Friday, 27 April 2012

in love with Alsace region !!!!

Helloooooooo my sweet blog readers, I am back!! Apologies for the long break, we ended up taking a much needed holiday and my technology failed me while away.
We visited the beautiful region of Alsace in France and I cannot tell you what a wonderful and relaxing break it has been. We crammed so much in our 8 days there and we brought home wonderful memories.
The Alsace region is stunningly beautiful, very famous for its vineyards and incredibly tasty cuisine which as you can imagine we managed to sample a lot ofSmile.
We rented a holiday apartment in Bergheim  a wonderful medieval  town (15 century) situated in the heart of the Alsace vineyards. I adored our little apartment it belonged to a now retired, famous French street theatre artist called Madame Marguerite who greeted us with a delicious home baked apple and ginger cake, fresh French baguette and a plate of traditional  Alsatian foie gras.
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The decor was so quirky and eclectic you could tell it belonged to an artist the minute you pulled over. Bergheim is also known for holding many witch trials sending 40 women to the stake in the 16 and 17 Century . There is the  Maison des Sorcières (Witches’ House) that recounts the lives of these Witches and gives a record of their trials.
Ribeauville ( left photo) and Riquewhir photo on the right) were two other delightful medieval places that we visited on our trip, dating back to the 16 Century the buildings looked like frozen in time, beauty was evident at every turn.
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and we were so lucky to have a local guide with us Smile. My wonderful friend and fellow French demonstrator Vanou. I have met Vanou nearly 4 years ago at our very first European Stampin’Up! Convention. For years we talked about me visiting and finally we made it happen. Trouble is now I have to make another trip to France and spend some time in the Auvergne region with my other sweet friend and fellow French Demonstrator Moira Smile, hey I am not complaining I just hope it won’t take me 4 years to get there. 
Here’s Vanou taking pictures of myself taking pictures of the famous Dolder tower.
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Wonderful food was everywhere but because of Vanou’s knowledge of the local eateries we ended up having one of the most wonderful meals of my life in this beautiful little restaurant in Riquewihr called the Tire Bouchon translated Corkscrew.
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Isn’t that a wonderful colour for a restaurant? I can still taste the wonderful food mmm mmm.
In the next days we also visited Strasbourg and its famous Cathedral, smiled forcathedral pete
the camera (happy hubby alertSmile), and Colmar with its own Statue of Liberty!
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The Statue was installed here in 2004 to mark Bartholdi’s (the creator of the statue) 100 anniversary of his death. Bartholdi was born in Colmar and this was something I didn’t know.
We also visited the beautiful and very impressive Haut Koeningsbourgh chateau, that was a real WOW but sorry no pictures as my battery died Sad smilethat day, I do have plenty on my phone and hubs camera.
The weekend came and I had a treat in store, I was to spend it crafting with Moira’s and Vanou’s team in the mountain area of Alsace called La Vancelle.
We started off with a gorgeous Fondu meal at a restaurant in Colmar, but before that is APERO time at Natalie’s house!! French certainly know how to live life, you have an apero before a meal which is a meal in itself all washed down with Cremant a sparkling wine of equal quality to Champagne.
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Next on our way to the restaurant.
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Everyone is chatting excitedly while cooking their bits of food
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I chose seafood on the pierade which like the fondue you need to cook yourself  but this time on a stone hot plate instead of the fondue pot. My plate was huge but I ate it all *wink*
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Then in the morning we were off in the mountains. I can safely say I laughed so much this weekend I thought I was going to burst. Madame Ivette appears out of nowhere to greet us all.
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The fun has already started and we didn’t even enter the building Smile. Just like with every event we swapped ideas offered and received gifts. I think I might have mentioned it before that I am rather fond of the delicious French macarons. Just has luck would have it Ribeauville had a Gilg branch,  a famous patisserie and I bought each of the girls a sweet little treat. I became Madame macarons for 10 minutes and Vanou had to pin one to my head as apparently you couldn’t see them properly in the bag, hmmm I don’t think I believed her but I was happy to play along Smile
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Hmm I should have put my make up on I think .
and we didn’t stop sharing all weekend,being business tips, sweets Smile, laughs and freindships, being a Stampin’Up! demonstrator is so rewarding.

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Oh my God it was such a treat to spend time with this group of wonderful women and even though my French is very limited I had such a fabulous time. Everyone made such an effort to communicate with me and they all made me feel so welcome.
I had such a good time, I didn’t stop laughing the whole weekend THANK YOU TEAM BONHEUR (translates Happiness) and thank you Vanou for being such a fabby friend, and for looking after us so well. I cannot wait to see you again and it won’t be long. Both Moira and Vanou will be in Vienna in June for our Incentive trip and both of them have booked tickets to come to the UK for our next team training on 1st July!!! I cannot wait!!!
The goodbye shot..
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Being a Stampin’Up! demonstrator is such an amazing experience even with the language barrier I felt the same camaraderie as in our team of Passionettes and its wonderful to see how demonstrators help each other as they share this amazing journey. If you ever thought about becoming a demo yourself maybe now its the time to do something about it. Stampin’Up! have announced that our Starter Kit is coming down in price. From the 1st of May you can start up your own business for only £99, became a demonstrator yourself  and choose a kit that is unique to you up to the value of £130, you can have whatever you wish for up to this amount. Isn't that great? I would be delighted to welcome you to our team of Passionettes, help you start up on the right foot and guide you all the way while growing your business. If you would like to hear more please contact me on 01405 962902 or email me at telemech01ataol.com
I hope you are still with me it took me more than 2 hours to edit and write this post and I am now ready for my tea.
Thank you for stopping by come back soon as I have lots more to share. Big hugs xxx
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8 comments :

Florence said...

It was such a pleasure to receive you Monica!!! Book a date for next year in Auvergne!!! See you soon in Mayence!!!XXXX

Moira said...

Excellent résumé and photos Monica, it was so wonderful to have you with us on our annual weekend. It better not take 4 years before the Auvergne visit!!!!!! We can't compete on the wine side but the food is good and we have the rugby. I love the fact that I'll see you at least 4 times this year. Gros bisous.

Andrea said...

Wow Monica - you look as though you had a wonderful wonderful time!
Thank you sharing all your fabulous photos!
Enjoy your weekend, and I hope the weather is better with you than it is with us at the moment.
Love, Andrea xx

Emily said...

What a wonderful trip you had. I love that Stampin Up crosses the language barriers.

Good to see you back in the land of blog.

Bloggy Hugs

alice said...

what a pleasure to spend this weekend with you!!!!
you're so crazy and so funny that we just can love you!!!!
lots of kisses

Ute said...

Thank you for this wonderful Post. It looks great. Yes, beeing a Pat of the SU Family is really wonderful.
Greetings from Germany, Ute

nat said...

Thank you Monica for this week end, it was wonderfull
I'm thinking of you each time I'm using tombow or "caca glue"!!!
See you in Germany!

bab said...

waht a lovely travel !! nice place : alsace !! plaisants moments with french SU girls !!