Friday night I escaped the kitchen and all but flew to the train station in Juan les Pins. Sweating and parched, I ran to the queue for my train…only to discover it was 25 minutes late T_T
Though there was about a half hour where I contemplated whether or not to just take a taxi to Nice, I eventually made it by train, and by 12:30am I was hugging Jenny hello after six months of being on the opposite side of the world from her. It is incredibly bizarre that we have only known each other for less than a year, but in that time we have traveled parts of three continents and shared countless one-in-a-lifetime experiences together. Make brownies in animal onesies on Christmas? Check. Go clubbing in full costume on Halloween in South Korea? Check. Reunite in the south of France? CHECK.
Despite the jet lag I’m sure she was feeling and my just having finished another week in the kitchen, we stayed up until nearly 3am sitting in the kitchen in our pjs and attempting to cover all the most important things that had happened in the time we had spent apart. Reluctantly, we forced ourselves to sleep in order to be able to wake up by 8am the next morning for our day of adventures.
It was the best night of sleep I have had in weeks.
It may have only been five hours of sleep, but for the first time since coming to Juan les Pins, I had my own bedroom and got to sleep on a bed that wasn’t a bunk bed. It was so beautiful.
The next morning we headed out to the market in the old town. The airbnb that Jenny and her family had rented was just North of the train station in Nice, so it was just over a mile to walk to the market. I had been to the old town and to the market when I went to Nice last spring, but between the weather being absolutely perfect this time around and my increased comfort with France and French and life in general, it was a much different experience this time around.
We wandered through the stalls, stopping to take pictures, eat samples, and buy souvenirs for friends. And after a bit, we decided to stop at a cafe for some coffee and people watching.
…which ended up being a coffee-and-gelato-and-people-watching stop. It was 10:30am. No judgement please.
After a brief return to the apartment to refuel on sandwiches (made with fresh baguettes from the market and the most amazing butter with sea salt) we hit the beach.
Now you may know that I am not a huge beach person. I am more a stay-inside-by-myself-and-do-activities-in-the-air-conditioning type of person. Which is partially induced by my personality, and partially induced by the fact that when I go out into the sun, I go from paper white to lobster red with very little effort.
But we went to the beach–which was crazy CRAZY busy because the weather was absolutely perfect and it was a Saturday.
And it was amazing.
Okay, so it was a rock beach and the rocks may as well have been embers in a campfire, and the struggle was so real climbing down the little ledge of rocks to get to the sea…and then even worse attempting to climb back up in a somewhat graceful manner before running back to our towels as not to burn our feet. But really, it was a great time. We just chilled and talked until we were too hot, then went and jumped in the sea for a bit before returning and doing it all over again.
At one point Jenny asked me what time it was–she thought we had been at the beach for a maximum of 45 minutes, and it turned out we had actually been there for well over two hours.
Nicely relaxed and thoroughly salty, we returned one more time to the apartment to shower and get out of our swim suits before heading out on a shopping and eating adventure.
I’m not a huge shopper, but I have been living off of the same suitcase of clothes for the past four months without going shopping once. And I am so tired of all the things I brought with me it is actually insane. This summer has been so hot, but I can’t send my cool-weather clothes back because I will need them this fall…so I have been wearing the same handful of dresses over and over again for the last two months. So Jenny and I went out and got matching tank tops (cuz we be basic bitches) and I got two new dresses to add to my wardrobe. I was so happy.
For dinner, we went to a super delicious Italian place that Jenny had seen the night before. It was so good. I eat pasta a lot here because I eat most of my meals at the hotel, and pasta is incredibly simple and helps chefs and staff carbo load in order to have the energy to work. But the pasta I usually eat is just pasta. This was a delectable adventure for my mouth. Seriously, it was so good.
We slightly rushed to finish our meal and then went on the hunt for a bar with a large TV which was playing the US-French woman’s Olympic soccer match. We were already about 10 minutes late by the time we found a bar, so we just stopped as to not miss any more of the game. That might have been a mistake, because the bar was absolutely nothing special, and even more than that we had the displeasure of sitting next to the most bizarre man in France. So we watched the game while attempting to ignore the Frenchman next to us, who was determined to engage all of us in conversation.
The US won–to nobody’s pleasure except ours, as everyone else watching the game was French. Excited about the game and also feeling like awkward Americans, we escaped back to the hotel, where Jenny and I continued our pj-chat-fest in the kitchen for another several hours.
Was our day the perfect overview of what Nice has to offer? In the end, I really think it was. While the city has a lot to offer and we didn’t even come close to doing it all, we managed to hit everything from the beach to the market, the winding back street shopping to the main street brand name shopping, and from sandwiches with local ingredients in our kitchen to a nice dinner out on the town.
Thanks for reading! Continue reading about my adventures with Jenny in Cannes here, and be on the lookout for my next adventures in and out of the kitchen.