we gave up!! we tried to be good sports and go with the flow, but the 95 degree days finally got to us. we were managing o.k. for the first few days, grateful that we had air conditioning, and timing our outings for early in the morning and late in the afternoon, but after a week or so that schedule got old. we were dining out on the terrace of our favorite restaurant, listening to the tom petty concert that was taking place about twenty feet from our table, when the owner of the restaurant, paola, came over to us apologizing. she was so upset, she explained, because during the day she had given water to some of the security men who were setting up the concert venue. they were so grateful that they had given her a ticket to the concert. she couldn’t go, she had to run the restaurant, but she wanted us to have it. she was apologizing because she only had one ticket. no problem. we were dripping wet just sitting and having dinner, there was no way i wanted to stand in a crowd for two hours with a thousand people. of course, mr. mayor was totally up for it. two and a half hours later, when he returned, he was soaking wet.
he had a great time, but we both decided that we had to get out of italy. we looked at weather reports from all over. at first we thought it would be fun to take a train to venice, stay a couple of days, and then take the ferry to croatia. turns out that venice and croatia were even hotter than lucca. then, we discovered that just three and a half hours away, by car, was the south of france. the beautiful, incredible, 82 degree south of france. we rented a car, threw some clothes in a bag and hit the road. i looked on the internet and found a bed and breakfast, just ten minutes outside of cap ferrat, monaco, eze and beaulieu sur mer. a beautiful stone chateau overlooking ,eze and the entire french riviera. now, we have all seen photos on the internet and so often they have no relationship to reality. as we pulled into a very steep, winding, unpaved driveway off the grand corniche, my heart was in my throat. then suddenly domaine pins paul came into view. the pictures did not do it justice. our room is charming with double french doors opening on to a terrace that overlooks the entire mediterranean. google it. it is not to be believed. caroline, who greeted us couldn’t have been warmer or more welcoming. after we checked out our room and the rest of the chateau, we got back into the car for the ten minute drive to eze for lunch. we ate a sandwich no where notable, and then wandered into the chateau d’ la chevre d’or, a relais and chateau carved into the side of the mountain. on that terrace we had dessert and coffee. a twenty-five dollar cheese cake with a million dollar view. after dessert it was back to the chateau for a little r and r. vacations are exhausting.