I am considering flying to CDG on July 1 and renting a car to drive up north, make some scenic stops along the way and spend a couple of days in Normandy and then back to CDG to fly home on the 4th. Is this a heavy traffic time? Is renting a car a good idea? What are the best stops along the way - both up and back down to Paris? Is there another city that's better to fly into that has direct flights from New York? Any other suggestions for us?