Spring Walk on Bloor-Yorkville

 It is now finally Spring time on Bloor-Yorkville in Toronto. All the tulips in orange and yellow combination this year are all finally blooming decorating the whole stretch of Bloor Street from Yonge Street to Avenue Road. It always makes me smile to see the tulips all out and the store windows decorated with spring flowers. Have a stroll with me here and let us enjoy the view plus the sunshine!
Enjoy the Spring weekend!

Bata Shoe Museum At 20

 Last weekend, we had such a lovely, warm and sunny weather here in Toronto which perfectly coincided with the Bata Shoe Museum 20 years Anniversary. What a celebration they had with a street party right in front of the Museum at St George and Bloor Street and an open house celebration inside the Museum. It was my first time to visit the Museum which is quite a shame because when I was a student at the University of Toronto, I used to walk this route every day passing through the Museum which is also located in the University of Toronto campus. 
This is the only museum in the World dedicated to shoes. The museum was founded by Mrs. Sonja Bata, wife of Thomas Bata who was one of the scion of the Bata Shoe Company that started in Czechoslovakia but the family moved to Toronto, Canada during WWII. Mrs. Bata has devoted most of her life to shoes so it was just right that she opened the first shoe museum in the World. Luckily she opened it here in Toronto, which was formerly a gas station that she transformed to a world class museum. Local folks and Government officials from the Lt Governor to the Mayor of Toronto came to celebrate. At the end of the speeches from Mrs Bata and government dignitaries, we celebrated with their 20th Birthday cupcakes! May you have many more birthdays Bata Shoe Museum!
My own shoe selfie. There were spots like this in the Museum for your own shoe selfie.  
Shoes from Barbra Streisand, Marilyn Monroe, the Dalai Lama, Winston Churchill and the tennis stars, Bjorn Borg and Roger Federer.
Marilyn Monroe was in the house/Museum.
This was the red sequined shoes worn by Mrs Sonja Bata 20 years ago on the opening day of the Museum. It was similar to  Dorothy's ruby shoes in the Wizard of Oz.  Just like Dorothy, opening the Museum 20 years ago was a dream come true for Mrs. Bata. 
 Mrs Bata (in white T-shirt) with the Lt Governor General and Mayor of Toronto. 
Happy 20th Birthday cupcakes to celebrate the Bata Shoe Museum. 

Blooming Splendour In Our Spring Garden

 Our garden is not as big and lush as Claude Monet's Garden in Giverny, France but I am happy to share that our tulips and bleeding hearts flowers are starting to bloom. Here they are in their full blooming splendour. Our tulips are coming out in poppy red, yellow and in purple. The bleeding hearts flowers are in deep pink. I hope you will enjoy your spring flowers in your own garden or in your city. It's time to stop and enjoy this blooming spring! Lastly, I saw this Spring inspired Fendi Peek-A-Boo bag with birds and flowers which was cleverly designed on the denim fabric. Definitely so spring chic!  

Weekend In Claude Monet's Giverny

During my trip to Paris last October, I was deeply inspired and impressed by Claude Monet's masterpiece paintings, Les Nympheas, his group of water lily paintings on display at the Musee de l'Orangerie that I had to visit his home in Giverny, Normandy. This house was purchased by Claude Monet and his second wife, Alice, around the Spring of 1880s so that Monet can continue his Impressionist paintings of the French countryside. I was not disappointed at all when we arrived as the whole place was just full of flowers, a large garden home full of inspiration, beauty, smells so fragrant and everything was so lush. You can feel and see that the place is still very well taken care of. Truly a masterpiece place just like Monet's paintings! No wonder even Monet created his best works here right at his home where he obtained inspiration in every corner of his house and gardens including the famous Water Lily pond, Etang des Nympheas.

 The famous and inspiring Etang des Nympheas, Water Lily Pond. 
 Inside Monet's home with his Impressionist painting. 
 A replica of the Les Nympheas painting in the Gift Shop. 
Flowers from Monet's Garden at Giverny for all of our beloved Mothers on Mother's Day!

Spring Magnolia Blossoms

 One lovely and sunny Spring morning, I resumed my morning walk around the neighbourhood. Spring time bring so much joy and beauty all around with the recent blooms from the Magnolia Tree. They are finally coming out and blooming so happily to see the sun. Just like me, so happy to see them bloom and smelling so good. I hope you are all enjoying the Spring weather and the beautiful blooms all around.  This is the season to stop and smell the magnolias. 

Exploring Chateau De Fontainebleau

 Another day trip that we joined from Paris, was a visit to the Chateau De Fontainebleau, located in the town of Fontainebleau, France. Before it became a Chateau, it was a Castle built in the 12th Century. Then Francis I developed it into a renaissance Chateau which also became the favourite hunting chateau of the subsequent monarchs from Catherine de Medici to Louis XVI, Napoleon I to Napoleon III as it is surrounded by lush and massive forest. The Chateau has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visiting Fontainebleau was enchanting as this Chateau is so huge. It has massive halls and rooms one after the other. It is as huge as the Chateau de Versailles but without the long line ups and it has more art and furniture inside. It was worth a trip exploring the Chateau to learn about the different French monarchs and their stories when they lived in this Chateau. 
The Horse shoe staircase.

 The massive Chateau De Fontainebleau.

 Portrait of Louis XIV. Marie Antoinette added the Oriental wing in the palace with its massive Oriental Art Collection. 

We learned about the story of Napoleon and his beloved Empress Josephine.

 The view of the Royal Chapel.

 The massive royal library.

The gardens and the Fontainebleau forest beyond. 

Pamela lives in Toronto. I work in Banking in the field of Credit and Finance. The Style and Travel Journals blog has evolved into an on-line magazine blog about my experiences and inspirations on style, travel, people, lifestyle and current events. My blog features are not sponsored posts. The photographs and stories featured here are all from my own resources and experiences. [Pamela RG] (