Mom & Dad Take France, Pt. 2: Normandy & Mont St. Michel

So, while my parents were here for two weeks, we knew we wanted to venture out of Paris and explore. I always love getting out of the city and seeing trees and flowers and fields again so I was overjoyed to go anywhere. We decided on Normandy because my Dad is a huge history buff and wanted to see the D-Day landing beaches and we also did Mont St. Michel because it was somewhere I wanted to go during my time in France.

After some time planning, we decided the best way to see Normandy would be to rent a car. So we did and I was finally able to drive again after 8 months and got to drive in France!

I gotta say, I think I was meant for those sharp, windey French country roads. Zooming down those streets going 90km/hr with a stick shift, I hadn’t felt more alive. However, I’m sure my parents had never felt closer to dying..

Anyway, we booked a night in a cute bed and breakfast in a small town and my parents were both excited for their first b&b experience. Upon arriving, we were all sold before even getting out of the car to check in. The grounds were gorgeous and exactly what anyone could hope for when vacationing in the French countryside. Anyway, Dad gets out to check in and Mom and I stay in the car. As soon as the door opens, Dad has a huge smile on his face – due to the fact that the owner was English, not French and he was able to understand (almost) every word she spoke (Dad has some trouble understanding the English accent, something I feel I’ve mastered during my time abroad).

      Hazel was a welcoming and wonderful hostess. We were so impressed with Le Clos Castel and Hazel that we decided to book an extra night at the cozy b&b. Our room was comfy and quaint and our view was beautiful.. OH! And the shower was awesome. After living in my shoebox and having a shower that goes cold after 5 minutes, I was overjoyed to learn that the shower had different settings and was like a spa compared to what I’m used to. I definitely indulged in a looooong, hot shower. Our second morning at Le Clos Costel, Hazel offered us fresh eggs from their very own free-range chickens and they were absolutely delicious.

Beautiful grounds, yummy breakfasts, welcoming hostess and lovely decor made this b&b the best experience I’ve ever had in a place. It was beyond words.

In those two days we were in Normandy, we saw the two American landing sites on D-Day – Utah and Omaha beach – and a few museums and even went to La Pointe Du Hoc. I collected seashells, sand and flowers from every site we visited and feel so privileged to have been able to learn so much and physically see somewhere that so many brave American soldiers gave their lives. Seeing the American Military Cemetery, was just beautiful and breathtaking and I can’t describe the feeling you get when standing there. The experience quiets your soul.

      

Normandy was an unforgettable experience.

After Normandy, we drove on down to Mont St. Michel and saw this beautiful abbey that everyone has told me about since I was 12 and in French class in 6th grade. I gotta say, it surpassed all of my expectations even after hearing about it for over ten years. The city inside was lovely and just like a movie. The outside literally takes your breath away. And everything about it is beyond words.

      

This little trip I took with my parents was one I’ll never forget. We saw so many places that are full of so much history and I was taken aback with everything.

Side note: I crossed something else off of my Europe Bucket List. 

 

Advertisements

Memories to last a lifetime

I feel it’s time to follow that last sappy post up. With another sappy post. But in the opposite way. So, here goes.

I’ve been in Paris for seven weeks now. And I have to say that I’ve met some absolutely wonderful, beautiful, stunning and kind people. I have to start this post off with my first two friends in Paris and talk about how super duper cool they are.

Picture me, sitting in my apartment one night when I get a text from a random number addressing me by my first name and everything, asking me to lunch. I’d been in Paris for like two weeks at this point and hadn’t really met people yet so imagine my surprise and intrigue at this text. The person(s) sending said text were Aimi and Julia. These two ladies were best friends with the previous au pair to my family and had my number from her and decided to reach out to me and welcome me into the city.

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

So, I text back and tell Julia that I love bagels and she proceeds to find a DELICIOUS bagel place called, “Bagels and Brownies,” that I’m just obsessed with now. We went to lunch at the Luxembourg Garden and ate on the grass and this chick made me feel so welcome in a city I was feeling so lonely in. She and Aimi reached out to me (quite creepily in an awesome and weird way, I might add) and I can’t thank them enough for all they’ve done already – listening to me complain, directing me throughout the city, calming me down during stuck-in-an-elevator-panic-attacks. They’re great. And I found out later on that before sending me that first text, they had debated it for a while and eventually decided on being creepy and not caring to send some random girl a random text out of the blue. And thank goodness that they did.

Julia and Aimi introduced me to some of the most wonderful girls I’ve met in my life. Just tonight, some of us had a dinner party at Aimi’s with home cooked food (thanks Aimi and Gemma) and homemade desserts (even homemade crusts, thanks Julia). It was soooo good and the company was terrific. These girls are teaching me so much about the world and life and for instance about the fact that I’m apparently “incredibly American.” Whatever that means.. Just kidding, I know exactly what it means. These girls are from all over – Wales, England, Ireland, New Zealand, America. Just everywhere. I’m learning so much from them and I’m so grateful for this experience.

Also I love the way they talk.

I find myself speaking with a terrible, fake British accent after being around them for extended periods of time and they just deal with it. And for that I love them.

I’ve made so many memories already after this short time and can’t wait for the numerous more with them. This experience has already been life changing and though it gets tough at times, I wouldn’t change a thing about this choice I made and the year I’m spending in Paris. After all, I’m living out a dream.

Missing Home

Going off of that last post, I’ve come to realize just how much I miss home. So, here’s a list of the Top Ten Things Megan Misses From America:

1) Mom, Dad, Bro, Grandparents, Babies

IMG_4760 2) REAL milk

3) Mexican food

4) My lovely besties

IMG_3963 IMG_4884 IMG_4988 IMG_4811 IMG_3820 IMG_3063 5) My car

6) Yoga pants

7) My church

8) Pancheros/HuHot

9) Being able to walk around without being harassed at every corner

10) ElliottIMG_4863

Disclaimer: These are in NO particular order except for the first bullet point.

LOVE YOU ALL.. don’t forget about me while I’m gone.