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The Group: Based on the Book by Mary McCarthy

Dreaming of France: Palace of Versailles


My first trip to France. The year 1959.  February maybe? Cold certainly. I was 6; I'm the one in the hooded jacket holding what appears to be my mother's diaper bag while she grapples with my baby sister Nancy. Russell, my brother (not to be confused with Russell my son, Russell my father-in-law, or Russell my best friend's husband - I kid you not!) is on the right. I know it's hard to see but if you look closely you can tell from his (fuzzy) expression that he isn't any happier to be standing at the gates to the Sun King's palace than his pesky little sisters are. It was cold - especially if you'd just traveled from Libya where you'd lived in perpetual summer for the last few years of your life, and it was boring. All those rooms. All that furniture.

I think we were especially miserable because Nancy wasn't toilet trained and my mother only had cloth nappies. I recall something about my mother getting caught short and having to wash one out and dry it on a radiator.  Yes, that would make the visit to Versailles less than glorious.  I'm glad I was able to return years later and revisit The Palace of Versailles as an appreciative and awestruck adult.  Their website has much better pictures than this one my dad took with his old Agfa camera but gosh, I wish I knew where that lovely old leather-cased thing was!

Every Monday I take a break from blogging about books to movies and play along over at An Accidental Blog where Paulita hosts the Dreaming of France meme, where fellow bloggers shared their love of France. Go take a look and tell her Sim says Bonjour!