More Monets than Imaginable (or a VERY quick trip to Denver)

Happy Thanksgiving Readers!!!!!

I hope you are all safe and warm!  We are snowed in, which is perfect since we weren’t going anywhere and we cooked everything yesterday.  Pretty, huh?

 

In any case, this is a post about Monet and Denver, so on with it….

The Denver Museum of Art is a pretty amazing place, and right now it is showcasing the largest Monet exhibition in the U.S. When I read about it, I HAD to get tickets, which I did, for this past Monday at 12:00. So, off we go to Denver on Sunday….I had checked the weather several times throughout the week and the driving weather there, and back on Tuesday, looked great. Which is why it was a bit perplexing as we drove in Sunday evening to keep seeing road signs saying “Storm Warning: Expect Road Closures for Monday-Tuesday.” Being the modern age, I was able to get on my iPad and weather.com, and what d’ya know, it was supposed to start snowing Monday about 3:00 and then pretty much not stop. Time for an impromptu plan….

Our tickets were for 12:00 on Monday and it wasn’t supposed to start snowing until 3:00+, so no problem, we could see the exhibit, then hit the road and beat the snow! AND – I almost forgot – before we went I discovered Denver has a Shake Shack (you may recall my obsession with shake shack burgers from previous posts).  We had planned to go to Shake Shack after the museum, but new plan – get to Shake Shack before they open at 11:00, be the first in line, get our heavenly burgers, then high-tail it back the 40 minute walk to the museum just in time for our ticket time!   And, amazingly enough, we pulled it off!

The exhibition was beyond description – when I had read “100+” Monets, I expected a few big ones and lots of little half sketches, etc. NOPE – it was room after room after room of giant, gorgeous, mind-blowing Monets!!!  I read the info on each and every one because I wanted to know where they came from – they were sourced from all over the world including Tokyo and a museum in Omaha Nebraska!  Second only to the Stendhal Syndrome-inducing exhibit was my amazement at what it took to get all those paintings to the Denver Museum all at once for this show. In any case, if you are anywhere near Denver (when it is not snowed in) before February 2nd, I cannot recommend this exhibition enough.

So, street art on our walk to Shake Shack; our beloved burgers; and just a taste of the Monets….Enjoy!!!

 

Quaint, quirky and oh sooooooo yummy! An introduction to Rouen, France.

Bonjour Readers!  And Happy Birthday Selma!

Today we hit another of the highlights from our recent trip – Rouen, France.  If you’re anything like me, before we decided to go there, I am not even sure I had heard of Rouen and I definitely couldn’t point to it on a map.  Now I can tell you it is in Northwest France – in Normandy; it was where Joan of Arc was held captive and then burned at the stake; and its “Notre Dame” is the one featured in all the famous paintings by Monet, not Paris’s.

On the less momentous side, it is filled with skinny, quirky, leaning half-timbered buildings, a result of the local limestone being of poor quality, oak being plentiful, and property taxes being based on ground floor square footage only –  how quaint are these buildings?!?   And, depending on your point of view regarding what is and is not “momentous,” it’s home to some of the best food we have ever eaten!  Since Rouen is by the sea, it has the freshest seafood you could hope for; since it’s old-school France, food is cooked with exquisite care in the old-school French tradition (yes, that means COPIOUS amounts of butter); and, since it is nowhere near the tourist destination that is Paris, all of this scrumptiousness can be had for a most reasonable sum.

While both Joan of Arc and Monet spent considerable time in Rouen, there really isn’t too much to see on those fronts.  The place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake is marked by a non-descript (though too tall to fit in frame, so no photo) cross and there is a single Notre Dame painting of Monet’s in the local museum.  Overall, the biggest pleasures of Rouen are walking around admiring the buildings, eating, and for those of you who enjoy a good shopping promenade, there are several.

Since I have already written reviews of both the remaining tower from the prison where Joan of Arc was held (lame), and the AMAZING lunch we had at La Petite Auberge (AMAZING), I will not repeat myself here.  (If you’d like a blow-by-blow of the 2 3/4 hour-long pleasure-fest that was our lunch at La Petite Auberge, check out my Tripadvisor review.)  Suffice it to say, the meal was so good I thought I’d never be able to eat again as all other food would pale in comparison….

Some photos of the places/food/painting described:

 

 

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