Other posts on this trip: Getting to Our Little House.

Dieppe was the nearest city to where we were staying in France. We spent an afternoon tooling around there, and we also poked around in some other gorgeous spots in the area near the little house.

Like this estate at the golf course in St. Saens, no big deal. This is a restaurant, folks.

restauraunt at Golf du St SaensThat’s Hannah and my mother-in-law Cora already looking like a family trip photo in a dusty old album. I am an excellent photographer (this is sarcasm).

That’s where we had dinner on our first night in France, and it was quite amazing. Possibly our best meal of the whole trip; it was a really inexpensive three-course prix fixe. No one spoke English (quelle surprise!), but they were so gracious with our French. I am the least of the French speakers in our party, next to Hannah, and they gave me a warm look of pity and tolerance as I tried to order dinner in French. They were also wonderful with Hannah, who spent a while playing on the enormous staircase inside with her Granddad Ian.

Okay, back to Dieppe. This post will be full of non sequiturs. And cheese, always cheese.

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Isn’t this just a sublime little spot to take a walk? They have whitish cliffs like Dover, although theirs are really more like hills.

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By the time we got ourselves mobilized that day (after a three hour dinner the night before with a toddler), pretty much every restaurant in Dieppe had already closed for lunch. This was the first indication to Adam and I that we were in Europe; it is not always possible to find food just whenever you feel like eating it, and you must plan accordingly.

I seriously wanted to eat everything on that sign, plus the sign. All. The. Moules.

But, the most we could find after walking the entire harbor side and then looping around to the ocean side of the city was a cafe that originally told us they would only sell us some Normandy cider.

dieppe4I was more than happy to accept this as a small consolation prize (Normandy cider is delicious, you guys). But then my stepfather-in-law magically cajoled the waitress into bringing us some salad and a few nibbles.

dieppe5By 3pm in the afternoon, this was the most amazing meal I had ever seen. I also had a cheese plate, but the only photo I have is this one:

dieppe6I ate all of it. I may have even growled at someone when they tried to sample some, I’m not sure. I went into a kind of a trance. Also, how fancy is it to drink your hard cider in big wine goblets? I am bringing that into fashion here.

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A crumbly wall. I thought this must have been damaged during The War, with new structures built directly into the broken barricade. The powers of Google actually told us it was washed away by water over many years.

dieppe8Europe is crazy with churches, you probably already know that. This is the Church of St. Jacques. I have to say, on this trip in particular, the architecture gave me endless inspiration for quilt designs. I still have to actually sit down and, you know, design the quilts. But I’ve got so many ideas.

dieppe8I mean, this is just a grate and it looks like a great quilt.

dieppe9You might not think elaborate and insanely detailed carvings like this would bring about fabric inspiration, but…you’d be wrong. Plus, look at the ceiling! That design was everywhere in Norman churches, this great star anise shape and feeling.

dieppe10Dieppe was also where we learned that Hannah really, really digs carousels. Like, she cries if we leave after one ride. I rode with her the first time in Dieppe…then I just held her the second time…then we went on more carousels in more places…she can pretty much run the control booth at this point.

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Also, her Granddad Ian nearly got arrested running through a fountain with her. This was a pic that I Instagrammed at the time, but I still love it. Look at her face! Granddads are made for mischief. There were two police officers standing behind me as I took this photo, and they were busy looking out at the harbor. Ian says it’s all about timing, catching the police in a good mood, and putting on your most innocent face if you get in trouble. I think if a gendarme saw this look from Hannah he would let it pass.

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Lest you think all we did that first day was lollygag around some picturesque Medieval French city, let me assure you that we also paid a visit to our local French hypermarket for supplies. Basically the French equivalent of Walmart or Target, but on a whole other level, they even have completely different Sodastream flavors. And since this was Europe, they actually had real ingredients in them. I don’t know why this tickled Adam and I so much, but it’s entirely possible that our luggage was weighed down by a few bottles we brought home with us.

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Fish counter at the hypermarket, nbd.

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Oh, wait. They also have amazing cheese?

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And charcuterie?! Seriously, this is nothing like a Walmart or Target. AT ALL.

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I’m throwing in this photo of Hannah at our dinner spot that evening just to highlight the hilariously difficult time we had feeding ourselves at first. We bought all kinds of supplies at the hypermarket but really no ingredients to cook and feed ourselves an actual meal. (The process of planning a meal with 4 very different adults and a toddler while standing in the middle of a French Tarjay with French signs was not an undertaking Adam and I were up for. Way too jetlagged).

I didn’t take any photos of our actual meal, but when we decided to venture out for dinner on a Tuesday night we learned that this is a surprisingly difficult task. It was off season, and I can’t remember if that was why we had trouble, but seriously everything was closed.

We drove past this restaurant in search of another one and had to double back when that plan didn’t work. We stumbled into a “restaurant” full of burly men smoking that looked more like an off track betting parlour with a couple of folding chairs in it, and thankfully they were not serving food that day. *shudders*

It turned out that this place was having a private party, but they graciously tucked us at a table just around the corner and largely within the eye-line of the birthday party that had clearly rented out the place for the night. We ordered one course and ate it as fast as humanly possible to get out of the way of the festivities (I don’t even think they had their entrees by the time our food came). I do remember that I won at dinner that night by ordering the most delicious duck au poivre. Everyone else had fish that was okay, but nothing to write home about. I got some looks from my family that night. Hungry, jealous looks.

Also, Hannah loves playing with her dad’s watch and wearing his sunglasses, and it was keeping her happy and quiet, so we let her have at it.

I have so many more photos to post.