Woot woot for Normandy! Being the region where I spent my first year in France living this place is near and dear to my little France-lovin' heart. We covered a lot of ground on our road trip...and first up was my old hometown Rouen...
Rouen in known for it's half-timbered buildings and being the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by the English during the Hundred Years War.
Of course, no trip to Normandy would be complete without a little restaurant stop to eat a few crepes... In France you actually eat not only sweet but also savory crepes (think meat and melted cheese, onions, etc).
And (hard) cider is what goes along with it! Mmm!
And this, folks, [drumroll please] was my first ever home (not so) sweet home! I'm sorry, but this picture just does not capture the absolute creepiness of the place. Think control freak landlords that enter your room when you're not around to mess with the storm shutters, a French manor-mate who's never home, a washing machine that starts spazzing violently back and forth while on the spin cycle (you could hear it from the top floor), a no visitor past the front gate policy, and one old creepy and empty house to contain all of that warm fuzziness! I was happy, however, to realize upon returning (this was the first time I'd been back since I left about 4 years ago) that God has truly helped me to turn that page and rather than churlish emotions and resentful memories (yes, my crazy landlord took off our fridge door one day with no advanced notice and didn't return it until a couple days later) I was left with a pleasantly neutral feeling that that not-so-nice chapter in my life is over and I can happily focus on the better ones to come!
This sign in the neighborhood cracked me up when I saw it (apparently my French wasn't so great back then because the humor was totally lost on me back in the day).
Translation: Here, on April 17th, 1891, absolutely nothing happened.
But lets not spend all our time in Rouen. I'm guessing you've figured out where this is... (think Saving Private Ryan) Definitely a cool experience if you get the chance to go and next to the cemetery is a really well done museum/memorial.
The hubs posing on Juno beach
We stayed the night in the Mayenne area with long time friends of Matt's family (yes, I'm cheating here, it's not actually Normandy but the top of the Loire region but hey, close enough... I told you we covered a lot of ground!) Here my parents are as we explore a neighboring village...
Ahh, aren't they precious...competing to take the best picture...
An old chateau in the village
And the houses and lake surrounding it...
Last but not least, the old royal garden. Kinda fun because it was stocked full of all kinds of edibles--herbs, fruit trees, you name it.
Well, that was our trip! If you plan on visiting Normandy, here are a few recommendations:
- Old town Rouen
- Honfleur (cute harbor town)
- The cliffs of Etretat
- The D-day beaches and the American Cemetery
- Mont St-Michel
- Aromanches (beachside town)