French Sabbatical

My family's year in France…

Day 129 (6 November 2010) – Le Petit Jockey

No, this is not a reference to my father, not directly, that is. Nor is it a reference to our last name, although that does sound like a bit of fun, playing with our name. It IS about the fact that less than an hour ago my father and I were sitting in a bar in Nantes CALLED Le Petit Jockey. You see, it’s a place where one can place bets on horse races and my father has a couple of races in the U.S. on which he wants to bet. Indeed, it’s Breeder’s Cup Day in the U.S. so the races are significant ones. I won’t bore you with more of those details – go look it up yourself. I will say that if Atta Boy Roy wins the Sprint or Blame wins the classic my dad will be a happy guy.

It took a bit of effort to place his bets and we fumbled and bumbled our way though it. Fortunately, everyone inside Le Petit Jockey was extremely helpful and tolerant. Ultimately, the man we think is the proprietor introduced us to a patron who speaks some English. He was very kind and helpful. We brought an Emerald Downs t-shirt to give away and gave it to the man who took my dad’s bets. We bought and drank a couple of beers while reviewing the program for tomorrow’s races in Nantes (see photo) that we will be attending (with my mom, Melinda, and Frédérique & Laurent!). I think we became a conversation piece in the bar, so much so that as we were getting ready to go we were presented with 2 free passes to tomorrow’s races! That already puts us 10€ ahead since admission is 5€ each! Score!

Speaking of scoring, next up my folks, Chloe and I are off to tonight’s hockey game. That’s living!!

November 6, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized |


  1. One good turn deserves another, or in the language of the class your kindness spread ripples… back at home in Texas, tired after a very busy visit with my family. Enjoy yours!

    Comment by linda taylor | November 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. Dear Andy,

    Another recent expat in Nantes, I just stumbled upon your blog this morning and have spent an excellent time reading

    Comment by Veera | November 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Sorry — that escaped! Anyway, have much enjoyed reading about your family’s adventures in Nantes. I also noticed that Chloe has started babysitting here. Would she be interested in adding more kids on her roster? Would you please get in touch at — many thanks and no rush — I know you must be busy with family in town.

      Comment by Veera | November 7, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Veera! Where are you from and what brings you to Nantes? 🙂 –Andy

      Comment by Andy Smallman | November 7, 2010 | Reply

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