Giverny-Monet's Garden

October 01, 2006


It was a sun-drenched, balmy, ideal day to visit Monet’s fabulous home and gardens and Mozart could hardly wait. We have been planning, talking and reading about this for ages and studying the pictures we took last time. These gardens and this home were a definite influence in the gardens and home we created (that we wrote about in our first post in the archives) as we were very touched by our first visit. The abundance of beauty is breath taking and pictures just can not do it justice. The theme of living life as art which is so profound here in Monet’s creation, resonates with us.

Bjork’s book, "Linnea in Monet’s Garden” is a wonderful resource for children and a great way to help a child (especially a girl child,but probably both) connect with the art, the man, the artist, the gardner,
the family, the history etc. Mr Bloom and Linnea seem like old friends now as well as Monet, his family
and his art.

So of course we took the Linnea doll that Ms. Mozart got at the d’Orsay Museum with us on this days journey as well as the book and we even took Mozart’s violin. We have been taking video of Mozart playing violin at various places as we roam and DaVinci thought the Japanese Bridge there would be a great spot to video a little violin playing. We will try and piece them together in the movie section here for all once we get to Spain and have more internet time. We don’t even know how to do that yet, but we will learn as we think it will be a priceless souvenir & heirloom for Mozart to share with her children and grandchildren.

It was funny when we ran into another little French boy just a tad older than Mozart carrying his violin on his back too, right next to us on the Metro on our way there. (Funny, because of all the trains we have been on in Paris, this was the first time we saw this and the kids end up right next to each other on the same metro train). I noticed the musicians in the subway who Mozart gave money too (an Asian woman with a traditional string instrument and a singer with a live mike and heavy French accent singing an English song), also seemed to get an extra kick out of seeing such a small musician appreciating their efforts.

As we left the campground, we could not help but notice how full the Bois de Boulogne park was on this warm day. We had not seen so many cars parked up and down every available street in it before. We are starting to feel very at home here now after eleven days and I am sure I have gotten to know Paris much better than I ever have before and now have a greater sense of every day patterns and how to get around which will make future visits easier and more enjoyable. It is fun to see Mozart so confident making her
way thru Paris like a pro.

The other big news of the day is a loose tooth as Mozart quickly told everyone who would listen (and if
one looks closely at the pictures she is playing with it with her tongue in most). She thought something
was wrong with her tooth at breakfast because it hurt as she bit into her French bread, but being that she just turned six, I asked to touch that lower left middle tooth and sure enough it was loose. She has been beaming with pride ever sense and can not keep her tongue or fingers away. She has waited a really long time for this as she was only three when she started Kindergarten, so was left out when all the other kids were having the excitement of loose teeth. I am sure glad I found a place to take a portrait  of her in Paris before she started losing baby teeth (thanks to an angel from!

The easiest way to get to Monet’s house from Paris is to take the Metro to Gare Saint-Lazare and then catch a 45 minute train to Vernon ( it’s the Rouen train) and then a taxi (or bus or rent bikes) to Giverny. It is probably best to catch the eight A.M or at least ten o’clock morning train,but we are much too slow for that, thus we were sad to find out we had to wait until the very next train after ten, which leaves at 2:20.We got lunch, read, rested and people watched in the station and it worked out well in the end because we had already been there before, but if it is your first tour of Giverny, I would warn you to  catch the train by ten.

There are inns and B&B’s there ,so we were considering staying over night if we felt we needed more time and which I might do the next time I visit as it looked like a fun place to check out a little more.
It was nice being in the French country side and we are hankering now to see more of that. When we
got into our cab we met a sweet couple from Uruguay (she was actually from Buenos Aires, Argentina originally) and decided to share a ride with them both there and back. She was a big help because she was fluent in French and effortlessly went between the three languages as needed. She was also aware
of later trains and that the tickets could be transferred to later times which was a great help to us as we had been told that the last train back was at six.

The last time we were here it was at the very beginning of September when it was probably at the height
of its glory. It was different this time, some things less full and some things more full. One advantage of coming late in the day and late in the season (it closes at the end of October) was there were less crowds. We pretty much had the place to ourselves the last hour.

Mozart flitted from place to place taking it all in. She sat on the porch steps as Linnea and the Monets had done, found the lilly ponds, Nasturtium floored arch path and Japanese Bridge, saw the boats like the one the Monet kids use to fish in, looked for the kids chair in the blue kitchen, pointed out the art that she knew in the house, and waved to me from an open shuttered window from the second floor. She got a new outfit for her Linnea doll at the gift shop and a small bag with one of her favorite Monet paintings on it (A Field With Poppies). I highly recommend James Mayhew and Mike Venezia‘s childrens book on Monet and the impressionists too as they were helpful in preparing us for these museums.

We had a little adventure on the way home as our Taxi driver did not pick us up at closing as he had promised. We followed our new friends from Uruguay to the bus since she had gotten the directions in French. We got lost a little ,but managed to flag the bus down and made it to the train station in plenty
of time. Mozart has been wanting to take a double decker train on the top deck and the first class section
of just that rolled right in front of us and we practically had the whole car to ourselves. She met a little French girl named Marie and they played all the way back to Paris.











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