Monet Country: Lovely Giverny #TuesdayTravels

Tuesday Travels
The last stop in Normandy was in Monet country, the lovely village of Giverny where lived and painted in his extensive gardens. I know you’ve all seen his water lily paintings. Well, this is where he painted them. Rebecca and I wore print tops (not quite matching) in colors that reminded us of Monet’s paintings.

Monet actually had two gardens, the water garden and the more traditional Clos Normand. We started in the Water Garden with the large lily pond.

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And the Japanese bridge. Of course, everyone had to have their pictures taken there. The bridge appears in a number of his paintings.

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We had a lovely, warm, early autumn day to explore the grounds, and I was amazed at the array of flowers still blooming. These are just a few of the pictures I took.


Monet garden

When we’d had our fill of the gardens, we toured his large pink house with green shutters. (Interesting color choice.)

Monet home

Monet’s home

We saw a number of his paintings on display inside, but most in a room where photos were prohibited. I did snap some pics in the colorful dining room and kitchen, and I decided I wanted a yellow kitchen at home.

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After a stop in the gift shop, we had lunch at Les Nympheas, a small restaurant on the property. We dined on the patio, relaxing and enjoying the pleasant day.

Les Nympheas

Les Nympheas Restaurant, Giverny

Afterwards we strolled through some of the shops, including one lovely little shop with scarbes and bags and other items all with Impressionist images. Rebecca made some purchases, and I would have, too, but I was literally running out of Euros and still without a credit card. Damn pickpockets.

After Giverny, we drove to Paris, happily going against the traffic. The Friday afternoon getaway was in progress, so traffic going the other direction was quite heavy. At a comfort stop, I picked up a bag of cheese puffs made with Emmental cheese. They were really good, better than the US variety, and with no yellow residue on my fingers. I also loved the Innocent kiwi smoothies sold in the Marriott.

Swiss cheetos

Emmental cheese puffs & smoothie

When we arrived back at the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche, I was quite relieved to find my new Mastercard waiting for me at the concierge desk. Thank you, Bank of America!

That night, we had our farewell dinner at a restaurant in the Latin Quarter, complete with wine and entertainment–an accordionist (how French) and a guitarist who thought he was a comedian. He did a lot of mugging for the crowd and flirted with the ladies. Alas, I have no recollection of what we ate, except that it was good.

Next week, Versailles.


Visiting Sainte Mère Église #TuesdayTravels #D-Day

Tuesday Travels
After the Tapestry Museum and Bayeux Cathedral, we drove north to the charming village of Sainte Mère Église.

Sainte Mere Eglise

One of our first glimpses of Sainte Mère Église.

This town played a dramatic role in the events of June 5-7, 1944. The town had seen Allied air raids before, and a flare dropped from an airplane lit the a house in the town square on fire that night of June 5. If you’ve seen the movie, The Longest Day, you’re familiar with the story. While the townspeople fought the fire, paratroopers landed all around the town.

Most famously, one man, John Steele, drifted too close to the church and his parachute caught on the tower. For two hours, he dangled there, watching the scene below, but unable to get free. The next day, he was taken prisoner by the Germans, but later turned over to the Americans. In memory of John Steele, an effigy dressed in a paratrooper’s uniform hangs from a parachute on the church tower to this day.

church tower + parachute

Sainte Mère Église was the first town in France to be liberated, another claim to fame. World War II memorabilia and flags of the allied countries are seen everywhere in the town.

Sainte Mere Eglise

It’s also home to the Airborne Museum, which tells the story of all that happened back in June of 1944.

Airborne Museum

Rebecca and I wandered around before sitting down for a delicious lunch of savory buckwheat galettes.

Sainte Mere Eglise

More #TuesdayTravels to come next week.


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