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Published: August 9th 2019
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Villefranche-sur-Mer

It is supposed to rain today but our first glimpse outside gives no hint of wetness to come. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. It is hot and humid here at the Cote d'Azur. The house we rented can stay cool if you close the heavy metal outside blinds to keep the heat out, but we are here and the Mediterranean is calling so we venture outside to drive around.

First we decided to go to Beaulieu Sur Mer to see if we can get some court time at the tennis club. We have traveled the short distance from Villefranche to Beaulieu many times but between last year and this year someone apparently decided to make some of our familiar streets one way. We couldn't get down to the beach and port near the tennis club the way we have been doing it for years. We had to turn left rather than just continue straight to the beach and port where the tennis club was. So we just started turning right or left where we could and tried to figure it out. We came up against dead ends, much traffic, and many pedestrians along the way. The lanes are so narrow here I have to hold my breath each time we encounter a car coming from the opposite direction. We squeeze through an inch at a time until we have cleared each other. I cannot believe our side mirrors remain unscathed. We finally found a street that lead towards the sea and headed in that direction. Once on base corniche road we knew where to go. Luckily we quickly found parking and walked a few blocks to the Tennis Club of Beaulieu Sur Mer. We walked into the office and Tom called to the Manager by name as Tom knew him from 2006 when he was here for a month. The Manager's name was Christoff and Christoff had no idea who Tom was. They still had a pleasant conversation as Tom tried to jog his memory, I think he eventually did. We were unable to get a one month membership but we would be allowed to play for a fee. All was arranged and we have a tennis date tomorrow at 9:00am. We walked outside and watched some people playing tennis dripping in sweat from the heat and humidity, very impressive.

We decided to go down to the harbor in Villefranche for lunch. This is the spot where the Hotel Welcome sits and where we have always stay in the past. After walking around the curve of the harbor for a bit we settled on a little cafe to eat and again watch the world go by.

Our waitress arrived and asked for our order. Tom saw there was Salad Nicoise on the menu and asked her how the tuna was today. I could tell she was uncomfortable with her English as she first furrowed her brow then began speaking in rapid French and crazily gesticulating. She pointed back to the chef, put her hands next to her head and began moving it side to side, next she bent over and put her hand to her lower back and rubbed. She then straightened up, pursed her lips like a fish that was possibly smiling and began flapping her outstreatched arms as if she where a giant bird. Finally she held up one finger as if to say "just a minute," turned around and went back to ask the chef if there was any tuna. When she left Tom and I tried to decifer what we had just seen. We decided our waitress was telling us that the chef partied a little too hard last night and this morning had a headache and backache. He went out fishing for tuna anyway and when the tuna him and realized he had a hangover they laughed and possibly flew(?) away. That's it, that's how we saw it. We were laughing when she returned with the good news that there was in fact some tuna available for Tom's salad. She was very nice and the lunch was delicious. As we sat dark clouds began appearing overhead and the lovely breezes that came with the clouds began to cool us down. We finally went back to the car and headed to the store to puchase our dinner. As we left it was raining, we could see lightening strikes and hear the thunder in the distance. We realized our timing was perfect and we made the best of our first full day in Villefranche Sur Mer.

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