Monday is a good day for us to make a journey outside Paris to Giverny, where Monet's Garden is located. This is the most tourist-like thing we will do while we are in Paris. I get things all planned out. We are to take the The Metro to The Train Station at Gare Saint Lazare, and then the train to the little town of Vernon, where we will catch a shuttle bus to Giverny. This is the sort of expedition that it would be nice to be able to take a practice run! I allow plenty of time, but we need most of it to find our way through the metro and then figure out how to buy our train tickets.
The train zooms along, fast and efficient. Once we get to Vernon the shuttle bus is easy to find, but if I were to ever do this again I would rent bikes to ride from Vernon to Giverny. Giverny is touristy but charming. We do a bit of a self-guided walking tour of the village and then eat lunch. Unfortunately we inadvertently opt for a French dining experience which wastes a lot of time that would have been better spent in the museum and gardens.
Monet's garden is lovely but crowded. This area of France is more temperate than New Hampshire; they can grow roses and other flowers that are borderline viable in the southern part of our state. It's fun to take pictures of all the flowers. There is such a profusion of color, and now I have to see if I can add a few clusters of red poppies to my meadow garden too! I love Monet's house too, all the Japanese prints and the yellow dining room and the blue kitchen. The famous lily pond contains very musical frogs, and everywhere there are lots and lots of little French school kids on field trips.
Eventually, back at our apartment, we walk down the street for dinner to Ile St Louis Brasserie. This is a very old and very very good place to eat, overlooking the Seine. I have the pork knuckle with lentils, kind of like a lamb shoulder. My my my. And a caramel flan for dessert too. It's a good thing we are walking something like 8 miles a day. Amazingly, my pants still fit, but I better keep walking!