Our French chateau is a longtime favorite at 7F Lodge. It’s one of the most romantic cabins on property. The story behind the France cabin is a beautiful tribute to Monique and Vincent written by the original owner of 7F. Here is their story:
On Tuesday, she methodically bundled the seven letters she’d written the week prior and tied them with a pale blue satin ribbon, each sealed with red wax, having folded the stiff parchment paper into an envelope. As promised, every day Monique Dupui cataloged and chronicled the thoughts of her idle mind, virtually journaling the clothes she chose to wear, the foods served to her by the staff, the moods of her heart and the comings and goings of her jolly footmen. Hiding by the seashore was never her forte, yet there was a sense of peace she felt in the little Provincial village. It held an unspoken charm.
It had been only two months and she was sure it had been a year. Shortly after her heart was broken by a carless lover, her father arranged for her to flee from Paris, hiding, unknown by any, and free to gather her strength and her resolve for a return debut at the opening of the Opera Season.
While her father dispatched a coach full of dubious seamstresses with bolts of billowy chiffon and brocaded satins to fit Monique, he carefully, and with military execution, made sure the gigolo’s reputation spread throughout Paris like a gas fire. Her honor was at stake.
But if it weren’t for the company of her little dog, Banjo, she might not have been able to muster a laugh. Daily, as she walked on the beach, Banjo, ran with the wind, jumped at the sea gulls and barked at the foaming surf.
One afternoon she gathered her watercolors and painted Banjo’s loving face by the seashore. Around the wedge of a rocky point she could see another artist, a man, wrapped in a woven blanket to ward off the chill. He painted with vibrant oils pulling from his mind something not at all there before him: a tall vase of jonquil sunflowers, some reaching for the sky, some dropping their heads in surrender. In a burst of doggish joy, Banjo bolted for the man stealing his loaf of bread, knocking a clay jug of wine over in the pale, soft sand, it’s claret bubbling onto the small shells beneath his feet. Not easily amused, the man stood, pulling his chair back from the wreck as Monique approached with a gesture of apology.
After an exchange of senseless words she asked his name. “Vincent” he replied. They stood shoulder to shoulder on that butter colored point lost in the moment of the sun setting over the Mediterranean, shifting the shadows and sending sunbeams through the clouds as Banjo frolicked in the surf watching the gull’s aerial combat overhead. Without words, they found their hearts joining.
In the days that followed, Monique and Vincent dined on fruit de Mer, tiny crab legs and shoreline mussels, sardines and salty anchovies, with generous portions of wine and the nutrient rich bouillabaisse the Niscoisse fishermen brewed daily. As the hues of Vincent’s paintings intensified, so did their passion: a slow, immediate burning held under control only through protocol.
But time began to close the gap. On the evening before her father was to send a coach for her return, they could honor their atiquette no longer and in a passionate instant Vincent created a turbulent moment of intimacy far, far beyond the realm of earthly pleasure and well into the celestial magnificence of creation.
Waking from the sluggish rest that follow and the comfort of the womb-like canopied bed, Monique found herself alone. An undeniable fief overcame her as she called out his name, “Vincent?” Only silence. “Vincent!”
It seemed an eternity before he stepped in front of the balcony, healing her with a fast embrace. “Come see what I’ve painted ,” he whispered.
Wrapped only in a cream colored sheet, she followed him to the tiny corner near the banister. There on an easel, blending into the night she could see the wet canvas.
“It’s called Starry, Starry Night,” he said softly to her. “As I started to paint, it became evident that you have sent me far beyond the heavens and well into eternity. You have changed my life forever.”
Monique’s “Banjo” resides in the cabin as does Vincent’s “Starry, Starry Night”, which guests can enjoy gazing from the indoor jacuzzi tub. We hope that you encounter someone that will “change your life forever”.