beautiful*
Don’t look like you are going to have a photo shoot – place cameras in purse
(they don’t want you clogging the halls/ rooms. And you need to pay for that, silly.)
Don’t act silly – be normal.
If you are nervous, take extra clothing. Better to see Versailles, if it is your only chance, then to have to skip it!
You will not be able to look like Marie Antoinette! It is the same idea with Disney and how you cannot look like a princess or Disney* character.
*Also, this works for Disney.

My casual lolita is something I wear daily when I go out. This is  my most casual outfit at Versailles!

My outfit:
T-shirt, Jacket, Skirt, Socks, Key Necklace, Folding Umbrella: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Purse: Juicy Couture
Bear Face Pouch: Angelic Pretty
Pink Flower Clips: H&M
Mary Jane Shoes: Clarks (*RIP*)

Marine:
Print Skirt, Blouse, Socks: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Heart Purse: Angelic Pretty

Karima:
Jumpskirt, Hair bow: Alice and the Pirates
Tote Bag: Baby, the Stars Shine Bright

So, see, you can get in Versailles in Lolita!

Thank you friends, for a wonderful day!

My next posts will very exciting! Till then

Visit Totoro’s Adventures! He has many tales of Versailles and MORE!

Giverny: Monet’s House and Gardens

Published Saturday, 5 May 2012 by Sydney Sunny

Once I arrived in Giverny, I felt like walking in a painting. Colorful flowers were scattered around as if a crystal was reflecting rainbows. Marine, Yumi, and I swum in the colors. We weaved in and out of other people taking pictures of the flowers, smiling, and twirling in our dresses.

Monet’s House

And we were not even in Monet’s personal garden or house yet. The gardens made Monet’s paintings clear. His inspiration came to life. The reality that the fairy tales of the reflective Lily Pond and green bridge was real took my breath away. The the colors, reflection, and flowers mixed together just like Monet’s palette.

Monet thought of his garden when he traveled. He wrote Alice many letters in concern of his garden. He was like most artist of the time; Monet went to Paris in his youth to start his career, but he was more in love with nature. In nature he returned. I feel the same. I have a deep love for Paris but I have nature on my mind all the time.

Step up to Monet’s home

Willow’s reflections

Although, walking in a fairy land was great and wonderful. Yet, the magic was my friends. Being with my friends was magic. The only magic I need to keep in my life. Friendship has become more and more special as I’ve been in France. Friendship with new and old friends have became gold. I went to give all my love to people I love. I want to give so much because I don’t know how much longer I use my arms to hug them. By this I mean, I might be limited to letters and facebook. Nothing is like seeing a friend move and smile with you. Magic.

Magic Friendship / Credit to Marine

Red Red Red/ Credit to Marine

Sweet Yumi

Marvelous Marine

Jump! // credit to Marine

I thought I would introduce a new blog about the totoro I am holding. It is called Totoro’s Adventure. Please take a look.

Silly Sydney / Credit to Marine

And thank you Mme Patricia for taking us to Giverny!

Many more posts to come! Thank you for looking!

Salade de Carottes Râpées

Published Tuesday, 1 May 2012 by Sydney Sunny

Marine’s mother Mme Patricia saw my post about my favorite French things. She told me when I come over she will teach me how to make “salade de carottes râpées” (shredded carrot salad) because it is very simple! So here is the recipe from a French cook!

Before dinner Totoro become nervous. He feared that he would be on the menu! However, Mme Patricia showed him how to make a wonderful orange colored salad!

You will need:
Carrots (500g but you can use as many as you want)
Dijon Mustard
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

1. Peel the carrots. I think, she had about 500grams.

2. Shred the carrots- by machine it is fast! Put the carrots in a separate bowl.

3. In a small bowl, toss on a bit of salt and pepper (more can be added later for taste) and plop in some Dijon mustard (only can be Dijon) – about 1 or 2 spoon fulls.

4. Mix in olive oil till it becomes fluffy or thick but runny, like the picture.

6. Pore the dressing on the carrots right away and mix. If you want you can make more dressing, add more pepper or salt to taste.

Totoro was very happy not to be on the menu! The French often eat this salad as a first course! Personally, it could be my only course!

The yummy end!

How to be a Vegetarian when Studying Abroad in France.

Published Friday, 18 November 2011 by Sydney Sunny

Do not decide to be a vegetarian when you arrive. Being comfortable as a vegetarian in your hometown is the key to success. You will be stressed beyond your imagination. So if vegetarian is not your natural lifestyle, slipping is easy.

In France if you say you are a vegetarian, the French will assume you eat fish. It is a common mistake made. A professuer recommended that I always say, ” Je ne mange pas de viande (I do not eat meat).” It will be more simple in a restaurant or if you are invited to a French dinner.

Because of the confusion between a pescatarian and a vegetarian in France, avoid fried food. In the “cantine” at my university there are signs saying they are vegetarian friendly and fry with fish oil.

Buy a crock-pot and/or an electric boiler. It will save you money and time. The electric boiler can be bought for about 10Euros at Carrefour (Supermarket), and the crock-pot can be found at a used store or eBay.fr for about 20Euros

And buy veggies to cook. I suggest open markets on the weekends, Lidl, and Aldi for the cheapest produce. You will become accustomed to the stores and learn how to shop smart in about a month or two. It is fun to go shopping for food!

Don’t be afraid to try new things. If you do not know your vocabulary for food, you will learn quickly! Try all sorts of things, expecally if it is on sale! I don’t eat dairy, but I am in cheese heaven. I am excited about learning about France food, and it is part of the experiance. Don’t feel bad about not being able to try the French meat dishes, there are plenty of other things to try!
**If you are vegan, the French have alternative milk, soy yogurt/pudding, nuts, and dried beans for protein.**

Be proud of being a vegetarian! The French are open people, but they might not understand – just like in the USA. So do not be afraid to stand up for yourself! Just explain in simple English or (better) in simple French why you decided to become a vegetarian.

Simple, right?

Nashville’s Anime Day and a Tutorial for a Cute Tank Top

Published Tuesday, 16 August 2011 by Sydney Sunny

Last Friday, I spent the night at my friends house. We woke up bright and early to go to Nashville. It was Anime Day! Anime Day is like an Anime Convention without famous people, dancing, and panels. It is cut down to only a video room, giveaways, and a dealer’s room. Thus, the price is cut to only $3! Heck, yeah! I will pay $3 to get into a dealer room! I have not been able to go to a meet up all summer. Actually, I have never been to a meet up. Yet, I met some local Lolitas at MTAC.
So, I dressed up really nice and cute! I put my hair into braided loops and placed bows on my head. I was really excited. However, I didn’t see a Lolita at the small convention. But,  I was pleased to look at the dealer room. The dealer room was full of great things. I was really excited to find older and used Mangas on sale at 50%! My prices were 1-3 Sailor Moon Stars, Sailor Venus Guide Book, and Sailor Mars Guide Book for only $20! Later, after I had gathered my lovely things I sat down and watch some Anime with my friends. I was stooped 3 times by people wondering what anime show I was from. I want to say “Sparkly Magic Girl” but I just informed them of Lolita, a Japanese Street Fashion.
All in all,  Anime Day was a breath of fresh air for me. I know, many people stress out about big conventions and “drama” happens, but Anime Day was a casual way to catch up with friends buy something and wear your Cosplay one more time. Personally, it was great to get away for awhile from the stress in my house.

Outfit:
Bow: Handmade by ME
Top: Hand Customized tank top
Butterfly Lace Pin: from Belgium
Sweater: Hand Knitted by ME
Brooch with beads: Hand made by ME
Necklace: Tasty Peach Studios (♥)
Cuffs: Handmade by ME
Skirt: Angelic Pretty
Socks: Angelic Pretty
Shoes: off-brand tan oxfords from a shop in Victoria Station in London

 

 

Tutorial: How to Make a Tank Top Cute

Since, it is so warm outside, I decided to wear a tank top with my Angelic Pretty skirt. But, I couldn’t wear just a plain, boring tee! So, I took out my plain pink tank top and made it cute.

What you need:

  • Tank top
  • Lace
  • Thread and Needle

Simply, start pinning the lace on the back of the neckline of the tank top. Then sew the lace on.
Tips: Because the neckline the lace might want to flip up. To prevent this, I just basted a few areas down in the troubled spots.