Saturday, May 28, 2011

Last Blog

It's Josh here for one final blog. I am sitting in Knoxville airport and still in shock that it is over. Everyone seemed to be happy to see their families. I will never forgot this trip as long as I live, and the people who went on it were incredible. I hope everyone else enjoyed having me as I enjoyed being with them. Thanks to everyone who helped with anything. Most important thanks to Casey Cobb who undoubtedly lost countless nights of sleep worrying about a trip that turned out to be a hundred times better then I could imagine.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The End????

Rachael Rudnitzki here...and it is a bittersweet feeling to know that in 3 hours I will be in the van traveling towards the end. This amazing trip is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. It blows my mind to recollect all of the sites and places we have been. While spending only a few days in each location I feel that even though we only got a slight taste of the countries, we really did experience vast cultures and our eyes were opened to how the world works outside of our homeland. Most of the members of our group are already well traveled; however, this journey of 20 days across many countries cannot even begin to compare to our past travels. As for the historical aspects of our ventures, reading a textbook or watching a presentation on the past does not even come close to standing among the ruins of a once thriving area, or walking in the sand on the shores of Omaha beach. With all of this in mind, I cannot even begin on the amazing people we have met...a lady who witnessed the capture of the massacred African American soldiers, WWII veterans, other citizens honoring their fallen heros (such as the Canadian school group). I cannot express my thanks enough to Roane State Community College for the amazing opportunity they have granted us, and I am forever grateful. Another thanks is of course due to Professor Cobb for planning such an ambitious tour, not to mention putting up with all of us for 20 days!! I'm hopefully packed, and can't wait to get back to my Tennessee mountains, but this European Tour with my classmates of Roane State is something I will cherish forever, and I am saddened to realize it is over. Hopefully I can upload a few final photos, but if technology prevents this I will definitely post them as soon as I return home. Love to all of my family and friends, and thank you again to all of you that have dutifully followed our blog of our travels!!

Final goodby from France

Oh what a trip this has been!! There are literally no words to describe it. Awesome, amazing, fantastic, magnificent, stupendous...none of them even come close. More like, heaven on earth.

Yesterday my favorite thing we went to see yesterday was Mont St. Michel. It was beautiful. Darcie and I raced to the top so we got to do the tour of the abbey. Wow. It was incredible. The arcitechture was beautiful! I took so many picutres on the roof and the beams. Amazing.

Today we took things a little slower by putting up flags at the Normandy cemetery, seeing the Bayeux tap., and resting on Omaha Beach. We headed back to the hotel in Hermanville and had a quick dinner. Racheal and I then strolled back to the hotel befors starting to pack.

I finished packing a short time ago and decided to post one last blog. I am set and ready to go in just a few more hours when we pack up the van and leave for the Paris airport. Sad times are here. The trip is coming to an end. Our group is still holding out that the trip is not over until we land in Knoxville.
As Darcie said, all good things must come to an end......


So Long!!!

Tonight is our last night in France.  It has been an amazing trip.  I can't thank Professor Cobb enough for such an experience.  Today was another wonderful day and summed up our trip perfectly.  We went to the Normandy Cemetery and honored our Veterans.  Brett and I place flags on the wall of the missing.  It was very overwhelming to know how many Veterans have been lost,  but not forgotten.  Normandy was just as beautiful as I thought it would be.  The water made the cemetery so serene and it is the perfect resting spot for our fallen heros.  Today at the Boyeaux Tapestry we ran into Bob Cummings.  Well why is this important???  He's a World War II Veteran who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day.  He was such a nice man and seemed happy to tell us his story.  He, his son, and grandson had travelled the route that Mr. Cummings took in the War.  Starting from boot camp, to training in England all the way to Normandy.  After we spoke to Mr. Cummings we went to Omaha Beach and the feeling was overwhelming.  Today was a very emotional day not just with the Cemetery, but also having to leave for home.  I will never forget this trip and the people as long as I live.  If it wasn't for Casey Cobb this trip would have never happened.  I appreciate you and thank you so much Professor!!  Well, this is it and it has been a blast.  Final words- remember your veterans and don't be afraid to walk up and thank them for their service. 


For what it's worth, it was worth all the while

Today is a terrible, beautiful day. No words can explain the sights we've seen or the things we've experienced. This once in a life time opportunity has been the most amazing adventure of my life. I've made friends that I don't know how I ever lived without and seen things that 99.9% of the world will never even know they missed out on. We've made memories that can't be imagined, mostly great things, a few sad, but all unforgettable. A song lyric rings true here: every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end. At the end of this unbelievable journey I can only ponder where the next chapter of our lives will take us. Some of us have plans that will help guide us such as Darcy as a Radiologist, Josh as a Businessman, Bob the Amazing Adventurer, or Rachael as a Teacher, others of us are waiting on the wind to blow us in a favorable direction. On this fantastic vacation we've done more and seen more than even the most ambitious people could have managed in 6 months or more. I'm torn between being blissful to return to my family, friends, and puppy (Sophia) while at the same time almost crushed to leave the dreamlike beauty we wake up each day to discover, not to mention my new friends. Thank you all for the great memories (and pictures, when you send them to me... as soon as you can... like seriously...). A special thanks to Charlie Casey Cobb for not killing us or leaving us anywhere and not losing his mind during all this madness. Thanks Roane State for making this possible, it really was inexplicable. Thanks to my family for helping me prepare for this and taking care of things on the home front, not to mention helping me make this possible, I love you guys. Thanks to my friends who have kept me informed and kept me anchored in reality. I know I keep ramming the point home, but this experience has been indescribable, words and pictures could never do it justice. I'm so lucky to have been allowed to come on this trip and if someone asked me to do it again, I would 100,000,000 times over. I'm signing off for the very last time on this blog and sadly still no pictures will load for me, but those of you who know me will get an earful and an eyeful for the next few years. I just can't get over the awesomeness of this experience. Thanks again everyone, 3 am comes early.

If I had to choose a song to put to this trip it would be Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day, fittingly from the album International Superhits!

Deuces Mooses.

-Brett Peery

Farewell sweet Europe

Hey y'all, it's me again, Darcie. What an amazing adventure this trip has been. There have been a few ups and downs, but hey, nothing in life goes as planned. I have been pleasantly surprised on how well the group has got along and that there was no real drama to speak of. I'm a little saddened that this trip will soon be over. I guess all good things must come to an end. We have seen some awesome things and ate some incredible foods. I have thoroughly enjoyed the history orientated tour through Western Europe. I'm starting to regret that i never had the priviledge of taking a class from Casey Cobb. He is a great person and i am sure he is an even better professor. The two things that i hoped to get from this trip are lifelong memories and friends. I believe that i have achieved both goals. Signing off for the last time :'(

P.s.tried to load pictures and the internet is too slow at the moment. Sorry.

The Last Evening

Like Elise, I'm thinking back about all we've seen and done.  I doubt that more history and culture could have possibly been packed into any three week trip. I've visited places that I've seen in books and magazines my whole life.  I've witnessed where history, both ancient and recent, was made.  I've even had the good fortune to meet a few of the history-makers themselves.  My enduring gratitude extends to all the men and women, soldiers and civilians, who have risen to the call of duty throughout history, who have fought for what is good and right to make the world a better place for future generations. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to study, to learn, to travel, and to experience all that I have. And to my daughter, Mallory, thanks for letting me tag along.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Winding up

We are approaching our last day in Europe, specifically the Normandy region of northern France. I've already started to reflect back on what we have done, bought, seen, heard, smelled, tasted...the list goes on.

Yesterday afternoon while walking to some Celtic ruins, Ashley and i stopped to pet the donkey, two goats, and four horses. It was amazing. Yes, i know that sounds weird, i however have never been to a farm. After we petted the animal farm we continued onto the ruins we came there to see.

Casey Cobb has asked a few students what they would have left out of the trip if they were to do it all over again. I had to think long and hard about it. It's not an easy thing to decide. How do you weigh the scenery against history? How can you cut out anything that makes up this trip?

Here I am, writing a blog, packing, talking to my awesome roommate Ashley, thinking about a shower and sleep, snacking on candy....and all of this is going to end tomorrow evening. We'll be on the road very early Saturday morning on the road to Paris airport. Just random thoughts floating through my mind right now. Uploading some pictures taken through out the trip so far. I'll do one more blog tomorrow as well. <3 Elise

Stained Glass

Stained glass is one of my favorite things to photograph.  Each piece is designed by an artist, manufactured by a master craftsman, and then lit up by God. What other artwork is created by such a team? Here are a few of my favorite photos from this trip. ~ Deborah

Memorial Chapel at Brittany American Cemetery

Virgin Mary Wtching Over The Paratroopers at St. Mere Eglise

A French Chalet depicted at Vimoutiers Eglise 

World War II Memories.

Hello all!  Today was so much fun.  We went to go see St. Mere Eglise where a paratrooper became stranded on a steeple.  Professor Cobb found the most wonderful military store.  I bought a French helmet, a German belt buckle, and a military amunition flap.  After we left there we visited where our friend Mr. Clint Riddle landed in the invasion of World War II.  Mr. Riddle was a paraglider that landed and helped to liberate France.  To see where Mr. Riddle landed put his stories of war into perspective.  I wish Mr. Riddle could have been with us!  We also saw where over 150,000 paratroopers dropped in various fields.  We went to Brittany and visited the cemetary and honored our fallen soldiers.  I thought that after experiencing a few cemetaries it would get easier.  I was completely wrong.  It seems like it is getting harder and more emotional.  I am having so much fun and making new friends.  I don't want to come home, but in the same instance I do.  Maybe I could just get my family over here and we could all live here in France or Germany.  Anyways, until tomorrow C'est Le Vie!!!


Pictures missing again

Today we visited the most amazing places. We started at St. Mere Eglise where a paratrooper named John Steele got tangled in the steeple of the church and had to fight from that position until a wounded friend came to his rescue, being killed himself in the process. There is still a replica of Mr. Steele hanging from the steeple. Around the corner there was an open market filled with enticing smells, down from that and in the surrounding area were tons of shops including a few places with souveniers for all you folks back home and a legit military shop that had everything from rusted out rifles from WWI to German Death masks from WWII (selling for 1500 Euros no less). We left there and headed to the American grave site in Brittany, France. The crosses and stars on those graves were beautiful even in the downpour we faught against and I'm proud to say every single Tennessee veteran got his flag. We even found our first Jewish Tennessee veteran, I left two stones signifying Eternal Life and Eternal Peace as is custom for our fallen Jewish warriors. Afterwards we drove a few hours and stopped to get pictures of cows, donkeys, and windmills before moving toward the overwhelming silhouette of Mont St. Michel. This Abbey atop an island is a wonder straight out of a fantasy world. It looks like a castle inside and out. After  we got there we stopped to eat some fresh seafood before trying to ascend to the summit. After several minutes of climbing, photo ops, and of course the occasional "stair break" we made it to the zenith: the Abbey itself. We were in awe of the glorious ramparts and parapets, looking down into the flood plains and ocean below, so far away from the true coast that the villages looked too small to recognize. We read the sign: Entrance this way! and charged ahead only to be halted by some frenchie with a badge claiming the abbey closed at 6pm, we argued that it was only 5:58, but his english suddenly failed him and we were forced to march dejectedly back down to the shops, which of course were closing.... this is France after all, when something is open 24 hours a day, it often opens at 9:30, closing at 2-5pm for lunch of course, then reopening from 5:30-6. Anyway, today was beautiful beyond belief, even with the letdown. Only one more day here, it's bittersweet to say the least. We have to make our last few hours count, so I'm off until tomorrow. Deuces Mooses.

-Brett Peery

Camp Celtique

Our last stop before the hotel last night was a place called Camp Celtique. I believe it was one of the earliest sites we have visited so far, approximately six thousand years old. The dominant feature of Camp Celtique is a low rock wall, leftover from the fortification of a Celtic settlement. However, my group-mates and I stumbled upon (or into, rather) a thriving civilization almost as impressive as the one that must have existed those many millennia ago--a colony of black ants. Early on the trail, we began spotting the little foragers climbing trees and scouring the leaf-strewn ground. They were easy to overlook at first, but as we progressed into the forest, the ant-concentration began to grow. Rapidly. Before long, we came to a halt in a section of the road flooded with ants. Their movement was an audible murmur in the grass, a sort of pitter-pater not unlike raindrops in a forest canopy. The ants went about their work--harvesting grain, chartering territory, hauling sticks to and fro--oblivious of their onlookers. I couldn't help but draw a connection between the ants and the lost Celtic people who built their community in a state of similar oblivion, not knowing that tourists from another continent would be oohing over their craftsmanship six thousand years later.

-M. Miles

Le Mont Saint Michel... Wow!

So my favorite part of the day today was definitely Mont Saint Michel! It was amazing! It was exactly like I pictured a little medieval town would look like, secure, safe, small streets, a bunch of stairs, and an bunch of bricks! It was an extremely cool and windy day, I'd say the coldest day since we've been here, but I would not give up the opportunity to see this place, rain or shine. It was built on a rocky hill and has only one little street winding up to the top where there is an abbey, which still has monks and nuns. The winding street surrounded by little shops, which must have been houses back then, is one way you can get to the abbey at the top. Another way to get to the top would be to climb the winding stairs. The stairs up and down aren't directly straight up, they're winding in and out of houses, a church, and little shops. Walking up the little street gave me an amazing idea and picture of what a medieval town looked like, it was like a movie setting! I never thought I'd be able to actually walk thru a town like the one at Mont Saint Michel, thanks again Profe! ~*~ Rubianna

Exploring Normandy

Hey there, it's Darcie. This trip is so awsome, words can't describe my over whelming feelings that I'm having. This trip sadly is coming to an end :' ( . We are doing so much, and I'm starting to get worn down that theses last few days are starting to blur together. Yesterday we went to a memorial museum that had a cool map that helped explain some of the fighting during WWII. We also explored a celtic wall that was really neat. We also saw another castle of William the conqueror. Well enough for now talk at ya all later.

So many great experiences....

Hi all this is Ashley!  Yesterday was such an awesome day! We did so many different things & went to so many neat places.  Our first stop was in Honfleur.  It was such a cute little town with great shopping, and a beautiful harbor.  We also went to see a German tiger tank.  It was really neat, but we were also able to take a short nap in the shade beside the tiger tank.  I mean who does that!  I’m so glad I’ve had the opportunity to go on this trip.  There have been so many once in a lifetime opportunities that I will cherish forever.  Another really neat thing was seeing a cooking caldron in Vimoutiers.  When the city was bombed by the U.S. the town came together to cook in the caldron with the food they had to provide for the entire town.  It’s such a touching story.  We also went to visit Celtic Ruins which were awesome! I could go on and on about everything, but I will stop there for now! I hope everyone has a great day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oh the places we go.....

Hey everyone. First of all I'd like to apologize for the lack of pictures considering the internet connection here in our hotel is slow. As soon as we can we will upload all that we can. As for our final days on our European tour, we are exhausted but still having an amazing time.  We have seen so many amazing sights I feel as if my mind may explode from all the details!  Now that we are in Normandy the historical sites are pretty close together and the reality of D-Day is astounding.  Seeing these beautiful landscapes that were once filled with death and destruction is a sobering experience, not one easily forgotten.  Pointe du Hoc, the beautiful memorials, the cemetaries, all amazing sites that very few Americans actually get to see and I am so thankful to have shared these ventures with my trip mates.  We may be nearing the end of our journey, tired and sometimes grumpy, but some of the best is yet to come considering we still have Omaha beach, Utah beach, and Mont St. Michel to visit!!! Pictures soon I promise!  Love to all my family and friends =) Au Revoir!!!

--Rachael Rudnitzki


So the time we've spent in Normandy has been incredible. The first night I ate an entire plate of sea snails with half a crab to boot. It was actually quite tasty, but would have been better warm. We were touched at a Canadian Cemetary, I shed more than a few tears. The personal tombstones told stories that no book could ever compare to: one such grave had the name of a fallen hero with his age, 18, and the simple inscription: "Here lies my only son, gone but not forgotten". Another, the name, and age, 19, with another inscription, "You will be eternally missed. Your loving wife and daughter, never met." The American cemeteries are much less personal and I feel this is a flaw. We visited a Nazi graveyard, kept up by Americans because the Germans refuse to have anything to do with Nazis. At first I was offended, but when we got to the cemetary it was more of the same, young men fighting their hearts out for their country. I despise their beliefs, but respect their dedication. We visited the inexplicable Pointe du Hoc where the bomb holes and rubble of wrecked buildings still stand to tell the story that words can't. We have done so many amazing things in such a short amount of time that the short paragraphs we are given to explain them seem like a drop in an ocean. Thanks to all for reading, I'll have pictures when I get home. The internet is far too slow here and our time far too precious to waste on these things at the moment. Tons of souveniers for loved ones today. Dueces Mooses.

-Brett Peery

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Such great experiences......

This is Ashley again.  We have been having a great time! I can’t believe the time has passed so quickly.   We have seen SO many awesome things!  Yesterday one of the things we went to was William the Conquer’s Castle.  It was so awesome to see something that was built so many years ago.  It was also very weird to see people just hanging out in the grass in front of the castle.  We wanted to say… do you realize that you are hanging out in front of a castle like it’s no big deal?  The flowers here are unbelievable!  They are so beautiful, and fragrant.  It’s been hard to not take a picture of every flower we’ve seen.  Today we have done so much, and we happened upon a really cool defense tower while going to a different destination.  You could tell that it was very old, and had been used quite a bit. (The last photo is of the tower).  I still have to pinch myself to make sure I’m really experiencing all these great once in a lifetime things!  Even though we’ve seen so much there is still so much left to see! I can’t wait! Talk to you later! 

William the Conqueror in Caen

Yesterday we saw William the Conqueror’s castle in Caen. The palace rose up in the middle of the city, from a shady green hillside that was evidently a favorite hang out for local youth. They were sprawled everywhere, girls and boys mingling, chattering, giggling--laying on their backs to watch clouds, on their stomachs to pluck at the grass. Our group loitered on the hillside for a little while as well, then moved on to a tour of the eleventh century castle behind us. A short climb up the ramparts yielded a breathtaking view of the city below, a horizon full of Gothic steeples and five story resorts. 

-M. Miles

Germany to Berlin

This blog is a little dated due to lack of internet availability in my rooms, more updated posts after, also, forgive the lack of photos, I have a little over 2000, but can't make them upload here:

Today we left our beautiful mansion in Germany for a castle, not the first castle we happened upon, but the second. It was incredible with the ornate carvings and chandeliers filled with precious stones and metals. Even those couldn't compare to the mechanical swans created to swim across a man made lake and sing each morning. There was a waterfall in the back of the castle that had me staring in awe for minutes. Then we crossed the border into Belgium. It DOES exist and it's lovely. The food was amazing, real food instead of bread, ham, cheese and water with bubbles. If I ever see another pastry, it will be too soon. Then we visited a few more cemetaries, placed a few more flags, and saw Waterloo (which was very much a let down). We rode a safari van through a dusty cabbage patch planted on top of the battle field for half an hour before being dropped back off in time to climb a mountian of stairs and see a big metal lion (which was pretty impressive). Then we were politely asked to leave a restaraunt so we ate dinner in Belgium and enjoyed the city. Soon we'll leave Belgium and head for Caen, France. I hope the people are as nice there as they are here.

-Brett Peery


 Hey all!!! Rachael Rudnitzki here....WOW It has finally hit me what an ambitious trip this was to take on.  The list of things we have seen and experienced keeps growing, and I am loving every moment of it.  With only a few days left to go we are all soaking up every minute of it, and it astonishes me what we have accomplished so far.  The day before yesterday we visited Monet's home which I had been looking forward to.  Unfortunately it was not as fascinating as I expected, but it was an interesting site nonetheless. It humanized and brought Monet back down to earth for me.  The simplicity of much of his house (with some very unusual decor choices) shocked me, but the amazing flower garden did not disappoint.  I can absolutely see where the inspirations for his art came from, and I enjoyed the serene experience of walking through the peaceful garden.  I also liked seeing William the Conquorer's castle and walking through Caen.  As the the days of our trip are numbered I am going to soak in every detail that I can, and store these memories forever.

Best Birthday EVER!!!

Hello Everybody. This is Lindsey. Yesterday was so much fun!! I got to spend my birthday in Normandy! What made it even better is that we met a World War II British Veteran at Pegasus Bridge. He was just sitting their eating lunch and we got to hear some of his stories. I even got to shake his hand and take a picture. Later we went to see a castle that was just in the middle of Caen. When we got back to the hotel me and some of my new friends celebrated my birthday at the beach looking out across the English Channel. I will never forget this birthday as long as I live. Thanks Roane State and my new friends for making it a once in a lifetime experience!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bonjour from France once again!

It's hard to believe that we have already spent time in southern France, Italy, Germany, Belgium and now back to France, my "other" home! Of course, we did drive through Monaco, Austria and visited some sites in Luxembourg as well! These past two weeks just flew by and now we are wrapping up our visit by spending the last week in Normandy. As always, as much as I enjoyed the other countries, it is SO good to get back to this country that I love so much. All are unique in their own way as well as being absolutely beautiful! Europe is just a wonderful place and we were blessed to be able to visit so many of its countries!!

We just got in from "exploring" the Normandy area. We found a couple of bunkers that we never visited before. Talk about an adventure....nothing like climbing down into those bunkers or going down a flight of stairs where you have NO idea what is "around the corner"! It was a blast and I will post some pictures of that adventure.

I should also mention that I am so glad we have been able to visit more cemeteries this year. Each one has been in a beautiful setting and most of them had someone talk to us as a group. Unlike in years past, where we only visited the popular one in Normandy, it has been an honor to visit these "lesser-known" cemeteries. We want to remember ALL of them because of the sacrifices they made. Putting the TN flag at each one of these who are listed (from Tennessee) is something we'll remember all our lives.

Today, we went to Melville and some of the stories told at the museum were heart-wrenching. One story was regarding a Normandy couple who risked it all to hide some British soldiers. It came with a heavy price. Her husband was beaten and dragged away where they eventually shot him. She and her daughters were also arrested but eventually were released. A couple of the British soldiers they protected NEVER forgot and many years later, made sure this woman was recognized by the British government. Another story was told about a soldier and his dog, Glen. Unfortunately, both were killed and the family made sure they were buried together. One story after another like this makes you see the "personal" side of the names we are reading.

Well, that's it for now. To my family, I miss you and can't wait to see you. To my precious nieces and nephew, I miss you SO much and I look forward to that wonderful greeting at the airport. (One of my favorite moments of all time!) Mom, thanks for taking care of my Heath! Glad to hear he is doing well. Nat and Mich, hope to talk to you guys soon! Keep putting the kids on this blog...I look forward to hearing from all of you! Thanks and au revoir for now!


The past few days..

I don't know what it is about travel...but it really takes the energy out of you! The landscape is beautiful here in western Europe. We have crossed the Swiss Alps twice now, and driven over 3,400 miles so far. That is enough to go from Wilmington, North Carolina to LA by now, and we are not done yet. We still have five days left.

I can't express how happy I am here. I am enjoying every second of this trip. I mentioned to Maria earlier today that I could not imagine being happier....

We've been to cemeteries and a concentration camp, battlefields and museums full of old memorabilia, castles and churches, cities and country areas, narrow roads and roundabouts. All of it is different then what you find in America. I keep waiting to experience culture shock, and yet it hasn't happened. The differences are what makes this trip amazing. This is a history tour of some amazing sites, and yet I still find myself watching and listening to the people around me. The super marchet and pharmacies are so different then the equivalent in the States. The people here are so not impressed with all the beautiful buildings around them. We were driving along the highway to the different countries and just randomly an ancient building will pop up on the horizon.

view from a crazy castle

crazy castle

Ulm Church

Flower from Monet's house

awesome French soldiers
<3 Elise

Beautiful places.....

Hello everyone this is Ashley! So yesterday was a really awesome day! It was sad to leave Belgium since I really liked it.  Bastogne grew to be one of my favorite places.  On our way to Normandy we made many stops & one of those was to Monet's house & garden's.  Some parts were better than others.  It was still pretty awesome to see places like the lily pond that inspired many of Monet's paintings (The 1st picture is of me in front of the Lily pond at Monet's house).  We finally made it to Normandy, and it was early enough to still enjoy the area.  Normandy & the beaches are SO beautiful!  It was amazing how late it was with the sun still out.  The beaches are so beautiful & peaceful so it's hard to imagine so many men storming the beaches in the area.  The last 3 pictures are from Normandy.  This trip has been so amazing!  It's hard to believe with all the awesome things that we have already done that we have so much more to do! I hope everything is going great at home! Talk to you all later!

Normandy Excursion

It's me again, Darcie. Just a quick note to say that this trip is awesome and I'm loving every minute of it. We arrived in Normandy yesterday with no problems while driving to our hotel.We stopped by the Memorial du Mardasson in Belgium and the Adrennes American Cemetery and Memorial on our drive to Normandy. With each visit to these American memorials it makes me realize how fortunate I am to be an American. One aspect of this trip that i really enjoy is paying honor and tribute to the soldiers that gave the ultimate sacrifice to guarantee each and everyone of us our freedom. Today we visited three battlesites in Normandy which allowed me to better understand what happened on D-Day here in Normandy. Not only is this trip fun and enjoyable, but I'm actually learning as well. Today we also ventured to Caen and toured around William the Conqueror's castle. Seeing sites like that remind me that our nation is still in its infancy compared to Europe.
Enough for now, talk to you later.

Ahhh Normandy...

So today we went to the Grand Bunker here in Normandy, then we went to see more bunkers nearby, then to Pegasus Bridge, then finally to Caen to see William the Conquerers castle! It's been a great day and we're still gonna go explore some more in a bit! I'd have to say that my favorite part of the day was Pegasus Bridge! Pegasus Bridge was literally the first bridge taken by the paratroopers. They literally landed almost perfectly, and took the bridge nearby within minutes! I found it so amazing that we were actually standing in the very spot the paratroopers landed! It was an overwhelming feeling, yet still so hard to imagine. However, it does give an idea of how brave the young men were. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to be here, thanks again Casey! ~*~ Rubianna

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We Made It to Normandy!

With one more long drive behind us, we've arrived safely in Normandy. Mallory and I went for a walk on the beach while everyone else went to eat dinner . . . a very good call on her part.  We were there just in time to watch the sunset.