This morning I was awoken by a fly trying to go up my nose.  This didn’t just happen once, as this was a very persistent fly.  I felt like I was on an episode of Candid Camera, because after I’d swat it away and start to fall back asleep the little menace came right back.  After half an hour of this game I decided to get up and sit in the quiet of our apartment as the rest of the family slept off last night’s fun.  I forgot to mention the man last night who Latin danced in the square with a full bottle of wine on top of his head.  Impressive!

We decided to head back to Nîmes today because Julia was really disappointed that we didn’t get inside the Arena a few days ago.  That, along with eating lunch, was our entire plan for the day.  We drove in to Nîmes and parked in almost the exact same spot as last time.  This was fantastic as we already knew where we were going and felt a little less like tourists.  All of us were hungry, and so we scoped out each place we walked by until a cute little Vietnamese place caught our eye.  We took a minute to look at the posted menu and decided it looked really good – and we were not disappointed!  I actually took the take out menu with me so that I could remember the name and post a review on Trip Advisor.  If you ever find yourself in Nîmes please take a chance on Restaurant Vinh Phat!  Jeff got the Pho Tai which is a beef noodle soup.  I was too hot to order that too, but I was a little bit jealous as it was both beautiful and delicious.  Chloë actually ended up eating half of it; he kept offering her bites and eventually it was easier to just pass over the bowl.  The spring rolls were amazing, the fried tofu with sweet and sour sauce was delicious, and Julia had the best menu d’enfant we’ve encountered on this trip!  For 8€50 she got a fancy drink, a little appetizer plate with a spring roll, crab roll, and shrimp wonton, then a chicken skewer with fried rice, and finally a cup of lychees!  She was in heaven; you almost couldn’t give her a better meal than that – and what a deal!  That kid meal was heads and tails better than the frozen poulet nuggets they have everywhere around here – actually that may be the best one I’ve seen anywhere!

Onwards to the arena!   We walked up, and as we approached the ticket line I was pleased to see that there wasn’t any line up.  Then I read the sign… closed at 2:30 pm to prepare for a concert tonight.  Guess what time we walked up?  At 2:30 ON THE NOSE.  Seriously??!  We had to chuckle.   A new plan was made – destination Arles!

Last time we were in Arles we accidentally wandered in to the garden that Van Gogh painted from his hospital window, and then later walked right past the café that he also did a painting of.  It was like we were on a movie set and trapped in a Van Gogh painting!  This time, however, we didn’t encounter any of those things.  We wandered through narrow alleys eating ice cream and then arrived at the Arles arena.  Julia figured this one could substitute for the Nîmes arena we just narrowly missed entering, and yet we had almost the exact same issue occur… the arena was closing at 4:30 pm to prepare for a bullfight that evening!  Thank goodness it was only 3:55 pm, and so we just made it!  Disaster averted.  It was fun to see it again, and we re-created a photo we took 5 years ago.  All in all, it was a very successful excursion.

Tonight’s dinner was at a French-Italian fusion restaurant that was recommended by the man who owns the apartment we are renting.  The food was great and the staff was very friendly.  Jeff and I are amazed at how much we need to rely on our (less than stellar) French.  Quite honestly, I’m not sure how we would get by in this region without it!  Thank goodness we paid attention in highschool.  (I know my children are reading this, and so I am giving a little shout-out to studying…)

We leave from here tomorrow to head east to Saint Raphaël; we have enjoyed our stay here but look forward to our next adventure!


**Note – there is SO MUCH poop in the streets here – it’s absolutely incredible.  Look at this beauty we saw tonight right outside of someone’s front door.  To make matters worse we aren’t sure if it’s from an animal or a human.  Ayeyeye.


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