French home stays, excursions, expand Crestview visitors' horizons

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 05:57 PM.

"I'd sew my fingers together if I tried that," Coffield said.

Crestview visitors who compared Noirmoutier's oysters with those from Florida found the oblong-shelled French variety more flavorful.

"But I still don't like oysters," Diamond said after forcing one down.

Viewing the Bayeux Tapestry — which depicts events preceding Normans' England conquest — and Mont Saint-Michel, an island monastery in Normandy, contrasted with the somber experience of the vast American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.

"What a tragic waste of young lives," Richard Baker-Rian said, shaking his head as he walked between endless rows of crosses.

Under a medieval cathedral’s towering Gothic vaulted ceiling, Rip Coleman whipped out his flute and played a melody .

"It had tremendous acoustics," Coleman said. "It made the music come alive."

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