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Rachel Schmiedel

DE, US

Bio:

Having drawn since an early age, I am fascinated with the art of "seeing". When I walk, my eyes are always diverted up, down, and all around, which is probably why I am tend to get lost in cities...I am too busy looking at details in architecture, people's faces, flowers, and signs. This kind of "eye travel" is invigorating!

My love affair with food began sitting on the ottoman at my grandmother's feet, listening to her tell me her sage advice on how not to ruin a cake, and continues with me reading cookbooks as a hobby.

My college years were spent studying interior design, and after a masters, I married and began the joy of raising six children, whose art grace my life.

Now I am returning to my Pocket Dream of being an illustrator!

Maps By Rachel Schmiedel

Seaside, Florida: A "New Urbanist" Community by Rachel Schmiedel

DE, US

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This place is special to me because I grew up on the Florida beaches, and one year worked for an architect whose office was within walking distance of this architectural gem. I remember the incredibly designed cabinetry, trim work, and built-ins I saw in the interiors, and the painstaking deliberation over small details such as exterior paint colors. Many houses have names, picket fences line foot paths (cars aren't needed), and a short walk through artsy pavilions will take you to what everyone comes to see -the fine, powdery white sands and aqua blue surf. When hunger strikes there are plenty of food options, and for entertainment there is shopping, theater/fine arts performances, educational lectures, and bike rentals. I would love to go back with my camera to recapture memories from long ago. Seaside has been heralded as "probably the most influential resort community since Versailles" by Newsweek. I highly recommend visiting here if you love the ocean, architectural beauty and design, and want a peaceful, urban-modern vacation in a small community.

Würzburg, Germany: A Modern City with Cultural Heritage by Rachel Schmiedel

DE, US

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This place is special to me because my father was stationed here after WWII. Years later I met husband, who is from here, and our family has made memories walking the Residenz gardens, eating gelato, watching fireworks from the Fortress, attending festivals and concerts, and shopping. Dating back to the time of the Celts, Würzburg is a culturally rich seat of Prince Bishops who ruled for over 6 centuries. Despite a history of peasant revolts, witch trials, and invasions, and the bombing of WWII that destroyed almost 90% of the city, the city was rebuilt and thrives today. Some beauties are the Residenz, one of the most ornate palaces in Germany, the spectacular vineyards, the multiple churches, and the sculptures by Riemenschneider. I'm partial to walking around the city, tasting the gelato and cuisine, and shopping.

Winterwonderland in the Bavarian Alps by Rachel Schmiedel

DE, US

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This place is special to me because my husband proposed to me by a brook off the beaten path at Neuschwanstein Castle. For the less romantically inclined, the Alps are breathtakingly beautiful, and offer hiking in summer and world class skiing in winter (note the Olympic Skistadion). Take the cable car up the Zugspitze, Germany's highest point which is snowcapped year round. The 3 castles in the area are tied to "mad" King Ludwig II, who grew up in Hohenschwangau, built Linderhof, and died before the completion of Neuschwanstein, which later became the inspiration for Disney's Sleeping Beauty Castle. For those wishing to see vintage household and work articles as well as learn how Germans lived in earlier days, visit the Freilicht and Violin museums.Cafes are dotted all over the area where you can partake of a favorite German custom - Kaffee and Kuchen. Have fun like I did and shop for touristy items such as a Dirndl (traditional German dress), Lederhosen, and a cuckoo clock, which are actually made in the Black Forrest. For the best experience, I encourage you to stay with locals, who rent out apartments in their homes.

The Paris of Marie Antoinette by Rachel Schmiedel

DE, US

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This place is special to me because of it's rich cultural heritage and history. My map is inspired by Fraser's book Marie Antoinette: The Journey. These sites mark the dawn of the French Revolution, as well as the fall of the monarchy. Though some sites are marked by a statue and others repurposed, the architecture stands almost untouched by time. I love to imagine what everyday life was like for Marie and Louis, the nobles, and the commoners before those tumultuous times began. It's nice that tourists are welcome to mull over the history of the ancient city, and that we can drink the same tea and eat the same chocolates and pastries which delighted Marie Antoinette!