Friday, July 10, 2009

Remembering France: Day Two

Our first stop of the day was Monet's Garden and home - this was one of my top three favorite things we got to do while in France. It was chilly and rained off and on, but I still loved it!

You can see where the inspiration for the beautiful paintings came from!

As we were leaving Monet's home - I was struck by the brilliant colors of the flowers and wondered why all of the flowers in France seemed to have more beautiful colors even though they were many of the same flowers we have here. I realized that with the gray skies and very plain (neutral) colored houses, there was nothing competing with the flowers - they were allowed to look more beautiful because everything else appeared so muted. I've never forgotten this.

Next, we visited a beautiful church and then the location of Joan of Arc's death ~

We were all cold and wet and needed some refreshment - my Dad thought a cup of coffee sounded good! With Carrie's help we were able to order some coffee and I think he was picturing a nice big steaming cup - instead he got this and we all had a good laugh:

Another beautiful church:

I loved this charming harbor in Honfleur:

Next time, I'll show you our visit to Normandy! Have any of you been any of these places I've shared?


Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing your pictures! :)

I was 16 when I went on a class trip to Paris, London, Lucerne, and Brussels. At that age, I was not able to appreciate the architecture and the culture of these places... as far as I was concerned, I was there to have fun with my friends!

A few years ago, we hosted a German exchange student for a year, and were blessed with the opportunity to visit Germany for two weeks with our children. We stayed with Hanna and her family, and it was a wonderful experience! This summer, we'll be hosting a French student for three weeks, so maybe we'll be able to visit France in the coming years as well. I do hope to travel with the kids more as they get older; while I know they won't appreciate it as much as I will, I hope it will lay a foundation for them and that they'll want to (and be able to) continue traveling as adults.

Anonymous said...

Also in Italy we drink coffee in these little cups...but it's so strong that you couldn't drink a big cup of wouldn't sleep for some days !!
But I don't like coffee too much..I prefer tea.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Oh, I would have LOVED to go to Monet's home while I was in France. Maybe on day. . . !

gemma said...

My husband and I and 2 other couples had 3 weeks in France..we stayed in Paris for 4 nights and walked and toured and took the subway. It was heaven. We stayed near the Latin Quarter and we want to return and spend more time there.

We rented a canal boat which we drove ourselves. It slept 8 or 10 so we had plenty of room. It was stocked with food and we made our way down the Haute Saone through the locks, tying off on the side of the canal, taking the bikes and touring the villages along the way. I highly recommend this manner of travel. It's fairly economical and where ever you go you don't have to pack, unpack get on a bus etc. Our French was scanty and most communication was like playing charades but we got along just fine.

Love your pictures. It brings back such wonderful memories of our trip.

Anna said...

Thanks for sharing those pictures. The only time I've been in France was a layover at the Paris airport. We weren't there long enough to even leave the airport.
Monet has always been my favorite painter, and I love the pictures you took of his house and gardens. I would love to visit those someday!

Sarah M said...

I have been to all of these places you've mentioned so far, including NOrmady. I stayed with a family in Rennes for a week and was there with my (very small) highschool french class back when I was 16, I loved every minute of it!!
Although....having been to Europe a few times, my ultimate FAVORITE country (thus far) is without a doubt IRELAND. It is MAGICAL!!!!!!
Sarah M
can't wait to see more pics!

becka said...

My husband teaches French and we have had the opportunity to visit many of the places you did several times. Did you get to go up on top of the Arc? IMHO it's the best view of Paris that you can have. The flowers there are beautiful and I came to the same conclusion that you did about them contrasting with the concrete buildings. I love how everyone has flowers no matter how tiny their yard or balcony may be. Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

Ginger said...

Oh, Monica! I went to Mont-St.-Michel in Normandy each of the two times I went to France. I just loved it with the cobble stone winding street up to the church. I remember having paella in a little restaurant there.

Did you go to Omaha Beach and the U.S. Cemetary from WWII?

Becky said...

These pictures of France are so beautiful! I have such a thing for the French culture and visiting there is definitely on my bucket list.

Anonymous said...

I have not been to Europe, although I was hoping to be able to go some day. I had tickets a few years ago to go to London for Harry Potter Tour of London, but decided not to go due to severe arthritis. Went to Bermuda instead. That was pretty wonderful. I am enjoying your tour and pictures are great.Blessings

SchoolinRhome said...

Oh Monica thank you so much for sharing the photos of France. My husband's mother was born and raised in France. My husband went there only once or twice as a child as they didn't have the money to visit the family much. I studied some art too and just loved Monet's house and how much everythign still seems to look like his paintings. Sadly here in America a lot of that would have changed by now as landscapes are ever-changing. I love what you said about how bright and beautiful the flowers look- it's so true how the are the focus with muted buildings. Here is seems often out in town flowers get lost in the shuffle. My husband and I hope someday to go to France and I look very forward to it , Lord willing. I don't know if we'll be able to meet again any of his distant relatives but the experience of France would make a lasting impression. Just photos I've seen recently (yours and others) make such an impression. France is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara said...

Wow wonderful pictures, I love your blog, so interesting, hope you stop bye and visit mine too.
Yours photos are probably the only way I will ever see over seas, lol
God bless you, and thanks.

Sarah said...

I've never been to France, but seven years ago my husband and I toured with Encounter Revival Ministries and at the end of our year of home missions, went on a two week missions trip to Portugal. Some of the architecture from the church you showed reminded me of the sights we saw. Also, the small cup of coffee. In Portugal, it was called a beka. And it was veeery strong. :) I did love though, how there was a coffee shop, or cafe on every corner.

Antonella said...

Another Italian here: this is an "espresso" cup, a strong coffee for sure.. when I went to NY I was amazed at what you consider coffee..