We called Dad’s Father PaPa. He was a very quiet fellow, never talking much about himself. He always seemed more interested in how his children and grandchildren were doing, then about anything else. PaPa always had this small ammunition box from WW II that he kept in his bedroom closet.
As years went on, we would catch him reading papers out of the box, but we just never got around to asking him what was in it. PaPa passed about a year ago, and we were all at his house just going through papers and all the little mementos he had collected. There was the ammunition box, so we all opened it and looked at the contents. There were pictures and letters PaPa had saved from his WW II tour in Europe.
Then we recognized some of the names of the places he had been. Normandy, Omaha Beach and the French countryside. All these years and we never realized he had actually been there and done that. Tears swelled up in Dad’s eyes as he bemoaned how we never asked PaPa if he would ever like to go back there to see what it was like today.
Then, as if in unison, we all thought the same thing at the same time. How could we experience that area, and revisit what had been one of the greatest moments in world history, the Landing at Normandy Beach?
After a short conversation with Phil and Barbara, we found there was an entire culture built on remembering that event, and visiting the famous sites. After just a little more research, we all decided on a River Cruise that specifically visited Normandy and the Beaches. Not long after, all the arrangements had been made by Phil, and our whole family was off on a great adventure.
We arrived in Paris, after a direct flight from Charlotte. This wonderful “City of Light” just appeared to open up before us. Our wonderful Hotel on the river Seine was perfect.
Phil had arranged a 2 day visit to Paris, before we boarded for our cruise. He included a great cruise all around Paris, that gave us an overview of why this was such a great city. A guided tour the next day included the Eifel Tower, the Arc De Triomphe and a walk through the Arrondissments that were such a big part of Paris. We had a wonderful dinner in an authentic French restaurant, and sipped some wine, while people watching on the side of the River Seine.
The next day, after lunch, we boarded our exotic River Cruise Ship for day 1 of our adventure. The Welcome Aboard Dinner was hosted by our Captain, and we talked about all the wonders we would soon see. Included French Wine set the tone for a very calm and restful night as our ship began our journey.