Megyn, Doug, and the kids just returned from a two-week trip to France, where they explored the cities and countrysides, backroads and beaches. With stops in Paris, Provence, St. Tropez, and Normandy, it’s safe to say they saw a lot. But it’s not just the sights that Megyn is taking with her.
On Monday’s show, Megyn returned with a recap of her family vacation and explained why she was sad to leave (no, it wasn’t just the baguettes and the wine).
The Beauty of Traveling Together
One of the best things about traveling with your family is two weeks solid of the core fam together – all day every day. Don’t underestimate that. When else do you get that? During school and work everyone is busy. You are not together all day long. If you’re lucky, you get your family dinner together and maybe family breakfast.
But this is a time in which we really get to talk about everything, in which we are re-familiarizing ourselves with everything about each other. Think about it: You’re having three meals a day with your kids, you’re traveling with your kids, you’re seeing sights with your kids, you’re talking about random things with your kids. And, yes, there can be minor skirmishes. But, for the most part, we all got along.
We wound up learning things about each child that I didn’t know going into the trip. In some cases, they revealed concerns we hadn’t been aware of, or social dynamics that were on their minds, or we just had the opportunity to share stories with each other, life lessons, and so on.
Megyn in Paris
We went all around France, saw the Eiffel Tower in Paris, saw the Mona Lisa in the Louvre. That was amazing. I’ve seen the Mona Lisa before, but when we got up close and personal, I actually got the chills. It’s great when something can do that to you.
Did you know that at the top of the Eiffel Tower there is a tiny apartment that Gustave Eiffel built for himself? I had never been up there. This picture is supposed to be Eiffel on the right, Thomas Edison on the left, and Eiffle’s daughter standing behind them.
Apparently this actually happened. Edison visited Eiffel at the top of the tower in his little apartment. Two of the world’s greatest visionaries sitting up there on top of the world, discussing God knows what. It’s 81-stories up. I just can’t fathom how that must have gone.
Passing Through Provence
We went to Provence, where we rented e-bikes. We rode everywhere. That was amazing. In retrospect, it was probably dangerous to put our 9 year old on one of those things and let him go 40 kilometers an hour, but thank God we escaped unscathed.
The entire place seemed like one big bike trail. We pulled over for a bit to smell and touch the lavender in the blossoming expansive fields of purple. Now is the time for that in France, and it was nice to do something with no point other than sensory enjoyment – the smell, the visual, all of it was beautiful.
The highlight of the e-bike ride was the cherries and the cherry trees. These were the freshest, ripest, most delicious cherries any of us had ever eaten. We could hardly stop ourselves.
When you get it fresh off the tree like that, it looks nothing like and tastes nothing like what you get in the grocery store. It’s like a Frankenstein version. It was a reminder of how much better things are fresh from the garden or farm.
Suns Out, Buns Out in St. Tropez
We ended the trip in St. Tropez where the views around our hotel of the Mediterranean, the French countryside, and the hotel gardens were out of this world. It was absolutely serene. Believe it or not, we ran into entrepreneur and CEO Grant Cardone. I spoke at an event of his in Vegas a couple months back. We enjoyed a day with his family and his friends on the sea and then out to lunch.
I’ll get to more of what we saw on the beaches of St. Tropez and elsewhere in France. Let’s just say, they’re not so big a fan of clothing. There’s a lot of nudity, and it’s always the unattractive ones, isn’t it? It’s old fat men letting it all hang out. I got an up close and personal experience with one of them. More on that here.
Paying Respects in Normandy
Right now, it’s the beaches of Normandy I want to talk about. That’s where we began our trip – nearly 79 years to the day from the D-Day invasion, the site of some of the greatest acts of heroism the world has ever seen. We visited Pointe du Hoc and Omaha Beach, walked amidst the enormous bomb craters still there that were created by the allied planes as they tried to provide air cover for our guys storming the beaches below.
We stood on the sands of those very beaches – and our kids drew tributes to the fallen in the sand. It was an eerie thing to stand there with them, sweetly digging in the sand, knowing the blood and treasure that had been lost on that hallowed ground.
We learned about men like James Earl Rudder, the commanding officer of 2nd Battalion 75th Rangers Regiment out of Texas. The Rangers had to climb up 100-foot ropes to the top of Pointe du Hoc while taking machine gun fire and dodging grenades from above. They lost 50 percent of their men, but they made it to the top and destroyed the German gun batteries housing the enemy fire. They helped establish a beachhead for the Allied forces, seemingly without a care for their own safety or lives. In all, around 133,000 troops from the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain landed on D-Day.
The danger was too grave to comprehend.
As we stood at that very spot overlooking the 100-foot cliffs that our guys scaled so bravely eight decades ago, it got me thinking about why they did it and whether that level of sacrifice would happen today. In 1984, on the fortieth anniversary of D-Day, President Ronald Reagan spoke to many of the veterans in the same spot we visited:
“Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns… Soon, one by one, the rangers pulled themselves over the top and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe…
These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc… These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent… who all knew that somethings are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for. Democracy is worth dying for because it is the most deeply admirable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny. You knew the people of your countries were behind you.
The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They fought – or felt in their hearts, though they couldn’t know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4a.m. In Kansas, they were kneeling on their porches and praying. In Philadelphia, they were ringing the liberty bell…”– President Ronald Reagan, June 6, 1984
The nation came together in a common purpose. The people joined in prayer to support those on the front lines, understanding that this mission was greater than themselves. We felt similar feelings after 9/11. But that seems like a lifetime ago right now. There’s no question that our elite fighters of the American military would do what was asked of them and do it with bravery and skill. The question is whether America could unite behind any similar cause these days; whether we will ever recapture the feeling of e pluribus unum – out of many, one. I’m worried.
Megyn’s Takeaway: Put in the Time
So my advice coming out of this is: Take a family vacation if you can. Don’t bring other kids to entertain your kids. I know it’s easier on you in some ways. But you spend the time with them. Put in the effort. You won’t be sorry.
It got so good and we got so close, I was sad to leave France. But it was more about leaving that dynamic. I was happy to return to the show, return to America and all the conveniences that we have here like snacks – they don’t snack in France; I miss my snacks.
In any event, just remember that: Put in the time with the family.
You can check out part two of Megyn’s Talking Points memo by tuning in to episode 575 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.