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We live one block from the square that is the center of downtown Clermont-Ferrand. Here they call downtown, Centreville. The square is huge and has lots of statues and Brooklyn is always excited to see the horse statue. During the week parents bring their kids to the square to ride their bikes. At night and especially on the weekends the square is packed. It is even more packed at night. There are so many banks, restaurants, bars, and shops near the square so everyone comes here. The French tend to eat dinner about 7 or 8 so restaurants don’t open until late. Michael’s coworkers can’t believe we are used to eating dinner at 5 or 6 in the US. There is also the Centre Jaude Mall that has three levels, a few restaurants, and a movie theatre. There is also a theatre on the square, called the Cine Capitole, which plays some movies in English. This week was a holiday week for the school children so they set up a old-timey carousel in the square. Every time we walk to town and Brooklyn sees it she squeals really high pitched and says she wants to ride.

We got a babysitter last night for the first time so we could go on a dinner date. A lot of restaurants here are not kid friendly and many typical French restaurants take a few hours to eat. We found the babysitter through some of the other Americans here that work for Michelin. The babysitter, Maud, is French, but her dad works for Michelin and they lived in the U.S. for a few years so she speaks English almost perfectly. She is 19 and is a medical student and Brooklyn really liked having someone else to play with. For our date we walked around to the other side of Clermont-Ferrand and went shopping in some of the little shops. We ate dinner at a sushi restaurant which was good but a little different from the sushi restaurants back home. The sushi here doesn’t have any of the neat sauces and creative rolls like sushi restaurants in the US, but it was still very good.  We got dessert from a roadside stand that make waffles. The waffle was about 2 inches tall, very soft, and you could get all kinds of toppings. We got powdered sugar, chocolate, and Chantilly (A really thick, creamy whipped topping). It was really good! I can’t wait to get another one of those. We still haven’t eaten at a true French restaurant but we are going to in two weeks when Maud comes back to babysit. We also found a really awesome candy store that I know Ashley Landers will want to go to when she comes to visit. They have lots of different candies to choose from and you buy it by the pound. They also make cakes and things with the candy. Michael got me a really cute heart one with a bunny on top.