Day 1: Welcome! arrived and had Mom come pick me up at the airport. I was groggy and grumpy. Had a late lunch in the vieux ville of Nice. I spent the rest of the day trying to force myself to stay awake to avoid jet lag. First time in the hilly farmhouse we would be staying in for the rest of the trip.
Day 2: Went to Cannes to catch a glimpse of the film festival! I immediately went into paparazzi mode and tried to look for any celebrities who might have been hiding in the crowd. There were none. Spotted coming out of hotel: Misha Barton, Cheryl Cole, some French singer named 'Celine'.
Day 3: Drove to Grasse, the perfume capital of the world! (or so they say) Went on a tour of a local perfumerie and bought myself some premium scents... for a premium price. Took the long route home and stopped in several small medieval towns on hilltops.
Day 4: Monaco. In Monte Carlo I discovered this little nation-state is basically a casino, many large yachts, and lots of government castles, statues, and monuments dedicated to Prince Albert, Ranier, and Grace Kelly. I had a nasty, overpriced lunch. Remnants of the Grand Prix, such as scaffolding and tire skids on the roads, left evidence of the massive event that had taken place about a week earlier. I was not super impressed. Back to France!!!
Day 5: Today we visited St. Jean Cap Ferrat .. Specifically the annual rose festival held on the Ephrussi - Rothschild estate. Lots of gardens to walk through and roses to marvel at. I obviously took as many free samples of sugar coated rose petals and rose flavoured candy as I could.
Day 6: My sister arrived!!! Before that, we went to St. Pauls de Vence to see the modern art museum. Wasn't really my thing. Then we went to Vence to see the markets. We had delicious crepes and saw a 500. Then we picked up Karen and had a massive dinner!!
Day 7: Antibes. Favourite place by far. Included delicious lunch, nap on a beach, and a sunny visit to a Picasso museum.
Day 8: Var (WINE country!!!) toured through the different vineyards, sampling rose, reds and whites at each place. I bought three of my favourite bottles of wine. My sister had been taking a 'wine and spirits' course at school and was able to inform us a bit about what we were sampling. Yum!
Day 9: Ventimiglia, Italy. Famous for its outdoor markets. When we got there, the town was literally littered in dog poop and a bit run-down. It became clear that the money maker in the town was the massively confusing market. Most stuff being sold was mass produced and cheap. Not impressed. Back to France!
Day 10: Time to go home, so sad! It was a wonderful trip to the south of France. Can't wait to do it again!