Driving & Staying


We left early on Wednesday morning in April to drive to the Normandy region in France.  Instead of taking the most direct route (and paying tolls along the way), we drove through southern Luxembourg and Belgium before making our way south to skirt northern Paris (we did spot the Eiffel Tower) and then west on to Normandy.  The day was amazingly beautiful.  Soon, the Bavarian feel eased to French country seaside.  I was in love.

We stopped at a car park off the side of a two lane road from some lunch.  There were frequent pullouts like this along our route. 

One of the unanticipated sights along our drive, and the region of Normandy, were all of the war memorials.  It was very reminiscent of driving through Gettysburg, PA or Custard’s Last Stand, MT.  There are WWI memorials every few miles.  At a few locations you could just make out a field where trenches and battles had been.

This memorial in particular was extremely large.  We didn’t get out and walk to it, I’m not sure if it was a mausoleum or not, but it gave the appearance of one.

We took our time getting to Normandy, about 11 hours in total.  I had rented a house in the small village, Lison.  23 Rue de l’Église would be our FOB (forward operating base) during our stay.  For those with larger families, I recommend looking into renting houses, flats, or apartments.  I used the website Airbnb.com (not a paid sponsor).  For us, it was cheaper than a hotel, closer to the locations we would be visiting, had a fully stocked kitchen so we could go to the grocery store and cook for ourselves instead of eating out, and gave everyone the space they needed after being crammed in a small car during the day.  This location in particular, and the host, were splendid.  Staying in a French country house helped make our experience much more enjoyable.  

The house opened directly into one large room on the first floor (just left in this image).  The back door is shown on the right.  It was small by American standards, but I’d live like this in a heartbeat.

View of the sitting area.  No TV.  No stereo.  Just a stack of travel guides and suggestions for touring the area.  A list of local markets.  And a supplied wood burning stove were all the entertainment we needed.  We found a few board games and cards tucked into the hutch.  I taught Elly how to play solitaire on the floor in front of the fire one night.

I had forgotten my tripod at home (was a little upset by that).  So almost all of these photos were taken using the table as a tripod (quad pod?)  I didn’t take any photos of upstairs.  There was a quaint master bedroom with a great view of the church across the street from the window; a small bathroom (the shower had amazing water pressure!); and a second bedroom that ran the entire width of the house, with two single beds and a full.  The kids all had plenty of room in there.

Out back was a lovely patio and garden.  We were fortunate to have mostly sunny days and rain in the evenings and through the night.  To the left of the photo below (sliding doors) was a small room with a second bathroom, washing/dryer, and daybed.  Another perk of renting a house, we took only two changes of clothes and did laundry mid-trip.  This particular rental was side-by-side with another from the same host.  The website said you could rent both (the one on the right) for a large party or family.

I absolutely loved our time here.  The house was perfect for us and the area was stunning.  More on the church across the street and the rest of our trip to come soon.  Until then, Au revoir!



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