Fall Break continued.....
The house belonged to the kids’ grandparents and is enormous. They told me before it was a big house and I thought maybe large for Parisian standards, which is still fairly small. NOPE. It was huge. Four floors and full of history. The house sits on a cliffside and has views of the ocean.
A quick history lesson: There are two different areas of Normandy-- High Normandy and Low Normandy. We were on the high side. There is only a small beach which is surrounded by towering cliffs. Germany was stationed in Fecamp during the war because they expected an invasion, but as we know US Troops invaded the other side of the Normandy coast, then worked their way inland to Paris and swung back around to the north side of the coast. Their grandparent's house was a German command center during the War (*jaw drop*). It’s casual.
The house is beautiful and honestly a little creepy. I felt like I was on Downton Abbey during the entire visit. We ate every meal in the dining room with all of the proper cutlery and dishes.
The family and I took a walk along the cliffs and the beach, which is all stones, no sand. It was absolutely beautiful. (I was also low key pretending I was in Poldark while walking along the cliffs, lol. Just out here looking for Ross. I’m embarrassing...okaybye.)
Anyways, Sunday afternoon we all went to the next town over for lunch. It was the full four courses - entree, plate, cheese and dessert. Honestly, one of my favorite meals since I’ve been in France. It was delicious.
There is a Benedictine Palace in Fecamp and I wanted to explore, but my family had already visited so I went on a solo adventure. I initially thought it was a monastery, but it was built as a distillery! It was *fascinating.* I may have completely misunderstood, but I from what I gathered, it was built in the early 1900’s for the production of the Benedictine Liquor that has grown in popularity. It was created using a recipe created by a monk in the 18th century but was lost and rediscovered late in the 19th century. The monks tinkered with the recipe until perfecting it and then distributing it first to the area and then worldwide. The palace is partly a museum because the creator of the liquor was an art enthusiast and also wanted to stay true to the monastic tradition.
It’s full of beautiful architecture and relics! (I love creepy old relics, haha)
Upon returning from my solo outing, the kids and I carved their first Halloween pumpkin! Halloween isn’t a regularly practiced holiday in France. I’ve been told that only in the past decade or so has it slowly gained popularity. But even so, most people don’t participate. I talked through the steps and the pumpkin was very simple but I think it was a good introduction. :)
I had three days off while the kids stayed at their grandparents house! I didn't have french class, so I just spent most of the time wandering through the city.
One afternoon I passed a gentleman set up sketching the Bir Hakeim bridge under perfect fall trees.
One morning I went to the Jardin du Luxembourg and there were several people practicing Tai Chi! Later that morning I saw a girl wearing a red dress that almost perfectly matched the scenery.
Two hearing impaired friends sharing a coffee at Shakespeare and Co.
I saw a girl riding in a stroller with a tiny dog zipped under her coat.
The last couple of days of vacation, I took the kids to the natural history museum where they had HUGE gemstones and kids were loosing their minds haha.
I got to meet up with some friends from Nashville who were visiting Paris on vacation! We spent a wonderful afternoon drinking coffee and eating tasty foods. It was like a nice hug from home. <3
I got lunch from a legit BBQ place. I mean, it's no Martin's BBQ, but it will do just fine for now! :)