France Day 6: Normandy

Today we got up around 7:45. I made some eggs to share and had some toast and coffee. We were preparing to go on our tour of Normandy. Our bus came to pick us up at 9:45. The bus was really nice and it had wi-fi. The driver was very nice too and knowledgeable about everything.

It was about a 2 hour drive to our first stop the German cemetery. The cemetery is located near Omaha beach and is maintained by Germans today.

Next we stopped at Pointe du Hoc. Pointe du Hoc is on high cliffs of Normandy and it was occupied by the Germans until the U.S. army scaled the cliffs on D-Day and captured it. Now there is a memorial and a museum there. You can also still see and go inside some of the original fortifications and bunkers. There are also still bomb craters to see. It was an interesting place to see and the cliffs were very beautiful.

We loaded back in the bus and went on our way to the American Cemetery. The American Cemetery was busy with decorating and organizing for the upcoming 75th anniversary of D-Day.

Next we had lunch. Don had a galette and I had fish and chips. At one point during the meal Greg took a mayo packet, opened it, and sucked out some mayo. I forget what prompted this, maybe the fact we didn’t have a lot of mayo. An older French couple saw this happen and they just looked appalled. We had a good laugh though. I stole a mayo packet to give Greg a snack on the long bus ride home.

After lunch we checked out some intact German bunkers. That was pretty cool to see.

The last stop on our Normandy Tour was a lookout over the false harbor that was created. The British engineered large concrete pieces to create a port or false harbor to help move supplies and men to and from ships. They even purposely sunk some older ships to help create the harbor. The false harbor was essential in the Battle of Normandy.

Flag of Normandy

It was a 2 hour drive back home and everyone seemed tired. When we got back Jim, Doreen, and Don watched the series finale of Game of Thrones. The rest of us just relaxed, sat outside, and talked. It was a nice, sunny afternoon. We had dinner at 8 at an Italian restaurant called Il Parasole. This was super exciting for me because I love pizza and Italian food way more than French food haha. We were able to pick out an appetizer and pizza or pasta, then a dessert. I had calamari with a diavolo pizza, which is basically pepperoni with peppers. I had ice cream for dessert. I am blanking on what Don had right now but we both enjoyed our meals very much! Best food so far in Deauville.

France Day 5: Exploring Deauville & Trouville

Today we slept in until about 9:30 and that was nice. We had some toast and eggs and decided to go out on our own to look around the town around 11. We walked around Deauville. I got a giant pack of travel tissues at a pharmacy because I think I have picked up a cold. The weather does not help because it’s pretty chilly and dreary!

We found a farmer’s market and got some mushrooms and tiramsi. We also saw Greg and Julie here.

For lunch we stopped at a place called La Morny-pizzeria and creperie. I had a pizza with ham and Don had a galette. A galette is a type of pastry made from buckwheat flour. Think of it like a savory crepe I think. It was a pretty good lunch.

After lunch we did some more walking towards the river/canal. On the other side we could see more buildings and a ferris wheel. It was getting colder and raining more so we were thinking of going back, but then we saw a water taxi that would take us across so we thought we might as well check it out!

The water taxi was only a couple euros. On the other side was the town of Trouville. There was a pretty cool fish market right when we got off the taxi. Trouville was really cute. We stopped at a place called Les Artistes for a cappuccino. It was like a French hipster bar.

After hanging out out here for awhile we walked back to the house, it was around 4 pm. Don decided to take a nap while I socialized a bit in the kitchen. Kevin was making white trash punches for Greg and it was pretty funny.

We had to leave for dinner around 6:30 pm. We were planning to take the water taxi over to Trouville, how weird! When we got to the river though the tide had went out and the water was so low! You could see the bottom! So crazy considering a few hours earlier the water was super high. There was a temporary bridge we could use to walk across to the other side.

We had some time before dinner so we walked around with Greg and Patty. We saw our first cats of France here!

We ate at a creperie called Le Vieux Normand. Here we had fondue and crepes, both things I haven’t really had before. This place was also known to have many local ciders. The fondue was interesting and unique. There were savory crepes and sweet crepes. I was really craving a sweet one so that’s what I got. Don had a savory one with salmon. It was a nice dinner, so far French food though has not been my favorite. It is kind of a bummer that I can’t partake in the wine, some cheeses, and some meats. Oh well! Hope baby is enjoying his time in France!

We walked back to the house after dinner. It’s so crazy because it stays light out here right now until around 9:45 pm. We hung out for a bit then went to bed around 11.

France Day 4: Traveling to Deauville

Today we woke up around 7:30 and got out of the room by 8:45. We wanted to eat at the hotel but it was crowded! There was a wait for breakfast! So we decided to go down the street and try a breakfast place since we were a little short on time. The restaurant was called Le Pre aux Clercs. It was ok, just an average omelet breakfast. If you’re in a hurry though going to any cafe in France is not the place to be.

Once we were done with breakfast we took an uber to the train station to meet Greg. We all took the train to the airport to pick up a rental car to drive to the house in Deauville. We got a manual van haha—so thankfully Greg had driven a manual in college. The drive to the house was about 2 hours. We really enjoyed the signs on the side of the roads for the towns. It seemed they depicted things the towns were known for. I wish I had gotten a picture of the town with all the science stuff like beakers. Here’s one though:

When we arrived at the house we could not get ahold of the owner to check in early, so we loaded back in the van to meet everyone else at the train station. We put everyone’s luggage into the van and we all went to look for some food, except Greg, he went to get groceries.

We walked around town for a bit and I was getting pretty hangry. Finally we decided on a bar called Le Morny’s Cafe. Everyone started ordering drinks, which was a bit depressing because I could have used one. I had a croque madame which was recommended by Julie. A croque madame is like a grilled ham and cheese with a white sauce and a fried egg on top. It was delicious. Don had a cheeseburger.

After lunch we walked back to the house with Julie. Everyone else stayed behind to look around the town. Greg was at the house sitting outside and he had picked up a few snacks. He still was unable to get ahold of the owner even though it was 4 pm. Julie and I walked to the beach to check it out. It was very pretty, but with the weather only being in the 50s and 60s I don’t see it getting much use! When we got back to the house Greg said someone was coming to let us in.

The house is pretty cool. We drew names for the 3 bedrooms the couples would be sleeping in. We got a pretty sweet room. It has a giant bathroom.

For dinner we walked about 20-30 minutes to a restaurant on a boat called La Peniche. It was nice because the menu was set. We could choose from a few appetizers, main dishes, and then desserts. I had a mozzarella tart for an appetizer while Don had Foie Gras. For main courses I had the steak fillet and fries and Don had chicken with mashed potatoes. The steak was done perfectly. Dinner was very good. Don had creme brulee for dessert and I had something that reminded me of chocolate lava cake and vanilla ice cream.

The walk home was rainy and cold. I went to bed when we got back because my nose was very stuffy and I had a headache.

France Day 3: The Louvre & Eiffel Tower

Today we woke up early and had breakfast at the hotel. We then walked to The Louvre, which was about a 15 minute walk from our hotel. I wasn’t in the best mood for some reason so I tried to snap out of it.

Don wanted to see the Mona Lisa so I had looked up directions on the best, most efficient way to get in and see the Mona Lisa. I had also gotten us skip the line tickets. I didn’t realize though that the skip the line ticket was only good at the main entrance. I went to an entrance recommended for viewing the Mona Lisa. So we had to wait in a bit of a line, it didn’t take too long.

Once we got into the museum we booked it to the Mona Lisa. Luckily the museum was not too crowded yet and after a bit of getting turned around we found the room with the Mona Lisa. There wasn’t a line and there was a medium sized group viewing her. The room was quite sad; it was just a huge white room with construction going on. Then on the wall was the tiny Mona Lisa behind glass. We both knew the Mona Lisa was not very big, but it did just look so small and sad in this room. Tourists were pushing, trying to get the best shot of this painting that we all have seen. It was weird.

After seeing the Mona Lisa the museum had gotten much more crowded. I was thirsty so we stopped at the cafe in the museum. There wasn’t really anything in the Louvre that I wanted to see. I don’t know much about art; Don is much more knowledgeable when it comes to stuff like that. He looked at the map while we rested and found a few things to look at. The Egyptian art display was closed when we were there but that would have been cool to see. We probably walked around the museum for an hour or so but it was just so crowded so we decided to go outside.

Favorite picture I saw in The Louvre.

Once we got outside we got some croissants and sat down. We sat around and people watched at various different fountains. There were a ton of birds. We even saw pigeons mating!

I think we both enjoyed the gardens at The Louvre more than being inside the museum. We walked around quite a bit and then decided to get lunch.

We found a place called Flottes. It seemed to be in a fancy part of Paris. I had chicken with mashed potatoes. The gravy it came with was awesome. Don had a steak. After we ate we walked back to the hotel and laid around.

We left around 8 for the Eiffel Tower. Greg and some people had decided that it would be cool to go up in the Eiffel Tower at sunset and have champagne. Sunset in Paris this time of year was super late, like around 9:40. We booked skip the line tickets for 9 pm. Jim, Doreen, Linda, and Donna arrived around when we did so we decided to go up because Greg, Julie, Patty, Kevin, & Laura were running late. It took a long time to get up to the top of the tower. The lines were ridiculous, even with a skip the line. I have to say I think I enjoyed seeing the tower from across the river more than actually going up it. The views were cool but often it felt too crowded to really enjoy it.

As we were going down, Greg and his crew were coming up so we decided to stay longer with them. It was fun to watch Greg since he’s afraid of heights.

Afterwards, I was pretty hungry but also tired. This just led to me being mostly grouchy, so even though Don tried to get me food, I just wanted to go sleep.

France Day 2: Musee Rodin, Catacombs, Eiffel Tower, Delicious Pizza!!

Today we woke up around 8 and had breakfast at the hotel. The hotel breakfast was pretty good–eggs, breads, meats, fruits, and cheeses. After breakfast we walked to the Musee Rodin. It was a chilly, but sunny morning and it turned out to be very nice.

The Musee Rodin has an outdoor garden with replicas of famous sculptures done by Rodin. There is also an indoor museum with a ton of sculptures. I think we liked the garden the most, especially because it was a nice, sunny morning. We enjoyed taking some fun shots with the sculptures. I would suggest getting the audiotour to learn more about the pieces.

The Thinker
The Gates of Hell

After we walked through the museum we took an Uber to the Catacombs. We had a 1 pm tour booked and we had some time when we arrived so we stopped a restaurant called Indiana Cafe. I had a virgin pina colada and Don had a beer. We also had some ice cream for a snack.

The catacombs tour was very cool and interesting. We also had an audiotour for this tour. I would suggest doing this rather than getting a guide. It was creepy, but really more interesting than anything.

After the Catacombs tour we had lunch at a restaurant across the street called Le Comptoir. I had fish and chips and Don had a salad. The food was pretty good.

We also found this really crazy public restroom. It was all automated and even self cleaning.

After lunch we took the train to a spot across the river to get a view of the Eiffel Tower. The view was really awesome and it was a great place to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower.

After taking a ton of pictures we decided to walk the river back to our hotel and maybe even as far as Notre Dame. It was a really long walk but we had fun and took pictures. We made it as far as the lourve and then we decided we would not make it to Notre Dame. I was really tired and hungry. We found a pizza place called Positano. It was delicious, maybe some of the best pizza I have ever had! Who would have thought the best restaurant in France would be an Italian one haha?!

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