Travel woes en route to an FAO meeting (oh, that is a food safety hook) in Russia resulted in me having 12 hours to kill in Paris. Instead of staying in the city, I did something today that I’ve thought about for a while but had not had the chance- rented the world’s smallest stick shift car and traveled to Normandy. I drove through the French countryside and walked along Juno Beach where many Canadians landed on D-Day.
Most emotional for me was seeing an area of the world that had an impact on my life – the small villages of Le Mesnil-Patry and Norrey-en-Bessin. My grandfather, who Sam is named for, was part of a small group of seven that survived a battle where their company lost 98 soldiers. My grandfather was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal. Although we were very close he never spoke about it.