Thanks to Teri (or Tess?) and JD (or Jim?) I finally visited Claude Monet's house and gardens in Giverny. Teri's daughter Rachel is married to my son Philippe. I was delighted to learn that she would be in Paris this week - I love being tour guide and showing friends "my" Paris. However, in all of the years that I lived in Paris and all the times I've been back to visit, I'd never been to Giverny and always wanted to go. That's one of the limitations of never having a car when I lived in Paris: most sights are accessible by public transport, but Giverny is easier to get to by car. So on Saturday we took JD's rental car for a drive in the country.
The day was cool and overcast, with a few sprinkles, but that didn't diminish the beauty of the house and gardens where Monet lived from 1883 until his death in 1926. His flower gardens and waterlily pond inspired some of his most famous paintings and to visit this place feels like walking inside a painting. My photos don't do justice to the colors and fragrances and the overall sensation of peace, in spite of the large numbers of tourists.
Monet's house as seen from the garden
The waterlily pond
Teri - or Tess - as JD likes to call her
Jim - or JD - as she calls him
Teri and JD have embarked on a wonderful new chapter in their lives, finding each other via eHarmony. Friends and family were somewhat surprised to learn that Teri would be coming to Paris for a vacation with JD for two reasons: a) she is normally a workaholic, and rarely takes vacations, and b) she has only known JD since January. Isn't this sort of sudden? As for me, it was delightful to spend time with a couple who were so happy, and to see Teri let go of work and enjoy herself. Watching them, as well as Carol and Gary, and Christopher and Judy, I have seen that sometimes the right person comes along and you can find happiness in a new relationship when you least expect it - but only when you are truly ready and open and know what you want. I'm not quite ready yet, but who knows? maybe someday when I least expect it . . . .