Thanks for the Memories and Where in the World is The Antiques Diva?

top:2px;padding-right:5px;font-family:times;”>A fan of the Today Show, I love their annual segment “Where in the World is Matt Lauer?” A few years ago, Matt Lauer even came to the tiny village south of Amsterdam where I lived, causing my husband serious trepidation as he knew I’d had a crush on Lauer for years! Unfortunately I wasn’t even aware he had been in Breukelen until my friend La Reine emailed to ask if I was outside holding my “Antiques Diva” sign and clamoring for his attention….

Anyway, I digress… during the last month and a half while emails have gone unanswered and phone calls unreturned, I’ve felt like I was living Lauer’s life, playing the game “WHERE IN THE WORLD IS THE ANTIQUES DIVA?” My husband called my mobile one night a few weeks ago while I was away on one of several extended business trips for my Antiques Diva Fall Flea Market Tours and he asked, “What country are you in?” I had to look at my dinner companions to answer that question.

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Holland, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland again, and again… I’m racking up more miles on the Merc than we ever thought possible! In the last month and a half I’ve slept more nights in other people’s houses and hotels than in my own bed! Needless to say, my poor husband who’s been left at home has suffered the consequences of Diva Tour’s success and has not only learned to cook for himself but he’s taken up ironing as a hobby!!! So today’s blog is devoted both to THE ONES I LOVE & a CALL OUT to some SPECIAL PEOPLE!

1) I’d like to give a Gros Bisou” (that’s French for a big kiss) to my husband The Wine Guy!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Thanks for putting up with my recent prolonged travels! I love you dear! We recently realized that in 6 months I will have spent half my life in his arms – and it’s been the best 18 years of my life!

2) My Second Dank u wel goes to my lovely hosts in Holland! The lady on the left, Lucretia, might look familiar as not only has she been hosting me frequently while I’ve visited Holland, but she is also an Antiques Diva Tour Guide! I’ve practically gained squatters rights based upon the number of times she & her lovely husband have let me stay chez them in my own private quarters on the 3rd floor! Thanks so much for your continued hospitality – you are the most gracious hosts I know!

to 10px; WIDTH: 370px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />
3) When I wasn’t staying with friends in Holland, I was mooching off friends in Paris! I’m seriously shameless… and I enjoyed every minute of it! While staying in hotels is always nice, it’s so much nicer to stay with friends, especially friends that make you feel like family. By the end of the trip, I was convinced that Jen was my long-lost sister and that we had been separated at birth! And I fell so head-over-heels in love with Jen’s daughter that I seriously contemplated chucking the Diva lifestyle and packing her up and bringing her home with me!

to 10px; WIDTH: 350px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Psst… If my Parisian host looks familiar it might be because this isn’t the first time she’s appeared on my blog! Remember the Guest Post, It’s Hermes Darling?

4) In addition to Thanking my Husband and Hosts, I’d also like to call attention to my Antiques Diva Guides – these two ladies help me behind the scenes, coordinating details, translating information and bargaining on our client’s behalf. They scour the local scene and keep me informed on what’s going on where and in general provide support, helping Diva Tours be what it’s become. My heartfelt thanks to Marlene & Lucretia!

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Marlene seen above waving an antique toy bowling pin in Cachot Antiques in The Hague with clients

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Lucretia seen here at W. Angevaren Oude Kunst en Antiek in The Hague while taking clients on a Diva Tour.

5) While I’m thanking people, I have to ask, “what would my time in Paris have been without the sensational Sylvia”? She served as friend & translator during a few of the Diva Tours when I needed an extra hand!

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />She embodies in one person my 3 European lives! I first met my German friend Sylvia when we were both living in Holland, though it just so happens she’s lived the better part of the last 2 decades in France, speaking French so flawlessly that everyone who meets her is awed it’s not her native tongue!

6) I couldn’t forget to THANK the MYSTERIOUS La Mom – who revealed her secret identity to several Antiques Diva Clients while we were on Tour in Paris!!!

to 10px; WIDTH: 380px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 254px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />NOTE: THIS IS NOT A PHOTO OF LA MOM, BUT INSTEAD A STOCK PHOTOGRAPH LABELED INCOGNITO… I thought it was an appropriate filler since La Mom’s TRUE IDENTITY is SAFE WITH ME (and those Diva Clients to whom she revealed her true identity!)

7) While in Paris I was honored to spend time with two ladies who made me forget that I was working as they were simply too fun to shop with. I should hire them to be stunt-doubles on all future tours, simply to bring the party to the tour! Chantal Panozzo, (o
n right) is a sensational freelance writer
who shops as well as she writes and Kim P happens to be quite possibly the most interesting joie-de-vivre-filled-well-connected-Paris-informed person I’ve ever met!

to 10px; WIDTH: 400px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 300px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Kim P, The Diva and Chantal

Thank you Chantal for the shout out on your blog earlier – Diva Readers, make sure to check out Chantal’s Blog “One Big Yodel and French Fans, Kim’s writings on The Paris Traveler are a Must-Read. I also owe Kim a thank you as she recently emailed to let me know my name was in print – emailing me a Suzanne’s Files articles I had missed seeing at first glance!

8) Merci to Jessica (below) for helping to store MY Parisian purchase overnight in your car and transporting it chez vous so I could cash in on this SENSATIONAL BARGAIN when I found myself without wheels the one day I needed them!

to 10px; WIDTH: 300px; CURSOR: hand; HEIGHT: 400px; TEXT-ALIGN: center” alt=”” src=”” border=”0″ />Readers, please ignore the fact that I’m wearing the same outfit on 2 different tour days – it’s a career casualty when living out of a suitcase! Back to the mirror – I paid a mere 125 Euro for this fab French mirror! When concerns arose that it might not fit into the back of my station wagon, Jessica graciously agreed to buy it off of me (for an additional 10 E discount off what I originally paid – LOL!) but perseverance paid off and it eventually (with a lot of pushing and shoving by Jessica and me) fit into my car! Until our next shopping adventure – Thanks for everything Jessica!

9) Last but least, THANK YOU to The Antiques Diva clients who followed me along on my adventures this last month-and-a-half doing Fall Flea Market Tours in Holland, Belgium and France! I couldn’t have done it without you!!! 40+ days, nearly 40 clients, 3 journalists + a handful of Bloggers bopping along has made the last month & a half a sensation!!! And now, after a month and a half of non-stop antique shopping, I SLEEP!

Bonne Nuit!

The Antiques Diva™

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • I love your post , they are always funnny and interesting are such a diva no matter if you wear the same outfit …Hope one day you will stop by the south of France and we will be abble to meet

  • Bonjour Diva! I'm SO upset the mirror fit into your car, but pleased that you are still happy with your purchase. Can't wait to catch up soon. I'm so sad to be leaving France this May, but will follow my shopping dreams through you! A bientot! Jessica Warren, Le Vesinet

  • Thanks for the shout out. It was great being with you in Paris. Readers, be sure to take a Diva tour. It's a great way to shop and make friends at the same time!

  • Glad that the Diva Tours were such a great success! Now, don't rest on your laurels too long, we are craving more champagne and stories. Good to see that you are back. xoxo

  • Oooh that mirror! Perfect for your home! so glad that you "made" it fit your car! Wished I could have seen you guys loading it! LOL
    Your business is a Sweet Success, savor every minute err drop – like the champagne!

  • Cher AD,
    Living the Antiques Diva lifestyle is a bit like living la vida loca…you earned that nap on the couch. But shouldn't there be a half-filled champagne glass nearby to assure a sweet slumber?
    à bientôt, gros bisous

  • What a fun time you've had and what a wonderful job! I love shopping when I travel but it is such an eye-opener (and very humbling!) to have an experienced personal shopper with you.