Subject: Day 3 of Paris
Wednesday, July 21 Giverny

I didn't sleep too well last night, and got up early 5:45 a.m. I got ready and phoned Michelle at 7. After breakfast was the trip to Giverny, Claude Monet's home and gardens.

It was so serene and beautiful there, and I wished I could stay forever. It was out in the country and had been a farm, and there weren't a lot of people there. I loved the feeling of being away from the city and the crowds -- it was so peaceful and quiet.

I visited the Japanese garden, the lily pond, and the gardens near the house, as well as the inside of the house itself. I bought several things in the gift shop and then walked toward the quaint village, taking photos, of course.

On the way back to Paris, Thierry talked about the dinner and bateaux-mouches cruise tonight, leaving at 6:30 p.m. Since it's just 50 euros for everything, and I haven't had a real meal and nothing planned for the rest of the day, I decided to go.

Those of us going met downstairs and left on a bus for the restaurant. It was called Chez Clement. I really didn't care for it too much. It was too warm inside, and the food was pretty average -- salad and roasted chicken with mashed potatoes. The dessert was the best part -- an excellent chocolate mousse.

After eating, the bus took us to the Bateaux Mouches near the Eiffel Tower. The time was 9:30 p.m. for the cruise, and it was perfect for having some daylight for the first half hour, and then dusk and darkness toward the end when we cruised back and forth by the Tower. It was fantastic, as the lights were twinkling very fast, and it looked like someone had lit a sparkler in the shape of the Eiffel Tower. I was just awed by it. The rest of the cruise I also recommend, as it was a really neat way to see Paris. We passed so many of the ornate buildings, including the Louvre, along the Seine even La Plage, which had just opened on Wednesday. There was a concert going on at La Plage, and people were dancing on the "beach."

Going back to the hotel, part of the drive was along the Champs Elysees, and it is so beautiful. I saw the tall Dr. Pierre Ricaud Laboratoires building (from where I get my skin care products at home), with the name in large lit numbers at the top of the building. Not too far away, I also saw Yves Rocher.

This city amazes me so many statues, some covered in gold leaf, and so many monuments and beautiful buildings.

----------------- It sounds like I really was fortunate with my room, as I heard some on the bus discussing how their air conditioning wasn't working and they haven't been able to get them fixed. That would be so awful, as with the French windows closed (against the traffic and park noise), it is warm and humid. Another woman still doesn't have her luggage! The airline hasn't found it yet. She's cheerful on the outside, though, and she agrees that they're going to "pay big" for this. She wore the same clothes for three days, and then yesterday she bought another outfit.

After getting back to the hotel, I checked the Metro map for tomorrow, as I want to go back to Ile de la Cite to find that t-shirt.

Diana San Diego, California