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Well, the trip did NOT begin according to plan. I came down with a mysterious malady and spent seven hours trapped in a plane with a high school marching band from Michigan……sick sick sique. Won’t go into gory detail…you don’t want to know…..but it kind of set the tone for the first day.

Because when we got to Gare Du Nord in Paris, with me sticking my head in a bag, first thing that happened was that my friend Adam had his wallet snatched. Credit cards, €200, drivers license…..gone in a flash.

While I sat on the floor because there aren’t any benches in the station, retching at random, my sister Joan and Adam filed a report with the police. Which did nothing. But to cut to the chase, the money was gone, Adam cancelled the cards immediately, and Joan went to the drugstore and got me some medicine.

We FINALLY gathered the whole group…..seemed like forever. People kept coming over to me to check if I was still alive. They offered Tylenol. Pepto Bismol. Ginger candy. No, really, just let me sit here and die.

On the walk to the bus, a couple blocks from the station, in the rain, dragging luggage and stuff, we had to walk through some construction past some barricades. A construction ‘official’ stared at us. We stared at the barricades. Our wonderful tour guide, a charming Brit called Paddy, a chubby, jolly old elf, instructed us to follow him under the fencing, the construction guy ‘helping’. Paddy ducked under a portion of fence, zigged when he should have zagged, and well, he became wedged in the fence. With his luggage.

Construction official, trying to avoid a lawsuit and be helpful, started pushing on Paddy’s head, the way you see on TV when the cops are putting a perp in the back seat of the cop car. An anxious mob formed. The pushing on the head wasn’t working real well. The rain continued. The tour patrons looked on, jet lagged and helpless. I stared, stupefied.

Finally, something worked and Paddy was able to be dragged out from the killer fence, head still attached. Mon dieu! His reaction ( read this in a British accent): “Dearie me!”

Got on the bus, went to sleep, didn’t care.

The medicine worked and I felt better by the time we got to the Pegasus Bridge. Take a look….

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That was all about enough for D-Day – 2. I have more to report for D-1, but I have to go to bed early because tomorrow morning, we have to get out at 4:30 so we can head out to Carentan, be vetted by the US Secret Service, and creep our way through the restricted traffic areas and be at the American Cemetery at St. Laurent, Colleville Sur Mer. Fifteen heads of state and heads of government will be there, including Obama, Queen Elizabeth and oh, yes, Vladimir Putin. Envision that scene.

I have to have some Calvados now. Look it up. Be back later.

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