It's fun to notice random small changes that I've already made. I find myself searching the internet for "best ways to wear a scarf" when I've never really been into them at home. I find that I'm buying more solid color (like black) items and using colorful accessories to dress them up. That's not to say I've traded in my American clothes, nor do I plan to. I'm happy to adapt to the culture, but for now I still want to keep certain things the same.
On the topic of scarves, French women wear them in a 100 different ways that all look perfect; mine still look like a 5 year old dressed me, but I'll get there! I spend far too much time currently staring at French scarves and trying to figure out how to properly pull one off. I think I managed on my first day back in France though with the classic "fold in half and pull through the loop" style I learned many years ago in New York.
I meant to add my Le Mans photos to my first post, but things got busy and it was set to post on Thursday, so you have a photo-less post! So, here are a few pictures of Le Mans! First, a view of the city from my hotel - a pretty typical French town.
When I first arrived in Le Mans, I knew I needed to get out in the sun and get active to fight off jet lag. I wasn't sure where anything really was, but I'd already left the hotel with no real internet access, so I just followed what appeared to be the main road. I knew that properties were quite affordable in Civray, but was curious about Le Mans when I passed by a real estate shop. As it turns out, they're quite affordable compared to Portland as well - about $280k USD for brand new house - 3 bedroom, 2 car garage! Turns out that moving to an actual city after a few years is a legitimate possibility.
I took a couple of other random pictures as I walked around and found my way to a path by the river. First, the local "sporting" hotel. I'm not entirely certain what differentiates a "sporting" hotel from other sorts of hotels, but there you have it:
I also found this old, partially burnt out building interesting. Most buildings here are made of stone, not wood structures like at home, so it's uncommon for something to actually burn to the ground or "burn down." Curious what happened here though - perhaps it was a hookah incident given the hookah signs?
It was a real challenge to find somewhere to eat dinner on Sunday night, even in a bigger city like Le Mans; however, I was there because it was cheaper/easier to ride into work with PB the next day, so he made sure I didn't starve! He very thoughtfully chose to look for an open restaurant near the Cathedral so I could see the most beautiful part of the city, which it certainly was! I had thought I couldn't really be impressed by French churches anymore, since I've seen so many of them, but the exterior architecture of this one was extraordinary. A short climb up the stairs took us to a meandering walk through the picturesque "old city," which retains enough of it's original look that I'm told it is often used for period films.
Unfortunately, none of the restaurants with an actual view of the cathedral were open for dinner, so a slight modification of the plans was necessary, but there was a small restaurant open in the old village, so we weren't forced to find the nearest McDonald's!