Saturday, July 20, 2013

A European Vacation (part 2)

How I like to start my day sur la Côte d'Azur...
(Photo credit: Chronicles from the shore

Bonjour from Nice! 

How I love this summer ritual and the time spent
in my favorite French city...

This year, things were a bit different. 
Junior was invited to tag along with Maman, you see.

I'd say he made the most of it...

Skateboarding along "La Prom'" (Promenade des Anglais) 
Shooting the Bay of Angels 
Making friends at the Nice Sailing School

Moi? I had fun too. 

This year, there were fewer field trips outside of town, 
but I got to spend quality time with Nissa la Bella
relaxing with a local friend
 or exploring on my own;
walking; shooting; observing from my favorite cafés...

Two friends (and bloggers) pay tribute to a favorite artist...
Nice's M.O.M.A. (Museum of Modern Art) 
The iconic Negresco, the Museum-Hotel...
At the Negresco, even ice cream is elegant...

At times, the weather just got too hot,
or I just got too lazy...
My favorite retreat?
The small apartment we rented in the heart of the Old Town.
The Crow's nest. 
Six flights of stairs to reach the door.
But once there, the terrace. The view. 
I could not get enough.

Le Vieux Nice. The Old Town.
It is my favorite place to stay.
Is it Italy? Is it France?
Who cares. It's Old Europe, and that's good enough.
Sure, there are tourists around.
Restaurants are packed at night.
But real people live there.
There are surprises at almost every turn.

Rue du Malonat, Vieux Nice...
La Dolce Vita on Place Rossetti...
Going down Castle Hill...
Le Chat et la Deuche (2CV)

Once again, I was enthralled by Nice, and its unique beauty;
The light, the colors, that seduced so many before this French Girl.

For at night, the Southern Belle sizzles...

Cours Saleya 
La grande dame of Nice palaces...
Plage Beau Rivage (private beach) 

Yet, daytime offers many grandiose, or picturesque sights...

Le Fast Food de Nice 
Marché Saleya
Nice, le Port...
"Les Pointus," the traditional fishing boats...
Secluded pebble beaches...

Yes, this week has gone by too fast.
It is time to say "Au revoir, à bientôt, Nice."

Tomorrow, Junior and I will board another TGV (high speed train.) 
It will travel south, to Spain's Costa Brava.

One last week of European adventures.
The Mediterranean. Best place to be.
No reliable Wifi connection where we will be staying.
But a few photos posted on French Girl in Seattle's Facebook page.
Finally, back in Seattle, just in time to wrap up July.

Happy summer! Thank you for traveling with us!

Un grand Merci:

A Emer, Rob and the rest of the Irish gang for a wonderful evening al fresco.

A Marie. Nice would not be the same without you, mon amie.

A l'année prochaine.

French Girl * hearts* Nice!

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Sunday, July 14, 2013

A European summer (Part 1)

A Sunday in the country, somewhere outside of Paris...
(two French ladies, charmed by a young man in a hat...) 

Greetings from the land of snooty waiters!

It has been a few weeks since I last wrote on the blog.
Pardonnez-moi. My apologies.
The first half of our trip, and two full weeks, have just gone by.
Paris. London. Two fascinating European cities.
Blending the old and the new; traditions and quirkiness; 
... effortlessly.
They embrace stereotypes; they defy them.
London. Paris. Two favorite ladies of mine. 
I miss you already.

Paris... I once called you home. 
 and have visited you once a year for the last 17 years.
You have changed... un peu
but I still know you.

From my hotel window on Place Dauphine,
Ile de la Cité

Paris... How I love watching your people...
People say they are morose.
Peut-être. Maybe.
But some things will never change.
They still walk; bike; enjoy their city.
In the evening, they still go home carrying a warm baguette.
In short, they still have their priorities straight.

Seen by the Promenade Plantée (Paris' High Line walk:)
"This space is reserved for walking.
Joggers are tolerated as long as they do not disturb walkers..."

London... You have changed a lot. 
Queen Victoria may not recognize you.
So modern, yet so traditional. 
So predictable, yet so eccentric.
You keep surprising us.
London, you rule!

The hip and lively Southbank 
Europe's tallest building, the Shard, dominates the London skyline
Elegant Chelsea...
The crazy world of Camden Markets, North London 
Watching the world go by through the window of an ice cream parlor,
Notting Hill

In London and in Paris,
There have been precious moments,
spent with relatives and friends.
I did my best, 
but I still could not see everyone on my list.
L'année prochaine, c'est promis. Next year, it's a promise. 

A grandmother, and her grandsons
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

For the next two weeks, 
our most excellent European adventure continues.
For now, Junior and I have relocated to the French Riviera.
La Côte d'Azur, and its ruling queen, Nice.
My family's roots are firmly planted by la Grande Bleue (the Big Blue.) 

We have to climb six flights of old, steep stairs, 
to reach the "Crow's Nest,"
our apartment in the heart of the Old Town.
But the view and small terrace are worth it.

Getting acquainted with la Baie des Anges (the Bay of Angels...) 
A home with a view... 

I will be back in a few days with more stories...

In the meantime, 
keep visiting the French Girl in Seattle's page on Facebook,
for daily photos and updates.
Thank you for all your comments, and emails over the last few weeks.

Have a fun, warm, and safe rest of July!

Off to pour another glass of chilled rosé wine... Santé

A bientôt,
-- French Girl in Seattle --

All photos by French Girl in Seattle.
Please do not use, reprint,  or Pin without permission.