About five years ago, I took the girls on a month long journey through France. The exchange rate was great and I was convinced the Euro would rise, so I wanted to buy a second home in my favorite country. It would be an investment. A fun one. I just didn’t know exactly where in France to buy. So this trip was to find THE place. Actually, we took about 4 or 5 different trips that year and hit just about every major region of the country.
We did this month-long trip by car. This was the time we went to Normandy. Although it was an off the beaten path type of trip, we did swing by Mont St. Michel, a heavily touristed area, yeah, but it was something to see because this place has one of the highest tide differentials in the world.
The first thing we noticed was how much this place looked like Hogwarts. I guess everyone knows this now, but for us, then, it was a discovery. There were other things to discover in a place like this.
On the other side of the Mont, we went out for a walk. There were warning signs posted about how quickly the tide comes in. I’d read it travels as fast as a galloping horse, but the sign said it was at the pace of a brisk walk. Which meant my kids would have to run from it.
Hard to believe that hours earlier this beach was under thirty feet of water. Equally difficult to comprehend that it would be underwater again in a few more hours. Walking around “under the sea,” there were jellyfish and other forms of sea life scattered about, left behind by the tide.
This is about how far out we walked before heading back.
Another thing we discovered was quicksand. Somehow we missed those warning signs. Not that I would have believed them anyway. What I understood about quicksand was what I’d seen in the movies: It’s in the jungle, it looks like liquid mud, and all that is left of a bad guy who falls in is his safari hat.
Look closer. Here, I’ll zoom in for you. My kids are sinking.
The more they moved, the more they sunk. I don’t have a photo of them up to their knees because I was busy pulling them out before the damn tide came in.
Don’t believe it?
Look at this dude:
It’s at the same place we were.
Quicksand is not as scary as made out to be in the movies. You can learn more about it here.
Here is Mont St. Michel while the tide is in.
Besides finding “Hogwarts” and quicksand, I found out a lot of things on that trip. Things I could not learn in a book. Mainly that my daughters did not want to be raised in France. I also realized that while the countryside and its people are amazing, it is not for me. Paris is THE place.
Just not for now.
Some people might think I’m crazy to travel to a foreign country alone with two little girls. It was difficult at times because they were at the age when they were at each other’s throats so much. That’s the only trouble we had.
I’m not afraid of the unknown. The only things that scare me are the things I do know. And the girls? They are the same way.
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