Article and Photography by Kat Aviles
During the summer of 2012, my family and I traveled abroad to one of the most well-known countries in the world – France! We have traveled to Paris, France many times and were blessed to go back for another trip to explore something that we have never had the time to do in the past. While staying in Paris, France, there is so much to do if you stay in the city. You can walk from the semi-central location of your hotel all over the city. Occasionally, you will need to take a taxi, depending on where your hotel is located, but there are always little boutiques, cafe’s, and restaurants nearby. Exploring the busy city, whether day or night, will be an experience of a lifetime, filled with amazing food and monumental sights to see.
On this particular trip my family decided to do something different. We did a bike ride to Claude Monet’s home and gardens! It was so much fun because we got to ride on a train first to the outskirts of Paris and then walk to a village home where we picked up our bikes. Next, we met with our group and rode our bikes together to the local outdoor market. We bought the makings of our lunch with fresh bread, meat and cheese (my parents also got a bottle of wine) and some pastries, and then we continued our bike ride to the Rhine river. We found a beautiful spot for a group picnic under a very old tree, which gave us ample shade right on the river bank. We stretched out our picnic blankets and enjoyed a simple but great meal.
Afterwards, we all biked to the famous home and gardens where the subjects of Claude Monet’s most famous paintings were located. Growing up in elementary school, my school integrated an arts class every year into our daily schedule. Throughout the years we learned extensively about Ludwig Van Gough and Claude Monet; two very well-known artists. Having some previous knowledge of Claude Monet and having seen many of his famous pieces of art, the visit to his gardens were so real and breathtaking. The gardens were so meticulously taken care of that I could vividly imagine Monet sitting in his gardens for hours and days on end just painting the beautiful nature he was surrounded by. Truly, a very unique experience!
You can read more of my globe-trotting adventures by clicking here!0