Sunday, 8 March 2009

My 40 Year Old Journey...





Those of you who regularly visit me here would know that in a couple of months I'll be turning the big four zero! Yes, that's 40! My goodness, where did all the time go - I still feel like that four year old who spent her days running around the garden (naked!), playing with the lady beetles and watching the world go by from the front step....
To celebrate this auspicious passing of my youth - I'll be heading to Europe -(in particular France and Spain) - to spend a few weeks bumming around the place and generally coming to terms with what it means to be 40 (I wonder if I'll find out!) ...
I'm particularly excited because my mother will be joining me for part of the trip. The last time that I was in Europe with mum (and my aunt) was about 20 years ago. We all backpacked around France and Italy together, staying in little pensionnes, eating packed lunches in parks and dinners in local restaurants where you could enjoy a plat du jour and a small carafe of red for about $15! What fun we had back then. Mum's 72 now - and so we'll probably need to exchange the backpacks and trains for a little rental car - but I'm sure we'll still have loads of fun together. Mum was desperate to explore southern Spain - from Madrid down to Seville (an area that neither of us have been to) and so I've been doing a little research on cute places to stay down there - mostly on a budget with the occasional 'special treat' thrown in. Much to my delight, I've come across this gorgeous place - Trasierra. Those of you who follow Domino mag (snuffle, snuffle) will have seen the story on Charlotte Scott and her gorgeous Spanish hotel. Nestled in the hills around Seville, this hotel looks a delight for all the senses. Restored over nearly a 30 year period, Trasierra is a decorators delight - and a gardeners delight too what with the fruit filled orchards and all! I think that Charlotte may just be a kindred spirit.
If anyone has any other ideas for gorgeous little places to stay in southern Spain (and Madrid) please do let me know. It's the family run, down to earth (but with a stylish twist) kind that I'm after. If we're lucky we may just get a night or two in at Trasierra - and what a treat that would be!

21 comments:

mimi charmante said...

And where will you be going in France my friend? The trip sounds delightful - what a wonderful treat to spend that time with your mom!

Shannon Fricke said...

Well.... Paris, of course! Then up around Giverny - Monet's Garden etc - off to Versaille and anywhere that takes our fancy around the Paris environs! Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
sx

Porchlight Interiors said...

Sounds like a perfect way to celebrate Shannon. I am planning to go to Europe for my 40th next year too.
Thanks for the magazine too. Hayley

Anonymous said...

Hey Shannon, I looked at this place many years ago (maybe even in the Supermodel years!)and the owner offered art classes as well...imagine painting in the wilds of Spain!
xlou
ps sorry I didn't reply to you on facebook - I really don't use it much -but I have to say what an enviable lifestyle you have created for you and your family! Also I love the pictorial you have complied of your reno - amazing transformation!

vicki archer said...

I can think of no better way to celebrate turning 40...or 50, or 60, or any age for that matter. I don't really know Spain so I shall be interested to read about your discoveries later in the year. I hope my girls take me along on their big birthday trips! xv

Sarah V said...

Dear Shannon...
Not sure where I have been - to have only found your blog just now! [shameful] Although I have followed your work for years through mags [& my Inside Out] and Lifestyle channel...I found you through Anna's [absolutely beautiful things] blog - who also inspired me to get my blog going... Enough transgression - fantabulous 40 - wow what a wonderful destination - with all that you have already accomplished your family, your successful career and countless amounts inspiration to others [including moi]! I turned 30 last year and am having a belated '30th trip to Europe this year [seeing my sister who lives in London and then onwards on a tour by myself] I only hope that at 40,I can be a smidgeon of the imprint you have given to our design community.... what a wonderful mentor you would be.
I can't wait for your travel blogs & finds!
Many happy returns & safe travelling! S x

www.palatialliving.blogspot.com

Catherine said...

I know how you feel, I'll be turning 40 in a few months myself. I'm also planning to head off to Europe, though later in the year - a belated birthday present to myself!
Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I had just been reading about you and your beautiful home that very day in Inside Out!

Anonymous said...

I too spent my 40th in France, 3 years ago this April. A wonderful experience I must say. I thought I would spend my time swanning around the shops and galleries, but instead found myself (with brave friends) first time rock climbing, treking snow covered hills at the end of the season, and paragliding off the side of some French Alps with an instructor I couldn't understand(all in 3 days).

Oh you will have a great time.

And thanks heaps for the magazine.

Kerry

The Pink Poodle said...

dear shannon..read your blog regularly and have just figured I should leave a comment..
Have followed you on the LIFESTYLE channel over the years..congrats on all you have achieved..

Plus congrats on turning 40..BOY!! i wish i was 40 again..52 this year..but still feel 30!! hopefully i dont look much older..cough cough!!

Enjoy France...(i havent been to spain)..but hope to get back to Paris sooner rather than later!!
take care & keep up your inspirational blog..(ps dont look at mine..it is pretty corny/naive..not being a computer savvy person)!!!

andrea..the pink poodle..

Justine McKinlay said...

Shannon
While my husband went to Italy skiing, I took my then baby boy (he is now 8) and three girlfriends to Madrid and Seville. We had the most wonderful time, particularly in Seville where we stayed in an apartment in a quiet part of town. We were in a square which was basically populated by locals and had a roof terrace (complete with strings of washing). The bars and restaurants were sublime and we were all treated like royalty where ever we went (a blond baby was a good accessory!). Seville has a few wonderful linen shops if you hunt them out. Enjoy!

Natasha Burns said...

Happy birthday Shannon! What a way to spend it! I've only been as far as Barcelona in Spain but the places you are visiting sound amazing! I hope you have the most wonderful time away.

I travelled to Italy and Slovenia with my mum 8 years ago (she's from Slovenia), and it was such a great thing to do ~ we left hubbies behind ~ and loved every minute of it!

citysage said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate your birthday! Spending it with the lovely ladies in your family couldn't be better--please take lots of pics so we can live vicariously through you!

Maison Fleur said...

I hope you and your mum have a wonderful time together! I would love to be able to take my mum overseas, she refuses to fly unless it is really necessary!! I have always wanted to go to spain... the architecture there is incredible!!! ENJOY and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

magikquilter said...

What a fabulous frolic this will be....and i see it has garnered a .lot of response from previous non commenters. Could be because you are so special and also so self effacing and we your fans/blog pals want to see you have a really memorable time.

Down Comforter said...

What a beautiful hotel! Have fun on your trip - I'm sooo jealous :)

Shannon Fricke said...

What a well-travelled bunch you all are...
Thanks so much for your well wishes - and tips...
I'm planning on turning 40 in the way that I intend to live my forties! Discovering new things - with old friends and loved ones... Perhaps a glass of French in hand, eating colourful cakes, and checking out the scenery!
sx

Michelle said...

Shannon,
What a gorgeous birthday you are going to have especially since you are spending some time with your mother. I would love to take my mum away somewhere special one day - and Spain sounds like just the ticket

Fabulously french said...

Bonjour,

If you and your mum need somewhere to stop on your way down from Paris then let me know. My Chambre D'hote is 5 hours from Paris and 4 hours from Barcelona so we make a good 1/2 way break

Http://www.maisondepoitiers.com

mes amitiés

Leeann x

Fabulously french said...

Hello,

If you and your Mum want to stop soewhere on your way down to Barceloan then let me know. We are 5 hours from Paris and 4 hours from Barceloan so are perfectly placed should you wish to stop 1/2 way.

mes amitiés

Leeann

ps I also spent my 40th in France and loved every minute of it!

Anonymous said...

For southern Spain hotels I would try rusticae.es or roommate hotels, they have lovely places...if u r heading to Seville don't miss granada.

Envelope Printing said...

What a fantastic way to celebrate 40 years! Going to France and Spain will surely be a memorable experience. Have fun, relax, unwind, and just forget about the problems you have.