Tuesday, June 16, 2009

9:58 AM- On the sightseeing bus
Uhm, okay, wow our hotel room did not get a wake-up call so the four of us got woken up by Señora at 8:20 AM when we were supposed to be leaving by 8:45 AM. It was upsetting. Bethany, Melissa, and Bubba got us food. We crammed it in our mouths and then sat and waited for the bus until now. Apparently there was a bad accident this morning.
Today we are doing some sight-seeing: Eiffel Tower, Arc again, other famous stuff. Yeah. And the big item for the day, yes, MONET’S GARDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m incredibly excited.
Wow, this bus smells bad. This CITY smells bad. But it’s Paris? I got to sleep last night, and it was quite good. Okay, sightseeing now. More writing later.

12:19 PM- Still on a bus, this time to Giverny
We had a fabulous bus tour. Our local guide (Andrea) was wonderful although our bus driver was not. He drove about as badly as his bus stank. We are now on a new bus on the way to Giverny to see the gardens and the home of Monet. Luis and another local guide, Sid, are with us. I am really thinking I wish I knew hoe to spell all these French words correctly! Sid gave us a nice long lecture about the life of Monet. Sadly most people slept through it, but I took some notes for later use.
When we get to Giverny we are going to eat lunch right away. I am kind of concerned, considering how little French I know!
This morning we met the other groups from other schools. Some are from Georgia and some are from Ohio. Today part of their group is going to Versailles and part of our group (three silly girls and Señora Bland) is staying in Paris for shopping instead of seeing the gardens.
We saw all the major structures of Paris on our bus tour this morning. It was very, very cool. Seeing the Eiffel Tower, oh boy, that thing is astoundingly huge! And guess what? The Opera house that Phantom of the Opera is set in was magnificent. Just as gaudy and delightful as I had pictured it in my head.
Alright, almost to Giverny.

4:15 PM- Bus to Paris from Giverny
The gardens were spectacular: vaster than I could have ever imagined. Monet was surely a busy man to tend such lush grounds. It was intense to be in the place where all his paintings were actually done. It’s almost crazy to see all the actual places I’ve been looking at for years in his works. I stood on the bridge he painted in all kinds of lighting situations imaginable. I saw the rows of flowers he so meticulously planned and tended. It’s amazing the amount of history that actually withstands the test of time.
I wonder how Monet would feel if he crowds see the crowds walking on his garden paths and through his house. The place was crawling with tourists and yet, it did not feel like a tourist attraction at all. It felt like a world of depth, life, plants, shadows, stones…each piece so planned and still natural all at once. I am so glad to have seen it.
We are headed back to Paris and I believe it is hotel time. This day really went by FAST. It was crazy. We are going to meet the rest of our group (the shoppers and the Ohio girls) at the Opera House (fantastic!!!!!) and head to dinner. I’m going to take some meds before dinner because my head is starting to hurt. No fun.

11:00 PM- Hotel
Exploring was fun. Dinner, fantastic. I have to wake up at 6:30 AM. Must sleep. Good night.


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