Hallo! My name is Kelly. I grew up in New Orleans, LA. I married my husband Billy in Oct 2000 in N.O. We have three children and have moved from Abita, Springs, Louisiana to Stuttgart, Germany. This is something we have dreamed about and it is our first expat experience. I hope everyone enjoys reading about our adventures because I am very excited to share.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bastogne, Brussels, Caen, Normandy, Reims

Actual Dates of this event: June 14 - June 18

This will be another fairly short post which will be difficult because there is so much to cover but again I'm trying to post the highlights so I can catch up.

Billy's parents visited us for the month of June and it was the 70th anniversary of Normandy.  Although this was not my idea of a fun vacation , Billy and his dad were really excited about it.  I must say I learned a lot of history his particular weekend and it was a very moving trip.

First, we drove to Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne, Belgium.  We toured the new museum which was a nice tribute to those that fought in this battle. Battle of the Bulge took place from December 1944 until January 1945.  Many were killed but 19,000 Americans were killed in this battle in such a short span. The United States bore the brunt of this attack and incurred the highest casualties for any operation during the war.

In this region of Belgium there was a whole lot of farmland and many cows, which were so sweet 

After a day long drive and a tour of our first war ridden place we went to dinner.  Surprisingly the memory I have of that is not so friendly Belgians:( fortunately for the boys there was a small carnival nearby and they could let out some energy.  We had them put inside of big large balls

The next morning Billy reluctantly drove us 45 minutes to Brussels for some fresh Belgian waffles
These were our first try, they were ok but not quite the warm fresh ones we were hoping for.

We continued through the market and finally found the man with the truck
Delish!!! Everything I ever dream d of!!

Let's not forget The Belgian Chocolate Shop. More delicousness

That day we drove to Caen, France where we spent the next 2 nights.  First thing in the morning we visited the American Cemetery.  Pictures do not do it justice.  What an emotional day this was

And then of course we walked the beaches of Normandy where our troops fought a hard fight.  It was June and let me tell you it was cold on those beaches and windy.  I can't help empathize with them and imagine what these conditions were like to fight a war in.
The cliffs our men climbed up.
An old bunker

That is what they were able to look out of.

We visited the museums and saw many documentaries and it is honestly something I wish everyone had the opportunity to do.  It is NOT a fun vacation but I think it puts some things in perspective when you are actually able to stand where the fighting took place.

Driving through Normandy we came across an old graveyard which fascinated me..  It was the o old to make out but so neat

Next up was the lovely town of Reims, France .  Would love to make it back here one day but not sure if that's possible
This is such an old place with so much character.

This church was bombed in the war but they have left the remains

And also in Reims, a beautiful cathedral 

The last day we visited Mont Saint-Michel
This is located on an island in France and is still a working Monastary.  They have since built a small road for buses to transport people to a drop off point where you then tour the island for the day.  There are no cars but many narrow walkways with shops and restaurants until you finally come to the Monastary.  We were lucky enough to be able to see a mass that was going on as we were walking through.
Look at the narrow walkway

In the Monastary 

Our wonderful cozy lunch on the island

It doesn't appear that Trey ate but I promise he did:)

This turned out to be one of the best trips yet and I could probably teach a history course after this trip!!!

Interesting:  the original number of fatalities on D-Day was once thought to be 2500, now estimated to be 4,413, of those 2,499 were Americans.  This is just a D-Day fatality piece of info and in no way refers to any other aspect of the war.

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