Monday, May 25, 2009

Giverny...at long last!

The day had finally arrived! Mom was coming for her first visit and we couldn’t have been more excited.
After five months apart it was probably the longest we had ever gone without seeing each other. And Connor had changed so much during that time! We picked Lin-Lin up early, early from the Paris airport and she bee-bopped off the plane full of adrenaline and excitement ready to hit the ground running. Connor was full of hugs for her Lin-Lin and took to her right away. Mom hopped in our tiny car and we were off to explore France! We took a short Saturday morning car tour through Paris and then drove to Giverny about an hour away. Giverny was the home of Claude Monet and the water lily pond that he famously painted in his Impressionist masterpieces. Kirk and I tried to go to Giverny during our backpacking adventure six years ago but accidentally missed the train because we slept in. I have never let Kirk live it down and made him promise me he would bring me back to go to Giverny one day. And there was no better occasion to make good on the promise than Mother’s Day Weekend with Lin-Lin! Giverny and the water lily gardens were jaw-dropping. It was just like we had danced right into Monet’s canvas. The bridge, the water’s reflection, and the colorful flowers were just as I had hoped they would be. It was a fantastic WELCOME to Lin-Lin! We spotted tons of tulips and even a new kind of tree with pink flowers called Tamaris, which we found fascinating. No telling how many gardeners must have worked for Monet to keep up the huge expanse of gardens - both then and now. Monet’s house fit him too – bright, cheerful, and popping with color. We chose not to go inside since Connor was into running everywhere full speed ahead, but I wish we had. The postcards showed an enchanting interior themed in yellow and bright blue.
As we left we patted ourselves on our backs in relief for getting there just as Monet’s gardens opened. The line was hundreds of people long and the grounds were already getting pretty crowded. I can imagine a lot of the allure is lost when the tourist mobs swell. I thought Giverny was a quintessential European spot. Surprisingly it is not a guide book highlight, but maybe that is a good thing. The month of May must be one of the best months to go (I bet April is good too) since all the flowers are bursting with Spring. It even made me grateful we missed that train six years ago just so we could go with Lin-Lin in our own car to enjoy at our own pace.
After Giverny we drove through Deauville, France en route to Normandy. Deauville is a coastal town that I am sure is fun. But it was overly crowded and spread out for us. We grabbed a quick lunch and drove around to see the place. Nothing too much to write home about....(sorry Deauville!)And after our busy start the jet lag and naptime caught up with us. Sweet dreams backseat ladies!Click here for additional photos of Giverny (full album)

1 comment:

Jen_runs said...

Ah Normandy & Giverny. Two of the most special & beautiful places I have ever visited. Your beautiful photos brought back so many memories for me; thank you for sharing them.

I'm love reading your posts. You write so well & oh, the places you visit :-)

My love to you all,

Jen x