travel

Our trip to hampton court

So, I'm finally getting around to editing my pictures of our trip to London.  We've had such a busy summer full of so many adventures, I can't wait to share them with you.  In the end of May we went to London for nine days as an entire family.  It was so wonderful!  My mother-in-law is a very passionate gardener and makes a trip out to the Chelsea Flower show in London every year.  This year she invited us to come along with her, and of course we said "Yes!!!" hampton-court

I really love traveling and seeing new sites, or revisiting favorite sites.  I especially love being able to share it with my children.  There is nothing like seeing their joy and excitement when they learn or see something new.

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When I was a teenager, my brother studied at Cambridge and Oxford.  I was the only one living at home and my mother would take me with her to visit him.  I feel so lucky that I got to visit him several times over the years and learn and experience England from his perspective.  My brother is a history professor and has a photographic memory.  He can literally remember most dates and details of anything he has read.  I wish I had that memory.  He would recite the history and importance of everything we visited.  It was like having your own personal tour guide.  We loved it!!!  We visited Bath, the Cotswolds, central England, London, and of course Cambridge and Oxford.  We visited many museums, sites, gardens, architectural sites, etc.  If there was historical significance we saw it.    It was such an enriching experience for me and I hope to be able to offer a bit of that exposure to my children.

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Hampton Court was one of my favorite places that I visited with my mother and brother as a child.  We were so happy to take our kids to visit this historic palace.  Hampton Court is only a 20 minute train ride from London and was made famous by Henry the v111.  It has an interesting blend of the Tudor and Baroque buildings.  You get to see the great hall and kitchens of the tudor era, as well as the private rooms of King William and Mary.  There is is so much to see.  There are so many beautifully gardens, manicured trees, and bushes, and even a maze!  My children had so much fun running around chasing each other and explore EVERYTHING.  It was wonderful.

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The entrance to Hampton court, in the original Tutor style.

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Entrance to one of the gardens.

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A beautiful wild grassy area that leads to the maze.  My kids had so much fun exploring and trying to find their way out.

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These chimneys are so detailed and amazing.

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This manicured tree has an opening big enough to fit my little Henrik.

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More chimneys and Allium.

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The inner court.

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The most beautiful gardens.

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This was a wonderful day, and and it wouldn't be England if it didn't rain.  Thank you for indulging me.  I'll be sharing the rest of our stay in London soon.

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Biarritz, France: wheels and waves part one

This summer has been a very busy one, probably THE busiest of my life.  We have been doing a lot of traveling and I've been taking a lot of pictures.  I  just haven't posted anything yet.  All that is going to change starting now. biarritz

These cool postcards were made by Lucky Left Hand.

Today I wanted to share part one of our magical trip to Biarritz, France.  It was one of the most memorable trips that I've ever been on and I got to meet some of the nicest, most creative, genuine people.  I was in heaven!

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Biarritz is one of the most beautiful picturesque resort towns, made famous for it's surfing in the sixties.  Biarritz is the furthest south west town in France.  From our hotel we could see Spain.  Everywhere you walk there are beautiful views of the ocean, and the iconic lighthouse.

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biarritz3As many of you may know my husband Nicholas is a wildlife and landscape painter.  What some of you may not know is that he paints and rides motorcycles as well.  It's one of his many passions.  He loves everything about them, particularly early 1910-1960's bikes.

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This year Nick was thrilled to be invited to the Wheels and Waves exhibit in Biarritz, France.  This is the third year that they have been doing this type of a motorcycle show, and It's growing.  I've been to motorcycle shows in the states before, but nothing compares to this one.  I was blown away.  I couldn't believe the amount of people from all over Europe flocking to see the exhibit.  I also was so surprised by the caliber of bikes and art at the show.  What impressed me even more than anything were the people.  I've never been around a more gracious, classy, artistic group of people.  They do it all purely for the love of what they do and they're nice about it.

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The exhibit was in an old abandoned Renault service Garage, which was a perfect venue for all the art, bikes and other items on exhibit.

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Here's an example of one of the "new" bikes.  Single and Twin classic Motorcycles from Hamburg builds the most beautiful classic bikes.  Particularly Brittish BSA bikes.  I had so much fun visiting with the builder and his wife.  He told me that the gear shifter was once his aunt's titanium hip, ha!

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The exhibit also had incredible one of a kind BMW vintage bikes that are usually in the BMW Museum in Munchen.

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When we arrived in Biarritz, we needed to hang all ten of Nicholas' large motorcycle paintings.  Unfortunately customs went through all the paintings and re packed them. When we got the crate all the frames were broken.

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Nick and I had to put all the frames back together again as well as hang everything.  Needless to say we had limited tools for fixing the frames (about 20 staples to be exact) and our hanging skills were a little rusty.  We had to measure several times to get everything hanging right.

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The amazingly talented photographer, Bernard Testemale, was also there taking large format photographs with his view finder camera on glass plate negatives.  He even had his own portable dark room.  I loved every minute of it, asking him a million questions.  He's one out of a small group of people that still uses this old process.  The images he took while here were STUNNING!!!

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biarritz13The night of the exhibit was packed.  There was a line down the street of people waiting to get in.  I couldn't believe it.  Now that's some die hard motorcycle enthusiasts.  It was fun visiting with and getting to know so many new and interesting people.

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The week of the exhibit there were several outings and events planned.  One of the events was a surf competition.

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Being in Biarritz felt like a time warp.  I felt like I was transported to another era, a times when life was a little simpler, and a little sweeter.  I mean look at this cool surfer.

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I did my best to fit in with all the stylish people and bathing beauties in my Lime Ricki gingham vintage inspired high waisted swimsuit.  It might take a few more weeks of bathing in the sun to get that pastey white body of mine a prettier shade.

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No one compares to this lovely lady, Tanya.  We got to know Tanya a little while in Biarittz.  She was nice enough to drive us around in her 62 Ford Falcon (more on that in part two),  Tanya is such a classy, beautiful lady who takes everything in stride, and I was so impressed with her driving skills.  I hope one day I can be half as cool as Tanya, she's my idol.

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Nick and I did a LOT of walking around Biarritz (we didn't bring helmets and therefore couldn't ride a motorcycle).  We got to see a lot of the city and I was so overwhelmed by all the beautiful and interesting buildings and homes.

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biarritz19Well, that concludes part one of my tour of Biarritz.  I hope you enjoyed it and were somewhat inspired by it.

All the photographs were taken by myself or my husband, Nicholas Coleman, except the two of us hanging the show and the polaroid.  The polaroid was by Bernard and the two of us by the ever gracious Cyril Dunn.   Thanks Cyril!

This is a sponsored post by Lime Ricki.  Lime Ricki is offering One More Mushroom readers a discount at their shop.  Just use the code:  MUSHROOM15 at the check out to get 15% off.  Offer is valid until August 16.