On the way to Normandy from Paris we stopped at Giverny – Claude Monet’s Garden and subject of some of his most famous paintings – and Mont-Saint-Michel. Mont-Saint-Michel was a bucket-list item for me. It didn’t disappoint. It’s breathtakingly beautiful – especially at sunrise and sunset. Our Airbnb outside Normandy had a garden, a pond and a charming sunroom.

My father served in World War II in France, so seeing the American cemetery there was extra special. The ceremony at sunset is very moving. I highly recommend any American to visit the Normandy beaches. Very humbling. The French still thank the Americans who come to witness and understand the sacrifices that were made.

The last day started under glorious skies at a castle in St.-Germain-de-Livet, then on to lunch by the harbor in Riviere la Morelle. By the time we reached Etretat, a thick fog had rolled in, almost obscuring the fishermen. The fog made the dramatic cliffs even more dramatic. Walking paths take you right to the edge of the cliff – if you dare.