There were several places on my list to visit when I finally got to France. The main places I wanted to go were The Louvre, the Palace of Versailles and Monet’s Garden. The last day of the trip was perhaps my final opportunity to see Monet’s famous and preserved home and garden. My oldest, whose flights had parted earlier that morning, left us directions, instruction, and a script in French with which to take the bus, the subway and the train. She, having missed two flights, was not one I wanted to rely on that day. Reminiscent of the daisy’s petals, I kept asking myself, “should I or should I not.” Not wanting to miss our 7 PM scheduled flight, we checked out of the hotel and placed our three bags of luggage in an exorbitantly expensive taxi cab ride and were finally on our way to see The Gardens.
My oldest daughter, who was the one in our group who could actually speak a bit of French, was no longer with us and the taxi driver did not speak much English. The ride however took us on a highway beyond the city limits to an area he seemed to never have traveled. Kind as he was, he dropped us with our belongings at the entrance of what appeared to me a vast compound of gardens, restaurants and shops. We learned in the first location, the museum, we were not permitted to take our bags inside even as I explained our lack of other options. Thankfully my husband agreed to stay with the bags while we viewed the museum in Monet’s Garden. My fearful question at this point was “would we be permitted with these suitcases into Monet’s home and garden?”
After struggling through the crowd and reaching our turn in line, the ladies at the entrance said (in French) what I surmised to be, “sure you can go in with your luggage, but you must carry it with you and it must be looked through.” So thankfully we were able to struggle through, or should I say dreadfully we had to drag our luggage through the garden. Once again my gracious husband agreed to stay with the bags, this enabled my youngest daughter and I to see the home of the greatest painter to ever live.
I want to highlight, no pun intended, Monet’s yellow dining room. Three months earlier I was in Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home in Virginia and was equally taken by that yellow dining room. Jefferson’s room carried a greater chromatic, perhaps this intense yellow was reminiscence of his time in France. Monet’s paler yellow reflected the inspiration of light. Throughout the house color married light as light connected with the garden by the large airy open windows. Blues, greens and yellows, Monet made color an intrinsic and inspirational part of his every day.