Sunday was a free day, so some people slept in, whereas others jumped in the metro early to arrive downtown before all of the crowds. It was a perfect sunny day with blue skies, and all Paris seemed to be enjoying the balmy May day.
Janeen and I took the metro to l’Organerie in order to see Monet's famous lily pond paintings. When we arrived around 10 in the morning, a wonderful French band was playing in the plaza in front of the gates. We decided to stop and dance a bit before heading into the museum. I enjoyed the music so much, I bought the CD. The name of the band is Yordan.
I hadn't been to l'Organerie in years and was very impressed with the renovation. We had the place almost to ourselves, and it was very moving to wander through the oval rooms where Monet's huge last masterpieces are hung. There was a reverent feeling in the air, like we were in a cathedral, and we whispered when discussing which was our favorite water lily scene. These paintings were Monet's last gift to France before he died, and it broke my heart to learn that for many years no one visited them because they thought they were out of style.
Another wonderful surprise for me at l'Organerie were the many other collections of Impressionist works that are now housed there. We spent another hour enjoying paintings by Renoir, Cezanne, and other famous artists.
Afterwards we walked across the Seine and wandered around the back streets before taking the metro to the Luxemborg gardens where we relaxed by the pond. The garden was filled with people taking in the sun and flowers, reading books, children playing, and it seemed all of Paris had come out on this beautiful day to savor life.
Later we found a delightful cafe where we were lucky enough to snag a sidewalk table. We ordered the 3 course meal of the day, and then sat there relaxing, drinking wine, and watching all of the people walk by with their cute dogs and fashionable clothes. It was one of the highlights of my trip, and a dream come true to while away a lazy Sunday afternoon at a sidewalk cafe in Paris for three hours.
We started with a half bottle of Sancerre that we had with a fresh green salad complete with chevre. The main course was tender chicken served with spring vegetables and melt in your mouth mash potatoes. We had this with a half bottle of Chinon cabernet franc. Dessert was fresh fruit with cream that we enjoyed with tiny cups of espresso.