Friday morning we left the apartment at 6:00 to get to the airport in Nice. Although we now knew some of the pitfalls along the way, we still wanted to leave plenty of time for unanticipated “issues” so that we didn’t have to sweat about getting Kathy there in plenty of time. Kathy’s flight was in the morning and Ron’s was at 2:00. The plan was to get to the airport, go in with Kathy, say goodbye when it was time for her to leave, and then go with Ron to the Chagall museum in Nice before taking him back for his plane.
We did make it to the airport with plenty of time! This is never a bad thing, in my opinion, and we got Kathy’s bag checked in and went to get a bite to eat. We spent a pleasant last hour together, and then big hugs all around as we said goodbye and sent her off to go through security. I will certainly miss having her around – she is such a wonderful friend! It was just fantastic having her here with us!
Since we now knew the drill for getting out of the parking at the airport, we’d brought our ticket into the terminal with us, and now validated it and paid at the machine in the terminal before going to retrieve our car and head to the Chagall museum.
We spent about 20 minutes trying to get Jeeves to find the museum before leaving the parking lot! Because we were at the airport, which is pretty far outside of the city center, and Jeeves has a limit as to how far from his current location he’ll search, the museum wasn’t on his radar. We looked in the guidebook, and put in the actual address – no luck. We finally found a road fairly close to the museum that he did recognize, so headed there, and figured that we’d be OK once we were closer.
In fact, that is exactly what happened. We had no problem finding the museum, but then the parking place search began! It’s all very hilly and narrow, and we wound around and up and down the little streets that were absolutely lined with cars – not an empty space in sight! After some considerable time doing this, Ron volunteered that we could take him back to the airport and he could read until his flight! We found this proposal unacceptable!
Sadly, in the end, this is exactly what we ended up doing, as it became clear that this museum is best visited via public transportation – there is simply no parking in Nice!! I started to have that “forcing” feeling that I try to listen to – perhaps we weren’t supposed to go to the Chagall museum that day. Anyway, I hated it because I hated to abandon Ron, and I hated for all of us to miss the museum, but that was the only sane choice at that time.
SO…we drove back to the airport, pulled into the “kiss and fly” (yes, they do have that here, and they even call it that! in English!) and exchanged big hugs with Ron. What a wonderful guy he is – so much fun, so easygoing, and so intelligent! It was really just wonderful having both of them here with us!! I miss them already.
Our plan was to take the coastal road home, at least for some of the trip. We decided to get out of Nice, and south of Cannes before we got off the motorway. We set Jeeves for Théoule-sur-Mer. We ended up having a little of the Cannes “suburbs” to get through, but then we pulled into Théoule after a bit.
What a cute little town. We ate lunch on the main drag facing the sea, then walked away from the water into the village. I spotted a little shop full of beautiful handmade ceramics and other “artsy” things, and went in to snoop. I chatted with the owner, who told me that everything she has in the shop is at least made in France, usually pretty locally (my ceramics are made in Marseille), not in China or something like that! She was quite emphatic. And rightfully so!!
Anyway, she talked about how this is a really small town, where everyone knows everyone, and where you can just pull up a table and chair outside of your little shop and have lunch with friends (which is what she was doing when I arrived). She said they call it “the countryside on the sea”. Lovely. And it is. I’ll be back…perhaps to buy and ship some of those ceramics…
We finished poking around and left Théoule, and the road started climbing. What followed was some of the most magnificent scenery I’ve ever seen. The road ran along the top of cliffs, winding around following the edge, and the view out over the Mediterranean was truly spectacular! It’s pretty much impossible to capture it with our little point-and-shoot, but here’s a try:
Anyway, as you can imagine, it was pretty slow going, so when we’d had enough we decided to head back to the motorway. On the way, we spotted a Carrefour, where we most often do supermarket-type shopping, and decided to stop to replenish some staple items.
This was some Carrefour!! It was like a whole mall in one! Maybe it really was a mall, with a Carrefour attached, we never did really figure it out, but it was huge! And in a commercial area where there was any and every kind of store, I mean big stores, that you could want! I can’t say that I was thrilled to find this in France, but it was interesting.
Anyway, back on the motorway and to Bandol without further ado. We were pretty bushed, and had a simple dinner of leftovers and to bed! We’re sure going to miss Kathy and Ron!