The France Trip

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I am taking a break from my usual ranting on frustrating house projects. I am also not going to show you my latest finds from the thrift store ( although I have some).

I thought I would tell you a little about the trip we took to France last year. I won’t bore you with the usual photos of the famous landmarks. We have all seen them. I thought I would show you some snippets of our trip.

Before you think I am one of those jet-setting types,  I will let you know that I really do not care to travel (at all) and I am absolutely MORTIFIED of flying. I really am just happy to stay at home, thank you.

But…. our oldest son had taken a teaching position in France and was going to be gone nearly a year. We thought this was a perfect opportunity to visit him AND make it a big vacation. And besides we missed him TERRIBLY!

We flew out on March 1st.  United Airlines really tried hard to keep our minds off of that very bumpy and long flight.  They fed us constantly. I probably gained 3 pounds on that 9 1/2 hour flight. I mean what airline serves Toberlone candy bars with the snacks?

We landed at Paris’ Charles De Gaulle airport early in the morning. At the  baggage check stood our Firstborn waiting for an anxious Mom and Dad.  He had been skiing in the Alps and took the train into Paris to meet us. A few tears of happiness were shed and many kisses were given (at least by me).

We spent 5 days sightseeing in Paris. Our apartment was in the 5th arrondissement and was decorated totally IKEA, right down to the bedding. It was actually a big apartment for Paris; 2 bathrooms!

It is up there on the left, the 4th floor. Of course I don’t like elevators either (naturally), so I walked up 4 flights several times a day!

Since our son had been living here he knew all the great places to eat and shop, what to see, where to go and how to get around. The fact that he also speaks the language did not hurt one bit either. He was on a break from work the first 2 weeks of our trip, so he was able to travel with us.

I have heard over and over that the French are not friendly. I found just the opposite to be true.  EVERYONE we met went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed ourselves and that we had a great visit.

Here are little children riding the ponies in the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris:

Another beautiful boulevard with a street cafe:

After seeing all the sights in Paris, we took high-speed rail to the French Riviera, where we spent another 4 days. Let me tell  you: the French have travel down to a science.

The city of Nice and the very tiny country of Monaco are the most beautiful places I have EVER seen.

This is a bus stop in Nice:

Here are some shots of Monaco:

The famous Monte Carlo casino:

We then headed back north to the Normandy region, where our son was living.  Our first stop was the city of Caen, where we spent 4 more days. This lovely city sustained considerable damage during WWII and much of it has been rebuilt.

This was our hotel. Our room was at the very top. The wonderful innkeeper was so good to us. He made us “American” coffee (cafe creme) every morning and put it on a tray for us to take to our room 🙂 He also helped me decipher a street map as I ventured out while the guys visited another museum. With my limited French language skills, I was still able to spend the day by myself, eating and shopping 🙂

Our final 4 days were spent in Cherbourg, where our son lived and worked. This city is on the English Channel and has a large shipping port. It was the last stop for the Titanic before its fateful voyage.

On our last day we were invited to the grade school where our son taught English; we were able to sit in on a lesson.  I have to say that made THIS Mom very proud.

We frequented the outdoor markets, ate the local fare and saw all the famous (and not so famous) sights, museums and landmarks. We ate pastries every morning. We ate pizza, burgers and  fries (frites) with a knife and fork. Hubby found a new love: Cassis.  Heck we even shopped at a Paris Flea Market.

The food is fabulous. The French are not in a hurry like us crazy Americans. They actually take the time to enjoy life and meals. And they are all thin. Seriously. No one there is overweight. They walk. And walk. And walk. Hubby and I never gained an ounce in spite of the fact that we pretty much ate 24/7.

I have to say being in Normandy affected me the most. I had no idea of the horrors suffered by the French and also by the Allies who came to save them. Their American Cemetery is absolutely breathtaking. I did not take many photos there; it was a little hard to comprehend the solemness and beauty of that place.

I promise to get back to Mid-Century ramblings soon.  We will be painting the living room, entry and hall in the next several days. Then we will be decking the halls! Remember earlier this year I purchased a vintage  aluminum Christmas tree on Ebay!

Stay tuned.

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5 responses »

  1. I enjoyed that so much. With you personal musings and photo’s, it was perfection. I’ve been lucky to visit Paris and would love a more extensive stay in France to travel as you have done. I also found everyone we met along the way very friendly. I loved Paris so much, the city has a magic that is hard to duplicate. Thanks for sharing your lovely trip.

    • It was a wonderful trip. But the best part was spending time with our son 🙂
      Actually, the travel book by Rick Steves (his travel shows are on PBS frequently) was a big help for us. We referred back to it many times for info, maps, pricing, recommendations, etc. By booking airlines, rooms and train travel in advance you can saved quite a bit.
      Have a great trip 🙂

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