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).
*insert frowny face*