The daily diary of a wandering restaurateur
June 3 - Giverny, Crecy la Chapelle

This is sort of a decompression day to get ready to head for home. Margene always wanted to see Monet's garden so we thought that would make a nice little day trip. We were staying on the east side of Paris and the gardens are in Giverny, well to the west of the city, but hey, it was Sunday. How long could it take? After a trial run to the airport to make sure we knew how long it would take and where to turn in the van in the morning, we headed for Giverny. There was no really good way to get there, so we figured we would go into Paris, take the ring road and pick up the motorway that went out there. We didn't figure on Sunday traffic. We didn't realize that the road we wanted was also the road to Roland Garros stadium where the French Tennis Open was being played. We didn't figure on a lot of things . . . but two hours later, we finally hit the quiet little town of Giverny!

Well, it seemed like it should be a quiet little town until we saw the line of tour busses and the crammed parking lots. We found a place to park, however, and said hey, how bad could it be? Let's get some lunch and take a look. There was a little take-out shop with sandwiches and fries . . . and not too many people in line. There was a nice lawn with a few tables -- a perfect place for a quick picnic. After twenty minutes in line (there were only 8 people ahead of us!), we finally managed to get some food. It was, in fact, a pretty nice place for a picnic. So let's check out the gardens.

We went out the back and followed the general flow of traffic down the back lane. Suddenly there was this line . . . a really long line. Margene held down a spot while I fought my way through the mob to see what the line was for and if, in fact, we should be in it. The good news was that it was the line to get into the gardens. The bad news? I asked someone near the front how long they had been in the queue and it was over an hour. Faced with that reality, Margene decided that she really didn't want to see the gardens THAT much! We cut our losses and headed for home. Fortunately, the trip back was quicker but I had to promise to bring her back to France again to finish the garden tour.

We wandered around our little town a bit, took a quick nap, caught an early dinner (although the restaurants don't open until 7) and called it a night. We have an alarm set for 4am Paris time (that is 7pm Seattle time...the day before!) We get home at 8pm. You do the math. Ta ta.

Monet's Garden (almost!) and Crecy la Chapelle

The good and the bad on today's dining front

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