old nice

Wandering through Nice on my second day in the South, I stumbled into Old Nice, where to be perfectly honest, if you had told me I had stumbled into Italy, I would have totally believed you. It felt nearly identical to the Trastevere area of Rome from the 96(!) flavor gelato stand, Fenocchio, that included flavors like cactus, lavender, and Coca cola to the narrow, twisty roads strung with drying laundry and colorful, aging building facades. Ohh, it was so Italy and a definite must if you ever go to Nice.

I LOVE this one man looking out his window! I bet he’s wishing for some gelato across the street :)

 

reality check

You’re going along in life, trying to just keep swimming and make it through and then suddenly you look up and you’re picking up graduation robes. How did that happen?

I’m still not quite sure, but it sure did put a smile on my face today.

nice

Here’s a fact about me: In middle school and high school French classes, you do a lot of conversation exercises. And a lot of the time, in these conversations you have to inject detials like the name of a French city as well as a French name for yourself. For example: Hello. My name is Isabelle (my French name of choice was always Isabelle). I’m from (insert city name here) and I like to (insert several French verbs/phrases like play tennis, swim, read etc.). Well, my city of choice was always, without fail, Nice. Pronounced like niece, it was easier than perfecting the air sounding R and drawn out eeeeee in Paris and to top it off, it seemed, well, nice. Also in French classes growing up, you watch a lot of French movies, many of which are set in the countryside and/or the South of France. All this to say, me visiting Nice, at the very southeast corner of the country, has been a long time coming. And ever since I moved to Paris, I have been itching, practically aching to see the South – both the glittery Riviera coast and the charms of Provencal life. At last, I made my first visit over Easter.

A five and a half hour train ride from Paris, Nice is a bit of a different world – Southern charm, bright sun, bold colors, and water all shades of emerald, turquoise and cerulean. As I headed to the train station last Friday morning,  the city’s ceiling was reclaiming its beloved grey clouds and cool mist – I knew I had made the right decision. And as green countrysides and woolly sheep changed to my first sighting of the Mediterranean Sea, I knew I had really made the right decision. Staying just a few minutes walk from the beach, I discovered that while Paris has its green chairs, Nice has its own in blue which I was more than happy to grab a seat in as I watched people pass up and down the Promenade des Anglais, named for the many English people who in the 18 and 1900s loved to summer and be seen doing so along the Nice coast. Here are just a few photos (mostly of water because I couldn’t take my eyes off it!) to set the scene. Hope you’re ready for the South, cause there’s much more to come!