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  • Day21

    Les Parrys en Paris

    June 26, 2019 in France ⋅ ☀️ 29 °C

    Hello from very hot and steamy Paris. Forecast is for 38 degrees today. Fortunately, we are getting out of Dodge this afternoon and taking the Eurostar back to London where it is a very reasonable 19 degrees.

    We arrived in St. Malo last week. Lovely spot on the north coast of France in the Brittany region. We enjoyed wandering around the old walled city and had a couple of good meals - finally eating al fresco was a bonus. We particularly enjoyed the galettes which are a Bretagne specialty ( buckwheat crepes with savoury fillings) . Always followed by a sweet crepe for dessert. We tried the local cider as well. The 3 boys were able to start using their French as soon as our feet touched down in France. Our St. Malo hotel was good and the boys were pleasantly surprised by the extensive breakfast buffet. They just kept going back for more crepes and croissants until Niki and Ryan put the brakes on them. We spent a few hours on Saturday morning visiting the family DePrats who live 30 minutes from St. Malo . These are old family friends of the Logan clan from a time we lived in Fontainbleau. They currently live on an extensive property with alpacas and a number of relics from the second world war, as the Germans took over the large home and grounds during the occupation. Once again, it was great for the boys to be able to use their French. Ryan and Tara are also fluent so there was much lively conversation. Monsieur DePrat loves showing people around the property. Madame cornered me and we exchanged news of the 2 families. She was a bit troubled by the fact that I was the only offspring of M. et Madame Logan to have offspring. She herself did her duty for France and had 7 children. Her 2 daughters alone have 12 offspring between them. In the afternoon we headed to the oyster capital -Cancale -for a coffee . Tara committed to having oysters at supper. We then headed to Mount Saint Michel. Mike and I found a place with a view to sip a beer while the rest climbed up, up and visited the abbey. I think everyone was suitably impressed.
    The following day we took a leisurely drive to Bayeaux in Normandy which is the main centre closest to the D Day beaches. On the way we had a good walk around the medieval town of Dinan. For lunch that day, we picnicked on the steps of the town hall in the picturesque town of Villedieu les Poeles. (See picture of is drinking wine and eating baguette and cheese. )The group quickly adopted the French habit of grabbing a baguette, cheese and wine for a picnic. Sometimes we even included a nice French pastry, much to the delight of the boys..
    . In Bayeux we enjoyed the tapestry museum which houses a very long cloth with a series of embroidered pictures depicting the Norman conquest of England back in the 1000s . We also took some time to explore the magnificent Bayeux cathedral, knowing that we would be unable to see Notre Dame in Paris. On our full day in Bayeux we visited the Juno Beach centre at Juno Beach where we took a short guided tour given by one of the 4 Canadian guides who work there. The whole Normandy area was full of flags ( British, US, Canadian and French), posters and pictures as the 75 th anniversary of D day has just passed and there were many commemorating ceremonies. We also stopped for a walk through The Canadian war cemetery at Beny sur Mere. So many young, young men are buried there. We gave the boys the Veteran’s Affairs 75 anniversary pins that I picked up and asked them to place a poppy on a headstone of their choosing. We hope that they will remember the visit. As the generations pass, fewer young people will have contact and stories from war Veterans. I’m afraid young Mason found the Juno museum, especially the movie, a bit hard to see. Understandable.
    After two nights in Bayeux we dropped off the cars in Caen and took a train to Paris. We were all immediately bowled over by the crowds and heat. Seems we hit Paris just in time for an extreme heat wave. Our hotel, while well situated, did not have AC. We only had a day and a half so we spread out. Niki had visited Paris with her Mom Diane in the last couple of years so she knew what she wanted to show the family. First they did a tour on the hop on hop off bus to get an overview then stopped at the Eiffel Tower where they CLIMBED up to the second level. Hats off to them in the 34 degree heat. Mike, Tara and I headed to the Pigalle area and then up toSacre Cour in Montmartre. It was very humid, dirty and smelly given the temperature and crowds. We met the Yukon gang strolling along by the Seine and we had a quick picnic before enjoying a cruise on the Bateaux Mouches., a great way to see the sights from the river.
    Yesterday was our only full day in Paris. We joined Tara for a 20,000 step walk from the Arc de Triomphe through to the Bastille. A bit like doing the Caesar shuffle in Rome. The heat made it a long, thirsty and challenging day but Tara got a feel for the Paris and we saw the outside facades of buildings, at least. Tara felt the timings were too short to join the long queues to see any one attraction in detail. We enjoyed a typical French lunch with wine in the Marais. The boys found a better way of beating the heat and splashed around one of the large Parisienne fountains.
    Last night we met up with Al’s eldest son Chris who lives in Paris. He brought his two children Leo and Lilly. Lilly and Mason kept happily occupied playing cats cradle which has made a resurgence with the kids.
    This morning we bid au revoir to Tara who should be on her way back to Canada by now. Unfortunately, she is right back to work tomorrow morning. The rest of us are now hurtling along at 300km perhour on the Eurostar to London. The Yukon contingent leaves from Gatwick in the morning via Vancouver where they have an unenviable layover of 8 hours. Fortunately, no big plans for their weekend except playing with their dog Muddy and, for Niki I suspect, load after load of laundry.

    It has been so much fun traveling all together on this adventure.We will have so many great memories of our time with Ryan, Niki , Tara and especially with the boys. They are such good travellers and hopefully the trip has ignited a love of travel in the boys. I will always have memories of Mason helping his Taid up the last steep pitch of Mount Snowden; of Kaleb’s wide eyes when he saw the breakfast buffets in France; and of Rogan confidently chattering away in French whenever we needed help with logistics. I think Rogan will also remember Natalie insisting that he drink some of her Gin and Tonic. All meant in good fun.

    Mike and I head to Helen’s tonight. After that we have 6 days with no plans although laundry will have to factor into our plans. We stay in England until the 8th as we have tickets to the International music festival in Wales from 4-7 July.

    That’s it for now. Signing off from somewhere under the English Channel.
    Love Heather / Mom xx
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