Friday, October 9, 2009

Nice is Nice!


(a view from our hotel room in Nice. This is the Cote D'Azur. Nice is very NICE!!!)

Bon Jour! Today is Friday and this is my last day in France. Yesterday, we m

ade the move from our hotel in Monte Carlo to our hotel in Nice. We fly out of Nice on Saturday morning….headed toward home.

Wednesday night was a truly lovely evening. We met up with more of Mr. G’s family, including a familiar face from Monday night, Coco*. There were also new faces: Jaques*, Coco’s brother, cousin Sophy*, and Elle* (Jaques’ wife). All of these people, especially the women, are truly exquisite and wildly interesting and they put out a certain je ne sais pas. They were all so welcoming and, although I could only converse about 85 percent of the time due to a bit of a language barrier of MY part, we all spoke the same languages of family, food, and the trials and tribulations of life: marriages, divorces, children, school, politics, work, and the like.

We dined in Antibes at a restaurant called Auberge Provancale d’ Antibes. This establishment specializes in Fruits de Mer (literally, Fruits of the Sea… or seafood). We ate in a romantic fauna-covered garden (jarden d’éte ombragé) outside and in back of the restaurant. If you are interested, feel free to visit the website at www.aubergeprovencale.com .

My dinner began with six (6) huitres Fines de Claires (raw oysters), followed by the main course of Pave d’espadonen croûte de tapenade (swordfish and mixed vegetables in a white wine and butter sauce), with a dessert course of Pore pocheé aux espices, caramel au noisettes et glace au rhumet raisins (pear cooked with spices, caramel sauce and nuts with rum raisin ice cream). Just for fun, the very personable waiter even set our desserts ablaze au flambé Grand Marnier.

After dinner, the group walked around the city walls of “old” Antibes and viewed the enormous yachts and ships docked in the marina. These vessels are owned by people who live lives of privelidge the likes we will never know. By this time, it was close to 1:30 a.m. and we all bid adieux and went our separate ways. We drove Sophy home and she showed us her beautifully remodeled apartment with a luxury kitchen…..very efficient by American standards but very “over-the-top” for someone living in Monte Carlo.

Thursday was a day for driving the 20-30 kilometers from Monte Carlo to Nice and for walking through the shopping districts. Our mission was to find a great pair of shoes, some souvenirs for my boys, and a great hat for me. I am a hat-wearer so finding a hat in France seemed the right thing to do. We also, of course, made some time to stop at Fennochio again for more great glace (ice cream).

While we found lots of shoe options that we did not purchase, I found myself stumbling in to a great hat shop called La Chapellerie. I must have tried on one hundred hats from the insane to the glamorous but ended up purchasing two: one very French and one very warm and French for when I return to Iowa. I also found a neck-scarf that will go well with both.

Thursday night was the premier dining event. Today (Friday) is Mr. and Mrs. G’s 16th anniversary and we pulled out the stops for dinner on Thursday night to kick it off right. We dressed to the Nine’s, met up with Sophy and travelled to a very nice restaurant called Le Moulin de Mougins (The Mougins Mill) in Mougins, France, not far from Cannes. I will devote next Tuesday’s blog entry entirely to that experience because I have never had a dining experience quite like that one…..11 courses, all small dishes recommended and prepared by the chef (The Chef’s Sampling Menu). It was the best food I have ever tasted and the entire experience with the great staff who catered to us all night was second to none. We even met the chef and had a picture taken with him. I can’t wait to tell you about that night.

Tune in next Tuesday for the full details on Le Moulin de Mougin… á bientôt!

Until next time, I remain….1SweetMama

* Names are changed…..sorry, I can’t give it ALL away!!

3 comments:

John Vander Stelt said...

What a great trip. I am jealous. Hope to see more photos! Have a safe trip home.

1SweetMama said...

Thanks! Check out the post today (Tuesday)!

Véronique said...

Very interesting and pleasant account of your adventures and feelings about it ! Almost understood everything ! lol Thanks for this.