Road Trip!

Trip Start Sep 15, 2011
1
23
Trip End Dec 24, 2011


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Flag of France  , Provence,
Saturday, November 26, 2011

As the clock ticks down on our stay here in Antibes, we realized that we haven't done hardly any of the daytrips and exploring of the Cote d'Azur that we had originally intended to do.  The realization that we only have three more weekends was the necessary kick in the pants to get moving.  So, today we rented a car and made a visit to Eze and to Menton.

Eze is a famously charming hilltop village with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean and the surrounding countryside.  It is like a little tiny town stuck on the head of a pin.  It has very old, very well preserved castle walls, narrow winding streets and lots and lots of stairs!  I remember going there with my sister many years ago and being awestruck by this postcard perfect spot.  Ozzie was quite excited to go and see it.  It did not disappoint.  He really loved it and went around snapping photos every few seconds, which he never does.  

Going there in the wintertime was a totally different experience from my last visit in mid-summer.  On the plus side, whereas I remember the baking heat and puffing and sweating up the hill, this time it was much more comfortable and the hill didn't seem nearly so high.  Also, there were very few people there.   On the downside, most of the shops were closed and the village had an almost deserted feeling compared to the summertime buzz.  

We had a lovely lunch at the Nid d'Aigle which is the highest restaurant in town.  The best part (for us) was that they provided Nicolas with his own highchair and a plaything to go with it.  He sat quietly for our entire lunch (unheard of!) and I actually got to eat my whole meal without having to get up once to tend to him. What luxury!

After Eze, we carried on to Menton which is the last town in France before the Italian border.  It's just over an hour from here by car.  Unfortunately, since we had such a late start to the day (an unscheduled baby nap upset our plans) we didn't arrive in Menton until just before sunset and dangerously close to baby's bedtime.  Regardless, we got a chance to take a quick walk along their boardwalk and through their old town.  What a beautiful spot!  It's a little more slick and touristy than Antibes but it is equally charming.  It has a very long and lovely pedestrian only shopping street with lots of cute restaurants.  Their boardwalk is very wide and very long and I could imagine how nice it would to stroll along there every night after dinner.  

We really wanted to stay in Menton for this trip but we were unable to find a good apartment to rent.  Going there made me think that perhaps we should have tried harder... That being said, we love Antibes too.  The neat thing about Menton is that since it is so close to the border, it is almost like two countries in one.  You hear equal amounts of French and Italian being spoken in the streets, for example.  It does have a reputation for being a bit of a sleep retirement community and the beaches are very, very rocky so maybe don't go there if you are hoping for discotheques and/or soft sandy beaches. 

Tomorrow, more driving.  Wish me luck!  
 
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