Posted: May 4, 2015 in Euro 2015

Everywhere we’ve gone, we’ve seen signs of WWII. I’m writing this in Amsterdam and today is 4 May. Exactly 4 minutes ago, Holland stopped everything for a moment of remembrance. At exactly 8pm, the whole country stops and remembers the losses – especially from WWII. And tomorrow is Liberation Day.

On Wednesday of last week (29 April), we visited the Caen WWII Memorial Museum, the American Cemetary, Omaha Beach and the Pointe du Hoc Ranger memorial. 

America gave a lot for the freedom of the world.

 Caen Memorial Museum  

American Memorial Garden at Caen Museum




Normandy American Cemetary




Omaha Beach


Blown up German bunkers at Pointe du Hoc.


German machine gun nest at the top of the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc



Mont Sainte-Michel

Posted: May 4, 2015 in Euro 2015

On Tuesday, 28 April, we drove away from the Paris area on our way to Normandy. We had an ambitious day. Drive to Bayeux and drop off our luggage.  Then continue on to Mont Sainte-Michel and return to Bayeux later in the evening. Some how, we did it. Scenery was beautiful.

The Bayeux Cathedral  

Mont Sainte-Michel


Bayeux Cathedral at night.

Paris 2015

Posted: May 3, 2015 in Euro 2015

Today is Sunday, 3 May and we’re getting ready to leave Belgium. But I’ve got a little time to try and catch up. Six days ago, we spent a full day in Paris.  So going back 6 days…

Monday, 27 April: We have easy access to the RER C from our hotel in Gennevilliers which takes us directly to the Tour Eiffel. A lot of walking follows – but walking through Paris is a lot of fun. The architecture, shops and people are fascinating.

Our first destination this Morning is the Louvre museum. And it is huge. I mean overwhelming. But we picked the highlights we wanted to see and power walked it.


I loved this work.


And then we had lunch in the nearby gardens. Croc monseurs all around.


Then off to Notre Dame, the Latin quarter and Luxembourg gardens.

Luxembourg Gardens  


In the Luxembourg Gardens, (mostly) boys played with sailboats that they steered with sticks. I think they could set the sails and then give the boats a push. The boats tacked and sailed down-wind. The boats were not motorized or remotely controlled. Very cool.     
Up next – two days in Normandy. 


Sneaking Into Paris

Posted: May 1, 2015 in Euro 2015

We planned a full day in Paris after the competition completed, but I found a way to sneak into the Paris Air and Space Museum during the competition when nothing was going on.

On Saturday night (25 April), we were all finished reasonably early and grabbed a train into the city. We power walked from the Eiffel Tower to the Arc  d’Triomphe and back.

Mont Marte and the Sacre Couer in the distance.

Memorial underneath the Arc d’Triomphe.

I’ve found that I enjoy my blog most when I look back at trips and remember the amazing people, places and experiences.  It’s kind of a personal travel notebook for me – although there are probably better approaches for that sort of thing. 

And now I find myself 9 days into my longest European trip without any blog entries! Better start now.

This trip came about because of my wife’s and daughter’s skating teams participating in the Nations Cup Theater On Ice.  I believe France developed this team based figure skating competition which the call Ballet On Ice. So we began our trip with 5 days in Gennevelliers and Colombes. Our hotel was in Gennevelliers and the rink was in Colombe.



Fancy McDonalds in Gennevilliers.


We brought two teams: an adult team and a junior team. Both teams skated phenomenally. Everyone stepped up and pulled off their very best performances. Ultimately, the adults took 6th place (in the world) and the junior team took 4th place.

Karen, one of our skaters was selected to represent all of the US adult skaters in speaking an oath of sportsmanship. She did great!


Junior team practice outside the rink in Colombes…