The night before I had a little sore throat but Advil had helped it to subside. When I woke up this morning though I unfortunately had a sore throat and seemed to be on track for a cold. Somehow I manage to not get sick when I am at school with hundreds of other students who are sometimes sick but I get sick on vacation. Anyways after this start to my day, we met the Adventure Guides on the bus to head to the Palace of Versailles! Yay!
We did not wait for long outside of the Palace before we headed in. Our big tour group split into two groups (one with each Disney guide and a Palace of Versailles guide). I understood why as soon as we entered. It was 9am and the Palace of Versailles was packed! We had earbuds and a Voice Box while the guide had a microphone to tell us all about the Palace. There were hundreds of people inside of the Palace of Versailles and it was cramped and crowded. At some points it was hard to stay with the group because there were so many other tour groups around us. I could not believe how many people were inside the Palace already as there was a huge line outside with people not in groups waiting to get in and buy tickets. It definitely helped to be on an Adventures by Disney tour and have a “Fastpass” to the front. The tour inside of the Palace took a little under two hours and then the guide brought us to the surrounding gardens for a bit. The gardens were very pretty and I wished that we had gone to the water show which is held in the gardens certain nights during the summer. We had been planning to go the previous night but it was thundering and the forecast did not look good.
Lunch was inside of the Palace in the Cafe where the tour had a private room. We had salad, beef bourguignon (there was a vegetarian option as well but I am not sure what type of quiche it was), and an amazingly rich chocolate dessert. And everywhere we ate during the trip we had rolls which I enjoyed. The lunch was relaxing and leisurely-it did not seem like we had a place to be in the afternoon which was nice since we had been standing and touring for two hours.
After lunch we got on the bus and had a bit of a bus ride to Monet’s Garden in Giverny. Here, we were given a great tour of the garden and learned about a few different plants. Monet planted bamboo in his garden but it was surrounded by water so that it would not spread. We learned too that for years the gardens were abandoned and many of the local kids played in them before the land was turned into a sort of museum. In the gardens we found Tinkerbell had left us a present! She left us our pin for the day which is pictured below. We also were able to go inside Monet’s home. He had a blue room in his house and a yellow house as well. I wish my parents had painted rooms in my house as bright as the ones in Monet’s house. Oh well.
After spending ten minutes in the gift shop we split into two groups again. If you are someone who likes to spend a lot of time in gift shops, Disney does not give you more than 15 minutes in any gift shop on the tour just as a warning. One group went with our tour guide Emily to a part of Giverny to practice sketching flowers in the Impressionist style of Monet. Another group went with our tour guide Mohammad to get ice cream courtesy of Adventures by Disney. Only five people chose to get ice cream while the rest went to be artists. The ice cream group met up with the artist group towards the end and got to see the postcards they were working on.
We then got back on our coach bus to ride to our next hotel in Deauville which was about a 2 hour drive. Everytime we got off the coach bus we were able to leave whatever we wanted on it as the bus driver stayed on the bus when we were not. The tour guides also provided us with snacks and water whenever we needed them and we made “comfort” stops for bus rides longer than 2 hours. We listened to French music on the bus rides this first day. It was a tiring but great start to our first day on the tour!
Our hotel for the next three nights was the Royal Barriere Deauville. It was located very close to the beach and Boardwalk which was nice. The photo is taken from the hotel room window. Next door to the hotel was a casino as well. The Royal Barriere did not have air conditioning in the guest rooms and the toilet was separate from the rest of the bathroom. You could open the windows to let a breeze in but I am sure it gets hot during mid day. The seagulls flew close to the hotel and you could hear them all day-something I enjoyed but other guests might not have. My family went out to eat with our neighbors and got seafood. I was not feeling well because of my cold and I wanted to rest up for the next day so I stayed back in the hotel writing postcards. The next day we journeyed to Mont St.-Michel!