Fall break came faster than I anticipated. So, when Friday came around, my bags were packed and I was ready to board a flight to Nice, France. It’s the destination you see people on House Hunters International searching for and lots of beautiful pictures with colorful houses.
We arrived at dark because it gets dark here around 7 and doesn’t get light until about 8. Night people, you’d love it. Me, I hate it. We dropped our bags and found a restaurant very close to our Airbnb called Le Local. It was probably the best dinner we had in Nice. We had two baskets of fluffy bread and the rose was crisp. Delilah got some kind of miniature ravioli and Caroline had some tomato ravioli. It tasted like we were in a new country.
The next day was a busy one. We walked along the beach from our apartment into Old Nice. We hadn’t seen the actual buildings yet, and seeing it for the first time was mesmerizing. The colorful buildings that sat on the water and built into the cliffs were picturesque and the water was a blue that can only be described by the image of crystals. The air was warm and a sea breeze swept back our hair as we made our way down into town to find breakfast.
We had breakfast at Pain and Cie. It was probably the only day that I didn’t feel completely bloated by bread during our trip. They had a nice selection of breakfasts to choose from, I had an espresso and peanut butter banana toast. This is the place we learned to be more careful with money while traveling through places that we are unfamiliar with. When we went to pay, Caroline gave an extra 10 euro to cover a service charge and when we gave the money with the expectation of receiving change, the woman simply told us she was sure that we gave her the exact amount and wouldn’t give us change back. We’re glad we didn’t lose more money, but it was a frustrating encounter.
Next, I found a coffee shop called Le Country Store to make up for my lack of coffee that morning. A fair warning, alternative milk is difficult to find in other countries. So, when you do, appreciate it. I loved walking through the Plaza and drinking my cappuccino.
Cours Saleya Market is close to Le Country Store and was our second big stop of the day. It’s crowded by locals looking to buy produce for dinner and tourists like us looking for little treasures like paintings and lavender oil. The market was one of my favorite experiences because it felt like such a French experience. The colors of the produce and the smell of fresh food made all the food I ate later seem fresher because I knew it was grown locally. The market is also close to a creperie called Granny’s and a bunch of different alley ways that offer the chance to take very “Nice” instagram photos with pastel backdrops and fun walkways.
The best part of having a place in the city is the accessibility after long walks. We found that midday we liked to go home and recharge both our phones and our brains. Taking in a new place can be exhausting, and having a space to sit in silence for a few minutes is always a plus. However, choose wisely because our Airbnb was not very clean when we got there and we found ourselves wishing we’d done more research about the space before we actually booked it. Just one more learning experience the trip gave us.
After a nice break, we found a tapas place called Movida for dinner. Delilah wanted to show Caroline what all the fuss was about when it came to tapas, and now I kind of understand. It’s a fun way to experience lots of different food and connect with people over their favorite flavors. This was our top tapas destination because it had a view of the blue water that we wanted to spend every second looking at.
Now, for the best part of the day: the lavender gelato. There’s a stand called Le Sun Ice. If you’re in Nice go to this stand and try every flavor they have because it’s the best gelato that will ever touch your tongue. I shared lavender with Caroline, and it practically made me fall in love. We sat on the beach with it and breathed in the Mediterranean water while gushing over the gelato we wished we could enjoy forever.
Our final stop of the day was a French pharmacy, where I bought lip balm and lotion from my favorite French brand, Nuxe. I’m fairly certain I’m going to go broke while attempting to buy more of their products while living in the states. If you haven’t tried them, check them out. They are clean and smell delicious and are a life changer.
Our first day in Nice was busy, beautiful, and such a great way to start my first European “Holiday.”
The next day we discovered our favorite bakery. The woman working was sweet and just looked French. She had huge eyelashes and lots of eyeliner and beautiful curly hair. She gave me an eclair that made me feel French, and the entire experience was, well, an experience. It was probably the happiest I was on the entire trip.
We ventured further into the center of Nice and found a coffee shop with delicious iced coffee and the best muffin I’ve ever tasted. Most of the day was filled with my favorite activity, walking through the city and looking in different shop windows.
Our day ended with a book on the beach and some journaling. My biggest piece of advice to any human on the planet: journal. I know it sounds lame and like a waste of time, but I love looking back at my journals and remembering moments that meant the world to me at the time. Forever, I will now be able to bask in the joy that I felt as I sat on the water and laughed with my friends while my damn shirt rested on my salty skin after I’d taken a very ungraceful dip in the Mediterranean Sea in my underwear.