Saturday, June 18, 2016

Amelie’s Uptown Charlotte

Amelie's 

So one of the fun things about living in Greensboro, NC is being able to escape to Charlotte in under two hours.  Laughing.  : )  I Spent the weekend in the Queen City recently and finally got to checkout a place that’s been on my list.  It’s a French bakery and cafe located in Uptown Charlotte, called Amelie’s and it offers up some delicous food and drink. 

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And ou la la!!  Such atmosphere!  The menus are suspended up high in those guilded frames.

Amelie's Menu Frame and Light Fixtures

And would you look at those light fixtures.  Loved all the details in this charming place.

Croissant Breakfast Sandwich from Amelies

And the place smells amazing.  Outstanding coffee and this  incredibly delicous breakfast sandwich.  Ham and Gruyere cheese with egg, and fresh spinach, on a warm freshly baked croissant.  omg!

Amelie's Pastry Bakery Kitchen     Amelie's Pastry Chefs

While enjoying our croissants and cafe we were seated across from this giant window allowing us to watch the pastry chef’s in action.  The window had a trompe de l'oeil red curtain painted on it to framing the window like a theater curtain.  We sat back and enjoyed the show.

          Amelies     Amelies Sign     Amelies Entrance

A charming entrance to welcome you in and the place is gigantic!  Amelie’s has three locations in the Charlotte area, a bakery in nearby Rock Hill, SC and a location in Atlanta, GA. 

Amelie's Decision Decisions

And then it was dessert decision time…….

Macarons in every flavor and color possible or a delicate French pastry like a Napoleon prehaps???

Amelie Bakery Macaronse

Eye candy.  Let’s just say a very large bakery box was on the seat next to me for the ride home.  : )

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Quebec City

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After traveling to Ottawa, Canada a few years ago to attend one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever attended, the decision was made to extend the trip and to Montreal for a day and then head up to Quebec City for a couple more. 

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Quebec City has to be one of the most charming cities in all of  North America.

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The architecture was just plain amazing.

Chateau Frontenac Quebec City

After arriving at the Chateau Frontenac, which looks like a giganitic European castle perch up high next to the St. Lawrence Seaway, we drove through the archway shown in the lower right half of the above photo, and we found ourselves in a courtyard where the hotel’s parking valets greeted us.

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Cobble stone was below my feet when I stepped out of the car only to look up to be greeted by this lovely bit of architecture off to the side.   Happy sigh.

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Just how many photos can one girl take of doors, windows, restaurants, cafes and flower boxes? 

Well, apparently hundreds.  I will try to showcase some of my favorites here.

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This delightful cafe was the first stop made to relax and have a quick drink after wandering happily down a side alley way filled with artists working and showing their paintings. 

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Every time I turned a corner, walked across a street, or looked out and surveyed my surroundings from the comfort of my coblestone street cafe chair, I saw something even more beautiful and charming that needed to be inspected, scrutinized, and photographed.

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And hearing people speak French….well that just makes me happy. 

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  Every direction I looked, I thought my eyes were going to expode.  I mean really….

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Sometimes I exaggerate but honestly, I could not believe how incredibly beautiful it was or how much I felt like I had stepped back in time and was happily lost in some city in Europe.  This is one of my most favorite photos from the trip.  It was a shop filled with goregeous French handbags.

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The vibrant colors and flowers…

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and the selection of restaurants was incredible.  

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hanging flower baskets everywhere…

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Street signs in French made me smile and a quaint hotel tucked away along a side street.

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The next time I visit I would love to stay in one of the smaller, quaint, and charming hotels like the one in the photo above or in  this one called Au Petit Hotel.

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Every nook and alley way had something that I just had to capture with my camera.

 

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And homes just like this one with the French Lace curtains….

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painted in the most vibrant colors.  Another happy sigh.

Have you ever taken a trip to Quebec and do you have some must see spots there that I might have missed?

I have many more photos to share of this amazing city.  See you soon!

 

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Montreal, Canada

Montreal

So this post is only about three years late.  I took a trip to Canada for a friend’s daughter’s wedding about 3 years ago and was going through some photos and realized  that I never blogged or posted much about that trip. 

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My life was a bit sad and crazy at the time, my blogging took a major nose dive and I kept telling myself to save the pictures I had taken and write about it later.    So, here I am, three years later reminiscing about an amazing trip to Canada and sharing some of the photos I took. 

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Cobblestone streets, strolling, shopping, eating, and drinking.  And grabbing photos when I can.  That’s how I like to travel.

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Window boxes and flowers were everywhere.  My favorite window box flowers are those tiny purple-blue flowers called Lobelia.  I have the hardest time growing it here in North Carolina.  And believe me I have tried.   I suspect it gets a bit too hot for it to thrive here.    The cooler temperatures in Canada must be what it likes because it was everywhere I went.

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Window boxes anywhere and everywhere.

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Yep, I think I could live here and be very happy.

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Just hearing people speak French made me very happy.    And little signs of French-ness everywhere I looked like the French lace door panels . 

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I think flowers, windows and doors are some of my favorite things to photograph.  Something about flowers in a city setting I think really grab my attention.  There was no shortage of things to photograh in Montreal but OH! when I got to  Quebec City I nearly lost my mind.  : )  Stayed tuned.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Far From the Madding Crowd

Far from  the Madding Crowd Umbrella

We are officially snowed in.  And actually when you still have your electricity it’s kind of an opportunity to catch up all the little things that have been nagging at you that you have wanted to get done around the house.  Day one of Winter Storm Jonas (which was yesterday… a Friday….and an unscheduled day off  from work) : ), was spent spending way too much time on Pinterest and Facebook, cleaning out my closet and creating a nice large bag of clothes to take to Goodwill when we thaw out, TV channel surfing between the weather channel and whatever else I could find, making a giant pot of Southwest Chicken Soup, and I hate  to admit it but  finishing up the de-Christmas-ing of the house.  

I read a few chapters in my new book “ My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry”, by Fredrik Backman.  So far it’s delightful but more on that in a forthcoming post.

far from the madding crowd DVD     Book My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She is Sorry

And then I wrapped up under a blanket and watched Far From the Madding Crowd.  Click to watch the move trailer on IMDB.  I believe that it was the one and only movie I actually saw in a movie theater last year….wait, I lied.  I also saw Train Wreck with Amy Shummer.  Talk about films on the opposite ends of the spectrum! 

 

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I loved Far From the Madding Crowd so much that I picked up a copy for myself and as a Christmas gift for my friend Carrie who is and expert at Sheep Shearing.  I’ve mentioned her before I think.  She works as an Interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, dresses the part and is a walking wealth of knowledge when it comes to sheep breeds and hand shearing.  Many of the scenes include shots of the sheep on the farming estate that Carrie Mulligan’s character Bathsheba Everdeen  inherits and oversees as an independent woman back in the late 1800’s.   Hey…two Carrie’s in the same paragraph.  : )

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The movie is just lovely especially if you love watching period movies set in beautiful idyllic settings and the costumes were absolutely stunning in my ever so humble opinion.  It’s a love store of course but it also about how few options women really had back then. 

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                  Carrie Mulligan with her co-stars Michael Sheen, Tom Sturridge and Matthias Schoenaerts.

She was unique because she became a woman of means and was able to forge an independent life and who had to choice to marry or not. 

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  She had three suitors.  One offered respect and additional stability, another offered passion but ultimately no respect, and the third offered both passion,respect, and a deep friendship.  He understoon her  and loved her all the more for it.    The movie tells the story of how she comes to the realization of who she is, what she is capable  of and who she really wants to share her life with. 

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Beautiful costumes from a classic Thomas Hardy novel.  I can’t say that I ever read any Thomas Hardy novels not even way back when in my school days so it is extra fun for me to discover them now when I am sure I am to better appreciate them than I did back then. 

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Today is Day Two Of Winter Storm Jonas.  So far I’ve drank and obscene amount of CafĂ© l’orange topped with whipped cream….ate two pieces of carb forbidden toast with lots of butter.  And I savored every single bite.  I actually have the time to blog today and will probably do some baking and a bit more movie watching and book reading.  Making the best of it!

How about you?  Did winter storm Jonas put a kink in your weekend too?