Today I will share with you our travels to Normandy. This is going to the heart of the trip for my family. . . . 11 of us. We were on the way to trace the steps of my brother’s time in Normandy after his jump early in the dark early morning of D Day. He made his way to St.-Mere-Eglise and to La Fiere Bridge. More on that later on.
David and I started in our Montmartre apartment with an Uber called for 6:30 pickup.
Well, call is incorrect. You text for a cab but the very first step is getting the app for Uber when you register with your credit card. You can see on your phone if there are Uber Cars in your neighborhood. You text, needing your exact address and the exact address where you want to go. You are told then how much you owe, it is charged to your card, and the car appears within the time that is on your phone.
The first Uber that arrived had a problem. . .. severe language deficiency between the driver and David. He speaks several languages and usually can get by. A frantic few minutes as David texted for another.. . . Would he be double charged? A woman driver came and she spoke broken English. It was good to hear. We had decided to take the car the whole way to the airport to the rental car desk instead of going in the cab to the North Station and going on a train as we did when we arrived. All went well in spite of the city traffic. We got our car and headed to Normandy. Car one on the way! ( We were charged only once from Montmartre to Charlels De Gaul Airport, though it was $60. . . .ouch!)
Car two was our son and his family who had been in Paris for a few days prior to this trip. He had rented a car in the city and had an uneventful trip to Normandy.
My daughter and her family were landing that morning after a flight from JFK in New York. I was concerned about checked luggage after the ETA of 9:30 and an appointment at 3 PM at the Airborne Museum in St-Mere-Eglise. Six of us arrive on time to meet Eric Belloc, who is the curator of the museum.
Eric and I had had a number of messages after a visit we had made in 1999 to the Airborne Museum. I had found Geroge’s picture, the same one my Mama had in the house , smiling in his uniform. But there was no Paratrooper’s Faith or name under his picture.! He was just an unnamed DDay paratrooper.
Here is the display now with a letter from Gen. Gavin just off to the left. General Gavin was the beloved General officer of the 82 nd Airborne Division. He loved his men and they loved him. He learned all their names and never asked them to jump without him jumping as well. Once and it may have been the DDay jump, he broke his back in the fall but stayed on the battlefield with his men for three days before seeking medical attention.
Eric Bellow came to meet me and shake his hand. I gave him a copy of the book my Mama wrote about GBT for the family called FROM POLIO TO PARATROOPER as a thank you for helping me and putting up with my endless questions.
Katie and her family arrived too late to meet Eric but with many funny stories of driving in Paris and the kids were starving. . . . at least the two teens were. They had some twists and turns until they found the proper road to Normandy . We were all together and now on the way to Domain Airborne where would would stay for three night in Normandy. Off we went to our 16 Century farmhouse complex! Stay tuned~