Monet’s Garden in Giverny France
We opted to spend an afternoon exploring Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France. The drive was a bit of a backtrack but sitting in the RV we realized how close we were and that everything would be in bloom. We knew we had to go and in travel with kids, when you get the feeling it’s usually the right thing to do!
The RV parking lot is a bit outside of Giverny, France (~ 500m). There is a tunnel under the road connecting the parking lot to the gardens. All of Giverny was in bloom and covered in tourists. Since we were making a day-by-day plan on this trip, we had not purchased advance tickets, instead we got the kids some ice cream to enjoy while we stood in line. Once we bought our tickets we had to wait a bit more to enter the garden while our Middle Little finished his ice cream (no food allowed inside).
I snuck into the gift shop with our Big Little to purchase a sketch book for him. He had been asking to make his own drawings in the gardens.
He also packed his own camera in his backpack for the visit. He spent the first part of our visit snapping photos, just like mom, of all the flowers. He and I plan to make a photo book when we get back of all our “tulip photos” as he calls them. I think it’s a grand idea.
The Monet Garden is bisected by a road, so to get to the water lily side of the garden you go through a short tunnel. Once we crossed under the road to the water lilies area he found a spot on a bench, near several other artists and pulled out his sketch book and pencils. He made a lovely drawing of what he saw using some of the “techniques” we had discussed when looking at Monet’s paintings prior to the trip.
I was just in awe at the stunning gardens. I was glad to have taken this little foray even if it was not really “on the way” to anything.
We stayed a bit too long and left the museum with our Middle Little in the throws of a massive meltdown. He threw both his shoes and screamed, barefoot, strapped into the stroller until we reached the RV. As a result of the meltdown we never made it inside Monet’s house. The whole crew of littles passed out as soon as we started driving.
We pushed a bit closer to the Normandy beaches ending up at a huge farm in the middle of nowhere for the night. The farmer gave us a grand tour of her farm as she went around doing her nightly chores. The kids had a ball. They helped the farmer gather the eggs from the hens. They found the goat babies and carried them inside the barn to stay warm for the night. (Mama goat took a little prodding to get into the barn as well!) We checked on the alpacas and baby chicks and ducks.
This farm typically has you park out front but due to resurfacing that area they had us park out by an old rental house instead. The house had a small playground and was adjacent to the goat pen. We set up for dinner and enjoyed the atmosphere. Things got a bit rowdy when the apple cider we purchased popped with only two twists of the cage (something we learned was quite common actually!). The cork flew into the goat pen – oops! Good thing we planned to finish the bottle.
It was a wonderful way to finish our first full day on our France driving trip. We are typically so calculated on our moves and well planned, but armed with guidebooks we found a lot of fun on our first full day.
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