It’s My Birthday and I’ll Versailles if I Want To

It's My Birthday!

It’s My Birthday!

Well, it was bound to happen at some point this year! My Birthday arrived right on time on March 16th which fell on a Sunday this year. One of my favourite things about my birthday is that I share it with my Dad; Every year our cake has always had two sets of candles, and our song rendition has always included a rushed combination of both of our names. I have the most incredible birthday memories because I always spent it surrounded by my family.

Me & My Dad (AKA My Birthday Buddy)

Me & My Dad (AKA My Birthday Buddy)

I remember when I was younger and my friends used to ask me if I got tired of having to share all of the “birthday attention” that comes from being the Star Of The Day. And to be honest, the answer is no, never, not even once. True, maybe it’s because you can never miss what you’ve never had, but my Dad always made me feel just that little bit more ‘special’, and I never had to sacrifice any attention or affection from my family. In fact, sharing a birthday with my Dad GUARANTEED that no one forgot my birthday, and that it was always a proper celebration. But now, as the years have gone by, and I have left home and continued to grow with the travel bug my parents passed on to me, I have spent some of my birthdays ‘alone’. I say alone because, to celebrate it away from my Dad, to see only one set of candles on a cake, or hear only my name in the birthday song feels weird to me!

Being born in March meant that all through my school years I was on Spring Break for my Birthday, and because I shared the day with my Dad, it also meant that it magically coincided with our family travels. I have the most incredible memories of my birthday each year being in a different country, experiencing something new, and always spending the day with my parents and my sister. From climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, to being surrounded by spider monkeys in a rickety boat in a mangrove forest in Costa Rica, my birthday has always been market by a special experience. And this year, I was determined to make sure that I kept that tradition alive.

Birthday In Paris

My Birthday In Paris

I decided to be the Queen of France for a day and took myself to the Palais of Versailles.

Not a cloud in the sky at Chateau de Versailles

Not a cloud in the sky at Chateau de Versailles

When I say, “I took myself”, I literally mean me, myself, alone. This is the aspect of my birthday this year that is probably the most significant – and I’m taking it as a sign of my increasing independence.

Sure, I would have LOVED to have some of my friends or especially my family with me for the day but I couldnt, so there was absolutely no point in getting sad or miserable about it. Instead I took it as an incredible opportunity to TRULY be the Star of the Day. I had to answer to no one, wait for no one, talk to no one, explain things to no one, compromise with no one, entertain no one… well, no one but myself. It was so incredibly liberating to feel so free in my “selfishness”.

I had a relaxing morning and made myself a delicious little breakfast of strawberries and cinnamon before hopping on the 1 1/2 hour train ride from Paris to Versailles. Luckily for me the weather could not have been better – there wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the temperature was all of 20 degrees. I was in heaven.

I took my time walking from the train station to the Chateau itself, winding my way through the beautiful little city and through their enormous fresh market. I remember thinking “so here’s where Paris keeps all of its babies!”, the place was completely packed with young families with small children, a baby in a stroller, or pregnant ladies. Yep, we’re definitely out of the city!

Walking up to the chateau was just as magical and impressive as it was when I had visited it as a small girl. The golden gates and archways and the enormous expanse of the driveway up to the castle itself – I could just imagine a long train of horse drawn carriages pulling up with the ladies inside fanned themselves as they supported their enormous pompadour hair pieces.

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

A group of Mexican women had boughten too many tickets, and as luck would have it, they were looking to sell only one ticket! As everyone else was traveling at least as a pair, I was able to buy the ticket from them and skip the undoubtedly two hour wait in line! (“So long you suckers who came here with people!”) They were wonderfully kind.

Chateau Versailles

One of my favorite hallways in Chateau Versailles

Sofia Coppola’s stunning film Marie Antoinette was filmed at Versailles, and its scenes kept flashing through my mind and only added to the breathtaking extravagance of it all.

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette for Sofia Coppola Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette for Sofia Coppola Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

The art on the ceiling took 42 years to complete (Chateau Versailles)

Mass in  Chateau Versailles

Where Mass was held in
Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

One of the best things about exploring Versailles alone is that you dont have to worry about losing anyone in the crowds, keeping up with anyone, and you can take as much or as little time in a room as you wish! Being surrounded by all of this incredible art and history was a delicious daydream for me and I would sometimes listen to the audio commentaries several times for a single piece before feeling I had digested enough of its elegance to move on.

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

My Girl Diana the Huntress (A favorite Goddess of France and of the King)

My Girl Diana the Huntress (A favorite Goddess of France and of the King)

Hall of Mirrors <3 (Chateau Versailles)

Hall of Mirrors ❤
(Chateau Versailles)

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Bed Chamber Chateau Versailles

Too Drunk to Drive?? No problem, Spend the night in the guest Bed Chamber
Chateau Versailles

Lux right down to where you tie your curtains back (Chateau Versailles)

Lux right down to where you tie your curtains back
(Chateau Versailles)

An obvious cult favourite room (especially after Sofia Coppola’s ridiculously beautiful film) is Marie Antoinette’s bedroom.

Marie Antoinettes Bed Chamber

Marie Antoinettes Bed Chamber

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette for Sofia Coppola Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette for Sofia Coppola Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Peaking out onto the Gardens <3 Yep, I'm definitely Home!

Peaking out onto the Gardens

Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette  Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette
Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Chateau Versailles

To Commemorate the Revolution of 1830 and the establishment of the July Monarchy under the rule of King Louis-Philippe
Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Chateau Versailles

The Crowing of Napoleon’s Josephine
Chateau Versailles

Sculpture of Leclerc AKA Mr. Modest Chateau Versailles

Sculpture of Leclerc AKA Mr. Modest
Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles Gardens

Chateau Versailles Gardens

Chateau Versailles Gardens

Chateau Versailles Gardens

Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette  Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette
Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Princess' Bed Chamber Chateau Versailles

Princess’ Bed Chamber
Chateau Versailles

Princess' Bed Chamber Chateau Versailles

Princess’ Bed Chamber
Chateau Versailles

Sculpture of the Goddess of Air Chateau Versailles

Sculpture of the Goddess of Air
Chateau Versailles

Sculptures of the Elements Chateau Versailles

Sculptures of the Elements
Chateau Versailles

Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette  Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Kirsten Dunst and Jason Schwartzman in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette
Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Chateau Versailles

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette for Sofia Coppola Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Kirsten Dunst as Marie Antoinette for Sofia Coppola Photographed by Annie Leibovitz

Instead of Birthday Cake this year, I laid in a pile of daisies in the Versailles Gardens and ate Macaroons. Even though I didn’t get to spend the day with my family or friends, I spent the day in the company of the person who I must love and live with the longest – myself. The start to this new year of life for me has started symbolically in that the world was bright and beautiful, and if I must wander through some of life’s most beautiful moments and places alone, I’m learning how to be happy and content in my own skin, and in my own company.

"Let them eat Macaroons" Chateau Versailles

“Let them eat Macaroons”
Chateau Versailles

Happy Birthday Daddy-o, and to all you other March babies out there!

Meesh
xx

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3 responses to “It’s My Birthday and I’ll Versailles if I Want To

  1. You make me want to go back. The last time i was in Paris I didn’t visit Versailles – we did a full day to Loire Valley instead. (Belated) Happy Birthday!

    • It’s a must see for sure! I hope the next time you get a chance to visit you’ll get out there! Rain or shine, it’s breathtaking. I still cant get over how your imagination just takes over when you’re there. I havent done Loire Valley so maybe I’ll have to check that out next! And thank you very very much for the Birthday wishes! 🙂

      Meesh
      xx

      • My imagination takes over from the time the wheels of the plane hit the ground at CDG until they leave on the way out… The Loire Valley tour was great. If you’re going to be over there for a while you need to go.

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