J’adore François Boucher!

18th century French painter François Boucher said about nature “trop verte et mal éclairée” (too green and badly lit) in a letter to Nicolas Lancret, another French painter.

When you think of 18th century France you probably first think of Marie Antoinette, sumptuous fabrics, larger than life powdered hairstyles, and flowers, so many flowers!

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François Boucher was supporte by his patroness, Madame de Pompadour, the official mistress to King Louis XV. Not to go off topic, but have you ever read anything about Madame de Pompadour? She seemed like a super cool, super classy lady! If I lived back in the day and was French (AND super rich) I would hope Jeanne and I would have been buddies! / IMG SRC: Detail of The Interrupted Sleep by Francois Boucher 

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Ok, back to Mister Boucher! He was known for incredibly dreamy and sumptuous paintings and also for pastoral scenes. If you know me at all, you’ll know I am a huge HUGE fan of anything fancy AND pastoral. / IMG SRC: (top) Madame Pompadour by Francois BoucherMadame Bergeret 1746 by Francois Boucher

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As much flack as Marie Antoinette got for building her Hameau de la Reine (The Queen’s Hamlet) where she dressed like a milkmaid and romped around fields and picnicked with her children while sheep grazed by… I TOTALLY GET IT! I’d probably do the same thing… but not build a fake village. I’d just go buy a real village and go hang with the locals and give them jobs. / IMG SRC: In the Garden by Francois Boucher

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Gosh, I keep going off topic. Actually, this really isn’t just about François Boucher, it’s more about WHY I adore his work so much. He painted such a beautiful part of history, so idyllic, so romantic, so absolutely dreamy. And he added some naughty bits. Some eroticism and mysticism all cleverly hidden in flowers, fruits, and the scenery.

And some weren’t hidden, some were just in your face, look at this naked lady with a swan right *there* (just google it) / IMG SRC: above and both below are from Francois Boucher Gallery

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Francois Boucher, Rococo Pastorale

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In Which We Spend A Day on the Fruit Loop

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Ahh, Oregon has my heart again. Well, not that my heart ever wandered away… but I have recently been feeling huge bouts of wanderlust and thinking “Oh woe is me I am stuck here all summer!” And it has been a miserably hot summer, much hotter than last summer when we moved here!

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Then I think, “Come on old girl, you’ve got so much beauty around you and you’ll be skipping around Belgium and the north of France soon enough!” (in March to be exact!) Oh, but March does seem so VERY far away. (p.s. Isn’t my husband so very handsome?)

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Anyhow, the husband and I have put in some effort to do small little trips here and there that we can do in a day’s time. At the moment we lack time and funds to really do anything more than just a day or two somewhere nearby, so we look for closer in adventures.

And then we discovered The Hood River Fruit Loop! It is about a 45 minute drive (maybe a bit longer) from Portland. The drive is absolutely beautiful all by itself too!

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HOLY CATS! I swear I said “OMG! What!? Did you see that?! Look! Loooooook!” causing my husband to finally say (he was driving) “Rodellee, I have to drive!”

Now, I will confess we didn’t make it very far into the Fruit Loop (it’s 35 miles, we only did about 5) but even within these 5 miles there was so much to do!

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There was the Cascade Alpaca Farm (there are a few alpaca farms on the Fruit Loop I think, this is just one of them) where I nearly lost my head over the alpacas. They’re so cute and silly looking! I also gushed over the local farm cats named Knit and Pearl. Robby and I got some lightweight alpaca wool socks (perfect for Belgium!) and he got me alpaca finger puppets. (I like silly cute things!)

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Afterwards we headed to Draper Girls Country Farm to pick fruits and flowers. But first we stopped by this amazing red barn to take photos, because when one CAN take photos by a red barn, one SHOULD take photos by a red barn.

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You know across the road was a hill with a farm house and black and white cows grazing about. So perfectly pastoral.

After Draper Girls Farm we met up with a friend for lunch at his dad’s restaurant in Hood River, I think it was called the Riverside Lodge. Can’t quite remember to be honest, too distracted by the pretty views of the Columbia River and looking over at White Salmon, WA just across the way.

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Then we went to The Gorge White House to try some locally made hard ciders. I can’t hold my liquor by any means so I limited myself to one, a pear apple cider. Oh! OH! Like a glass of summer! So crisp, delicious, light, and just the right amount of sweetness.

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And of course there was MORE flower picking, because you can’t go someplace that has a “U-PICK” sign and not pick anything!

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We will return to the Hood River Fruit Loop probably in early Autumn to pick apples and drink more ciders and this time probably do the 35 mile scenic drive instead of stopping at so many farmstands along the way. (There are also lots of places to stop and taste wines, ciders, and brews…)

 

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