Friday, August 22, 2014

The French Post: Nice-ly Done.

My family arrived in Nice on the second night, a little later than expected and tired from their journey. But hey, we're in France, so let's get to it.

I showed them around town - a total expert from my one day alone - and briefed them on the next day's agenda. I had plans for them - the flower market again, the chateau again, and per my sister's request a quick dip in the Med. We also wanted to rent and ride bikes around town, if we could figure it out!

So off we went, there was a really awesome splash pad in the middle of town. And just as we walked up the fountains turned off for the night. It was warm, and humid, and you knew you were on the French Riviera standing right there. It was everything you'd want in an evening in the South of France.

We walked down the streets, full of people eating their late, french dinners.

And along the promenade, where waves were crashing along the rocky shore. It was hard to believe how they were so rough, and earlier in the day I saw tons of swimmers out there swimming along the shoreline.

And of course, the Casino! Mom was thrilled to take a peek inside!

In the morning, we were up and at 'em again. And I dragged everyone out of the hotel, straight to the flower market. There was no shortage of beautiful things present a second day in a row.

I was obsessed with those colorful flowers! Does anyone know what they are? I wished I could have taken them home!

We sat and had croissants and cafe creme at the same place I had enjoyed the day before, while kids rode bikes and bulldogs - of both the french and english variety - chased each other.  It was right out of a movie.

Then I took the family up the chateau - in the elevator that I discovered on my way down the day before - for the expansive and incredible views. Mmmm....Nice. I love you.

And by this point, my sister was itching to get in that water. I mean, look at it.  So we walked back through the market, and stopped in the prettiest pastry shop, where they had macarons displayed in the window. Everything inside glittered and sparkled of crystal and gold. We got some treats to take back to the room.

And so began our great macaron quest through France.

Back at the hotel, we changed and headed out to the waterfront. 
It is BEAUTIFUL, but it is ROCKY and ROUGH. The waves crash hard, and there's a big steep dip from the rocky beach onto the pebbly shore.  

It wasn't my favorite. So for the most part I sat my booty on the sharp pointy rocks and started collecting sea glass! There was so much all around, it was awesome.  And even more awesome, I found the most beautiful heart shaped piece of sea pottery. Which is a thing. I had no clue! One of my favorite treasures I brought home!

After our brief dip in the Med, we embarked on the cray journey of using the Velo Bleu City Bikes that are all around Nice. Let me just tell you, they don't make it easy for people who speak English, despite the English option on the kiosks. They also make the kiosks a little more complicated than they need to be. But thankfully, the people in Nice are actually nice, and after stopping two different locals we acquired three bikes!

We rode around a bit, but not too far. And after circling back, we met up with the Rapha Travel Team, which was kind of fun to catch. They had just finished a big ride all around Western Europe, and were celebrating right there in Nice. 

After our long day of cramming as much in as possible, we headed back to the hotel, freshened up a bit, and took our reading material to the hotel wine bar, for a glass of rose while we waited for mom to return.

It was lovely. We then headed back into the heart of town where the restaurants were bustling, and we could NOT get a table. Oh, because the World Cup was on. Every restaurant had a TV, and every single seat was full. Standing room only. It was actually really exciting to be standing around with hundreds of people who really did care how the game turned out. I couldn't tell you who played, but it was fun to be caught up in the excitement.

After the game ended, the tables cleared out, and we were able to get a spot to eat. They would fill up again 2 hours later for the next game. This happened every night. One game at 8, one game at 10.

We explored Nice at night once more, poking in all the shops, under the somewhat coolness of night.

In the morning, the Ironman competition was taking place along the promenade! The whole town had been buzzing and excited about the event. So many participants and their support teams were exploring alongside us the past couple days. We woke up early to head out and cheer them on.
It was really awesome to see these men and women, of all ages, some fairly old, just completing an intense swim in the Mediterranean only to do an entire gear change and hop on a bike to ride nearly 100 miles, followed by a marathon.

I was really proud of all these people. We didn't get out there first thing, so a lot of the men and women we saw weren't the fastest swimmers, but they had so much heart. We hung around until almost the very last swimmers were in, and the entire transition area had cleared out.

We then did our part, and had breakfast. None other than croissants and cafe creme.

And grabbed some quintessential french items, cheese, charcuterie, and a baguette, before taking the train out of town on the next leg of our adventures in Provence. 


  1. Sounds like a wonderful time. Great photos, especially like the one all the cups.

  2. The flowers are called Celosia or Cockscomb. They're super amazing, I just read this post about how to get the seeds out of them:

  3. P.S. the trip looks wonderful! And I had to crack up at those sunflowers for 6 Euros, that's outrageous!!

  4. Amazing! And such gorgeous pics. My bro in law was there around the same time and loved it. I gotta get there...someday!

  5. So many things to say! Wow!!
    I love the sunshiny flower market, I'd be there bright and early too!!
    The biking adventure sounds so much fun. :) What was mom up to while the three of you were doing that?
    Wine bar… yes please!! LC looks gorgeous.
    Love the pastel tea sets are adorns. I'll take one in each color.
    I can't wait to see your Provence photos!!

  6. beauty abounds!! loved everything about this post :)

    adore that macaroon photo the most,i think!

    great blog you have!

    i am so bummed that I missed out on your annual mugswap though.