Sunday, July 12, 2009

July 8, 2009: A Buffet of D-Day

(pictured above: My dad at Courseulles-sur-Mer beach (Juno Beach))

Wednesday, July 8 started by dropping off the girls at school. I came right home to pick up my parents and off we headed to see some of the D-Day beaches.

First stop was Juno Beach at Courseulles-sur-Mer. This is where the Canadian Museum is located that describes the efforts made by Canadians during World War II. Upon arrival, we went down to the beach. It was a beautiful sunny day, kind of chilly, with some wind. My dad was very pleased to see some guys fishing. He walked right on down to check out the poles and the bait being used and the other fishing gear. It turned out to be the same gear he uses in Corpus Christie, Texas on the Gulf Coast. He couldn't believe that something he saw in France was just the same as back at home - when most of what he has seen so far seems so completely different from home. We went over the the fishermen and my dad asked me to tell the guy that the poles and lures were the same as back in the United States. We saw the guy's son catch a sizable fish and re-bait the pole. From there, we took a short walk down the beach, visited an old bunker and then made a brief visit to the Museum. Then it was off to Arromanches!

(pictured above: My dad enjoying his rhubarb crepe in Arromanches)

At Arromanches, I was most excited to show my parents the remnants of the floating artificial harbor built during World War II for the D-Day landings. It was a clear day and easy to see the huge expanse of concrete just surrounding the water at Arromanches. We walked along the wall of the coastline and made a quick stop at the museum. My dad noticed that he had one of the same rifles on display in the museum! We walked up a hill and got a great view of the village and then noticed our hunger. In search of yes, crepes, we sat down to a yummy crepe lunch and just in time, too, because it started to rain just as we sat down under the outside awning!

The next and final stop of the day was Omaha Beach and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer. By now the weather had pretty much cleared up with threats of rain subsiding. We visited the memorial first and read through a lot of the statistics and data about D-Day and the day's following up. From there we exited and got a view from the tippy top of the beach. My mom decided to take a break while my dad and I took the hike down to the beach. It was a LONG way down on the paths but an even LONGER way back up the path! But we made it having taken only 2 breaks.

(pictured below: my feet on Omaha beach)

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