The final countdown begins. With two days left, we are both wondering where the time has gone. We need three full weeks here. But, with other commitments, it’s an impossible feat. So, we move on and enjoy every second we have while on this vacation.
Wait a minute. We just arrived here!!
Thursday, June 29, 2023
Rather than sit at the pool, we decided to do something cultural. We headed to Antibes to the Picasso Musee. We’ve been before but it is always fun to revisit and to see how exhibits may have changed over the years.
Our daily goal. At least we got a couple of cultural activities into our hedonistic vacation!
I love Antibes. The vibe is chill and the drive is beautiful. It’s a very low-key place and is just charming. And to get there, took the long way and drove through main and back streets of Cannes.
Casino without the “C” is…. Don’t gamble your money here–especially on vacation!
The red carpet has been taken down. Otherwise, the building is somewhat basic.
Enjoying a stroll and coffee near the train station.
Pulp Fiction lives under the overpass!
Headed to Antibes.
The signage is concise!
Statue on a square in between Antibes and Juan-les-Pins. You KNOW this would be banned in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi………
We arrived in Antibes and drove along the coastline. It’s always such a beautiful drive and it never becomes a bore.
Sailboats with Yachts sharing the sea.
And sometimes the yachts are so big they look out of place.
And every summer, I become so excited to see small wooden boats in the alcoves. It is a sight that just makes me happy.
When the ramparts come into view, we know we’ve arrived at the destination.
We parked at the port and it pains me that I can’t get fresh seafood like this in the Philly suburbs. And please don’t tell me I can.
With the car parked, we began the Rampart walk.
The beach crowd as viewed from the ramparts.
And more charming boats viewed from the ramparts.
If I had a bottle of vodka and placed it here, you would have Vodka on the Rocks! Ba dum bum!
We headed up to the Musee but first we stopped at the church next door, otherwise known as the Antibes Cathedral. I have this “thing.” And that thing is stopping at a church to light a candle and give thanks. Since the church at St. Tropez was closed, I was unable to do so while there. And as we did not go to Cabris this year, I was unable to visit the Chapel of St. Rita. It was here that I offered a prayer for one of my friend’s grandfather who recently passed, for my family and to give thanks.
Antibes Cathedral. I was very happy that it was open because I’m a good Catholic girl.
Always a pleasure seeing good ol’ St. Joseph
And, of course, St. Theresa.
I honestly don’t want to know about this relic.
The Church is absolutely beautiful though and allows time for quiet prayer and reflection.
Immediately following, we stood on queue to enter the museum. The astounding thing was even now, while not high season, there was a line to get into the building.
If you’re ever in Antibes, I strongly suggest a visit to this Musee.
When I was younger, I was not much of a fan of Picasso, but as I have gotten older, I’ve learned to appreciate his works.
His paintings might not appeal to all but they are worth seeing.
And he definitely has a unique style.
I really liked this one.
My favorites are his more realistic drawings…..
…and the collection of plates that he created.
The back exterior of the museum is filled with interesting sculptures by others.
This sculpture was created by Germaine Richier, a friend of my husband’s family.
Although crowded, it was manageable.
This cactus was so cool.
Time to head back to the car.
If we didn’t stay in Theoule, Antibes would be our next choice.
The homes are just so summery and casual.
We took our time taking the long way home and spent the remainder of the afternoon at the pool. I finished Nicholas and Alexander and found the book so sad, heartbreaking, and disturbing that I had a hard time falling asleep that night.
We took our time going back to the apartment.
Keep those boats coming!
Back in the same bathing suit, baseball cap and ready to do nothing but read.
Another book left by me for visitors who read English language novels. I’ll tell you, this book was absolutely heartbreaking. I thought about it for days.
On this Thursday evening, we dined on the food we had left in the fridge and I cooked spaghetti. It was bittersweet reflecting on the time spent here and after dinner packed up our belongings for our return on Saturday. We didn’t want to spend our last day packing.
What’s more carbs? I plan on starting Keto tomorrow–after all, I’ve been home almost two weeks!
Friday, June 30, 2023
Our last day. We could have driven to the beach but at this juncture, we wanted to head to the pool one last time. The sun was shining so brightly as if it knew we would be heading home the next day.
Walking to the pool on this last and beautiful morning of our trip.
Golf carts are very popular in this community!
We weren’t alone.
A nice way to spend the last of the days. Bye pool. See you next summer!
We frolicked in the water and I, working on my last book was firmly placed with my face buried in words, sentences and paragraphs but couldn’t get into it. Our plan was to go out to dinner in Cannes on this last night and it was a great one, thanks to my husband!
A red nose, minimal makeup and ready to go!
We dressed for the occasion, headed into Cannes, and walked along the dock until we reached the restaurant: Au Mal Assis. This bistro of sorts has been around since 1914 and we figured it would be a good choice.
A little before 8:00 PM and the light was still upon us.
Who is that suave gentleman?
Ready for our last meal.
Everything from the service to the food was very good. It was not haute cuisine but it was food with a traditional feel.
We had great seats outdoors.
We started with escargot and it was so stinking good. Lots of garlic and oh-so-buttery.
I did the ordering and our server was impressed with both my French and my accent! He was so nice!
If Johnny Depp had a brother with a rugby player’s build–that would be our server. And he was so nice!!!
I ordered the Daurade, grilled Sea Bream which was served with rice and veg. The portion of the fish was huge and I was unable to finish it. The fish was also so fresh that I swear I heard it say “ouch” when I cut into it.
Prior to my fish being prepared, it was presented to me whole and I was asked if I wanted the head cooked. My response was “Non, merci” The portion was huge and I couldn’t finish. I think it literally jumped out of the sea and onto the serving plate–it was that fresh.
Vincent had filet of beef and frites. Those frites were fantastic. We were so full that we passed on dessert and we agreed that this restaurant is a “go-back-to” next time.
My husband is a man of simple taste. He loves his beef and frites and these were excellent!
We walked along the dock admiring the yachts and boats and took time to sit on a bench to people-watch. During the day, everyone is casual. Bathing suits, sun dresses and shorts but in the evening, those who are here dress up. Nothing over-the-top (for the most part) but tastefully. It’s nice to see.
As darkness approached, we had a bit of time to people watch and yacht watch. I’m trying to make friends here.
My husband stopped me from asking this guy if I could go aboard his dinghy. Nevertheless, I didn’t.
It was difficult to move from here.
Alas, we walked back to the car.
At the lot to get the car, I suggested that we take a drive around Cannes—one last time. The funny thing is my husband was thinking the same thing and off we went. Cannes, at night is hopping! Lots of people on La Croissette enjoying the start to the weekend. From families with young children to single men and women looking for a good time clubbing.
Cannes after dark. I love how elegant this woman looks as she walks her dogs.
The Carlton was lit.
The entrance is just so beautiful and splendid.
Time to go.
Back at the apartment, we did a once-over and headed to the bed in the room where we keep the French doors to the terrace opened. Once more we could be sent to sleep by the sounds of the sea hitting against the rocks—the cicadas were sleeping in silence and I had a hard time falling into slumber.
It wasn’t easy to fall asleep. I wanted to stay longer!
Saturday, July 1, 2023.
Saturday morning, it’s time to bid farewell to the apartment that we’ve called home for the past two weeks over 13 years.
A last view from the terrace.
Good bye sea. Good bye cicadas. Good bye ships.
A last-minute tidying up, taking the bed linens off to make the cleaners’ task easier, we packed up the car and headed to Nice airport. Our flight was at 12:10. We left early—7:00 in the morning because we had to return the car, check luggage and naturally, do some duty-free shopping.
Good bye living room that we never used because we basically lived on the terrace and in the bedroom.
Good bye table and chairs where we enjoyed breakfasts and dinners for 13 years and never got bored.
Good bye hanging laundry. OMG. I am in heaven every year. The apartment has a washing machine. Every day I did laundry. It was exciting for me to hang the clothes on this rack to dry outside. The added benefit is we flew home with no dirty clothing.
All gassed up and ready to roll. I may have mentioned this in another post. The car is an MG. It drove nicely but technology-wise, it was awful.
With a rather wistful expression, my husband heads to the car.
Here’s the weird thing about Nice airport. The domestic terminal is beautiful. During the times we flew to Nice from Paris then back to Paris, it was a simple procedure. (This was when Vincent’s aunt Daniele was alive and we stayed at her Paris apartment) Now that we fly from Nice directly to the States it’s a different story.
We waited until United opened their agent’s stations for luggage check-in. I will say, though, the United airlines staff in France is exceptional. Incredibly friendly and accommodating, we checked our luggage in no time then headed to TSA. The lines were ridiculously long. Mostly because today was now July 1st and the start of Europe’s vacation season of six weeks. Sometimes you have luck on your side because one of the TSA people guided us to a shorter line and on that line an employee seemed to like Vincent’s suave looks because she ran us through the barrier right to the area where we could load our stuff onto the conveyer belt. My Nivea was confiscated but I did not care because had the can opened, in my checked luggage, a mess that I wouldn’t want to deal with would have occurred.
Off to Duty-free, then customs, then our gate. We did some shopping, then proceeded through customs, I piggy-backing on my husbands’ French passport. While waiting to board, I noticed that one of the Philadelphia Eagles football team was on our flight. Avonte Maddox. As I am a NY Giants fan, I did not approach him but it was cool to see that he boarded on Group 2—just as we did.
We hit the duty-free..
We picked up a few goodies, perfume and makeup.
The flight home was very smooth and uneventful. I did cry a bit because I didn’t want to leave and return to reality. Once again, the flight attendants were stellar. United has, hands down, the greatest staff on and off the ground.
Let me put this out there. I’m a NY Giants fan. And living in the Philly area, I’m surrounded by Eagles fans. They’re everywhere like little cockroaches. When I flew home from Cincy in the winter, I flew home on a playoff day. The entire plane was filled with fans singing “Fly Eagles Fly”. I cannot make this up. And then, who is in front of me to board the plane? Avonte Maddox of the Eagles. I’m cursed, I tell you. Cursed!
Off we go!
Higher and higher.
Upon arrival back in Newark, I could feel my stress level and blood pressure rising. Because we have Global Entry, we breezed through customs. All we had to do was look into a kiosk, then exit while a customs agent asked us if we had anything to declare. We did not.
Back on home turf. Back to anxiety!
The wait for luggage was short but getting back to the economy parking lot was a freaking pain-in-the-ass (I told you my stress level arose like Jesus from the dead.) No signs. No signs for the parking lot our car was in.
Oh. That’s right. The P6 Sign is so elusive that Newark Airport won’t post it.
All other lots had signs. Ours didn’t and we needed to catch the jitney back to the lot. I finally asked someone, who told us where to catch the jitney. When the jitney arrived, it was filled. At this juncture, all I wanted to do was get home.
We arrived at the lot, our car was close to the bus stop and we loaded the car. Then it happened.
My husband paid approximately 350 USD to park our car for the duration of our trip. It was a pre-paid fee. Upon arrival to the lot, our license plate was photographed via computer and we were given a ticket. A TICKET. A ticket of which we saved for our EXIT!
We arrived at the exit, Vincent placed the ticket in the slot and nothing happened. The gate never rose upwards to allow us to leave. He took the ticket out and repeated the process. Again. Nothing. He finally hit a call button and was asked for our confirmation number. He inquired as to why a confirmation number was needed when he had the ticket in his hand.
Now there’s a line behind us. He had to retrieve the paperwork and look for the confirmation number. After about 6 minutes, we were on our way. Apparently, this must happen a lot because the car in the next ticket booth was stranded for an even longer period.
The drive on the Jersey and PA turnpikes was practically void of traffic so we made it home in good time.
And we unpacked. And we were tired because we were on French time. So instead, after unpacking, we enjoyed aperitifs and toasted our two weeks of pleasure and started planning our next visit.
I hope you enjoyed these posts. It was a pleasure for me to re-create the trip through these blog posts but I’m kind of not done. Next post will be about Tips and Takeaways!
Hope you enjoyed our trip to the Cote d’Azur this year. I’m wearing my St. Tropez tee shirt. And working on a post about travel tips!
Merci! And thank you for coming along with me. It wasn’t a fancy trip nor was it magnificent or trying to impress. It was simply a two-week visit back to a place we love. No matter where you travel make your memories wonderful!