Have you ever had a perfect day? Once, I was in the French countryside just outside of Paris. The skies were a bright baby blue, with brush strokes of blinding white clouds. The fields below appeared endless, rustling gently in the breeze, and, for a minute there, I remember feeling the need to rub my eyes because of how unexpectedly yellow, like rain boots and baby ducklings, they were. I had never seen fields any other color than in shades of green or brown. As the sun rose higher in the sky, I’d look around me in awe; it was as if the entire world was shimmering in gold.
Master of Impressionism Monet ShanghaiOn that perfect day, my husband and I had rented a pair of rickety blue bikes, and after a mouth-watering breakfast of croissants, melty pain ou chocolats and macarons (never too early for macarons!), we rode along a little country path from the charming little town of Vernon to the epitome of idyllic French villages, Giverny.
If you’ve heard of Giverny, then you can probably guess where I’m going with this. Lily pads, flower gardens, picturesque little green bridges … You bet I’m talking about my perfect day being spent visiting the hometown of Claude Monet, the greatest impressionist painter on the planet!
Master of Impressionism Monet ShanghaiI don’t know if it was the beauty that surrounded us at every glance, or because it felt like we were walking on holy ground as we toured Monet’s home, or that I was with my husband celebrating 10 amazing years of marriage, but that was one of my most favorite days ever. My heart felt so free, and I didn’t have a care in the world except to do silly romantic things with my husband, like kiss under the willow trees in Monet’s gardens with my right toe pointed to the sky and feed each other fancy cheeses on warm baguettes.
Well, something really special and unexpected happened. I felt a little piece of that perfect day right here in Shanghai.
It totally overcame me, and I actually started to cry! Not just a bit of eye-watering, but tears were flowing down my face. As you may have heard, Shanghai is hosting its very first Monet art exhibit from now until mid-June at the K11 Art Mall in Xintiandi. I went there with my 13-month-old while my oldest was in school and two other girlfriends, and together we marveled at Monet’s paintings. Well, they marveled, I cried. As we contemplated what it meant to Monet to create art that looked “unfinished,” those carefree and beautiful memories from Giverny came flooding back. To experience again a taste of my perfect day back in France was such a gift. Thank you, Shanghai!
The Monet exhibit opened just last weekend, and I heard the lines were up to three hours long! But since my friends and I went on a weekday morning, it was actually a breeze to get through. If you’re looking for something amazing to do this spring, may I suggest a walk with Monet? In Shanghai, of all places! You won’t regret it. And who knows, it could be part of a perfect day-in-the-making for you, too.