I took a day trip to Giverny today with my friend Stephanie, a fellow student, or actually a real student seeing as she's working on her masters, and I'm just working on Je voudrais un verre de vin rouge. Claude Monet moved out to Giverny in 1883 with his mistress (as you do), and her 6 kids, and his 2 kids - not so inconspicuous, but as French, you don't really need to be. He went on to marry his mistress and take up permanent residence in Giverny for 43 years.
Monet's home has been fully restored and looks like it grew out of one of his paintings with a bright yellow dining room where you can't help but smile, and my other favorite room was the kitchen naturally, which was painted in a beautiful bright blue, with amazing tile work to match. Your stuffy French palace, this was not. He had a lot of Japanese visitors and friends who brought him sketches and drawings from their country, so oddly, Monet's cheery home is decorated with wall to wall Japanese artwork, which he enjoyed collecting. There is one room at the end of the house with floor to ceiling Monet paintings. I don't know how they decided what would stay in his house and what would tour other museums, because this was an impressive collection of several dozen in a living room size space.
Step out of his house, and you're in a beautiful garden with rows upon rows of hundreds of thousands blooming flowers, trees and plants, and bugs, bees and butterflies to match.
The piece de resistance is the water lily pond, which makes you think you might be able to paint as well. This was Monet's inspiration for many paintings, and after seeing, you'll know why. The water lilies and wispy trees fosters a very tranquil environment and it's a place you want to sit and enjoy for hours.