For the last two months, I have been, with my ultimate concierge’s approval and ‘opinions,’ been planning a family trip with some of our Grands. He took the lead in suggesting this trip and then turned the details over to me!
We decided to take a few of the Grands who had graduated college. The family that plays together, stays together, so we decided on one large van. Our next decision was the time of the year and the trip. We decided on October; nice cool weather and not as many tourists. Our first choice was France. Our second was Cuba. France won.
Planning a Family Trip
I suggest when planning time away with your Grands, you choose a trip where your family ‘must’ spend their time with one another. That is the purpose. To have the family going here, there and everywhere is not a family trip.
With this trip, our family will be together 100% of the time. I know our family’s experience will be a loving and an educational memory. I can see us laughing together. Learning together. And, bonding further with one another.
I decided I wanted to share our itinerary with you because one day it might become your family trip.
We are not going to Paris. My husband is worried about the safety of our Grands.
I then suggested, “A trip to Normandy?” He agreed. We had taken this trip together so we knew it met our requirements of… ‘a special family trip.’
Why We Chose Our Destinations & Our Itinerary
This was our thinking… Our families are proud Americans; they have a deep love of country. Normandy is a history lesson. To see the cliffs of Normandy and the American Cemetery is a visual history lesson; an emotional journey. Normandy speaks volumes about the bravery of our servicemen climbing the Normandy cliffs, you feel their fears and imagine their bravery; you are amazed and proud of the tribute our government paid to all our patriots who lost lives with an astounding memorial, the American Cemetery. Normandy would be a life-long memory they would never forget.
We also wanted the trip to be a French history lesson so we will begin our adventure in Versailles, visit the Versailles Palace, and stay in the historic hotel at the Trianon Palace. The following day we will be off to Chartres and the Loir Valley to see the Stained Glass Center (two of our Grands are involved in the arts) then dine at a private chateau and see a hunting hound exposition.
As we travel with an English speaking guide, in a large van, ‘together’ we will visit Mont-ST- Michel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site take a walking tour of the village adapted to its natural environment and stay the night.
The next day on route to Deauville, our family will travel along the Normandy Coast to Bayeux to see the Bayeux Tapestry, a UNESCO Memory of the World, and have dinner along the Sea and spend the night.
The following day, with an expert guide, we will hear poignant stories; visit the World War Museum, Omaha Beach, American Cemetery and Memorial and other cemeteries.
On our route back we will take a walking tour of Rouen and visit Monet’s home and garden, one of my favorite places in the world.
Back to Versailles and the following day home, to our beautiful United States of America.
The Trip’s Lasting Legacy
I am so grateful we are able to take some of the Grands to Europe. I would be as happy taking them to the National State Parks, the United State President Libraries, Washington, D.C., or shooting the rapids or the Wisconsin Dells. Spending time together is spending time together.
However, we decided on this trip because we wanted them to experience Normandy. We are not happy they are seeing so much discord in our country. They will be parents one day. We want them ‘to want’ to carry on with pride our tradition of respect and love for America. We want them to be grateful and proud to be able to live in a free society. Normandy will give them a further sense. Amen.
Have You Ever Taken a Special Family Trip?
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P.S. Stay tuned for my book coming out in February. Here’s a hint: it’s all about being a grandmother and it’s all about you! More details to come soon.