July 2011

Way back in the 1600’s, King Louis XIV, the self-proclaimed Sun King (who thought he had very nice legs), moved the capital (and the French aristocracy) to Versailles to keep an eye on those dastardly nobles.

Fast forward a couple of centuries, and Louix XVI and his beloved Marie-Antoinette were – in theory – in charge at the chateau. Marie was homesick for Austria, so she had a nice little village built on the chateau grounds. She wanted to pretend to be ordinary and anonymous, though she was anything but.

Her little town is called Le hameau, or the Hamlet. (Not so ordinary, is it?)

Many people don’t even know that this village is tucked away in the woods behind the chateau. Jillian did – so she begged her mom and dad to take her there. As you can see, they did. (They’re suckers for a pretty face.) 8 Hamlet9 Hamlet

Oh, my! We Traveling Socks would be homesick for this place, too – even if we weren’t from Austria!

Ok, we couldn’t resist getting into a picture here. You know, to pretend that we were a pair of Marie-Antoinette’s socks during the Ancien Régime. Can you blame us?

Ahhhh – ponds and gardens and perfectly manicured lawns. The place just went on and on. No matter where we turned, there was more to see. If such beauty was the life of a peasant, sign us up for peasantry! 15 Hamlet

French gardens are the loveliest gardens on the planet, in the humble opinion of a pair of Traveling Socks.17 Hamlet

Look at this charming cottage, complete with gardenias lining the stairway. We’ve decided that this would have been our house in the Hamlet. 

Our little house is situated across the pond from the tower where Jillian would have lived.

So all we would have had to do is wave to her every morning while we were watering our gardenias.

Sounds like not too bad of a life, huh?

Too bad Marie couldn’t keep up the ruse. She was guillotined in 1792, along with thousands of royalty and nobility during the French Revolution.

Dignified – even in the direst circumstances – Marie apologized to her executioner when she stepped on his foot while ascending the steps to the guillotine. “Pardon me, sir,” said she. “I did not mean to do it.”