I am looking for any and all guidance... We (husband and 3 children) have been living in Italy since summer of 2012, to depart this July (insert sigh here). For each child's birthday, we've gone on a trip, taking advantage of those fabulous Ryan Air fares. My daughter's birthday trip is scheduled for mid-June, and my husband and I have decided on Normandy. We chose Normandy first of all because my soon to be 11-year-old girl is passionate about cheese, (our stay in Umbria has been a bit wearying for her in that way) and 3 of her top 5 cheeses are made in Normandy. Also, it's a part of France we've never been to, and have always been curious about. Add in impressionism (she has been known to spend an hour at a museum sketching) and apples and seafood, and it sounds like a winner. Maybe it's a funny reason to travel, but that is pretty much what this year has been like, and it's worked splendidly.
Here's where I'd love ANY guidance-- we are not interested in classic medieval towns that are built of stone (half timbered is lovely), since we've been living in one and would like something different. And we're not that interested in D-Day sites. We'll have a car, and like to take our time. So ideally, we'd spend a few days in a bustling, larger town/city, and then a few days somewhere tranquil, preferably farm-like, and ideally in view of the ocean, where we can visit nearby towns at our leisure.
We have found that we struggle with tourists. Will go out of our way to avoid them. We don't feel the need to visit tourist destinations, we much prefer to wander, and eat, and wander, and sketch, and wander, and eat some more. We love festivals, the smaller the better. We are budget conscious, for reasons of necessity, but also we enjoy traveling close the ground, if that makes sense.
Summing up, we're looking for less stoney medieval and less touristed, one bustling place and one bucolic place, access to cheese and art and nature.
So-- TA folks-- where would you send us?
Huge thanks in advance for any and all input.