Last week me and my mom took a train to the beach. In France, if you want to go to the beach, you have to take a train there, and the place you go to is called Trouville-Sur-Mer, in Normandy. It’s fun to ride the train, and if you want to make your mom really mad, you should try to pour your yogurt drink out into its cap and spill it all over yourself and the train seat. You get to be a nudie-bum for a little while while she cleans up the mess. Have you ever been naked on the train? It’s awesome!
Beaches are so fun because they’re like enormous sand boxes. We found lots of seashells on the beach, and my mom let me take my shoes off so I could feel the scratchy cold sand between my toes. But before we could play on the beach, we had to go find our hotel. I thought Grandma was going to be there, because that’s where she lives.
Once we got settled in at our horsey hotel (Hotel le Fer a Cheval), we went out to have my most favorite food in the world. Waffles!! The ladies in Normandy make really good waffles with Nutella on top! We sat on these super high stools and I drank my milk and gazed out at the sea. Heaven, as my Grandpop would say.
When it started to rain, we went to the aquarium! I love aquariums so much because I get to look at one of the most cool animals in the world. Fish! If you are two-years-old, like I am, you will love this aquarium. But if you are a mom, you will think it is a little creepy. They have giant turtles, crocodiles, and other very large animals in very small, windowless rooms. They were very pretty.
Soon it was time to go shopping! Take your mom to the store by the fish market that sells all sorts of nautical clothing. She will buy you whatever you want because she can’t resist how adorable the stuff for kids is. Check out the hat she bought me, which I will never wear even though I promised I would.
At night we went to a restaurant called “Les Mouettes,” which means “The Seagulls.” And they had seagulls painted on their ceiling! I wish my mom would paint birds on my ceiling. Maybe then I’d sleep in my own bed. I was super excited to have fish since we saw the fishermen unloading their boxes of fish behind the fish market. But when my children’s plate of fresh cod appeared in front of me, I decided to stick with the bread. The nice man at the restaurant let me sit in a booster chair and gave me crayons and a weird picture of Batman to color. That night I slept terribly in the hotel. I missed Daddy. But the next morning, I was ready to go!
We walked around the town for a little while “admiring the architecture,” and looking for these pretty pictures on the sides of buildings painted by this extremely talented artist called Raymond Savignac. He knows how to draw a man with a moon for a head. Brilliant.
We stopped into a couple pretty churches and I got to light a candle! Here’s a tip: If your mom says you can only have ummies (breastfeed) at home, take her to a church. She’ll relent and say “well ok, since this is God’s home, I guess it’s ok.”
Then it was time for me to take a nap, so I fell asleep in my stroller and I don’t know what my mom did while I was out. But when I woke up she was stuffing her face at an outdoor table at a fancy restaurant by the river. To my delight, there was a huge basket of fresh French bread and a little bowl of butter. Now butter is one of life’s great delights. So you can imagine my great joy to discover that in Normandy, they give you butter with the bread, which for some very odd reason, they don’t do in Paris. I gobbled up the whole thing despite my mom’s attempts to feed me fish and spinach.
Another awesome thing about restaurants in Normandy are the “nanus.” Here I am riding one. If you don’t know what a “nanu” is, I will explain. A nanu is something you can ride on or drive. It usually has wheels, and sometimes it has a light on the top that blinks. I could have rode on this “nanu” all day, but my mom said we had to go because we only had a little more time until we had to catch our train back to Paris. Visions of being naked flashed through my toddler head.
Here’s another reason why Trouville-Sur-Mer is such a smart city and really gets us kids. Playgrounds on the beach. Enough said. I put up a fight when it was time to go. Why would anyone want to leave this sand strewn place of bouncy fishies is beyond me, but my mom said the train was not going to wait for us. Why not? She wrestled me into my stroller and booked it to the station. Turned out we had plenty of time before our train. Duh. So we went for a little walk into Deauville, the town across the river, and we found a little bowl with my name on it! Finally, we boarded our train.
Here’s what I learned about the trains in Normandy. If you look out the window, you’ll see a rainbow! Blue, green, blue, purple, brown, red! And then I fell asleep.