Friday, April 5, 2013

Pâques en Auvergne

This is Clermont-Ferrand. I took the photo from one of those rest stops designed for taking in the scenery. It's a very special spot for The Husband... years ago, The Husband's grandfather would drive him back to boarding school on Monday mornings, and they would always stop there and have pains au chocolat for breakfast. It's a sweet memory and he tells me the story every time we drive past it so I finally made him stop.  

Clermont-Ferrand is smack dab in the middle of France in the Auvergne region, six hours north of Le Petit Village. It's where The Husband grew up and where his mother and grandmother live. 

It's also where ASM Clermont Auvergne play so it's basically The Husband's spiritual home. The stadium happens to be next to the hospital where French Nana is recovering from surgery at the moment (she's OK, no need to worry). So it was awfully convenient... go see French Nana, pop over to le stade

Behind the stadium is this Michelin tire museum (it actually says: Michelin Adventure, discover a world of novelties... now if that doesn't sound like a hoot hollering good time, I don't know what does!) You see, Clermont-Ferrand is the home of Michelin. Yep, the Michelin Man is from the same place as The Husband. They might have even gone to the same school. I'll have to check that out.  

Besides visiting The Husband's spiritual home in the form of rugby stadium and tire museums, Auvergne is also the place where The Husband reverts back to his childhood and plays NBA Jam on his old Super Nintendo. 

How ridiculous is that photo? But that's what he does every morning at his mom's house until she yells for him to come down for breakfast. It's like I'm Marty McFly and I've walked into 1995. I blame his mother, she's the one that has decided to leave his room exactly as it was when he left for boarding school when he was eleven (toy cars and stuffed animals included). 

But her nostalgia does mean that I get to discover gems like this tray painted by The Husband when he was a little boy (I'm hoping he painted it when he was a little boy anyway... I'm actually not too sure, there's no date on it)

Auvergne is also a place where it snows on Easter. Now I know Easter was early this year but come on! The poor Easter Bunny must have been freezing. And who wants to go on a hunt for les oeufs de Pâques in the snow? I certainly don't. But what I certainly will do is dress Fifty up as the Easter Bunny.

Besides the Easter Bunny bringing chocolate in France, bells do as well. The story goes that on Good Friday, the church bells aren't only remaining silent in acknowledgement of the death of Jesus, but also because they aren't there. They've flown to Rome to see the Pope. And since you can never go on holiday without picking up a few pressies for those back home, the bells return on Easter morning with chocolates for the children.  And that's why besides chocolate bunnies, you'll find a lot of chocolate bells too. Like this chocolate bell decorating our Easter cake. 

There was also a baby chick wearing a bandanna and sunglasses decorating the cake. None of us could figure out what that was all about (the baby chick yes, the bandanna and sunglasses, no). 
And that's my long weekend in Auvergne in an Easter eggshell. On Tuesday we left the cold behind as we drove farther and farther south, back to Provence and back into Spring. Except when we got here it was raining.

*insert frowny face*


P.S. Don't forget your homework from the other day 1. As of right this second, there is still 16 hours left to enter the giveaway and 2. If you've got a question for The Husband, now is the time to ask! Pop on over to this post and ask away!


  1. This post makes me want to ask why the husband went away to boarding school instead of to one of the schools in Clermont-Ferrand. My cousin Christine is from Clermont-Ferrand and her family still lives there.

    1. The boarding school was in Clermont-Ferrand. His family actually lives an hour outside of the city.

  2. Super Nintendo... got to be done LOL, the tray is so sweet, I like the eye lashes - matching the sun! The bunny ears are brilliant, I think my pup needs some for next Easter! Happy you had a nice time.

  3. It looks like you had a fun Easter. I have to admit Super Nintendo is pretty much the only console that I like playing. I'm a bit of a dork like that. And that cake is beautiful!!!!

  4. That cake looks amazing. As does fifty with his bunny ears.

  5. OMG Fifty just put a huge grin on my face. That dog is destined for fame, the big fool! xo

  6. Super cute photo of Fifty as the Easter bunny!

  7. But, Sara, have you ever danced "sur le pont"? that's all I know about Avignon ..

  8. Yay for old school nintendo...and lvoe Fifty as the Easter bunny. Nice touching story about the memory with grandfather too. love that.

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

  9. Oh I love the fact that your husband and his grandfather always stopped there to eat pains au chocolat!
    And I am glad French Nana is fine!
    Fifty is a great Easter bunny by the way!

  10. This post is too cute - your husband reminds me of my brother, who has his N64 set up in his bedroom and swears he plays that more than any other system (I call bullshit, because he once played Call of Duty for 8 hours without coming up for air).
    Glad French grandmere is okay! And that I can see what a talented artist your hubs is! ;) xox

  11. We almost got kicked out of Michelin Adventure... The boys set off one too many sirens by touching the tires. NOT a toddler friendly museum! Thanks for taking me momentarily back to CF...

  12. Looks like a special plus and SO prime that the super nintendo is still set up - don't even act like you didn't play :P

    This also reminds me of the HIMYM where Marshall moves home for awhile

  13. I am so jealous of that Nintendo!!!

  14. The bells go on their easter holidays to Rome. Of course they do... :oD

    Loving the room set up, he doesn't look at all overgrown for that space ;o)

  15. I love the tray! If I saw it in a store, I would buy it in a second.

    The cake is to die for. Whipped cream (I can't stop looking at it), powdered sugar, strawberries, chocolate. Heaven.


  16. This sounds like a lovely trip- and I had no idea about the bells on Easter in France, that's such a great tradition!! x

  17. fifty is definitely rocking those bunny ears.

    the shot of gregory playing nintendo is hilarious.....but so true. i took my son a few years back to wait in line for some game that was going on sale at midnight and he was the only boy in line - the rest were all grown men!! the gaming industry has them all by the b*&^s!!!

    p.s. the tray is adorable (but do check that date, he seems awfully proud of it hahaha :))

  18. Aww this makes me miss the C-F just a little! ;)

  19. The old super nintendo still works?!? I want to play!!


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