It truly was the favorite part of our trip for Paul and me. This is not to take away anything from our sweet friends whom we visited later in the week. It's just that WE WERE IN FRANCE. A tiny little French village that was quiet and full of history. And we were with our children who were also having a great time.
And the locals actually liked us. And we were on our way to the beaches of Normandy. The beaches that once held the imprints of my grandfather's boots.
And it was in this town that I made the sweetest memories of our family trip.
Maybe it was the charming shops. Maybe it was the charming shop keepers who didn't mind that I spoke no French.
Maybe it was the narrow cobblestone streets.
Maybe it was the tapestry handbag I bought that is oh-so-chic and oh-so-French.
Maybe it was the two....I mean....three...OKAY....FOUR French pastries I had (but two were tiny samples) while strolling the streets.
Maybe it was laughing with the local vendors in the open air markets as we tried to complete a transaction -neither of us knowing the other's language. Kayla wanted to try some fruity candy and the sweet French lady would say "It is...um...how you say....a bay-REE? um....not red but, uh...bleu?"
And I'd say "BLUEBERRY!" And she'd laugh and say "Oui!!" We got really good at that game as we tried to decipher what flavor each piece was before handing over our Euros.
Euros. We were spending Euros!!
But I think the sweetness of my memories of Bayeux come from the sleeping arrangements we had for the night. Since we could not get two rooms next to each other, we decided to put the girls in one room and the boys in another. Because I decided I was not going to put my babies in a room without a grown up.
This was very logical I know. Like I was going to protect Kayla better than her brother could.
The boys got the bigger room, but we got the shower. I know Blake enjoyed his bubble bath that night. The kids came up with a shared custody agreement for Paul's lap top so they could each have some contact with the outside world that evening.
And oh what a sweet evening.
Kayla and I sat in our room with the window open. There was no telephone. There was no TV. There were no screens in the window because there were no bugs in Europe. Really. They do not allow bugs in Europe. And we sat on the window sill and watched the traffic and the people in the courtyard below us. And the weather was glorious; we could smell the flowers below us all the way up in our second story room. We read our books. We planned our morning and shared our shampoo and hair supplies. We planned our outfits for the next day.
And the next morning because the guys had gotten up early to go for a run, they ate breakfast without us. At first I was a little miffed at them for that, but then I realized things were so much better this way. My girl and I, in an historic French hotel dining room, World War II era French music playing softly, eating breakfast before we headed to the beaches. Just us girls.
And I was taken back to the days when she was four and five years old - the days when she'd still hold my hand in parking lots. And as we walked down the street or across a parking lot, she'd swing my arm and look up at me with a giant grin and say "Just us girls, Mommy!"
Oh the sweetness of that morning in France with my girl.
Our French breakfast. Kayla had a bowl of fruit and some warm French Bread with fresh Strawberry Jam and a glass of skim milk. I had a bowl of fruit, a glass of skim milk and a cup of coffee.
Oh, and a croissant as big as my head.
That was one big croissant. And oh so buttery and flaky. And oh so painfully delicious with fresh apricot jelly. Yes, I did indeed make it my mission to see if I could become ill on French pastries. Surprisingly I did not, as hard as I tried.
Don't judge me. I had to eat the giant croissant for energy.
After all, I was on my way to Omaha Beach.