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Sunday, October 30, 2011

And on to Auti and the Chateau Dumas!

There were two distinct parts to my journey to France this month.  The first part was with family - my sister-in-law and her husband.  She was my college roommate, so we go back MANY years - too many to say!  We were best buddies then, and now it's the same - when we're together.  The second part of this trip was so very special too because I was the honored recipient of a FREE workshop offered by Lizzie Hulme and the Chateau Dumas.  I learned of the offer  thanks to my ETSY friend, Chrissie Marshall of Krishenka.

Several years ago - by chance - I bought some vintage buttons from Chrissie.  We've followed one another on Etsy, blogs, and FB for years.  Last March she announced the Chateau Dumas workshop offer, and I responded as directed.  I WON!!!!!  Needless to say, I was overjoyed.  There is much more written about this process and the joy I felt on my blog and Chrissie's.

See the woman in the background?  She and her husband are the ones who tried to steal our seats!

So...on October 9, Rita and Joel drove us to Marseilles to the Gare St. Charles, where we settled - finally - into the train for Montauban.  I say "finally" because there were people sitting in our seats (assigned), and it seems they were trying to take the train ONE MONTH later than their tickets said.  I think they had made the trip before on those tickets and were attempting to reuse them.  They succeeded!  The man stood most of the way; the woman seat-hopped as necessary.  Anyway about 5 hours later, we emerged to meet Pete, our British driver to the Chateau Dumas.  He is actually Chrissie's son-in-law.  A little snafu at the train station got settled - so we had to wait for two additional arrivals and another car to accommodate all of us and our luggage.  All worked out fine, and we arrived at the Chateau, excited and eager to meet our group.

Although most of the group had met the year before at a similar workshop in France, they graciously welcomed us with a first drink (they had started hours earlier!) and our first meal - one of Charlotte's many wonderful ones to follow.

It was dark when we arrived, so I couldn't take photos of the approach to the Chateau.  These are the first photos of our room, the second hard to see, but easy to appreciate the handmade SILK drapes and the gorgeous pillows that Lizzie made - in every room!

That was our intro - a beautiful dinner with warm and lovely hostess and welcoming staff and participants.  More tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

it was a pleasure meeting you and learning about your art and now, finding out how it came about that you were a "winner" of that memorable weekend. you are fantastic! lana

RobynFrance said...

Such a wonderful story--am enjoying each episode--glad you got your rightful seats!

Louise Giordano said...

Thank you, Lana! But it was a WHOLE week - or did you forget that you were there too! LOL! And thank you, Robyn! You were part of the FIRST ever trip to France all those many years ago!

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