Monday, May 16, 2011

France Trip: Day 7 Ray's Day of History

Thursday morning broke with nary a cloud in the sky and a wonderfully warm temperature. A perfect day for exploring the Normandy area. Angie had planned on having me explore the history of the war at all the local museums (and drag the rest of the family along). We got a late start to the day because I didn't know her plan so I was working on vacation time. When we finally got going we saw a lot of mom and pop museums. They had a lot of memorabilia but no logical way to organize it or display it properly. So I spent a long time at each museum just picking through what seemed interesting or of importance to my grandfather's time here. As expected the kids seemed utterly bored. They acted like their normal selves though, which is to say politely interested in everything even though you can tell they weren't. Then we got to the final museum of the day - Point Du Hoc, the legendary cliff face scaled by the 29th ranger battalion. This had nothing to do with my Grandfather's unit, but a friend's grandfather was there and I thought it would be neat regardless. Within minutes of arriving the kids sparked on everything! It was like all they had been dragged through all of a sudden made sense. They loved the old beat up gun batteries and the huge holes in the ground made by Allied naval bombardment! They ran around, in and out of bunkers and seemed to genuinely understand what had happened here and how the Nazi's would have operated the gun posts (Neil even knew that the guns where faked by the Nazi's due to not having enough big guns for the rest of the Atlantic wall). We were enjoying ourselves so much that the camera batteries died (I had just charged them if that tells you how many photos I took).
We finished all the history tour I wanted and decided to call it a day. We once again tried to have a wonderful Anniversary dinner my wife deserved. I took her to one fo the fanciest restaurants in Normandy. The food was awful. Both min and Neil's steak was almost entirely grizzle and wasn't cook to order. Angie ordered large stuff scallops. What she got was 12 very small scallops drenched in a badly made garlic pesto. Everyone' food tasted freezer burnt.
After all of our trails and gained knowledge of this trip I would have to say that what everyone thinks of the French is entirely wrong. They are not rude but in fact very polite and social. They may want us to think they are all master chefs, but I haven't eaten at a restaurant yet that serves food half as good as the Boy Scouts earning their cooking merit badge (let this be a warning to all about both French cuisine and Boy Scout cooking....).


Today was Ray's day to see all the WWII stuff. To say it was awesome would be a lie. I didn't really care for the boring museums, but Ray had us end the day at Point du Hoc which was pretty cool. There was bomb craters everywhere. We could see the ramins of old bunkers. The kids had a lot of fun exploring everything. We finally go to go out to eat at the restaurant we wanted to for our anniversary. We were all less than impressed. My meal was alright, but there wan't much of it. I ordered stuff scallops, and I was expecting large scallops stuffed with something. Instead I got small 1/2 inch scallops in their shell with a basil sauce. The desserts where disappointing as well. 

1 comment:

  1. Very nice. Never made it to that area, but did get to Verdun once. Strangely silent woods...craters and trenches. Artifacts everywhere. If you get the chance, go. Go to Bastonne too. Very nice museum there.