Thursday Jan 26th –
We had a mission.
One of our weddings adventure suggestions (submitted by the lovely Carmen) was to go find a specific grave of Canadian soldier, John Cooke, at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery and Memorial .
We decided it would be an interesting thing to do with Zoe and from there we went into Nijmegen, a town that was new for Mike and I as well.
Where our first stop was for Kibbeling, the fish we hadn’t eaten since last spring when Dad and Mom were out and we ate so much of it, that it had sounded repelling ever since 😝
A little shop was selling it, we were all hungry, we knew it was a nice thing for visitors to try and we figured we could probably eat a piece or two ourselves without being disgusted and it turns out we were right.
Our repulsion of Kibbeling is officially over!
It was enjoyed by all and then we journeyed on, exploring what the town had to offer.
Since we had only eaten a small amount of fish, fries were ordered pretty quickly, mainly for Mike.
Fun moment – when Mike was ordering his fries and he’d been speaking so much English with Zoe and I around that he forgot how to speak and he had to ask me in English, how to say peanut butter in Dutch, so he could figure out how to order peanut sauce for his fries 😄😋👌🏻
Many interesting shops were perused and buildings admired.
The chilly weather sent us back to a restaurant Mike had spotted earlier which was selling hot chocolate.
Once Nijmegen was done being explored, we drove back to the apartment and all took a little recovery time on the couch while half watching, half napping during Sherlock Holmes 🕵🏻
I began supper preparations and with much encouragement and taste testing from Zoe, a mostly made up, light pasta was created.
Sun-dried tomato, pine nut and bacon pasta was eaten along with garlic bread.
Erwin joined us for supper since he and Mike were going to a soccer game that evening. Mike wanted me to tell you all that Vitesse won the game against Feyenoord, 2-0 😏
Just as supper ended the loud sound of a helicopter reverberated overhead, causing the four of us to head out onto the patio.
It was dark out so the helicopters were not seen except for the lights blinking on the four of them… don’t know why they were there or what they were doing, but our neighbours below and beside were also balcony bound, all wondering what the noise was from.
Erwin’s suggestion, ‘It’s the Germans’ 😏😜
The boys left for soccer and us girls stayed at the house, cleaning up from supper, preparing for the next day and enjoying each others company and commentary while watching a show and munching popcorn 😏😋👌🏻👭
Friday Jan 26th –
The usual as of late, is me awaking before the rest, getting ready, drinking my coffee and enjoying the moments of silence so the others aren’t greeted by as much of a monster as they would be otherwise 😜
I did that as well as prepare Fiji for a few days alone, empty the fridge and discard of trash.
We were heading to France! 🇫🇷🚙
We all got ready, packed up and headed out by 10:00 am and the journey began.
Zoe and I may or may not have slept most of the drive and let Mike awake us when interesting things were around to be seen.
I don’t know if we have a bad influence on each other or what but we both slept pretty much the entire drive to our destination, minus the odd pit stop.
Pit stops which included a few war cemeteries.
Canadian, Australian, South African and British Memorials abounded in the one area we went through.
There was a sign for a large Canadian cemetery and it pointed right, towards what looked like a driveway leading into a gardened memorial.
A little ways into the turn Mike was like, ‘ Nope! This is just someone’s garden. Sorry person your yard looks like a cemetery.’
And he answered himself with a higher voice saying, ‘My garden?!’ 😂
You had to be there but it sounded pretty hilarious.
Onward we went, in search of food.
Only to find that they have the custom of closing between lunch and dinner, leaving us to eat at McDonald’s.
It was the crunchiest, saltiest McDonald’s burger I’ve ever had… what’s worse?
I didn’t mind 😬
We always end up eating at McDonald’s when we are in France somehow.
I’m not sure if the supposed abundance of restaurants freaks us out, so we then return to what we know or what.
But it’s oh so uncultured of us 😜
Mike drove us to Amiens and we stopped for an exploration break since he’d seen an impressive church from the road.
It was indeed impressive.
It was probably one of the most detailed and ornately carved/decorated churches I’ve seen during our travels, and that should tell you something.
We entered in anticipation and were greeted by iciclelization 😬
I had to make up a word for how cold it was inside of a building.
The stone and marble, though impressive and beautiful, also made for a very cold enclosure.
The search for food was once again in vain, so Mike popped into a bakery to look for a snack to tide him over.
He got a nutty dessert and spotted a lemon meringue for me to try.
I don’t like any other lemon desserts, but give me a lemon meringue and it’ll be gone in moments.
This one was no exception, actually, it went above expectation!
The meringues light, poofy texture filled my mouth with a deliciously sweet flavour.
Small crystals of sugar adding a pleasant surprise texture to the rest of the overall smoothness.
A charred top giving a slight marshmallow flavour now and then, paired with the fresh, smooth lemon filling and not overly sweet brown tart crust.
It was amazing.
I did offer to share it believe it or not, but I’m pleased my comrades didn’t want more 😁😋
Michiels dessert was less thrilling and he said it was fairly heavy… poor fellow 😜
We stopped for dinner at ‘Pizza Rustica’ in Caen.
Where parmesan cheese baked eggplant with ham, tomato and bacon baked penne pasta and fresh tomato risotto pizza was enjoyed by all.
It was pleasant dinner and Mike was especially happy to finally be fed, also needing a cremé brûlée to finish off his part of the meal 😋
It was only a couple minutes drive to our hotel from there, where we were given a room with a double bed and a bunk bed above it 😜👌🏻
It was 8:30 at that time and that’s where we stayed until 9 the next morning.