Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's Nice in Nice (France)...

On Saturday we left our apartment in Rapallo, Italy to make the journey back home to Barcelona.  We had decided when planning the trip that we would stretch out our return over a few days (even though it's only a 9 hour drive).  So on Saturday afternoon (after LOTS of traffic) we arrived in Nice, France in the French Riviera.

It sounds fancy to me to just say French Riviera.  Never in a million years would I have thought I'd be visiting some of these places - like Monaco last week or the Italian Riviera.  I just finding it amazing and think we are so lucky to have this opportunity for travel.  Aside from the fact that Josh working so hard has enabled us to fund all these trips, I'm lucky that my job is so flexible that I can take it anywhere with me.  Though I will admit that keeping up with it has been a challenge with our schedule over the last week and a half. 

Anyways, I digress... we got to Nice yesterday around lunchtime.  At first when we entered the city we were like, no way, this cannot be it, it's a dump.  But as we worked our way towards the port area where our hotel was, I can see why it's such a beautiful city (you just have to be in the "right" part of it).  But it is a huge city!!

Our hotel was a bit of a disappointment but it was the cheapest we could get in the city near the water and it was just for a night so we managed.  Interestingly our hotel tonight in Arles is 1000x better and not much more expensive.  Just goes to show, city versus country.

We checked in and immediately hit the road looking for some food.  It was after 3 and everyone was starving.  Unfortunately most places were already closed for lunch and so we ended up at an Irish pub that had super fabulous food.  Don't get me wrong, I am a major carb addict - Italy was a carb addicts wet dream.  But after a week of pizza and pasta I was ready for something more hearty and since French food was out (since they were all closed), this was the next best choice.  Since it was just a snack we asked the waiter for somewhere good for dinner.  He recommended a restaurant by the name of Snug that he said was great.
A square by our hotel

Road off the square by our hotel :)

More of that same square (but hey it's pretty)

Statue with horses on it's head

Cool building, though I can't remember what it is

Castle we could see from where we had lunch - we walked up by it to get the most amazing views (see below)

Kelly and Michelle

Street we had lunch on

Liam and "Jake", yes named for our Jake

Me, Liam and Jake...

Liam "borrowed" my hat which is now his... he looks so damn cute!!  I think he looks like he could take part in a barbershop quartet though!

Aidan had a paper heart from a wedding we saw - he broke it apart and told me that I did that to him... at least this time he said it with a smile on his face.  Not sure if that makes it better though.

Cutie pie

So we wandered around the old city area and went up to see the panoramic views at the top of the hill which was stunning. The kids were less than thrilled to walk uphill but the adults won in the end (there was a small battle between myself and Aidan that wasn't pretty but we've moved on from it). Our original goal was to go to Snug to make a reservation for later on though once we saw it, it was yet another Irish bar so we said we'd play it by ear. You can't do Irish twice in one day when visiting France, right?

Another nice building - don't know what it is though

More cool buildings

We went to a local toy shop and Aidan got a dragon and Liam got a fake knife that you can stab people with and the knife part goes into the hilt.  He thinks this is the best toy EVER and has stabbed us all several times.  Hopefully he is not a serial killer in the making...

Everyone getting along... finally!


Not sure how we worked it out that they all matched...

View as we start walking up up up

Exhaused from all the stairs - I don't blame him

The initial view, but it gets better

Haley, Kelly and Zach

Me and my boys!

Liam "stabbing" Zach

Loving his ensemble today I have to say!

Now this is a view!!

Liam is throwing a tantrum as we take this picture...

Liam, me and Auntie Michelle

Me and my Liamey

And me and my Aidan...

Love their hats!

View as we go down

Just about street level...

After walking along the promenade by the beach we meandered back to the hotel to freshen up before going in search of dinner.  I almost fell asleep while waiting to go out.  I think the lack of sleep is catching up with me!  Michelle and Kelly asked the night desk person where we should go for dinner for a good steak.  We're not sure but we think the answer "McDonalds" was a stab at us being American (see more on this later in our future entry - Find the Americans). 

We walked thru the same area that we had gone thru in the afternoon which reminded me of the Gottica and Borne area in Barcelona - very windy narrow roads.  Everything looked fantastic, albeit a bit touristy.  In the end we realized that the restaurants that were off the beaten path that would be great for the adults, might not be so great for the kids.

So we ended up at Snug, yes, the Irish bar.  Which interestingly enough was a gourmet Irish bar - seriously, the food was fantastic and everything is completely fresh each day and the menu changes daily.  They have no microwave and no refridgerator.  What was funny though is two people actually recommended the restaurant for their steak ...and yet, there was no steak on the menu.  Ah well, it was fantastic. 

We ended the night with crepes which I must admit were yummy but still not up to par with my Creps a Barcelona.  But my sweet tooth was satisfied, I had the kids in bed by 11 and I was asleep before midnight, so I'm going to call it a very good day for all of us! 

We left today to head to Arles, France so keep your eye posted for that trip!!


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