I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Travel to Le Mans

Driving to Le Mans....Danny driving and Travis as co-pilot...They made a good team

Our room at the Novotel

We took a tram into the city

Beautiful scenery everywhere we look

Walking in the Old City

My obsession with city lighting continues

Walking in the Old City

Sunset in Le Mans

The French reinforced the wall by building on top of the Roman wall

Saint Julien Cathedral

beautiful architecture on the cathedral

we see a lot of flowers in window boxes

An example of the half timbered houses in the old part of Le Mans

The Pizzeria where we ate dinner

Edna and Renee shared this wonderful tomato and vinaigrette salad

Travis's pizza with Chorizo

Profiteroles for me....a personal favorite

Gabriel with a rather festive dessert of ice cream

Dinner with cousins Marie-Noelle and her son Gabriel
Today began with a lazy morning as Danny could not pick up the rental car until 12 noon. The Tiramisu last night was soaked with cafe cognac and was delicious, but Danny, Edna, and I are very sensitive to caffeine and had a difficult time going to sleep. We were thankful for a later morning. Cathy met Danny at the hotel and together they went to pick up the car. Goodbyes were said all around and off we went. We were driving in a Peugot 5800 minivan and it is VERY mini! There was room for us and our luggage and nothing else. After driving for about an hour or so, we stopped for a quick bite at a convenience store. We picked up sandwiches, chips, and cookies and ate our picnic lunch in the car. We were trying to get to Le Mans as early as we could because we had started so late. At our second rest stop, the men's room was being cleaned so Danny and Travis waited while all the other men in the store used the ladies room with all the ladies! Danny and Travis refused to go in but were more than shocked when they were finally allowed in the men's room and then women began to come in while they were in there because the ladies' room was being cleaned! Our travel was uneventful until we actually arrived in Le Mans. We took a couple of wrong turns around a traffic circle and ended up circling back around a time or two. Finally with the help of google maps, we found the correct street to turn onto, but Danny turned too early and found himself driving on the tram tracks. Once we brought that to his attention, he jumped a curb as carefully as he could and got us back on the correct road. His siblings had been telling him to get in touch with his "inner John", meaning "drive more like daddy so that we would get there faster" and I guess he managed to do so. For those who knew my father in law, you could imagine him in the exact same situation I am sure. Finally we arrived in Le Mans safe and sound and were met by cousin Marie-Noelle and her son Gabriel at her apartment. She had a fruit tart and beverages ready for us before Gabriel took us to our hotel. Danny, Travis, and I are staying at the Novotel and Renee and Edna are staying at Marie-Noelle's. Before dinner, we took a tram into the city center which is the oldest part of Le Mans. The area dates back to between 4,000 and 5,000 B.C. as a sacred spot. Around 280, the fortification wall was built and this Roman wall protected and defined the historic center of the city. It is known as the only one of it's kind in France and one of the best preserved walls in the entire ancient Roman Empire. The Plantagenet dynasty began in Le Mans in 1128 with the marriage of Geofrey V, "the handsome", Count of Anjou, to Empress Matilda, the daughter of the English king Henry I. It is also the birthplace of the future King of England, King Henry II. The buildings are obviously very old and the architecture consists of half-timbered houses and Renaissance mansions lining cobblestone streets. Many of the homes have been renovated into apartments. We enjoyed walking along the streets and seeing the outside of the Saint Julien Cathedral. We ate supper at a delicious Pizza restaurant which our cousins tell us is very authentic. We finished our evening visiting with our cousins about family history at Marie-Noelle's home and are back at the hotel. Here is my deep French thought of the day....if the name for fish is "poisson", then when you are fishing in France, are you "poissoning"? This was a very innocent comment that I made while we were driving which brought peals of laughter from my traveling companions! Travis made me post this. Until tomorrow.

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