I was way too tired last night to write a blog… I am currently sitting on a train travelling between Nice and Paris and felt it was the perfect opportunity to catch up on the events of the last day and a half. (Edit - the first half of the blog was written on the train, the second half was written from the comforts of my bed!)


Yesterday was our one and only full day in Nice and we wanted to make the most of it. I would like to give a shout-out to the Novotel Nice Centre, because for the price it truly delivered. Breakfast was included with our room; you could enjoy a plentiful buffet, but if you preferred you could order room service for free. We discovered this at around 11 pm and quickly decided that room service was the way to go for the next morning. It was really nice - fresh orange juice, a bowl of fresh fruit (whole peaches, apples, oranges and strawberries), and of course baguettes and croissants. It was an excellent way to start the day.

Julia wanted to swim in the pool, but after half an hour she was bored so we headed towards the beautiful old part of Nice to find lunch. We ate at a lovely beach club right on the Mediterranean. We were in the shade and had a beautiful view of the ocean with a gorgeous sea breeze. As it was our only day in Nice, I felt it was appropriate to order the Salade Nicoise. Chloe did the same, and we both loved it. The water was a gorgeous colour of blue and it was really the perfect place to have lunch. Afterwards, Jeff and Julia rented two beach chairs while Chloe and I headed into the narrow streets to do some window shopping. Chloe and I ate some delicious gelato and wandered around looking in interesting little shops. After a few hours we met back up with Jeff and a slightly sunburned Julia who had spent the entire time bobbing in the water. That truly is her happy place!

Back at the hotel we cleaned ourselves up and had a little rest before going out for dinner. It may seem counterintuitive, but during past visits we have found amazing Vietnamese food in France. Vietnam was occupied by France for a long time, and some of their cooking is intricately linked. (Have you ever eaten a Vietnamese sub and wondered why it is served on a baguette?) So, with that in mind, we searched out a Vietnamese restaurant with excellent reviews. We found it, but to our disappointment it was closed. We ended up eating a delicious meal at a restaurant with a lot of authentic Nicoise dishes. It was really good, and of course we capped off with more gelato. Just because we left Italy doesn't mean that we can't eat gelato multiple times a day.  :)

This morning we decided to go down to the buffet (as opposed to getting room service), and it was really nice. This is the third Novotel we have stayed in this trip (London Blackfriars, Genova City Centre, and Nice Centre), and they have all had drastically different breakfast buffets. London had the traditional English brown beans, sausages and eggs, Genova had a strange combination of food, no fresh fruit, but excellent croissants, and this one today in Nice was by far the best. Lots of fresh fruit, beautiful baked goods, cheeses, meats, and eggs and potatoes if you'd like. It was really delicious, and much better than the donut and Tang you receive as a free breakfast in some hotels.

We took a taxi to the train station and our driver was hilarious. Jeff wondered later if he was a wanna-be comedian trying out his jokes on unsuspecting travellers. In any case, we were chuckling for the entire journey. He talked about his two boys (aged 14 and 10) and his wife, and we were in stitches. It made for a very amusing commute. Our train today departed from Nice at noon, and after a half an hour delay (which seems to be the story of our train travel this summer) we were off. We were on the top level of a double decker train travelling about 300 km/hr across the French countryside. When we entered tunnels our ears felt strange, but it was wonderful to be able to walk around and do whatever we pleased while getting from one point to the other. For lunch on the train I had a nice risotto, Jeff had a croque monsieur, and the kids had chicken farfalle pasta. Not too shabby!

We got to our apartment and were slightly disappointed by the size - it is tiny! There is very little storage and so we put our things away as best we could. Accommodations on this trip have not been up to par compared to our other European adventures, but it will make us appreciate the future great finds even more. The location of this apartment, however, is fantastic. We are between St. Germain and the Latin Quarter and there are a lot of great shops and restaurants all around us. Tonight's dinner was fondue, and it was great. Not a 'light' meal by any stretch of the imagination, but super delicious. Hunks of baguette dipped in gooey cheese, cubes of beef sizzling in oil, and a pan of potatoes with cream and bacon. Dinner of champions! They served a small green salad with it which was much appreciated, and we felt the red wine was full of antioxidants and basically a vegetable side dish.

By the time dinner was done it was pouring and we headed towards home after grabbing some bottles of water from a supermarket. We are all pretty tired so are taking advantage of the good WiFi and calling it an early night. I still can't find my computer cord so no pictures (Joyce lent me hers the other day before we parted ways, but now I need to track one down in Paris!)

We love this city, and it is nice to be back. It has taken a beating in the last year which makes me sad, but that is all the more reason to visit. Bon nuit!


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