Pretending to be Zelda Fitzgerald

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April 21st 2008
Published: April 28th 2008
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firstly, i would like to say that i will be returning to Little Rock at 9:47 on the evening of July the 2nd. Just in case anybody wants to meet up for tacos or IHOP or whatever.

Usually when I think of beach areas, I think of places like Hawaii and the Bahamas and Cancun. Now, I'm sure these places are alright in their own way, but I've never really had much of a desire to visit any of them. They're too typical. Too accessible. Too predictable spring break or predictable middle class family vacation for my wild yet highly refined tastes (Glass and Tucker families, I'm looking at YOU.) The Rivieria, however, reeks of refinement. REEKS. So after Paris I hopped an overnight train (that I was very fortunate to book, considering I made the reservations only a few days ahead and the train left during Easter weekend) down to Nice, to sit around in the sun and pretend to be an expat in the 1920s. Honestly, though, I wouldn't really want to be Zelda Fitzgerald. She was really, really crazy. Like, eating her own poop sort of crazy. I would, though, like a big wide brim flapper era sun hat, such as Zelda might of worn while she was hanging out on the Riviera. I even went shopping for one so I could wear it while in Nice, but alas, nothing classy enough turned up.

Speaking of classiness, maybe I shouldn't share this upcoming story, but I think it will get a few laughs (and I have no shame) so here goes. While on the night train I was super bummed to discover that not only would i be trying to sleep sitting up in a train seat but that i would also have to contend with two loud, bouncy, piece of crap french 8 year olds slamming their reclinging seats back onto me, and back up, and then down again over and over and over. i got them back, though. i was le gassy, and all night long i was silently farting right next to their rambunctious little heads. huh huh huh (french laugh).

After a night of that, I was pretty tuckered out when I got into Nice. Additionally, I still had the cold I picked up in Paris, so I was not feeling up to much adventuring. I was hoping to take a
i found him!i found him!i found him!

this was actually taken in paris, but i forgot to put it in my last entry.
nap in the morning when I first got into the hostel, and then maybe lay on the beach and read in the afternoon. Things did not go as planned. When I showed up the hostel, my bed was not made, thus disqualifying my plans for a nap. Then, while having a sit down in the common room, I was accosted by some kids from Chicago who were also travelling around during the spring break of their semester in England. They were nice. One of the girls was really encouraging me to hang out with them that day, so I went even though I had been looking forward to spending the day alone (I'm a loner, a rebel, in case you didn't know).

We walked around town. It was cute, but not immaculately maintained, kinda of like hot springs with its mildly skeezy charm. hot springs is definitely skeezier than nice, but I think the two cities have a similar tone. The Illinois kids did not want to get lunch, and I was hungry.

The beach was awesome. The water was so incredibly blue! Have any of ya'll ever gotten an ocean water from sonic before? well, ocean waters
the view from my room at the villathe view from my room at the villathe view from my room at the villa

you can see the mediterranean in the distance. beautiful!
look like the water at nice. In the deeper parts the water is a deeper shade, like the color of ocean water when your cup is all full, and the shallow parts of the water look like the last dregs of ocean water that is hanging out at the bottom of the cup under a mound of crushed ice. I shared this analogy with one of the Illinois-ians, but she was not impressed. Oh well. The actual beach part was less than astounding, unfortunately. It was made of rocks, not sand, which would have been alright if there wasn't all sorts of gross stuff hanging out in these rocks. Broken glass, it turned out, was the least of my concerns while sitting on this beach, as the pictures will show. Anyway, the kids from Illinois had come out in shorts and bathing suits and sandals and put their legs into the water. I, on the other hand, came out wearing a long sleeve shirt, a short sleeve shirt, sweater, jacket, scarf, jeans, and sneakers. When we first went out, this was pretty appropriate attire, but as the day worn on and warmed up, i was forced to shed more and more layers. Through careful maneuvring, I even managaed to take off the long sleeve shirt without taking off my tshirt. I still wasn't about to put my feet in that water, though.

I wanted to stay on the beach, reading modernist lit and nursing my cold, for the rest of the afternoon, but the illinois-ians were insistent on climbing this mountain to see a park on the top of it. I was guilted into accompanying them. It was a really nice park, though. There was lots of pretty flora, a big waterfall, trees shaped like pineapples, etc., etc.

Then a storm blew in and we had to hussle back to the hostel, where I had a FANTASTIC dinner of ribs, salad, and a brownie for like €6. This hostel is another one that I would strongly recommend. It is called the Villa Saint Exupery, after the author of the Little Prince. It's cheap, quite, well-furnished, offers an awesome free breakfast and excellent cheap dinners.

Since my beach plans for Easter Sunday were so disturbed, I thought, well, I will just sit on the beach all day on Monday. But no. I got guilted by the hostel staff into taking the bus to Monaco. Really, this was pretty good advice. The bus ride was super cheap (only €1!) and passed through one of the most astoundingly scenic areas I have ever been in. And, of course, it's neat to have gone to Monaco. However, I didn't know which bus stop I was supposed to get off at and consequently hopped off too early, causing me to have to walk a ways to get to the neat part of Monaco. In fact, I probably covered a lot of the whole country by foot. How many countries can you say that about, huh? NONE (probably). This would have been okay with me, except I really needed to get back on the bus and onto my next destination so I could finally sit on a beach and read in peace, but since I got off at the wrong stop I had trouble locating the right stop for going back towards Nice. I tried to call the hostel to ask them what I should do, but neither of my cell phones would work in Monaco. So I ended up walking around Monaco for a long time feeling really frustrated and pissy before eventually finding the bus stop.

Next, I went to Ville Franche, a medieval fishing village that was Italian for a bazillion years and still looks really Italian. I even saw a restaurant called Trastevere (my former stomping grounds in Rome, in case you don't remember). I hung out on the much-nicer-than-at-nice beach and read and ate a quiche lorraine and felt content. However, the afternoon soon slipped away, and I had to hop back on the bus to Nice. During the ride, though, I had a very pleasant conversation with a French lady who had lived in London for 30 years and was buying a vacation home in Ville Franche. I also met a lot of really nice people at the hostel. For both nights I was there, I shared my room with this nice Austrialian lady named Margie and a nice German lady named Claudia. There was a Canadian boy who stayed in the room, too, but he was less fun to talk to. Margie liked to call Claudia the "little Germ," and once the Canadian boy jokingly said something like "oh no! we can't have too many germs!" but Claudia did not get the pun and ended up taking it as a nationalist jibe and I think we were all too lazy to explain it . oh well. but claudia, if you ever happen to read this, germ=bacteria/viruses/other stuff like that.

Unfortunately during Monaco/Ville Franche day my camera memory filled up. I had thought I had close to 100 more pictures worth of memory, but I was wrong. If I hadn't of judged incorrectly, this entry would have about a million more pictures in it, seriously. The Riviera is so awesome that I'm considering teaching myself French so I can move there some day.


A great big congratulations to all my graduating friends, including but not limited to
LAURA, KERI, MEGAN, RACHEL, ROBERT, KIM (or did you already finish?), TRICIA (I think you're graudating with your second degree, right?) i think Shawn and Jess are taking an extra year?, and a very special congrats to LAURA JEAN, who will have her master's!!! woo!!!

Additional photos below
Photos: 64, Displayed: 28



i had been up for a good portion of the night before, was still sick from paris, and was unwashed, so i'm looking a bit rough.
the kids from illinois approach the waterthe kids from illinois approach the water
the kids from illinois approach the water

it was cold out. no way i was putting my feet in.
look what i foundlook what i found
look what i found

the beach at nice is not exactly pristine, as you can see.

28th April 2008

Your shot of the kids on the rock part 2 is adorable. What a lovely time you had!
28th April 2008

great entry!
so my favorite part is the comment on the ruins picture "i'm over ruins at this point".. i know you thought of me when taking it though. hahahaha :)
29th April 2008

Yay for more france!
Very lovely place! I'm glad you mostly enjoyed it. Yes I am graduating, and actually officially took my last exam today. Woot! I am rather tired though, so this comment is short and boring. Sorry; I'll do better next time. I heart you!
8th May 2008

I am le jealous
I can teach you French. :P Thanks for the graduation thoughts and the lovely blog. I wanna go to Nice real bad! xxx

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