All of the new-house excitement has meant that my usual Post-Holiday Blues haven’t been nearly as bad this year as they usually are, but I have to admit that when I looked back at these photos, I got a big pang of “homesickness” for Florida, because this place was just too beautiful for words. I am wordy, however, so I will write some about it anyway: it’s what I do.
So, these were taken at the Vizcaya Museum, which was built in 1914, as the home of James Deering. It’s curious, because while the exterior is typically Floridian, and takes advantage of the beautiful setting and amazing views, when you step inside it’s like going back in time to the 17th century, or thereabouts. There are sunlit courtyards, tinkling fountains, the very latest kitchen equipment that 1914 had to offer… and then these dark, gloomy rooms, full of heavy wooden furniture, all imported from “abroad” (As the signs next to the pieces helpfully informed us. “Ah, yes, Abroad: I went there once – smashing place!”), so that Deering could impress everyone with how OMGEUROPEAN it all was. (Again, I got the impression that he didn’t really care WHERE in Europe the stuff had come from, just so long as he could say, “LOOK, IT’S FROM EUROPE, OK? EUROPE. ABROAD.) I found it really fascinating, because once you stepped through the doors, the place looked – and smelt – exactly like any one of the castles or stately homes we have here in the UK, and, well, you don’t get a lot of that kind of thing in Florida, that’s for sure. I was actually really surprised to learn how “new” it really was: it felt genuinely old, but it’s actually something of an early Disney park, with fake ancestral portraits on the walls and everything carefully designed to look much older than it really is.
The grounds, meanwhile, are absolutely stunning, as evidenced by the number of movies they’ve appeared in, and also the number of photo shoots we saw going on in them while we were there: real photo shoots, I mean – not fashion blogger ones. Not to be outdone, I got Terry to take the photo at the top of the page while standing directly outside a giant window which looked out onto the water, and the giant stone boat behind me. Terry had just started snapping away when suddenly a Japanese tour group consisting of roughly 30 people all appeared at the window in front of me, and started taking photos of the boat, totally ignoring the fact that I was planted right in front of it. I felt like a complete ROCK STAR as all of those flashes went off in my face. Also like a complete IDIOT, seriously. My parents happened to be standing at a viewing point across the water, and almost died laughing at the sight of me apparently having outfit photos taken by a huge group of tourists. So now there are a bunch of people in Japan whose holiday photos include a few random snaps of me prancing about a boat deck: AWESOME. It was almost as embarrassing as that time the police accused Terry of stalking me, except no, not really, nothing could possibly be as embarrassing as that, could it?
Just to make matters worse, it was REALLY windy out on that deck, so most of those tourist photos will feature me looking a lot like this:
I rock, seriously. Some poor person in Japan is probably going through their photos right now, and going, “THE HELL? Who is this woman, and why is her hair attacking her face?” I mean, not to boast or anything, but I bet I’m probably a legend there by now. Another dream realised, people!
[Wearing: dress and anchor chain: The Limited | Shoes: Mango | Hat: Target]