Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nice, Day 3

So happy to have a kitchen and an apartment again!

Wow, what a day.  I moved from the Hotel in the center of Nice to the beachfront apartment the gallery has for me, and I thought it would be an easy thing, but it was actually quite laborious.  It is very crowded this weekend due to the Ironman competition, and lugging my huge suitcase and odds and ends on two buses, in 90 degree heat, with sweltering sunburn, was not fun at all.  Then came the odyssey of figuring out the keys, codes, etc. to actually get in (and out!) of the apartment building which was a whole other experience, but I finally got in and unpacked, and then, off to the stores for food, supplies, and art supplies, so, back into the thick of things with the overwhelming crowds, etc.  Wheew.

The apartment is very nice, it's a studio, but has all the little amenities necessary, including a whirlpool tub and bidet (of course, we are in France), and fabulous views of the mountains and the sea.  The wifi is a little iffy, but, that's OK, I can't spend too much time farting around on the computer!  So, that's a good thing.

Now, I'm in, supplied, showered, and relaxing.  I'm going to cook up a steak and some salad, and then off to meet with some people I met here--very nice, from Scotland, Ireland, and London, with a Parisien in there too.  We will go out for coffee and ice cream--Nice is famous for their gelati and other ice creams, so this should be a treat.  I am gearing up to put in some work time tomorrow, so I will officially begin mixing work with pleasure ;-)

While I was in the center of Old Nice today, I saw a very interesting and sweet occurrence: A very large gathering at an ancient cathedral, with multiple weddings occurring.  This is highly unusual in the US (ummm, can you imagine a bunch of "Bridezillas" sharing their "special" day??), but here, this is not uncommon.  The whole street was thronged with family, friends, bridal parties, and well-wishers, and I saw numerous lovely brides.  I saw two wearing very stylish white or off-white short wedding gowns, one traditional bride in huge bouffant-skirted bridal wear, and another in a very elegant floor length gown in all white lace.  Each one was very beautiful, very different, and radiant.

 I was amazed by the whole clamor and happiness of all of these people (different bridal parties)  co-mingling and just having a wonderful time.  The streets were lined with restaurants accommodating both the different bridal parties and people who were not involved, just eating at the same time.  There was no griping about "strangers" entering the restaurants or eating during the same time, it was all a very open and casual affair, while still being very elegant and fancy.  We need to lighten up a bit in the USA with our wedding "protocols," LOL.  This certainly seemed a lot more fun than many weddings I have attended with everyone being uptight to the point of the nuthouse if one little thing goes wrong.

Anyway, as I pushed on through the crowds, I found a really quiet street, the one I was looking for, with two ancient art supply stores (hooray) and was able to purchase the flammables I couldn't bring through the airport.  The elderly French clerk helped me get all I needed, even with my horrible French, and I was on my way back to the apartment quite speedily.  After dropping off my stuff, I was able to get some quiet time in the old cathedral (yes Jilly, it was beautiful!) of the Holy Trinity, near the Rue Buffa.  I try to see as many cathedrals as I can when I am out, because the history and architecture is amazing, and it is a calm oasis in the midst of chaos.

So, to wrap it up, I have gone out and come back for the night: I am in for the evening after a very nice night with some new people, and no, we didn't make our way to Pinocchio's Gelaterie, but we did stop at a fine patisserie and I had a most delicious chocolate pastry, with some kick butt creme (coffee), and now am sitting listening to the seagulls fly back and forth over the gardens between the buildings.  It's 9:30 pm, and still not dark, so I can see the mountains, and the throngs of people on the boardwalk, which is very relaxing.

All in all, it was a busy day but very good day, and looking forward to relaxing tomorrow, painting, and meeting up with some friends for Sunday brunch.  Bon nuitte!

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