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Direction: la Pointe pour le mariage de Clémence et François. I lived in Normandy for a year of high school, but I had never been to THIS part of Normandy. This is all the way up there, Normandy. This part of Normandy you can bet you’re bottom dollar you’ll have zero cell service and when you do it’ll be a notification welcoming you to the United Kingdom, which definitely made for a good laugh. To situate what the French often call La Pointe (sometimes a general term, adaptable for other regions too, like Bretagne), but this one is up northwest of Cherbourg.

The sun was out, the skies were blue. The religious ceremony was in the sweetest little church in a town next to the seaside and what some call the smallest port of France, Port Racine. And then we followed the bride and the groom – who were in a rad & sporty vintage convertible – to nearby botanical gardens where the vin d’honneur and dinner took place over sunset,  it was all just dreamy as can be. The salty seaside air made our hair wavy and thick, and we feasted and danced with the newlyweds.

The next morning we drove up around the tiny roads along the foggy coast before heading back to Paname, it all felt very untouched, which I think most definitely adds to its charm. More Norman summer weekends? I think yes.

Rouen is just over an hour train ride northwest of Paris, on a map you just follow the Seine all the way up towards the English Channel and you’re bound to stumble across this adorable normande town. I have some fun memories of Rouen as it was the closest city to the town where I spent a year of high school. I remember taking the bus in with friends to go shopping, walk around, go clubbing, all those things adventurous teenagers do. Going back as an adult makes me realized that during those trips I unfortunately didn’t soak the beauty in… what a beauty Rouen is!

Rouen is the capital of Normandy, and you probably have heard about it’s gothic cathedral at some point or another, as impressionist Claude Monet painted a series of it in the late 19th century (psssst sometimes at night they project his paintings onto the facade of the actual cathedral). Its beautifully colorful maisons à colombage that line the streets, and there are many adorable passageways to be discovered. The pictures shared here are from a recent trip there with my mom.

CITIZEN // Coffee shop
CATHÉDRALE DE NOTRE DAME // Iconic cathedral
L’ESPLIGUETTE // French restaurant
JACOTTE ET JAVOTTE // Antique store
JARDIN DES PLANTES // Gardens
MUSÉE DES BEAUX ARTS // Museum

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Visiting Granville and Christian Dior’s childhood home, which opened as the Musée Christian Dior in 1997, has been on my epic weekend getaway TO DO since I started working for Dior early last year. Most of my colleagues have been to the dreamy pink house and man, I was a bit jealous! I knew I’d have get some travel-hungry pals to join me on the little journey to the Manche to visit it. After discussing it last summer repetedly, and then all winter and then spring being like, “oh yeah, we should go to Granville…”, we enfin locked in and I was so completely and ridiculously excited. Anne, Ylenia, Lauren and I hit the road one Saturday morning in my pretty old but powerful used car and headed northwest towards the sea. The cherry on top was that the family with whom I lived when I was 16 for a year came over from Caen to discover Villa Rhumbs with us.

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Despite the fact that we’ve had a sunny and hot summer – one that actually exists this year – we did have a few cloud and rain scares that particular weekend according to la météo… OF ALL OF THE WEEKENDS, ugh. Lucky enough, the clouds cleared the sky as we got closer and closer to Granville, and gosh we had the best of luck that day. Pure sunshine! As we got even closer we rolled the windows down as we passed through little towns adorned with hydrangeas, we could actually smell the seaside air. Granville itself is a little port town, with one main street and a big-ass cliffside that wraps upward along the coast with a few cute streets filled with cafés and shops (check out rue des Juifs if you’re visiting). In the town center, we popped in for a quick and delicious lunch at Picorette before heading up the hill to CD’s childhood pad.

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That house though… It’s painted such a dreamy peachy pink, and surrounded by the greenest freshly cut grass and flower-filled gardens in every direction. Fun fact: Christian Dior actually aspired to be an architect when he was younger, but now that I’ve seen these gardens I am totally not surprised by the fact that when he ended up becoming a couturier his love for flowers is so obvious (the names and shapes of dresses or looks, perfumes… The love he had for flowers certainly made of them a key part of Dior’s world. Oh, and here’s a little photo souvenir of petit CD.

The museum fills up the whole house, there aren’t like the original rooms or anything. The current exhibition is The New Look Revolution, a focus on Dior’s iconic silhouette, notably the iconic Bar jacket and the Corolle skirt. This feminine style with a cinched waist and full bust set the pace of fashion in post-war 1947. Amongst the photographs, video clips and magazine clippings on the three floors of this precious pink house, were the actual pieces: those by Monsieur Dior himself as well as silhouettes inspired by his New Look by the House’s current and previous designers. Quite a small exhibition, but filled with momentos of Monsieur Dior’s first collection where the New Look was unveiled, the impact his vision had on fashion at the time, and how deeply engraved this silhouette is in the House’s DNA, even today.

Behind the house is a little outdoor Salon de Thé with pink metal chairs where you can enjoy a high teadiorisé (note: the salon de thé is only open in the summer months). Bref, we spent the afternoon in this lovely place, frolicking on the grass (technically we weren’t supposed to, but ended up doing cartwheels, oops), and taking one million pictures of flowers and all things pink. I think I could go on and on about how lovely this little visit was, but I’ll leave that here. Oh, and yes that’s kale outside in front of the exhibition poster.

Caen-De-quelle-planete-es-tu-12Every November, Louis and I go to celebrate birthdays with the family that I lived with when I was 16, where I caught onto French and fell in love with French culture. This marvelous family that I adore has since moved to Caen, and I was so excited to discover their new city and the sea on our little weekend getaway. On the sunny winter afternoon we drove up to the historical seaside, popping by the fish market to prepare for the lunch that followed.

On our way back to Paris, we spun through Pont Audemer, the town where I lived for a year with them, for a little dinner date before heading back to the city life.

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Last Sunday Louis and I drove up to Pont Audemer, where I studied abroad when I was 16 for a year. This Normandy town is just so charming and full of adorables: flowers and canals and colombage. It’s always refreshing to go back and remember the strolls down rue de la République or running to the boulangerie in between classes. It seems so long ago.

This previous weekend we headed down to Montargis for the weekend with some friends. Stay tuned for pictures of probably what is the most picturesque weekend in this year so far!

How are your summer weekends? Enjoying some sun rays?