Can you imagine writing those five words? I never could either. I did not grow up thinking I would travel anywhere in my life, didn’t really even think about it. Funny reality now is that the French Riviera is a whole lot closer than going to Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving, though not necessarily sweeter.
Thursday morning, we caught a 9:00 AM flight and were in Nice for lunch.
I really did not have any preconceived expectation of what Nice would be. As I trolled the Internet for an affordable boutique hotel, I became more and more concerned that Nice was a typical beachfront resort town, completely overused by northern Europeans. The hotel rooms looked a little sweaty, faded, and expensive.
What I’ve encountered in Nice so far is a crisp, clean, underpopulated city. The city clearly values its natural beauty, preserving miles and miles of beachfront promenade, framed by the snow-capped French Alps in the background. The air is chilly enough to wear leather coats and boots, but when you sit in the sun at a café for lunch, you can shed your coat and sit comfortably in your sleeveless dress. And there are many, many fit, suntanned retirees (almost all walking French Bulldogs) who generally keep the prices down in a town. I really like it here; I can feel myself already falling in love. By the way, after hours and hours of Internet searching, it turns out I chose a wonderful boutique hotel: It is La Villa Nice Promenade (11 Rue Saint Philippe). Perfectly located near the Promenade, but quietly tucked away off the busy street, it is clean and simple, but has a decorative flair. Best yet, it is under $100. 00 US per night.
This is the only turkey we saw today.
The best gelato in Nice, according to Kaye Syrah. I’ll have to go back when it’s not siesta time.
An old carousel in the central park.
A couple having lunch under a laden, rectangular orange tree. I know it’s anal, but I love French gardening.