Friday, February 11, 2011


mads in france.

my best day yet. i was in absolute HEAVEN. why you ask? because we went to the beach. i love the beach, and it was the most gorgeous day. i decided to be brave and to leave my coat in the car, and i didn't even need it. at first we were all wandering around cautiously with our shoes on and finally i gave in. the shoes came off, the jeans were rolled up, and i hit the waves. i cannot describe how amazing it was or how happy i was. more leaping. more dancing. lots of laughing. the feeling of sand between my toes is definitely one of my favorite things in the world. the sun and the wind and the waves reminded me of home. we ended up staying for an hour, taking at least 500 pictures, and i loved every minute. i didn't want to leave, but i had beachy hair and sand in my shoes the rest of the day, so i couldn't stop smiling.
as i said it was the most beautiful day, and we were the ONLY ones on the beach. right before we had visited the normandy cemetery where about 10,000 americans who gave their lives on D Day and throughout the war in France are buried. the museum was interesting, and the cemetery was mind blowing. i made it through the museum a little faster then our group and the tour group behind us and was lucky enough to have a few minutes with just me, the sun, and the thousands and thousands of graves. it was such a peaceful moment. i was just filled with gratitude for all those eddies, johns, charlies, richards, and every unknown who had gone into such intense battle and risked and given up their lives for peace and freedom. wow. it was beautiful. and then to venture down onto the beach where that battle was fought. the beautiful, serene, calm, and endless beach. it was hard to imagine that on june 6, 1944 the beach was anything but that. chaos, gun fire, death, and water literally blood red. what a contrast. i'd like to consider the pure joy that we all felt on the beach a celebration of the lives and freedom we are lucky to have. i am so blessed. and i felt it. i love the beach, but that beach was especially special.
we finsihed up as mont st. michel which was just as neat as i had always thought it would be. we waited for the sun to set and to see the lights. another beautiful sight and a perfect way to end the day. plenty more pictures were taken today... here are just a few. ( oh, and guess what? i wore the frock today! love.)

frock, meet france.

the frock heads to the normandy american cemetery.
on and on and on
thanks to the unknown soldier.
gorgeous girl
the frock hits the beach
sunny close up
girls jump.
shoes off today

bare feet.
symmetrybeach leaps
then we started doing acrobatic tricks
do they not look like the pill bugs in 'a bug's life'?
too cool
impossible to keep your shoes on at the beach.
the tide literally came in to allisons boots. oops
drew almost dropped me in!
love this light

same scarf
looking classy with our waist ties.
fierce friends. (katrina, emily, kira)
jamie gave us all a little squat lesson while we waited for the sun to go down.
dr. hancock is planning on hiring her as a personal trainer
mont st. in all its glory
i really liked this strange blue light.'the best durned review mirror view i've done ever seen in ma whole entire life!"
i'm not quite sure why, but jamie and i started teasing allison a little bit by repeating everything she said with super super intense 'hick' accents. we were both in tears laughing so hard. sorry if we hurt your feelins al. but i jest durn loved it!
oh p.s. i meant western france. we are in north western france.
sunshine and tanlines. (almost)


  1. What a great day! I knew you would love both, Normandy and Mont St. Michel. I can't wait to see all of your pictures. The frock got a very special day in France! I love you.

  2. mont st. michel was a stop I had wanted to make while in France and never did! Jealous

  3. Hey Maddie!
    Your sister said you were keeping a really cool blog and this is by far the best entry yet. I can only imagine all the powerful emotions you must have felt being on that beach. I've thought about seeing that beach from time to time and you described what I've always thought I would feel there. I just really appreciate what you wrote :)

    Hope your trip continues to be grand and I would love to catch up with you sometime when you're back in the US (California or Montana).


  4. Madsy dear, this is a most touching blog today. Grandma and I visited Normandy Beach last summer. And a few years previous to this a young German bell captain at the Paris Marriott took us in the hotel manager's car to see the area. At the end of the excursion he said, "Mr. Hart, I did not know about this battle between us and the Americans. It is not in our text books. I am ashamed today as I see what we did to thousands of American soldiers-so young and innocent. And we slaughtered them by the thousands." We were so touched and then so appreciated the sacrifice of these young men so that we can enjoy our freedom. Your story is so inspiring to read.
    And Mont St. Michel was where we walked ever so slowly up the huge steps to the top where we had a similar view and experience--yet not in blue. Your pictures are wonderful. Thanks for sharing the trip and the feeling with us. Love, Grandpa and Grandma Hart.

  5. I remember the beach at Normandy. what an emotional experience. so glad you were able to see it. that's some serious history for our country. hey how did the girls get in 'the standing on the shoulders' pose? impressive!