July 11, 2014

monet in giverny

[ june 19, 2014 ]



what's up? i'm finally home after a whirlwind of adventures and have a desperately large amount of photos to publish (and i find myself watching an entire season of orphan black within 24 hours, ok julia ok). so everything will probably be out of order, whatever. we'll talk about my feelings and thoughts and lack of organization later - here are the photos from my day trip out of paris to monet's gardens in giverny with my lovely ladies kaya and cibel. (oh yah, i lived in paris for a month and a half) june 19th was quite a dramatic day in retrospect (things that happened include: my stolen phone and pretty flowers and discussing how we would let monet tattoo our asses and waiting for all forms of public transportation), and perhaps the only way to tell it is with a list~


  1. woke up and made my way to gare de st. lazare from victoria's place (16th arr) to meet kaya and cibel (who were in town from their month long europe adventure) to go to monet's gardens in giverny, a little bit outside of paris
  2. due to the train strike the next train leaving to "vernon" (the elusive destination the website told us to go) wasn't due for another hour and a half so i decided to take us to the nearby galeries lafayette for an a+ rooftop view (i am now a pretty qualified parisian tour guide, wooh).
  3. got to roof and took cute selfie (hey kaya where is that selfie?) and then realized that my phone was not in my bag!?!? (wallet and mark ii were fine and untouched thank god)
  4. remained calm due to disbelief (don't worry i felt the trauma later) and retraced steps back to train station and called my french number. phone went straight to voicemail - so reaffirming that my phone was indeed stolen and not mistakenly thrown into the trash.
  5. boarded the train to vernon, there was no point in wallowing and missing out on giverny too.
  6. kaya and i, being seasoned travellers, assumed that since giverny is a touristy destination and since paris is one of (if not) the most visited places in the world - figuring out how to get to monet's gardens should be easy? well. on the contrary things got slightly awry...
  7. arrived at vernon and looked for way to get to monet's garden. ah! there is a bus! good! that does not come for another hour! ah! no longer good?
  8. decided to walk the 5km because it was a nice day out, and found a very badly drawn map (which we then photographed with kaya's phone) as a guide
  9. grabbed food at carrefour and then proceeded to get lost because we have (apparently) an impaired sense of direction
  10. realized we walked a circle after a decent amount of time and finally found the seine and walked the right path to giverny
  11. arrived at giverny and fawned over how god damn picturesque the whole damn place is.
  12. consumed ice cream at the nearest truck because it was hot as balls.
  13. proceeded to have our minds and eyes blown at the wonderful beauty of the original water lily pond.
  14. kaya and i then suddenly realized ("seasoned travellers") that we did not look at any of the transportation times back to paris. ah. and since there was a train strike (thanks sncf :*) it would've probably been wise to do so.
  15. scrambled out of monet's garden and waited at the bus stop that did not look like a bus stop while eating the rest of our cheese and hummus.
  16. made it to vernon only to have the next train arrive in....two hours.
  17. passed the time telling wild stories and acting them out (in which is just stood there and laughed at kaya and cibel because i can't act because i'm not fun) as the sun set in the background (paris is literally sunny until 9PM, it really fucks up with one's mental clock)
  18. finally made it back to paris and victoria's room and then ate a large stick of butter jana procured earlier that day.


one of the many things i realized during my travels is that shit is inevitable - it will happen whether you want it to or not - what's most important is that you just brush it off and remain positive. if you're hung up on it, it'll ruin the rest of your trip and it's not worth it. what you get out of something is entirely dependent on you, nothing is as idealistic and picturesque as the travel channels make it look to be but that doesn't make it any less amazing. traveling with good company is the best, because things that could be seen as a "disaster" by some becomes an adventure. yes, we did get lost and had to wait forever but we filled it with our chatter and laughter, and isn't the point to spend time with friends in a cool place? (kaya & cible: thank you for the wonderful day BESIDES LOSING MY PHONE IT WAS SO MUCH FUN)

on the topic of my phone, (which has been gone for around three weeks), it just bummed me out because functionality aside, it was my camera. as much as i love shooting with my mark ii, photos have become much more about ease for me and my iphone was my primary camera (and also alarm, notebook, email, etc) so it sucked to have it stolen. it's okay, i'll save up and buy another one and get a watch or something. i was pissed off the first few days but i'm over it now - (mostly).

anyway~ giverny was as beautiful as i hoped it to be. i never formally studied art history, the only things i had swimming in my memory before coming to paris was that impressionism was always my favorite chapter of the book because of the colors and textures and light and the way it just captured EMOTIONS AND SMELLS AND SOUDNS *screeches quietly but aggressively about impressionism in the background* and monet is obviously the first name that pops into mind (i will assume if you ask the average american to recite famous painters to you they will say "leonardo da vinci and monet" because those are the "big names"). so going to paris and into the orsay was just a fucking delight to see so many wonderful pieces in real life. musée de l'orangerie's "les nymphéas" 360 water lily panorama was also one of my favorite installations and the day before i had gone to the musée de marmatton (which houses one of the biggest collections of monet's works amongst many others) - so to see that original pond where the infamous water lilies came from was a very surreal and beautiful experience. you just get there and say: yup, i see the painting. right there, a-swimmin' in the water. you go mama nature.


training my americans the ways of baguettes and boulangeries
finally finding the pathway to giverny, which was in fact beautiful and very much worth the walk.
everything is like a god damn fairy tale
r u being srs with this bike rn
kaya <3 center="">
it's very comforting to realize things are as beautiful as you thought they would be (in a non postcard sense but rather painting sense)
cible distressed at the beauty. and how perfect the weather was.
wishing we could have spent an entire 24 hours just sitting there and watching the light change.

the "bus stop" ok
classy folks eat their leftover food on the grass and when the baguette runs out, eat the cheese with cheese.
i've saved you from all the sassy photos here have some you guys smiling
having a freight train (i think that's what it was) rush past you at full speed is fucking terrifying.
having the sun set at the most perfect angle as we laugh about mustache man, parfait.
please note kaya in the background.

our reaction to finally being transported home after a wonderfully tiring day.