Tuesday, June 23, 2009

France--Antibes, Nice--Day 5 (Part 1)

Today was the day we'd planned to go for a road trip with Thomas and Lotta, just the 4 of us. It was a wonderful day...and I was anxious to cover lots of territory!! Knowing that we were so close to Italy, I wanted to go--just to say that I'd been there! We looked forward to stumbling upon any fabulous distractions along the way!

Our first stop was Antibes--a place I would love to visit again in the daylight (we were here at night on Day 3). We stopped at the market--H.E.B. it isn't! I could've spent the day taking the market and this lovely town in, but we had a mission--Herbes de Provence. They are outrageously expensive in the states and not so much in this part of France, so I had to take some home!
Handmade soaps of every kind... Spices and herbs...Buckets of olives--heaven...Fresh fruit and flowers, dried flowers...I loved this place. It was crazy busy, but wonderful. I really only had a glimpse because we were on a mission to cover a lot of ground today--and Thomas and Russ were driving around in the car waiting on us. Ugh! I will be back!
We pulled over to check out the beach.

Next stop, the beach in Nice. Promenade de Anglais is a famous street along the coastline. Lots of walkers, bikers, rollerbladers, etc.
Hotel Negresco is probably the most famous hotel down here. They "let" us come into the lobby even though we weren't hotel guests. We were asked not to take pictures as well--except I took two in the too-fancy-for-me bathroom stall (only because they told me I couldn't)!

We had lunch at a not-s0-great restaurant along the Promenade, but treasured the atmosphere and the company--and Russ had a French fry in France!!
Next stop: Italy!

Monday, June 22, 2009

St. Paul de Vence and Nice--Day 4

Thomas, Russ, and I spent the morning in St. Paul de Vence. It is the small, old town we could see from the villa. It was full of charm, let me show you!

This was cool--a wine store in a cave. You had to go down the stairs, it was cool and humid in there--perfect!
We found a small cafe to grab something to eat--Russ had a crepe and Thomas and I had a pannini!
(That's Russ' French face!)

There were a couple of these freshwater fountains. People would walk up to them, wash their face, fill their water bottle, whatever. Thought it was cool! I was a skeptic though...

We ran a few errands on the way home and picked up some things for dinner. As we passed the bakery, it beckoned Thomas and I--we had to go in and get a treat for ourselves. We also picked up some dessert for the dinner Marcus was at the house preparing!
We drove back "home" and as we pulled through the gate, I had to jump out of the car and try to capture this view. Dinner was already in the works--Marcus (a.k.a. The Shirtless Chef) had been busy preparing many these--these potatoes are one of his specialties!

(Tisa brought out some marshmallows for fun and Russ introduced them to "roasted" marshmallows--on the grill!)Too much Kronenberg for Thomas!!

"I had a blast, blast, blast" and I don't do it justice--inside joke!A lovely toast from Thomas.The beautiful Mama with her 3 beautiful children!
Somehow our lovely, calm evening at home took a turn when Dick stood up and gave a toast. The toast ended with a challenge for everyone to end up in the pool.

Here's who went in--the boys! I never fully immersed myself in the pool--it was no Texas heat! It was warmer than I thought it would be, but not warm enough to get completely in. The ladies chickened out and cleaned up dinner while the boys (and their beer) continued the party in the pool!