Au Revoir France
I'm back from my adventures in France and what a wonderful time I had. My favorite part of traveling is taking in all the new sights and meeting all sorts of new people. I talk to strangers everywhere I go... It is my favorite. 😊
I am always curious...
“I wonder who lives in that house?”
“ Where does that road go?”
I had been to France once before, when my daughter and I stayed in Paris. I had won a “once in a life time” trip from Allstate insurance when I was an agent. We stayed for ten days in a lavish hotel that Morgan Freeman and the Kardashians had visited before. We explored the beautiful architecture and art in Paris and even had the Palace of Versailles closed specifically for our group. The adventures with my daughter included a private concert from Sting in the Opera House, a private dinner at the Louvre and a fancy outing on a yacht going down the Seine river...
This time around, my trip could not have been any more different.
It was back to reality for me. I was on a budget, deciding what to spend money on.
I stayed at a charming hotel in the countryside of Normandy, France. A place full of history from World War II. It was surprisingly interesting to me. We went to several museums and tours on the beaches there. It was very emotional. Both my father and my son served in the US Air Force. Not in WW ll, but my dad did serve in the Korean War and came home with a Purple Heart. I couldn't help but feel the love and appreciation for all of those soldiers, all of those people who died; not just for our country but for the whole world.
We spent hours over the next several days, rediscovering history. I remember leaning about it in school, but this time it came from a different perspective. It wasn't from the U.S. history books, but the story was the same. History = His Story and this time the story was being told through the eyes of the French.
Several of the museums and the different battle sites had movies to watch or an audio tour. Most days you could find me crying while I was watching. I was moved to tears as I saw history unfold in front of me. A not so gentle reminder of what freedom costs.
I will not forget the experience and I think I might even make it a point to watch some war movies, movies I have always purposely avoided up to now.
On the other days we were fortunate enough to explore small little villages and towns. Ones of those days were went to the home and gardens of Jean Claude Monet. A beautiful day. And what a peaceful place. Yes even I’ll of visitors, it was amazing and felt quiet to me. I could have stayed there all day long. I took some great pictures. This is actually quite something or me, because that is one thing I am not usually good at. I feel blessed each time I look through them.
I guess my favorite new experience was Mont Saint Michel. This is an Abby celebrating 1,000 years, this year. I am not sure but we heard that the little houses at the foot of the mountain were the house of the villagers. The attended the church at the Abby. The church was beautiful. Well preserved and immaculately maintained. Now all the little houses are shops and restaurants, a post office and tourist information. I probably went I each shop twice. So much to look at. There was a wine shop where I purchased several bottles as souvenirs for friends.
Honestly, I can’t help but wonder who lived in those houses 1,000 years ago?
Who were the priests and nuns? What was their ministry?
How were they able to construct this beautiful creation without equipment?
It’s on an island!
On another note, I felt a great deal of accomplishment on this trip. My friend is nearly 20 years younger than I am. I didn’t fall a single step behind. I am not sure how many stairs there are. Many hundreds, to get to the Abby and many more, when you get in. It was over 80* that day and I didn’t break a sweat or take a rest. My working out has paid off! When a forty year old tells me she needs a break and I don’t need one, it makes every morning work out worth it. I am achieving my goal of living my life healthy and strong.
I want to be able to enjoy every experience and not allow my vim and vigor to be an obstacle. And I have to admit, when I made my way up the mountain with ease, I actually heard my inner self saying “ Tah Dah” and that was a really great feeling.
Keep on the path, celebrate the wins, find the joy in each experience
And live everyday on purpose!