Nice has been a major change of pace for us. As opposed to Eze where one could walk the entire town in 30 minutes, or Menton which had a very sleepy vibe, Nice is very metropolitan.
It is France’s fifth most populace city and has a very Paris-by-the-sea feeling, but with enough Italian influence that it is delightful shades of pink, yellow and terra cotta as opposed to gray.
We drove in yesterday and met up with our Airbnb host who apologized for being rushed because his wife was having a baby!
(Update, baby is still not here)
I’ll admit to feeling a little deflated by the news because he was extremely hot (in a French way) but I’m guessing that unless you are Donald Trump – your wife being in labor isn’t the optimal time to show a middle-aged American tourist a good time.
C’est la vie.
But his flat was perfect!
The beauty of Airbnbs is that you have options when you don’t feel like knocking around town. Don’t get me wrong, we did plenty of that, but it was nice being able to put our feet up in David’s apartment rather than hanging out in a hotel bed or spending money at a café or bar when we really aren’t hungry or thirsty.
We went out to dinner on our first night and once again it was less than optimal. We are striking out with food.
The best part was a strange appetizer which was only described as being made out of garbanzo beans. It had a crispy crust and a smooth, custardy inside. It was served with marinara sauce and Sideboob observed it was like fried mozzarella but without dairy.
I racked my brain for how it was made and then I realized that I ate the exact thing (though prepared differently) the day I left the States at, of all places, the Mountain Sun Pub. It’s called Burmese Tofu and is on my list of things to make.
But once again it was an okay meal (better than the goat foam) but really not worth all the waiting around and the bill.
I was unfortunately plagued by jet-lag and anxiety dreams about exploding toilets so I had time to consider our options.
Even if money wasn’t an issue, part of me resents wasting time at a restaurant that I ultimately only have a lukewarm experience at when I could be seeing the sights or hanging out at the flat and writing.
Today Sideboob and I decided to take all our meals at the apartment which gave us the opportunity to have some fun at the farmer’s market.
For lunch I made (aka boiled water and heated up the cream) spinach gnocchi with a pesto cream sauce and we shared an ENTIRE bottle of wine. Not a demi bottle, because it was 7 Euros at the grocery store. Boom.
It was pretty much the best meal we’ve had so far and it’s one thing to browse through a farmer’s market, and another thing entirely to pick out dinner. I highly recommend it.
We are going to keep eating this way. It’s cheaper, faster and better. And we can always go out for an after-dinner drink and dessert if we feel like it.
We still stopped at cafés, though, because there is nothing more French than hanging out at the sidewalk table sipping a café creme.
We walked all over Nice, especially up the Colline Du Chateau, a forested hill that juts above Nice and has a series of stairs leading up and down it.
I’m not a beach person. Unlike most people in this world I do not enjoy long walks on the beach. But I’m happy to look at it.
There is a large park that runs down the center of Nice and I couldn’t stop thinking about my boys. It boasted the loveliest ocean themed play structure that was both fun to play on (as evidenced by all the kids) and so tasteful.
Hey Loony! If you are reading this, I love you and show this to the kids, okay?
Tomorrow we are going somewhere tiny, a little artist community that only has a few locally run bed and breakfasts to stay in. We will swing through St. Tropez first and drive the scenic route. I’m over the moon about the perfect weather, no more long pants and wool coat.
Au revoir mes amis!