This weekend I went to the French Riviera with 10 fabulous students! It was a small group, but it was really fun.
Friday morning, we headed for Cannes – famous for the Cannes Film Festival and its beautiful strip of beach. Unfortunately, the ONLY time it rained over the weekend was the four hours we spent in Cannes hoping to go to the beach. Luckily, everyone was willing to make the best of the situation and we found a cute little French restaurant. After some sandwiches, crepes and tea – we were all feeling great. And, as it turned out, the rain cleared for the rest of the afternoon giving us enough time to have a second attempt at wandering around some more.
From Cannes, we went on to Antibes for a quick visit. I love it there! It is so cute – filled with the open market, boutiques and unique shops, beautiful squares and delicious smelling creperies. After we visited the Picasso Museum, the girls “schmied” around and did some window shopping while the boys and I checked out the Absinthe Bar. The manager feels the BEST way to try absinthe is while wearing a hat – so hats we wore! I’ve never really tried absinthe before, so I was pleasantly surprised when the one I picked out (“Mystique”) did not burn or taste too much like black licorice. **Pictures to come…**
Friday night, a bunch of us went to Ma Nolan’s in Old Nice for some delicious burgers. I love the atmosphere in this place. It is an Irish Pub, so there is plenty of beer, sports, live music and young, fun people.
We were up bright and early for our adventure to St. Tropez on Saturday morning. Two hours later, after a nice snooze on the bus, we arrived at our destination. I walked everyone along the port and pointed out all of the cafes and restaurants and then we went onto the market. More quality “schmying” around took place — there are plenty of stands to look at with fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, humongous olives, glasses, soaps, perfumes, t-shirts, shoes, dresses, scarves, spices, and the list goes on and on and becomes more random as it does. Afterward, we hit up the beach for a little bit and enjoyed relaxing while looking out at the mountains.
We went out for a group dinner to Le Sansas, the salsa bar near the water, and STUFFED ourselves with chicken tenders, onion rings, french fries, hamburgers, wine and pina coladas. After gaining up the courage to move again, some of us carried onto 7 Blue Bar at the Grand Aston Hotel. It was awesome! Jazz music, relaxing environment, and delicious (but expensive!!) drinks.
Finally on Sunday, we checked out and headed onto the Fragonard Perfume Factory for a demonstration and the wonderful opportunity to buy lovely soaps, perfumes, colognes and hand lotions at factory price. The rest of our afternoon was spent sightseeing and gambling in Monaco and Monte Carlo. We took the tourist train around Monaco and learned all about all the pretty things we were looking at. After a refreshing snack of pizza and sandwiches, everyone went off to explore – whether it was the palace, the casino, the cathedral with Grace Kelly’s grave in it or the port.
As you can see, it was as great weekend with a great group 🙂
As I (sadly) finish up my final days in Florence, I’ve been reflecting on the lessons I’ve learned and the memories I’ve