I’m back in the land of the Food Network and Tex-Mex! It’s about 5:30 AM and I’m jetlagged so I thought it would be a perfect time to update the blog. So I havn’t posted in a while because I’ve been lazy but mostly because my laptop stopped working! After talking to dad (programmer extraordinaire) we’ve concluded I have a virus…So this last week in France has been a test in patience; do you realize how much we use our computers?? Luckily I had WiFi on my iPhone so I wasn’t completely disconnected from the world but definitely not in a position to write a post.
And now, I’m home! I’m in Dallas for a little over a week before I head to DC for New Years! I’m so happy to be back (as always) but it was so sad to leave Nantes! I don’t think I’ll be able to do it in May when I’m done working…guess I just have to find another job in France! :)
The past two weeks in Nantes have been filled with multiple trips to the Christmas Markets, including the l’Autre Marche, an alternative/hippie version of a Christmas market across the street from the real ones. They have vin chaud and foie gras stands but all of the other stands include homemade/eco friendly items…and there’s something about charity and benefitting people in Madigascar…it wasn’t clear on that issue. I bought a couple cute handmade presents there!
We also celebrated Christmas with the assistants last weekend by having a big dinner (which included lots of desserts and a buche de noel aka a yule log) and a Yankee Swap gift exchange! I actually cooked something this time and made this Shallot, spinach, goat cheese, brown butter pasta from one of my favorite blogs and it was SO good! It was another great assistant gathering and I received an Asterix book from the gift exchange! After the dinner, we went into Bouffay and met up with some French friends and spent a nuit blanche at a friend’s apartment playing “Chinese whispers” and talking about French politics until 6 AM.
This past weekend also included a “British” (as British as I can be) Afternoon Tea at my place with a couple friends. Yorkshire gold and McVities…yum!
This last week, Jack, Anna, and I took a trip to the LU! So the LU, which stands for Lefèvre-Utile, is a biscuit factory that was founded by Jean-Romain Lefèvre in 1846. You may recognize LU from these biscuits:
The name LU was taken from his name and his wife’s last name, Utile. It is really pretty on the outside but they don’t make the biscuits here anymore, so the space is used as a cultural center (called le Lieu Unique), with art exhibits, plays, dance performances, and a bar! You can also go up to the top of the biscuit tower and get a pretty good view of Nantes, we even spotted Jack’s foyer in Reze! We also learned that there used to be another tower across from this one that straddled the Loire river but the river got filled in in that area and the other tower was destroyed. You can get these biscuits in the US but they’re really popular in France and it’s a claim to fame for Nantes!
I spent the last two weeks at school teaching about Christmas in the US and comparing/contrasting it to French Christmas…it’s pretty similar but I’m so excited to decorate the tree today and have Christmas dinner tonight with the family that’s in town for the weekend. We’re planning a French dessert night with my besties tomorrow where we’ll have crepes and some Muscadet!
I’m looking forward to going back to Nantes but I’m going to be so sad to return and not see Christmas decorations everywhere. It’s been so fun to see the markets go up and walk through them everyday and to walk by Place de Bouffay and see this set up!
So much Christmas spirit in little Nantes! But knowing Nantes, I’m sure there will be some kind of Green exhibition or interesting art project popping up soon.