It was foggy when we got up this morning, but we could tell that it would burn off. We had pretty much gotten everything packed up last night, so once we were dressed, we went down to breakfast. We had told our hosts when we would be down, so they wouldn't have to wait for us since we were the only guests this morning.
After breakfast they helped us with our luggage -- the elevator is very small, so I stacked the luggage into it and sent it down by itself. Then Mom rode it down by herself. Our hosts then saw us on our way -- they were on the porch waving to us as we drove off. What a nice couple and a charming place to stay. We thoroughly enjoyed it -- it was the perfect ending to a wonderful trip.
We set off for Monet's Garden in Giverny. On the way, I mentioned that I thought we should buy a small bag to pack some of our stuff in. I was worried about having to pay over-weight charges on our bags IF we could get everything crammed in even after jettisoning whatever we could. Since our plane tickets allow us 2 bags each, I figured it would be cheaper to buy an inexpensive bag. We found a suitable one at one of the supermarches and pressed on to Giverny.
We got to Giverny around 11:00 and found a good place to park. We had been there 16 years ago, but in mid-September when the gardens were still in full flower from the summer. Now it is a full month later and it has gotten cold, so we weren't surprised that things looked a little ragged, but it was still beautiful. Lots of dahlias as well as the last of the summer annuals. By the time we got there the fog had burned off so we had good light and I could certainly understand what Monet was trying to do when he painted the garden at different times of the day and year to catch the varience in lighting. The water garden is on the other side of a quite busy road and there is an underpass for people to use to go under the road, but as were were starting down the steps, someone caught our attention and opened a gate so we could walk across the road, saving Mom from having to go up and down the steps. Another example of how helpful and considerate people have been here.
In addition to the gardens you can visit Monet's house. His son left the property to a foundation in the 1960s and it is so fortunate that he did. He also left a lot of his father's paintings and art collection to a museum in Paris, which we visited when we were there in 2000. There are no original works by Monet in Giverny, but there are reproductions as well as Monet's personal collection of Japanese art. There is also a fairly tasteful gift shop.
After we finished at the garden we had lunch at a nearby restaurant. Today's special was a potato pie and the recipe was supposedly taken from Monet's own cookbook. It was pretty good along with a very thinly sliced piece of ham and lettuce salad with a chocolate pudding sort of thing for dessert.
After lunch, we fired up Francine to get us to the hotel near Charles de Gaulle airport, which she did without a hitch. We unloaded and cleaned out the car, then I took it to the drop-off place. When I got there, they checked if over and found no problems, so we went inside and they asked, "do you have both keys?" Uh...no...Mom has one set and she's back at the hotel. What to do... They would normally take me by shuttle to one of the terminals where I would pick up the hotel shuttle, but instead they drove me back to the hotel so I could get the key. We put 5,870 kilometers on the car -- thats about 3,500 miles! And we had no incidents -- didn't even get lost.
It's always nice, though, to get the car taken care of so now all I need to do is worry about getting to the airport tomorrow and, of course, getting all this stuff packed up -- where to start?