Learning from the best: the Artist Holiday

http://jenhuangphoto.com/artistholidayparis.pdfThis summer when I saw a posting on Instagram by Magnolia Rouge, I thought to myself, "why not? If it happens, it's meant to be. Maybe God has a plan."

I honestly cannot believe I did it. I cannot believe I entered for a chance to win $500 toward a seat at the Artist Holiday. I still cannot believe I received an email from Kurt Boomer saying they were offering it to me and I cannot believe I went. 
Yes, I literally jumped and squealed like a little girl when I received that email. Honestly, who wouldn't? It's an email from Kurt Boomer! 
I was crazy excited, and I felt in my bones it was a sign that it was meant to be....I was supposed to go to France and I was supposed to meet these phenomenal people and I was supposed to get back in touch with who I am. 

I honestly cannot describe it. I'm not sure even Hemmingway or Shakespear could put into words my thoughts and feelings about this summer and the emotions and thoughts and plans that have gone through my head (and there really isn't enough space to blog it either). It has truly been amazing!

July 20 - I arrived in Paris, the city of love. Leaving during the summer meant I knew I had to stay focused so I set some goals:
  1. rekindle a love affair with my cameras;
  2. get to my lodging on time; 
  3. soak in all that these wonderful industry experts had to offer; 
  4. reset my budget; and
  5. I don't remember the 5th...clearly I didn't accomplish it. 

I decided I was going to take the trains from Paris central to Brou (pronounced Broo, not Brow like cow). Surely I could do it. I'm a grown woman. It's not as easy as it sounds though. But I made it to Chartres and then Brou and I was a happy girl. I already hit one of my goals :) Doesn't sound like much I know, but it was for me. I was taking the train and I was by myself and I don't know a lick of French. In fact, more Spanish came out of my mouth than French the entire week. But I made it. 

We stayed in Fraze at a little farmhouse. Brou was in between the farmhouse and the chateau where we'd be doing all the learning - Chateau  de Bouthonvilliers in Dangeau.
The Chateau is truly spectacular! Every inch of the grounds is stunningly beautiful from 250 year old trees and wild flowers to the rolling fields in the back which you can see as you gain entry through the front door. And every inch of the interior is covered with the Verdun family history.