Two little Boston Terrier girls bring their Momo & Mr.Momo to Paris for a long stay. These are the tales of their very fine adventures.

18.6.07

L&P visit Monet's Giverny for the Green Green Grass




For all those who are Monet fans, I am about to perhaps pee on your day so read on at your own risk. We thought we would give the countryside a try and drive out to Giverny to see the village and partake of the ambiance called Monet's house. We knew that the L&P would not be welcome in the "museum" but we figured we could get the thrill of being in the village and take in some gift shops and flowers.

But before we arrive in Giverny, let us have a moment to discuss the French Countryside. First and foremost, are there no zoning laws in France? How is it that along the route to Giverny even off the beaten track there are more McDo's than I can count in California? And while the McDo's in Paris are at least somewhat amusing with their funky and mixed architecture, how in the world did the cookie cutter McDo building get plopped into the French countryside right next to centuries old stone churches and farms? And it is just McDo's. You won't see a walmart anywhere, nor a Wendy's or Burger King. So who does Ronald McDonald know in Europe? The Pope? The Queen? Napoleon?

I digress. We arrive in Giverny to find that the signs are labeled so that where to park is quite clear if you read minds. You can park in the next town, or try the parking lot near Giverny, and walk walk walk, or you can drive through Giverny and run over all of the tourists who are meandering about looking for Giverny in the middle of the road. Finally one comes upon Giverny quite by accident. However, truth be told, the buses may have been a clue. We found a nice grassy patch to park and L&P having not seen grass in over a month were beside themselves with overfilled bladders waiting to mark every inch of the place.

We peed our way to the information center where Dad was supposed to get clear directions to every gift shop, but came out with some dopey map which made Giverny the size of Paris and Monet's house the size of the Louvre. Gotta love the map makers here.

So off we go, and the first thing we spy is this sign - the first picture. Goody for us. No Scotties or miniature Schnauzers allowed. So that is good news for Boston Terriers it would seem. Or not. And second, look carefully. Red Riding hood is not welcome in this village at all. I think that could be a problem since it is the countryside after all. Makes you wonder exactly where the big bad wolf is hanging out?

Apparently there are only two silhouettes for dogs utilized in France with a few different poses thrown in for variety. There is this one obviously. The other is Fifi the poodle. And with Fifi one can have the sign with leash or without leash. Oh and don't forget the line through the dog on the escalator in the middle of Le Louvre where there should not be a dog anyway. More variety: with leash, walking themselves (that is translated to leash in dogs mouth) or leash on the back with no one walking the dog, but the dog pretending that it is being walked? It did not have, however, a silhouette of a human carrying said Scottie/schnauzer or Fifi, did it? Makes you wonder what exactly is in Red's basket!

So we were limited to the roads as were most of the tourists. Each time we arranged the L&P for a photo some clown (or two or three hundred) would whip out the cameras and start shooting - as you know by now L&P are a tourist attraction- and by this time, Momo was being a bit of a mean Momo and would move just into the frame blocking them from capturing L&P. However, if they asked politely first, Momo would let them photograph L&P.

It was warm, there were lots of bugs which made P very excited. This is, after all, her first summer ever, so bugs have special appeal. L snorted a bunch, peevishly unhappy with walking on the road and not being able at all to access the splendid perfect for sniffing, green green grass around us.

While Momo took advantage of a gift shop, only one of two available without paying an entrance fee, Dad took L&P to the cafe patio for lunch. Lunch was an event. It was as though we entered a time warp on a different planet called, we have never seen dogs with clothes, planet. Everyone, and I mean everyone was pointing to L&P and giggling at their tee shirts and harnesses. And getting the cameras out. Finally one elderly couple at the next table twisted around and the woman asked in French first- why are the bulldog francais wearing those -as she simultaneously pointed to the sun and their tee shirts? Dad replied since Momo was busy rolling her eyes, that often they are cold and when we started out it was cold. Then she pointed to the sun again like that had some significance to dogs wearing tee shirts. Perhaps she was asking where their sun hats were? So the conversation went downhill from there. She appointed herself governor of the patio because she would say "Everyone want to know why dog wear jacket?" Sigh. Dad, kind man, replied, since the cold response didn't do it, that they like tee shirts. They always wear clothes (not true, but often). Again, "Everyone want to know why, they dog,no, hum?" Momo is now chewing her lunch very slowly so that she will not have to speak. Dad looks momentarily like he would like P to pee on the governor's shoes. So he shrugs, and says. They are American. Dogs wear clothes in America. That proceeded to make the governor shake her head and translate for her husband, who had smartly kept quiet the whole time.

While Dad finished up lunch Momo took L&P for a little stroll past Monet's house, now a musee, just to see if there were any places to snatch a peek at the gardens. The answer is no. And Momo would like to commend the jerk who supplies the web site pictures because it looks like the front of the house in the picture, full of gardens, is totally accessible to the street which is why we went there. Umm, no. That is apparently a photo of the house from the back. The street version is a pretty stone house with green shutters right up on the road and totally blocked by the hoards of tourists in line to get in.

Momo, L&P strolled past the line to lots of snickering at L&P. Or who knows, maybe at Momo. Momo gave each snickering tourist-person stink-eye on behalf of L&P just in case. At one point a large man loomed out of the line and in rapid French asked questions that Momo just could not follow. She apologized and asked if he spoke any English. At that, he waved his arm and pretty much missed slapping Momo by an inch and said something not so kind about English and turned away. I am assuming that was a "no". Further down the line as we strolled L&P's leash did a sharp twang and Momo almost lost her arm in the process. Apparently some fine fool tossed a half eaten hot dog at L&P. P being who she is did a 180 in midair (thus, the arm socket yank) and flew to meet the hot dog. L, knowing it was junk food, gave it the old peevish "are you kidding - I eat better stuff than that on the street in Paris - look. Fortunately Momo caught the action and pulled P midair away from the flying hot dog which landed with a thunk on the road. P was sad, but she quickly got over it. Momo's big question though, was, where the heck did a hot dog come from in Giverny?

So Momo never did get into Monet's house, nor the gift shop which was in the house - in Monet's studio. A sacred pause please. That fact deserves a moment of silence. Really.

L&P, turns out, did not care that the day was funny. They enjoyed a bit of green grass and loved riding in the car. They woke up just in time to snarl a bit at the scooters cutting through traffic back in Paris. L&P rate the grass in Giverny a big 10. Momo rates lunch in Giverny a big 2 because the Evian was chilled. Momo also rates the gift shop with many things Monet a big 1 because the labels all said the stuff was made in Mexico or China. Hello?

2 comments:

bkb123 said...

How funny! I so enjoy your descriptions. :) (Makes me feel like I am "there".)

I'm sorry Monet's house was such a diappointment. Reminds me of some of the "tourist traps" we have in the US.

Lulu and Phoebe said...

Thank you : )

Mostly L&P were disappointed that I would not let them eat the hot dog...