The Dress

Me Flanked by My Brothers Frank and Bob at My Niece’s Wedding

I’m sure you have “a dress,” or “a top,” or “a suit,” or some other article of clothing or accessory you’ve had forever that you truly treasure.

Here are some photos of “my dress,” a Lolita Lempicka creation I acquired in Paris well over two decades ago. I’ve worn it about a half dozen times in my life and each time it makes me feel like a million bucks. I’ve donned it for weddings, very elegant dinners in Paris, and yes, even for a beaux arts costume ball. As fancy as it is, it’s fortunately timeless. And it still fits!

This chartreuse and lavender dream dress embraced my curves perfectly in the beginning. Then there was a time when I filled it out a bit much. (Thank goodness for spanks!) Now that I’m older and somewhat withered (yes, sadly I no longer have the robust décolleté I once boasted), it fits me less than perfectly. But it’s still a showstopper–at least in my eyes.

With My Niece, Rachel, a Maid of Honor

It’s superbly cut from a thick, rich silk, which means that the fabric always hangs beautifully. I’ve kept it in mint condition aside from some pulls. My kitten gained access to it once and climbed up it with ease. I was heartbroken, especially since I normally had it covered with a plastic dry cleaner bag but somehow she caught it when it has hanging outside of the closet after a big soirée. I almost retired it then but I decided it’s so spectacular that most people wouldn’t notice. (Plus, as my almost 84-year-old mother says, “No one can see very well anymore anyway.”)

more »

Paris Attacks Hit Home

View from My House in Telluride

View from My House in Telluride, Colorado

It’s sparkling white here in Telluride, Colorado. We’ve been graced with bright blue skies after a major storm dumped about three feet of snow on our already snowy mountains. Normally my heart would be singing with the excitement that comes with the start of each ski season. But despite the glorious scene that lays before me, I feel cobbled together with a jumble of emotions I’m doing my best to manage.

I did some work with hospice about twenty years ago and learned in the training that each loss brings up a past loss. I suppose by the end of our lives our hearts are filled with an accumulation of losses. A grim thought, but hopefully we find out along the way how to balance our complexities of emotions. But still, there are times when the bottom seems to fall out of our hearts.

This has been one of those times for me. The horrific events in Paris of just one week ago have touched so many of us. They’ve triggered thoughts of 9/11and other PTSD moments, big and small. They’ve made us weep for a beautiful city loved by many whether we’ve traveled there or not. They’ve made us feel the ultimate violation of enjoying a sense of safety in the most civilized parts of the world. They’ve made us feel like one. We are one, we are one with Paris, one with France, one with the whole world.

In a city of over two and a quarter million inhabitants, I wanted to make sure that everyone I knew there was safe last Friday night. On ne sais jamais. It’s bad enough that this horrible violence was happening but I prayed that all my loved ones and contacts from having had a close connection with the City of Light for almost four decades were safe.

And then it came. The news that my ex-husband, Stéphane de Bourgies, had lost his wife, Véronique Geoffroy de Bourgies, in the attack on the little bistrot, La Belle Equipe, rue de Charonne. I felt shattered. Vraiment boulversé. No, no, please God, don’t let it be true. I had been checking Steph’s Facebook page all night for news and finally the unimaginable was posted. I had already written on Véronique’s timeline that I was thinking about her and her family and hoping everyone was safe. Oh God, please let this be a mistake.

more »

Out and About in Paris Showcases the City of Light and More

Happy Bastille Day from Out and About in Paris

Happy Bastille Day from Out and About in Paris

Happy Bastille Day everyone! It’s France’s National Holiday and a good day for us Francophiles to raise our glass to the French and all that we love about France and Paris.

The Tour de France Arriving in the French CApital

The Tour de France Arriving in the French Capital

There are two days–both in July–when you want to be on the Champs-Elysées in Paris:  today, July 14 and the last day of the Tour de France bike race which typically occurs the third Sunday in July. On both these occasions, you can witness magnificent displays of color and might on one of the world’s most beautiful avenues in one of the world’s most magnificent cities. The parade has already passed by today, but mark your calendar for Sunday, July 26 when the Tour zooms into Paree.

Dining in France According to Out and About in Paris

Dining in France According to Out and About in Paris

Ah Paree

Ah Paree

How do you keep up with what’s happening in and around Paris? Where do you find your daily dose of alluring images of this top travel destination? The website/blog Out and About in Paris is your answer to this and beaucoup plus! In addition to reading their blog posts, plug yourself into their social media and you’ll be gloriously showered with all that you know and love about the City of Light. The oh-so dynamic and très internationale Mary Kay Bosshart is the driving force behind all that is Out and About in Paris. Honestly, I don’t know how she keeps up with her reporting and postings but she does with great enthusiasm and panache.

more »

Wishing You the Best for 2015

Skiing is Fun

Skiing is Fun

How are you, dear reader?

I wish you good health, love and joy in this new year. It might seem like these well wishes are coming a little late, but strike it up to the French in me. In France, it’s tout à fait acceptable to extend new year’s wishes–both verbally and in writing–through January 31. I love how most everyone you encounter in France echoes choruses of “bonne année, bonne santé” throughout the whole month of January. I’m sure that this year those wishes are even more sincere.

After a super busy holiday season teaching skiing day after day at the Telluride Ski Resort during an extremely cold period of time, I finally collapsed from a mega head cold and sheer exhaustion (perhaps partly brought on by my big move the first part of December). I spent a whole week on the couch, one marked by the tragedy of the events that unfolded in Paris. So very sad. Like so many, my heart ached for all involved and for my beloved France. I checked in with my friends in Paris to express my love and support, many of whom attended the demonstration that was held a week ago today. Vive la France! Vive Franco-American friendship and may the French forgive us for the faux pas of not sending proper representation on their important day of solidarité.

more »

FlipKey and Me

Ski In/Ski Out in Telluride Where Your Instructor Meets You at Your Rental

Ski In/Ski Out in Telluride Where Your Instructor Meets You at Your Rental

Biarritz Beauty

Biarritz Beauty

Vacation rentals have been experiencing tremendous growth from Telluride to Tokyo–the key is to make sure you land one that delights you. That means it’s a good idea to consider verified guest reviews for the properties you’re considering and FlipKey, a vacation rental service largely owned by TripAdvisor, provides that and more.

Paris Rental

Paris Rental

The “more” includes terrific photos and descriptions about each destination along with expert input. Voilà, that’s where I come in, since I’m now one of FlipKey’s experts for Telluride, Colorado.

more »

14 Aug 2014, 1:45pm
Colorado France Paris Podcasts Skiing & Snowboarding Telluride Writing & Books:
by
Comments Off on Marking Eleven Years in Paris and Telluride with Mom

Marking Eleven Years in Paris and Telluride with Mom

Me and Mom Early Spring 1990ish Having Tea in the Garden at the Normandy Country House

Me and Mom Early Spring 1990ish Having Tea in the Garden at the Normandy Country House

more »

Play
11 Aug 2014, 4:51pm
Cycling France Paris Tours:
by
Comments Off on Discovering Paris with Fat Tire Bike Tours

Discovering Paris with Fat Tire Bike Tours

The Paris Fat Tire Bike Tour Peloton

The Paris Fat Tire Bike Tour Peloton

I always say that Paris is a city best explored by foot. True. But there’s a lot to cover, so I’m suggesting more and more that people first take a bike tour of the City of Light.

If you’ve read my travel memoir, A Tour of the Heart:  A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France, you know that I’m into bike riding, so this recommendation should come as no surprise. Although my book features two Paris chapters, which highlight taking in the sites of the French capital, I’ve never pedaled around Paree myself. Mon dieu! I long to do it, however, in the meantime I charged a friend and occasional contributor, Peter Hans, from Discovery Maps and Guides, to check out a tour with Paris Fat Tire Bike Tours himself.

more »

The Good Life France

Paris Celebrating Bastille Day Last Night

Paris Celebrating Bastille Day Last Night

Ahhhh, la France. I never let le quatorze juillet go by without celebrating France. Even though I’ve been busy bopping around  Phoenix/Scottsdale, Arizona, this year was no exception. I’ll let you know soon what I did in this hot, desert land to toast the richness of my beloved France on its Fête Nationale, but first I’d like to share with you a slice of The Good Life France. Before I left Telluride, I interviewed Janine Marsh, founder and editor of this terrific website/blog for my Travel Fun radio show.

more »

Play
  • Follow A Tour of the Heart

     Follow A Tour of the Heart
  • Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign Up Today for My Email Newsletter
    For Email Marketing you can trust
  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Ads





  • Meta

  • Disclosure

    This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Maribeth Clemente. This blog sometimes accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation. The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content. The owner of this blog is sometimes compensated to provide opinion on products, services, Web sites and various other topics. Even though the owner of this blog receives compensation for certain posts or advertisements, she always gives her honest opinions, findings, beliefs or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blogger's own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question. This blog does not contain any content which might present a conflict of interest.
  • Permission

    Please note that unless otherwise attributed to someone else, the content that appears on this Web site/blog is the property of the author, Maribeth Clemente. Written permission is required if you choose to use or excerpt any of this material.