Archive for July, 2011

the drive home

on our way home today…thanks for coming along for the ride…see you monday!

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sand beach

My subject for today’s post is Sand Beach, a New England gem located in the heart of Acadia National Park…my intent was to photograph its natural beauty ~ the rocky coast, emerald green waters, mountain views and rolling dunes…but as I sat on the warm rocks overlooking the beach, I found myself fascinated with the spirit of the day…the stories and endless activities unfolding right before my eyes…little ones running in and out of the frigid ocean water (what fun it is to be chased by a fast moving wave!)…teams of young artists creating intricate sand and water sculptures (a very serious and important task!)…I let the day speak to me…waiting and watching for these special moments in time…please enjoy a piece of summer as seen through my eyes…

photos by me, 7/28/11

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cloud reflections

yesterday’s visit to eagle lake provided me with infinite photographic inspiration…the crystal clear water acted as the perfect mirror, an organic and ever changing reflection of the world above us and around us…I find these photos to be an abstract interpretation of the sky…there are variations in the texture of each photo depending on the depth and rhythm of the water…I’m including five photos from this experimental series…all from the same rocky area on the perimeter of eagle lake, mount desert island, maine…

photos by me, 7/27/11

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eagle lake

“The lakes are something which you are unprepared for; they lie up so high, exposed to the light, and the forest is diminished to a fine fringe on their edges, with here and there a blue mountain, like amethyst jewels set around some jewel of the first water, – so anterior and so superior, to all the changes that are to take place on their shores, even now civil and refined, and fair as they can ever be. These are not the artificial forests of an English king, – a royal preserve merely. Here prevail no forest laws but those of nature.” ~ excerpt from The Maine Woods by Henry David Thoreau, published in 1864

photos by me, 7/27/11

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a misty morning walk along the shore path…the cool moist air was filled with the scents of maine ~ pine, salt water, a wood burning fire…it was a quiet, peaceful stroll with the ones I love…life is good

photos by me, 7/26/11

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summer vacation

Greetings from Bar Harbor Maine!!! An idyllic world filled with blueberries, lobster, ocean views and soaring pine trees…this is our 21st year coming to Bar Harbor but my first as a blogger…I look forward to having you along for the ride! Think of this week as a postcard a day…some of my favorite moments from one of the most extraordinary places on earth

Today’s postcard is a view from the shore path…fishing boats, the porcupine islands and a Bar Harbor sky…the only thing you’re missing is the smell of the salt air…heavenly

photo by me, 7/24/11

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What would it feel like to wake up at Versailles? Imagine opening your bedroom window to a view of the sun rise over the Orangerie or maybe your room offers you a view of the castle bathed in morning light…this dream will soon be a reality…you may be asking yourself “how is this possible?”…Versailles doesn’t have the 7 million dollars necessary to restore the crumbling Hotel du Grand Controle, a mansion built in the 1680s about 100 yards from the main palace…rather than have the building fall into further disrepair, Ivy International, a Belgian hotel company, will renovate the mansion and turn its 23 bedrooms into a luxury hotel…a percentage of the profits will be paid back to the Palace of Versailles in rent…”It’s quite a pioneering initiative in France for somebody to be able to have the right to take on a project like this in such a historic momentum and transform it into an economic project,” says Louise Grether, who manages the project for Ivy International…slated for completion in January of 2012, the renamed Hotel de l’Orangerie will allow guests to drink champagne and stroll the gardens of Versailles for the first time in 300 years…start saving now! Bon weekend!

above ~ the Hotel du Grand Controle soon to be transformed into the Hotel de l’Orangerie

below ~ spectacular images of the fountains and gardens of Versailles

photos and resources from NPR.org and Photographic walks

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You may have noticed a few colorful Laduree macarons (french spelling!) in yesterday’s post…this is my inspiration for today’s post, to explore the history and beauty behind the world’s most famous macaron…Laduree

“The story of the Ladurée macaron starts with Pierre Desfontaines, second cousin of Louis Ernest Ladurée, who at the beginning of the 20th century first thought of taking two macaron shells and joining them with a delicious ganache filling. These small, round cakes, crisp on the outside, smooth and soft in the middle, are made every morning in Ladurée’s “laboratory”. The pastry chefs measure out very precisely the required amounts of almonds, eggs and sugar, before adding one final ingredient, a pinch of unique “know-how”, essential to the making of such a delicacy. Once cooked and filled, the macarons are put to one side for 2 days before going on sale, the time it takes to achieve a perfect balance between texture and flavour.”

With shops and restaurants in cities such as Paris, London, Milan, Istanbul and Dubai (just to name a few), this century old creation is cherished by people worldwide…please enjoy these photos from Laduree Royale, Champs-Elysees and Bonaparte…wishing you a sweet and colorful day!

above ~ the first Laduree at 16 rue Royale in Paris…opened in 1862, this historic tea salon maintains its original wood paneling and hand painted frescos of angels and gourmet fairies on the ceiling…the decoration of the pastry shop was entrusted to Jules Cheret, a famous turn-of the-century painter and poster artist…he sought his inspiration for the frescos from the painting techniques used for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and the Garnier Opera

above ~ Laduree Champs Elysees at 75 avenue des Champs Elysees opened in 1997 by David Holder, the current Chairman of Laduree

above ~ Laduree Bonaparte at 21 rue Bonaparte opened in 2002…located in the Saint-Germain neighborhood, this famous store with the black storefront was opened by Madeline Castaing in 1947 and attracted the likes of Soutine, Chagall and Modigliani

photos and resources from Laduree

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While researching yesterday’s post, I came across another chic Parisian hotel I thought you might enjoy…located just steps away from the famous Avenue Champs-Elysees, Hotel Champs-Elysees Plaza Paris underwent extensive renovations in 2008…this lovely 18th century hotel is now a skillful mixture of old and new…classical architecture with a contemporary touch…please enjoy!

above ~ roof of the restaurant

below ~ courtyard with roof of restaurant

below ~ restaurant

below ~ executive room

photos from Design Boom

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I recently discovered a story in the Style section of the UK Sunday Times that I just had to share with you! On 7/4/11, La Maison Champs Elysees unveiled its stunning makeover by French fashion house Maison Martin Margiela…the result, an Alice in Wonderland-like world where nothing is what it seems…from the monochromatic trompe l’oeil wallpaper of the hotel’s Golden Salon, which dates back to 1860, to the black, white and grey carpets printed with wood panelling , the effect is modern yet with a nod to the past…enjoy this wild ride!

above ~ a hall paneled in aluminum leaf

below ~ restaurant

“The Maison is delighted to reinterpret another maison as its first Paris hotel project. Maison Martin Margiela has created a dramatic world where reality and make-believe seem to blend. The decor is like a succession of stage sets where references are mixed so as to create an unusual atmosphere where past and present jostle harmoniously.” ~ Maison Martin Margiela

below ~ salon blanc

below ~ deluxe suite

below ~ lobby

below ~ door to reception

photos from Design Boom and Financial Times

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