My European Escape To Vizcaya in Miami Florida

 Here is the entrance to Vizcaya:

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Villa Vizcaya now called Vizcaya Museum and Gardens on Biscayne Bay in Miami Florida was built by businessman James Deering as a winter home.  Vizcaya was planned and built between 1914 and 1923.  Vizcaya combines french and Italian garden layouts combined with Cuban limestone stonework. 

I felt like I was touring a mansion or palace in Europe while I was there.  The ceilings and decor is so incredibly ornate.  The only thing I didn't like about my visit was not being able to take photos indoors, but that is the policy in most similar places I've visited in Italy as well.  I would also recommend visiting this lovely museum during the "cooler" months.  I was there in mid June on a very warm day and there are three floors of rooms to see! 

Vizcaya can be rented for special occasions such as weddings and photo shoots.  One can do a self guided tour for $18.00/adult.  It's an additional $5.00 for an audio tour.  Special guided tours can be arranged as well.  Vizcaya will be undergoing renovations beginning in mid July 2015 until October 2015.  The price to tour the museum will be reduced to $16.00/adult. 
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Here is a photo of the court yard:
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The water in the pool really was this hue of blue - not sure if it's safe to swim in!
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Here is the court yard:
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The statues throughout the grounds were amazing!
Wandering and searching island girl-1-2I was so fascinated by this Italian barge structure behind Vizcaya.  It's mainly for decorative purposes, but it's supposed to calm the waters near the shore as well.
Wandering and searching island girl-1-2  Wandering and searching island girl-1-60I loved the statues throughout the grounds:

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I will leave you with a photo of my friend Jahna Robertson and I relaxing in the air conditioned gift shop/cafe.  It was a very warm June day and made us appreciate what it was like to build and work on this mansion as well as live in southern Florida before the invention of air conditioning.  I would definitely recommend visiting Vizcaya if you are ever in the Miami area.  Most people like having 2-3 hours to tour the grounds.  For more information about visiting, here is their web site:  Click here: Vizcaya


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Thank you for visiting my blog.  Please leave me any comments and questions.  I would love to hear your thoughts on my blogs new design as it's still evolving.  I hope you are having a great week


“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of Life.” ― Thomas Jefferson


 This is Part 2 of my Paris adventure from back in mid June which is a lovely time to visit Paris.  Trust me though, I will go back to visit Paris anytime of the year.  I can certainly understand why so many people I've met have been there five or six times and have plans to go again!

This was my second trip to Paris, but the first time I'd ever visited Versailles.  Just in case you don't know, this is where Marie Antionette lived with her family.  She was ultimately beheaded.  After visiting Versailles I did a lot of reading about what happened.  Yes. I learned all this back in school, but there is nothing like seeing things with your own eyes!  Visiting Paris was DEFINITELY a history lesson for me.

 Here is a photo of the exterior of Versailles.  It might not look like that much on the outside...


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I was surprised to learn that the Shabby Chic design was inspired by the decor at Versailles.  I definitely see some similarity, but Shabby Chic is far from this rich and luxurious looking.

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Here is a photo of my daughter Marissa and I eating at a restaurant in Versailles named Angelinas.  It was a beautiful restaurant and we were waited on by Marie Antionette - or at least someone dressed like her!Paris7





I did not get to see much of the outdoor area and the gardens of Versailles, but if you know know that just means that I must return!Paris44

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 As you can see Versailles is "just a bit over the top" ;( .  HOWEVER, I came away from visiting and reading up on Marie Antionette's fate feeling very sad for her.  Here is a quote written by her after she was imprisoned:

 "I was a queen, and you took away my crown; a wife, and you killed my husband; a mother, and you deprived me of my children. My blood alone remains: take it, but do not make me suffer long."

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The following photos are of "The Opera Garnier" which is one of my favorite places to visit in Paris.  It is incredibly ornate, colorful, rich with history, and doesn't take a very long time to see it all.  The first two photos are of the outside of the building, which is beautiful, but does nothing to prepare you for what the interior is like!




Here are some photos of the world famous opera room with the beautiful ceiling designed my the famous artist Marc Chagall.IMG_8374


They do still have plays and performances at the Opera Garnier.  I would love to be able to attend one someday even though I'm not a fan of opera.  No doubt it would be an incredible and unforgettable experience!




The only complaint I have about Paris is that there is a danger of developing a sore neck looking at all of the amazing ceilings that seem to be everywhere!

IMG_8420Here is a view of the city from one of the balconys of the Opera Garnier:


IMG_8318Au Revior Paris...for now :-)

 "Paris is a hard place to leave, even when it rains incessantly and one coughs continually from the dampness."

 Willa Cather

 Thank you so much for stopping by.  I love to read your comments or questions and and reading other people's blogs as well.  Your e-mail address will never be published.  Until next time, take care my friends!