We’re wandering around the streets of Nice, looking for an older woman. We think we’re on the right “rue.” We have no idea what she looks like and we won’t be able to say anything other than “bonjour” when we meet her. Then there she is, maybe. She’s well-coiffed, wearing red lipstick and a fur coat. She smiles and we do too. “Appartement de Laurent?” she asks? “Yes!” I say. She leads us around a corner and up a few flights of stairs. Inside the apartment she hands us a set of keys, smiles, and says “bye!” “Au revoir,” I offer as she closes the door.
We arranged the apartment through Airbnb, but our host had to work at the last minute so his mother came to greet us instead. The place was charming, and perfect for one night. We immediately opened the windows and let the sunshine warm the late February air.
After settling in, we walked down to the Promenade des Anglais, the most impressive 4 miles we’ve ever seen. The city is the perfect mix of old world and new, and while the streets are buzzing with energy, the vibe along the beach is much more relaxed. The water is that mix of blue and green that begs you to put your feet in it, while the rocky beach offers up the most interesting exhibition of stones.
The stones collectively clack as the waves roll in and then back out again, applauding like an appreciative audience. I normally don’t have trouble finding the words, but I can’t seem to figure out how to explain exactly how breathtaking this place is. We just kept looking at each other and shaking our heads. Jared repeated “too much” more than once. It’s one of those places where photos will never be enough and while the visual memory will fade; the feeling —you’ll remember.
We got dinner at Neptune Plage right on the beach: Kronenbourg beers and a cheese plate. When our waiter brought the plate, he described the offerings as “goat cheese, roquefort, brie and I don’t know.” But I assure you, they were all delicious.
While Nice tends to be overshadowed by its coastal rivals like Monaco and Cannes, it’s truly an incredible place. It’s a place you’ll aways want to revisit, a place we’re so lucky to have spent time together, a place that will play in your memory on those cold winter nights.
Have you visited the French Riviera? Share your story in the comments below!