I arrived at my grandparents' vacation home in Nice in the late afternoon. It was so nice to finally stand after sitting on the TGV for so long!
After I greeted my grandparents with la bise (four kisses on the cheeks), I immediately unpacked my stuff. Since Sandrine was at her ballet intensive, I got a room to myself. I was thrilled about that, since I have to share a room at home. Any time I get my own space, I'm happy...even if it's just for a week and a half!
Before eating, I sprawled out on my bed and took a quick nap.
By the time we finished dinner, it was nighttime, so my family thought it would be fun to walk around Nice at night. Excuse the lower quality images; I used an old hand-me-down digital camera, and the quality isn't the best. We first headed to the Place Masséna, the main square of the city. The architecture of the buildings is more Italian than French, which is understandable since there is a large Italian influence in Nice. Actually, you can find many signs written in French, Italian, and local languages!
Here is a photo of the square that I took the following day when it was light outside:
Nice is probably most famous for its Promenade des Anglais, a walkway along the shore. La Prom, as we call it, got its name from the multitude of English vacationers that visited years ago. Nice is not only a popular vacation spot to us French. Also, the beaches along the Côte d'Azure tend to be rockier instead of sandier.
Have you ever wondered why the Côte d'Azure is called the Côte d'Azure? Just take a look at the breathtaking blue Mediterranean Sea!
Here are some beautiful homes that are similar to my grandparents' vacation home:
One night, my family and I ate outdoors at a restaurant in a square filled with shops, an outdoor market, and many delicious places to eat dessert and real food, of course. There were live street performers, which is quite common in many places in France. They sang some American oldies music to lighten the mood. My favorite song they sang was "Brown Eyed Girl". I liked to pretend they were singing about me, though they probably weren't!
Afterwards, we got ice cream at a specialty ice cream shop. I had Nutella-flavored ice cream while my brother devoured some rose-flavored ice cream. We also bought some fresh raspberries- or les framboises- from a vendor.
My brother pointed out this parody painting of the Statue of Liberty. It was pretty funny, considering that it was a gift from the French, after all....
We also saw the cutest dog in a pet store window. I wanted him to come back to Lille with us, but my parents kind-of foiled those plans.
One day, we went to the principality of Monaco, which is basically a hop, skip, and a jump from Nice. It's so close that when my brother and I went for a walk, we almost ended up in Monaco. French, Italian, Monégasque, and English are spoken and understood there. Monte Carlo is one of the largest quarters. It is home of the famous Hôtel de Paris and a grand casino. If you have seen the movie Monte Carlo starring Selena Gomez, you got to see some of Monte Carlo. Although I'm not really a Selena fan, I had to watch the film to see my favorite vacation spot in the world.
Below is a photo of Le Palais de Monaco, where the price resides. You could tour part of the interior, but you weren't allowed to take photos. Security was too alert for me to even sneak some pictures of the inside. Still, after seeing it, I realized I could handle being royalty. It wouldn't be too shabby of a life at all.
We also visited Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée, where Princess Grace Kelly's mass was held before she was buried in the Grimaldi Family Vault. For those who aren't familiar with Grace Kelly, she was an American actress who married Prince Rainier of Monaco. Princess Grace suffered a stroke while driving, which caused her to drive down a steep cliff. She died instantly. Here is where she was buried:
I hope you enjoyed the photos! I'm currently attending a summer program in the US, and I hope to write about that soon. Sorry I procrastinated with writing my vacation post. If you ever have the opportunity to go to Nice, take it!
Did you go on vacation this summer? If so, where did you go?
(HUMAN NOTE: These are my actual photos from my trip to Nice in 2009.)