Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Paris Day Three

This morning our driver picked us up at 8:30, and we drove to Giverny to see Monet's garden.  It's about an hour and a half northwest of Paris, and the traffic was horrible until we suddenly reached the countryside.  From that point on...heaven.  Beautiful rolling hills, pastoral villages with church steeples, it was all gorgeous.  The largest town closest to Giverny is Vernon.  We drove through through the backroads, and reached our destination by driving on tiny cobblestone roads, barely wide enough for one vehicle, with brick houses on each side.

Once there, we started in the gift shop at Pam's request, but quickly went through its door and walked into the enchanted gardens.  Roses, peonies, iris, poppies, hollyhocks, clematis...flowers too numerous to mention.  We walked up and down rows, stopping frequently to photograph everything that caught our attention.

Even though it was relatively early, there were already a lot of people there.  I decided if I ever win the lottery, I'll see how much it would cost to have the garden to myself for a half day.

After taking in all of the flowers, we took two flights of stairs down and under the road, ending up in the water lily garden area.  This part was cool, shaded with bamboo and large trees, many with climbing pastel pink roses.  The water lilies were actually starting to bloom, something I had not seen before.  The bridges made great places to stop and take it all in, which we did. 

Coming back up the stairs, we went inside Monet's house, which houses quite a few of his original paintings, plus a lot of the original furniture has been left.  The windows have the original glass in them, and the view looking down into the garden is phenomenal (except for the crowds of people!).   Although you aren't allowed to take photographs inside, I did anyway.

Following a mandatory gift shop stop, we ambled down the country road, ending up a few meters away at La Musardiere, which is a small hotel and restaurant that was recommended to me by a friend in Dallas (thanks, Kathy!).

We sat outside on their covered patio, and enjoyed a lunch of crepes, both savory and sweet.  The food was inexpensive, yet made from the freshest ingredients.  We enjoyed every bite, and made the lunch last as long as possible, before calling our driver to pick us up.

We all fell asleep in the van on the way back to Paris (full bellies, tired legs), and we suddenly woke up, to the city's hustle and bustle. Although we were still tired, we decided to explore some of the shops in the neighborhood.  Krista bought a cute pair of shoes, and we managed to buy a few other odds and ends such as two baguettes and a block of butter with sea salt, before returning to the hotel.

Dinner tonight was at a small Italian restaurant.  Afterwards, Jeanie and KC headed for the Eiffel Tower.  Elaine, Krista and I decided to wait, since we have a champagne tasting cruise booked for tomorrow night, which starts nearby.  We lingered over wine, and then walked around the neighborhood.  There's always something new to see here.  This time of year, the beautiful old apartment buildings have  flower boxes under their windows, most sporting bright red or pink geraniums.

Off to bed for us.  Tomorrow is Cultural Day, starting with the Musee d'Orsay!


  1. Your photos of the gardens are beautiful and I heart Krista's shoes!!!

  2. I'm so jealous I could spit! So glad you are having fun. Your pics are terrific, especially the food! Enjoy! Sip a little champagne for me tomorrow.

  3. What an AWESOME and colorful day you gals had.
    I know I would love Giverny and the La Musardiere -- Have fun tomorrow on your travels and cruise.

    Jan Pouncey

  4. Gorgeous shots of Giverny. What a joy to see them, the long shot at the beginning of your post, the amazing pale pink rose , the arbor.
    Really, a glossy magazine couldn't have anything better.
    thank once again!

  5. Such a lovely post Vickie....so thrilled that you are there soaking it all in....and sharing it with us.

  6. Hey, let me know when you rent Giverny for the day - I'll be there! Great photos again; I really like Pam "avec la baguette moustache". Have a great time on the O'Chateau cruise!!

  7. I am glad everyone made it safe n sound! I too, am enjoying the sights and sound of Paris! Dinner last night was two hot dogs, followed by a mullet sighting at the grocery...... sigh. There is Paris and then there is PARIS!!! Thoughts of bread, bread, bread and butter send me swooning.... Can anyone say DIET!!!!! A big YEEHAW from KY!!

  8. Love love love it! Keep them coming Vickie !

  9. Nice pic of you and your new camera bag! Looks very sharp!