Today was my last full day in Nice - my flight departs tomorrow morning at 10.30 am, and I expect to be back in DC a little before 6 pm. After which I have some errands to run for a friend requesting something from me that I could not get to him until back in DC (another story, another time).
My day here was simple - I woke up in that lovely flat with the sea view that I had a link to in my prior post. Tom and I went on a sort of pub crawl last night, drinking glass after glass of rosé, before I walked with Tom home. Once I did that, I really didn't feel like braving the streets to get back to my flat, so I slept over on the couch (it's really very comfy).
Tom, Claire and I met up around 1 pm to enjoy the beach. We went to the beach near the Castel private beach, relaxing until 3 pm. We met up again at 4 pm after showering, and I showed them my flat before we started looking for food. Since most restaurants in Nice are only open for lunch (12 to 2.30 pm) and dinner (7 to 11 pm), this was a problem. We attempted two places in the Place Garibaldi before ending up in the Cours Saleya at a touristy restaurant. They served decent quality food, though I am consistently disappointed that restaurants in Nice seem to use ordinary mozzarella rather than buffalo mozzarella for their pizzas. This close to Italy there really is no excuse! The crusts have never disappointed though.
We later popped by Paul's place for a small party. Paul is the proprietor of Go-Nice, which we used for our flat rentals. Paul became good friends with Tom over the course of a few vacations Tom took in Nice. No pictures from the party, but I will say that the terrace Paul has for his flat is beautiful - it's at the top level of his building, and has a potted plant garden.
Incidentally, one of Paul's friends, Ben, loves to explore the off the beaten path places in the area, since Nice in July and August is intolerably crowded to anyone who's a local (for someone from DC or NYC, Nice is not that crowded at all even in the high season - I dare say it would feel normal for NYC people). He gave a great idea for a day trip the next time I'm here: if I take the train from Nice to Ventimiglia in Italy, and then transfer to a Genoa bound train and de-train at Imperia at the Porto Maurizio stop, I can walk along the coastal area for 20 some minutes to get to some isolated fisherman's area called La Foce. Besides the local flavour of such a town, apparently the place is very relaxing and the beaches cheap. Add to that that I can get cheap coffee (cappuccino for €1.30 anyone?), and I'm sold on that. I think it sounds like a great day trip, ironic as it is to take the train from Nice and its beachs to Italy and its beaches. But I've never been to Italy, and I think a day trip like this would be fantastic for dipping my toes in the water, especially if I wanted to get away from the crowds in Nice for a day.
Anyway, around 10 pm we said our farewells to Paul and walked back to our flats in the old town. I said my farewells to Claire and Tom, though of course it won't be for long. I might see them again this year, either when Tom's in New York or if I am able to go to Cumbria after the baby's born.
And now, it's off to bed before my flight tomorrow.
A few words though before I do so. So far this blog's posts have kept in order with when events happened, more or less. However, I still have not written or posted photos from my day trips to Monaco (after which I saw Tom and Claire, and had all that champagne on the balcony of their flat), Marseilles and the Chateau D'If, Grasse (and its luxury perfume industry), or my explorations of Nissarde cuisine (mainly on the front of socca) and how they will influence some of my cooking when back in the States. I did write up my observations in chronological order, but all of these still need editting, and since the purpose of a vacation is to relax rather than post blog entries, I deemed it reasonable to go to the beach and swim in the Baie des Anges rather than finish my blog post for Grasse and post it.
Hence, over the next week these entries will appear, even though I'm not on vacation. But I hope people will enjoy them, particularly since it may give you some ideas of where and what to do when in the Riviera. There's more to the Riviera than just the beaches, after all, and while I did not go to nearly all the places you could go in Nice and the nearby Riviera, seeing some of the places I went may influence you one way or another and may make an excursion of yours to the Riviera more rewarding.
More importantly, this blog is not ending with the vacation posts. I wrote in my first post that I invited you to come along in my pursuit of joie de vivre. Needless to say, it doesn't end once back from vacation. And while some of what I may write (i.e. views on investing) may seem very far from what you may view as joie de vivre, they're not for me. At the minimum, you may learn something from those posts.
Au revoir, Nice!