Travel Theme: Gaudy

Ailsa’s travel theme this week at Where’s My Backpack? is “gaudy”.  The good people of Merriam-Webster define gaudy as: ostentatiously or tastelessly ornamented, OR marked by extravagance or sometimes tasteless showiness.

OK.  Much as I thought.  I mean, I know what I consider to be gaudy but I struggled to define the concepts of “tastelessly showy” vs. “elaborate”.  So it’s subjective.  So be it.

Of course, there are those things that one would hope would cross the line for everyone.  Welcome to East Rutherford, NJ.  This is a few scant miles away from where my boyfriend’s family lives, and we go see this house every Christmas.

Hi there.

Hi there.

They must have taken pity on the neighbors…or been cited by the FAA for distracting lights and a disruption of flight patterns…but I am SO.  Not.  Kidding.  When I say: they’ve toned it down.  A LOT.

Bear in mind, the light strands hanging down the house all flicker, like they’re running water.  Yeah.

Next stop: The Vatican!

Whenever I go somewhere–and this is totally true–I always keep a half an eye open for decorating ideas.  Maybe someone will have some way of hanging sconces I never thought of before, or they’ll have interesting window treatments, or maybe they’ll have priceless artwork nailed to their ceiling.

The Map Room, Vatican City.

The Map Room, Vatican City.

Because you can never have enough paintings in gilded frames and top-of-the-wall statuary in a room.  I actually had to scoot to the end of this room and out the door because it was too much of a sensory overload for me.

Next stop: Chateau Chenonceau.  Chenonceau, in the Loire Valley in France, is the embodiment of elegance.  As a building, its lines are graceful and clean.  The decor is gorgeous, clearly extraordinary, all showing exquisite workmanship and refined taste.  Even the working 16th-century farm is tres charmant.  But there is this one thing.  It’s right there, in the corner of the drawing room.

Louis XIV

Louis XIV

Well, hellooo, Mr. Fancypants.  I don’t know what I find the most gaudy about this…the frame?  The hair?  The giant, kingly cuffs on his velvet jacket?  The look on his face like he smells something bad?  Though I suppose when one’s reign as the king of France lasts for 72 years, over-the-top becomes the new normal.

Really?  I think it’s the hair.  *killing me*

And finally, our last stop is very near to me, in beautiful downtown Williamsport, PA.  I was doing a little shopping, thought I’d drop by the shoe department and WHAM!  These purple beauties nearly leapt out of their box and right onto my feet.

Do we like the sexy-poo shoes?

Do we like the sexy-poo shoes?

They are, perhaps, one of the worst pairs of shoes I’ve ever seen.  Gaudy doesn’t quite begin to cover it; words fail, I think, which is why I had to try them on.  Could you really appreciate the horror of these shoes without seeing the grape-colored organdy snakes start to coil up my leg?  Holy pockets!  I can’t believe I survived.

Go check out the rest of the gaudy at Where’s My Backpack?  There’s some truly awful-yet-great stuff to be seen this week!

And remember, kids: if bad taste were outlawed then only outlaws would have bad taste, and that’s just no way to make the world go ’round.


12 responses to Travel Theme: Gaudy

    • beyondpaisley – Author

      I have no idea. I often think the hyper-over-decorator starts to think that bling is what it’s all about. It’s like…misdirected compensation or something.


  1. Holy s**t I can’t believe those shoes. I want to meet the person that designed them. Do you think he/she wears a feather boa 24-7 + lots + lots + lots of sparking costume jewelry? I hope so.


    • beyondpaisley – Author

      The shoes are mighty mighty fine! And by fine I mean, KILL THEM BEFORE THEY BREED. I think the designer either, as you described, is covered in sparkles OR, they go to work in construction boots and a torn T-shirt.


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