Day 4 in Paris | Paris Dream Comes True | An American Artist Goes To France

GareStLazarrePanoramaToday starts out at the Gare Saint-Lazare

I woke up at midnight tossing and turning, determined to figure out my train ticket. I don’t think I ever went back to bed, maybe for a little bit. By 8:30 am I was headed out, determined to get to to Marseilles… My $300 trip was now over $500 plus I would need to stay in Marseilles overnight?

The final  decision, after I packed and everything came … when I checked my phone… STORM… RAIN… awful weather headed towards the coast and Spain…

RouenTrainDepartSo time to change plans. My mom had suggested I take the train to the countryside and go to Rouen… to do this I would need to leave from the Gare Saint-Lazare.


These were some cute cards I thought… I do tend to take a lot of pictures of notecard stands as proof of concept… people tell me this is a dying form everyone just sends emails anymore but at the same time I see them at every checkout stand….

I got there at just the right time to get a ticket, but the the train was late so I had some time to look around. I had wanted to spend a good deal of time in books stores, so I went to a little magazine/newspaper shop and started to read. The regular newspapers seemed to complicated (part of why I had wanted to really sit in the children’s bookstores…) but after looking at several Vogues and Cosmos etc, I stumbled upon the Gardening magazines. These were lovely and it was hard to choose. I know I made the right choice when I got home and Mike even found some things he liked even though he couldn’t read a word of it!

Finally we’re off… It’s an hour and a half ride to Rouen… We will go right by Giverny?! I can’t wait. Even though I can barely keep my eyes open… I want to look out the countryside. The French trains are so stylish and comfy with plush seats in purple and green even thought they seem quite old (maybe they get a lot of use…) very chic and soft.

When I finally arrive in Rouen, all I want is to sit down enjoy some coffee and breakfast. I decide I am going to treat myself to a real meal today. I’ve been here half my trip and haven’t really eaten out at all except my first day… so I think this will be the perfect place to enjoy a nice meal… some yummy eggs? My Uncle had told me you could get great omlettes in Paris for a decent price so I figured maybe today was the day even though I was in the country…

If you know me… you know one thing… I never go downhill first. I walked past the first cute little coffee shop thinking there would be more. I should have spent more time studying the map perhaps… Idk… But out on the street and up behind the station I headed… up… up… up…





I did find this little tiny boulangerie at the top of the hill, where I got a cold little mini quiche … Did I mention how cold it was out?  It’s freezing by the way (btw) so walking uphill is quite helpful to keep me warm as well… the sun is trying to come out… It’s funny, for being such a sweets girl I never bought any pasteries or those tiny little pettit fours or anything while I was there… (well maybe that’s not true… 2xs I bought a little baked good to get change…) But I walked by quite a few of these cute little pasterie boulangeries and never bought any chocolates or fancy treats…

Quite the view once I got up on top… Seems like a lot of exercise…


I love this cool car!


Enter a caption

I watched this cat walk back and forth across that roof several times trying to get down. I know Mike would have liked it!

Finally a place to eat!!! The first place I walked by!!  These kids were eating these chocolate treats that just looked absolutely to die for so I had to try a chocolate waffle instead of my dreamy eggs… I thought about trying chocolate mousse but I figured the kids probably knew what was best. They looked like local students? They didn’t have any eggs at this place btw…. And it had a full bar?

Is that a typical thing in France to have a bakery/coffee place in a bar?

I barely had time to eat and start my sketch and it was time to hop on the train to Giverny  … oh did I mention, I had decided to go back and walk around Giverny… driving by had about killed me on the train ride to Rouen and I just had to go back and check it out even if the gardens weren’t open.

I follow the feet right out the door!! So excited! And first off I see Bicycle rentals!!! I think oooh! Maybe I can get an off season deal?!


But no, it was too early. No bikes yet… (Another bar mind you…)

So I head into town, sure I’m following the sign to the Musee that I’m also sure says open all year even though it was in FRENCH… I’m sure that’s what it said… but it didn’t matter because I never did find it…

OK Cool! A sandwich shop I can get some real food, but she was basically closing down for the day and didn’t have a salad or sandwich, just some bread from the morning… I figured I could find something ahead…

Can you believe it! A farmer’s market! What luck!!!! I’m so excited! And they were closing so it seemed like a good time to meet some farmers… but… I realize that my Stay City Apartment friends were right again!!! Don’t expect people outside of Paris to speak English as easily as people in Paris do…

I did get some yummy carrots to snack on and some cilantro, a fresh lemon and a turnip for dinner from this lovely couple. I handed out a few Organic Gardener Interview questions and business cards but I don’t think anyone could possibly understand what I was saying …

Did I mention that the bus drivers really take care of you? … I know this is a little off topic, but they really do… even if they don’t speak English they seem to be able to say … Madame, you want to get off here, or they will even take you to the right bus stop if they are going by where you want to go…. if you use your ticket within an hour I think it usually works for a transfer… ANOTHER PLUS FOR RIDING THE BUS!! As if you need another?

This guy spoke fairly good english! He sold me the blue bling case for my phone I got!!! I just love it and it would keep my phone safe… if I hadn’t shattered my screen already. But I’ll be set when I get it fixed now. And I’ll always remember my blue bling Paris case and trip overtime I look at my phone…


Finally! I find this cute little underpass. It’s got the most  awesome mural… I didn’t get a good shot underneath … there were a bunch of teenagers down there… and I thought I should give them some privacy…

Finally I find the bike path. IDK why I never set my run meter, I’m sure I must have walked miles and miles on this day… More graffiti even out here even though it’s kind of nice…

I took a million pictures of houses in both Rouen and Giverny… you’ll have to wait till I paint them to see them… but this is just proof that I can get completely lost anywhere. I thought this treelined path should take me directly back to the train station but no… I ended up way far away… I passed this really cool skate park, I don’t know if you can see it well but it had an awesome ramp or two…

But I managed to get back to the station just in time… I had less then a 10 minute wait and was I ready to sit down…


Just another example of the biggest Contradiction I thought about Parisians… this guy has this giant bag containing a juicer of all things and he’s doing what? Yes.. smoking a cigarette? Have they not heard the news that smoking kills you?


I was so happy when I left here even if I didn’t see any official Monet paintings … I know one thing … I could live there someday … seriously.

I had a LITTLE more luck with these guys… I still haven’t heard from any of them, but they did take my interview papers…

I should have spent my last 5 euros on some of their flowers… they were beautiful and my daffodils in my place were dying and I ended up having to go to another ATM before I got home anyway… I mean what was I thinking? I’m gonna go another 4 days without spending any Euros…

OVERALL A GREAT DAY!!!!GareSt.LazarreBIgSmile



One thought on “Day 4 in Paris | Paris Dream Comes True | An American Artist Goes To France

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s