Monday, August 3, 2009

Seven Days on the Cote d’Azur, Part 1: The Coastal Riviera (Fri, 7/24- Sun, 7/26)

So, we drove A LOT on this trip (as is evidenced by the above map). But that didn't start until the third day. For the first two, we spent our time on the beach, parked under an umbrella or swimming in the Mediterranean. We also sniffed out some great restaurants to try. This is the usual thing we do when on vacation-- a true Roman Holiday is typically what we're after, and this one was no different.

Except for... the hotel. I love Rick Steves. He is my guru of travel. We have him to thank for the maps, the scenic drive suggestions, and most of the great places we visited during this trip. I'm sad to say that I cannot thank him for the hotel recommendation, however. We chose the Hotel Splendid based on his usual spot-on advice. The place was anything but. From its cold war appearance, its snooty desk staff, its smelly rooms, to the prostitutes hanging out on its front stoop, we wanted to spend as little time there as possible. Hence the driving. And the sunburns. The place was so ugly I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture of it. Oh, and the photos online, they're from 1982.

Aside from this, Nice was nice (hahahaha- you only get this joke if you know how to say "Nice" in French- I also laugh because I always hear the voice of Ryan Bauchiero saying this with his pretend French accent). Our hotel room came with entry to one of the many beach clubs along the shore. While the water was great, I preferred to spend my time looking out from my chair:

Jon preferred to spend his swimming:

But we both together enjoyed exploring the city... and eating! We found this great restaurant in Old Nice called La Cambuse that actually had linguine and clam sauce on the menu! I haven't been able to find it here in France, and as it is my absolute favorite Italian dish, this is how excited I was:

On Sunday, we picked up the car in the late afternoon and drove down to Antibes to check it out. We liked this smaller town much better than Nice. It's beautiful port and comfy walled streets felt much more welcoming to us. We had a nice time wandering around and found a great wine bar called L'Enoteca in which to pass the evening. We liked Antibes so much, we paid it a visit again later in the week (on Tuesday night).

"According to Rick Steves, this is one of the oldest
yachting harbors in Europe." What a dork (me, not Rick Steves,
although he might be a close second)!

Up next... "Seven Days on the Cote D'Azur, Part 2: The Inland Riviera"

In Other News... Today is the first anniversary of the baptisms of our darling godchildren, the Durkin Girls, and their big brother, Finn. So, in keeping with tradition, here's a little Irish blessing for Piper, Clare, and Finn...

May God grant you always

A sunbeam to warm you

A moonbeam to charm you

A sheltering angel so nothing can harm you

Laughter to cheer you

Faithful friends near you

And whenever you pray
Heaven to hear you.



  1. Very interesting..... post..

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  2. I can't believe you didn't even take a picture of the skanky hotel just for memory's sake!??