Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Giverny was amazing.  I have very little to say about it because of the fact that so much of the experience had so much to do with what I saw and smelled and touched. It was amazing.

Let me try to explain it, though.  I took a train from Paris to Vernon one morning.  Vernon is a bigger (but still very small) town outside of the tiny village Giverny and it’s the only way to get there.  From Vernon, I rented a bike to take to Giverny—about a 20-minute bike ride. 

Totally worth it. 

And yes, I had to do one thing…

Kind of embarrassing.  And that stretch of road wasn’t the prettiest of the trip, but still, you could see my mood.  J

The air all the way to Giverny smelled like flowers, for they were everywhere. No houses had yards, only gardens.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Domesticated flowers filled up the gardens, but on the street sides, wild flowers (mostly poppies) grew happily. 

I got into the little village of Giverny (by the way, it’s pronounced “zhee-vair-nee,” not “giver-knee” like I had pronounced it for so long) and was so happy to be there.  It was really barely bigger than a few roads.  I went to the Monet gallery, where they had a special exhibition of more Monet’s than ever.  I saw the water lilies paintings and everything.  It took my breath away. 

After that, I went to the garden.  Man, I wish you all could have seen this. So much better than even the paintings of Monet, with air so fresh and cool and plants so green a beautiful I could have stayed forever. Take a look. 

Monet's house.

The footbridge. 

This tree was original from when Monet lived there.

Here's a walkway through his garden. (These may have been some of the flower seeds I got you, Mom.) 

And his wonderful water lilies area...

So that was my experience in Giverny.  Wonderful all the way through.  




  1. Brian, those videos are fantastic, thanks for making me laugh.

  2. Dad here. "The Female Song" video was GREAT!! You peddaled pretty straight, too. Impressive. No helmet?

    Loved the scenery in the background. I played it a bunch of times and smiled each time. Of course, adding "Fwop a goin'" definitely made it your own! :-) Was it near a busy street? I heard cars.

    Did I see Monet's ear float by? I swear I saw it.

    (Time frame is weird here, but I heard about the wine/olive oil tasting and YES do it! Olive oil TASTING?)

    I did write "France" on my Keystone Light with a Sharpie by the way.

    I'm going to continue to call it GIVE'-erny, though. I know, I'm like that....

    Brian, I know why you would like us to have a huge garden in our front yard... so you don't have to mow. Clever, but busted.

    Really fun!

    Love you,

  3. Okay, first I want to tell you that after one of the ickiest days that I've had in a long time at work (proven by the fact that not until 10 minutes before I was leaving work, I discovered that I had two DIFFERENT shoes on! That's style of shoe on my left foot...ANOTHER style of shoe on my right foot) you were able to make me laugh. Not an easy task but seeing and hearing you sing "a foppin' goin' sun!" totally cracked me up!!!! Thanks for making me laugh!

    For the rest of your Giverny entry...I was smiling...Giverny is beautiful. I could almost smell how beautiful it was! Simply beautiful. It's no wonder that Monet was a brilliant artist! Look at the brilliance that was surrounding him!

    You, my son, have now and forever-more just won our ongoing Weeping Willow Tree argument! You're right....THIS is where a weeping willow belongs. Perfection.

    Thanks for thinking of me and buying me some flower seeds from Monet's garden. You and Lindsay truly are the best gift-givers in this world. You both give gifts from the heart. My kids are wonderful.

    :-) I've seen that mischievous look in your eye before....did you jump in Monet's creek? Did you???

    Peace and all good to you,

    Love you,


  4. Hey Brian -
    Answer Mom's question - did you jump in? That look was just like when you would steal things from my classroom. I was having a horrible day and now am ending it wih a smile. Thank you so much for sharing. You still need to get Dad straight about who actually cut off their ear!!

    Love you -


  5. HAHAHAHA I LOVE THESE VIDEOS! You're going to have to make these more often, they are way too fun to watch!!
    Oh, and my mom was dying as you rang your bike bell with tempo in the song. Good times.

    The flowers are gorgeous! Was Monet extremely rich or what? That garden seems huge! My gosh I wish I got to sit out in a pretty garden all day painting for my job. And then be famous for the rest of life... sounds great.
    Oh, and you probably should have picked me some flowers from Monet's garden too, hehehehe, just kidding.

    Can't wait to read... or watch?... more!
    Love you always,

  6. Like Christie said, I love the ringing bell right in tempo haha! Beautiful little city, it's great to share it with you.
    Post more singing videos!

  7. dad! that's VAN GOGH!!!!!!!! how many times do i have to tell you??? :)

    i don't remember if there were cars. if you heard them, they were probably there. :)

    you caught me with the mowing thing, dad.

    i ended up NOT jumping in the stream. man, i wanted to, though. looks like my entry came at just the right time...two people having a bad day and my videos cheering them up. that's great!! good thing i decided to post that video!!

    did you notice how i didn't get the bell to ring the second time. embarrassing. :)

  8. Hello Brian!
    I am so impressed with all that you are doing! I love the pictures and your narratives, and I especially love your videos, because I feel like I am really there with you. It is quite the vicarious experience!

    I am currently participating in a summer Bible study, and one of the big ideas is that we all are able to best show God's glory (our life purpose), when, in our extreme weakness, we do great things. Then everyone knows that what we did is a "God" thing, not a "me" thing. Does that make sense?

    So, I want to strongly encourage you to keep this trip God-focused, and not self-focused. The things that God will accomplish through you and this trip will be mind-boggling! You can be courageous and brave because He is in you. I am sending this prayer your way, "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law..."(Joshua 1:7).

    Much love,

  9. Wonderful words, Dione. Thanks so much.