Unexpurgated notes from my first trip to France…
Th Mar 22
SEA. 1 hour late departing. The American Airlines desk says not to worry, all flights in and out of Chicago are being delayed today, after a big storm the previous evening.
ORD. Missed our connection. Rerouted via Frankfort. First we are given a final flight to Paris on Lufthansa, until it is realized we won’t be there in time, so we are re-re-routed to an Air France flight. Our packs of ticket documents trace all of these changes in a way that thoroughly confuses each person we present them to.
Fri Mar 23
Frankfort. It’s grey outside, but white and clean inside. We find our way to the Air France counter.
We take a bus from the terminal to our plane.
On board, I am seated between a man and a woman who seem to be traveling together. It is quiet as we wait for the plane to take off. The sound system is playing soft alternative American rock. A Wilco song I didn’t recognize. Then, the Velvet Underground & Nico, singing “I’ll be your Mirror.” I’m struck dumb by the beauty America has given back to Europe. I cried, silently, in the face of it.
A few rows ahead of me, a young child is crying, loudly, and disturbing the Air France attendants, who scurry to find some morsel that might distract the child. Perhaps this child has had as bad a flying day as me.
CDG: arrived 8-hours later than original schedule.
RoisseyBus. Hugues met us at the Opera. Train to Carentan.
Saturday Mar 24
Long breakfast with TV and Ad Libs.
Super-U with M, So, & Sa while E slept.
Vid games at home
Sunday Mar 25
Vide Grenier Cherbourg
Le Redoubt and submarine exhibit.
McDonalds at Cherbourg
Parc du Chateau des Ravalet
Phare at Gattville
Barfleur for tea at Bar de Goeland.
Church and walk along seawall with H&A
Ride home, the long way, beside the sea, with H&A.
Church at St. Vaast-la-Hougue.
Monday Mar 26
Tapestry and Eglise.
Lunch at L’Atelier.
Shopping for Absinthe and Manga.
Visited an Abbey where a funeral was being held.
Visited Malcomb Forbes’ chateau, Balleroy.
Picking up A for violin lesson, briefly met the Mairie de Ste. Maire d’Eglise
Valognes: no lesson, so visited the Roman ruins. Saw a cowboy.
Saw an old zeppelin hangar.
Visit Claude in the field.
Tuesday Mar 27
Walk the kids to the bus with Hugues, then visit the church yard.
Mont St Michel.
Super market for snacks and gateau.
Wed Mar 28
Walk Sofie to bus
Valognes for Amelia’s exam.
Castle and grave of Jules Barbey d’Aurevilly (1805-1889).
Omaha Beach: German and American cemeteries.
racklette for dinner.
Th Mar 29
train to Paris
Met Scott at St. Lazarre, with a taxi to the hotel.
Le Sept Quinzes: stuffed lemons, Pasta with asparagus, chocolate ice cream. (Beef and salmon for the others)
Friday Mar 30
Eli, Sarah, and I get up early and visit Notre Dame, in the cold rain, in time for the 8AM mass.
Sarah bought us breakfast at le Gymnase.
Took Eli and Sarah to CDG. Lunch: “I won’t turn down a free meal.”
Scott working at the cybercafe.
Then, a long walk for the evening…
Le restaurant “Au P