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Small wonders of France

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I'm not talking about biggies like Paris, Mont Saint-Michel, or the chateaux of the Loire. I'm thinking of the little things that I've experienced in France that have made me love it..

The troop of wild boars, about 2 dozen, that crossed the road ahead of us in the Foret de Brotonne.

The pastry cases in the boulangeries, where the pastries are like jewels, colorful and shining.

The politeness among customers and store clerks everywhere. There’s an etiquette in the small shops everywhere–Bonjour madame, bonjour monsieur; au’voir messieurs/’dames. People wait their turn courteously.

At the weekly market, the warm encounters between old friends who see each other maybe just once a week. The cheek kissing, the handshakes, the conviviality.

In any small restaurant, the hard-working waiters and waitresses who can handle a busy room single-handed. They are professionals.

I remember visiting the grounds of a manor house open to the public just briefly, and when the elderly owner heard we were from the US, he got tears in his eyes and said he was with the Americans in the war.

There's a lot on my list. What do you love about France?

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