I am so excited to begin a new bicycling adventure in France! It seems that every year, I come home with many things I wished I had done more of. This year, I made a list, in advance of things I want to take advantage of, so I will hopefully have fewer regrets. Here is my list:
1. Eat at least one local treat a day. Whether it’s biscuits in the shape of parachutes or some other pastry specialty, I’m going to try at least one every day. Who knows, I may find a new favorite to replace canele from Bordeaux!
2. Try Normandy cider. I’m not a big drinker, but trying Normandy cider hardly requires a major indulgence, but who knows, maybe I will love it, who knows!
3. Eat local mussels. The bouchot mussels from Mont Saint Michel are supposedly some of the best in the world. Seems silly not to try them!
4. Go to every D-Day museum that I can. Since I am fortunate enough to make this trip to bicycle the D-Day to Mont Saint Michel itinerary, I want to experience every part of the history of this event. I know in advance that going to some of these museums will be very emotional. A small price to pay tribute to so many brave people.
5. Try all the local specialties at least once. Salt Meadow lamb, butter from Normandy, galettes, calvados, camembert cheeses, all should be no problem. I ‘m not so certain about andouille from Saint Lo though. I may need a few glasses of Normandy cider before I try andouille.
6. Take time to make at least one new acquaintance each day, and savor each experience. Meeting amazing people is always a favorite part of each bicycling vacation. I hope to have more of these great experiences this trip.
7. Embrace every day, even the tough ones on the bike. OK, I’ m bicycling in Normandy and Brittany, land of rain, so I know there many be at least one day of poor weather (actually will be happy if it’s only one). So I will try to be upbeat about that if it happens. I also will embrace the long days, and just enjoy the adventure and challenge of traveling by bike.
8. Take more photos. No matter how many photos I take, it’s never enough. I will take more!
9. Find more local markets. I will end this trip at the Saturday market in Rennes, the second largest market in France. I am so looking forward to this, but also want to seek out the great small local markets where I can hear great stories from the vendors, who have all the time in the world to talk!
10. Make the most of the adventure of traveling by bike. Take deviations, try a different route, try out that funky cafe for an espresso, join the locals for a pastis at 10 in the morning. I’m traveling in France by bike, so I will embrace the adventure every day!
That’s my list. If I am able to check every one of these from my list, this will be one spectacular vacation! Tomorrow, my trip to Saint Marie du Mont and Utah Beach.