The sweet life

Six days on the Côte d’Azur and Mom is still going strong.  To say that she’s having a good time  would be an understatement.  And no, I’m not bragging; we’re just having an all-around good time.

We left for Grasse after I published the previous post.  The plan for that Wednesday afternoon was to take in the tour of the Fragonard plant.  And to visit their boutique.  This was a first trip to Grasse for me and D as well and we were discovering new territory with Mom.  Upon entering Grasse you can’t miss the signs to the various parfumeries in town.

We took the tour of the historic museum before being ushered into the boutique upstairs.  I loved the entire experience, especially the shopping part.  We got to play with certain scents and had to try to identify the different scents that make up the perfumes.  After the tour of the plant and the boutique we wandered through the historic museum.  The museum includes atomizers and diffusers dating from the year 600 BC.  The name Guerlain figures in the museum as well:  a hand-written order from Guerlain for 2 cans of 25L of perfume; and an invoice from Fragonard (to Guerlain) for the product.

And here’s a career choice for you: become a Nose.  According to our guide it can take up to 9 years of study and work and more study to become a Nose.  Our guide also told us that there are about 50 Noses in the world.  Only 50!  And about 80% of them are in France.  If perfume doesn’t float your boat you can put your nose to work in selecting scents for fabric softeners, detergents, etc.

We left Grasse and took the scenic route home stopping in the hills of Cannes.

Thursday didn’t dawn bright and clear.  It was anything but.  Storm clouds threatened and I was worried that Mom and I would have to cancel our little train trip to Vintimille.  Instead of worrying about whether it would rain or not I decided to take a slightly larger bag, one that would hold an umbrella.  D dropped us at the train station and off we went.

The only regret that I have for the train ride was that it was cloudy and grey.  The ride along the coast is beautiful and each stop, in Villefranche and Èze and Beaulieu to name a few, provided a view on the Mediterranean.

We arrived in Vintimille at 11:42 am and walked to the tourist office.  I wanted to see if there was a tour or something of interest in this small coastal village.  The tourist office was closed when we got there at 11:50 am (despite the fact that it closes at 12:30 pm).  Mom and I decided to grab some lunch instead and found a little trattoria not too far from the train station.

After lunch we decided to head to the coast and walk off our lunch.  After a few cat calls — in Italian, in French, and in English — we decided to head back to the tourist office to find it still closed.  It wasn’t scheduled to reopen until 3:00 pm.  We eventually decided to cut our losses and took an earlier train back to Nice.  While on the ride back the sun decided to make an appearance and totally redeemed the day.  We concluded that we’d shared a pretty good day.  After all, how many can say they went to Italy for lunch?

Friday would be another day.  Initially, we had nothing planned for the day.  Then, D said that he only had a conference call at 3:00 pm but if we were in the car before the start of the conference call we could make the drive, during the call, to St Paul de Vence.  Yeah!  Another road trip.

We took to the road shortly before 3:00 and by the time we reached St Paul de Vence D was officially on weekend time.  We wandered the cobbled streets of St Paul, visiting the occasional art gallery and home decor shop.  The weather was absolutely perfect for a slow stroll.  We eavesdropped on conversations and laughed at the outrageous prices of some of the touristy gifts on sale.  In all, however, St Paul de Vence is worth a visit.

We headed back to Nice for dinner and an early night.  Next stop:  Coustellet.  Yes, it was time to meet les parents.

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Categories: getting out, guests

Author:Tanya in Transition

I am a woman in transition. I left my job of 13 years to find happiness and France!

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3 Comments on “The sweet life”

  1. April 18, 2011 at 12:16 PM #

    Oh boy…I can’t wait to hear the ensuing saga! They’ve never met before? It sounds like you’re both having a wonderful time.

    • April 18, 2011 at 2:23 PM #

      They’ve never met before nor do they speak a common language. It was quite funny actually. And yes, we’re having a blast!

  2. April 20, 2011 at 8:36 AM #

    Your right, popping over to Italy just for lunch is a treat! Last summer a friend from the States was over, and before her evening flight out of Nice, we went to Ventimiglia for gelato and Prosecco… just because we could! Love it!

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