i think that when god was planning heaven he had the south of france in mind. everything here is perfect, from the weather, sunny, clear and just warm enough to enjoy the beautiful beaches, but not to warm to break a sweat on your morning walk. the scenery is breathtaking, the food divine, and the people, warm and friendly.
yesterday we went to cap ferrat. of course, us being us, we got lost and ended up, fortuitously, at the rothschild villa and gardens. this is a paradise that only millions of dollars could have created. the home is magnificent, but it is the acres and acres of gardens, overlooking the sea, that take your breathe away. there is one area that is just a series of fountains. there is piped in classical music and every twenty minutes the fountains dance in time with the music. it is the true meaning of a water ballet. the rose gardens go on forever and there is even a stone garden, set amid the trees with ancient stone carvings dotting the landscape. there is nowhere you can go in the acres and acres of gardens that does not have an unbelievable view of the sea. we walked for at least two hours and then left to have lunch. we found a small cafe right on the water and and enjoyed a salad nicoise in the home of salad nicoise.
we came home for a nap and then we had dinner with a young couple, brad and christina, who are staying at our bed and breakfast. talk about small world. not only do they know julien studley, howard’s first partner, but they live in his building. wow! there is no escaping your past, even if you wanted to. the four of us braved our way up the treacherous driveway and on to the grand corniche for dinner just up the road. yummy! here is what i now know. italy and france are about pizza, pasta, fois gras, croissants, gelato and vino. los angeles is about dieting.
today we drove into nice. it has been years since we had been there and we had forgotten what an amazing and vibrant city it was. we were looking for the museum of contemporary art and, since we were having no luck finding it in the car, we parked in a lot right at the beach and walked to the museum. we saw an interesting yves klein exhibit, perused their permanent collection, and then left to have lunch. the nice things about museums in nice is that they are all free. we had lunch in a small cafe and then walked the city until we found ourselves in the old town. antique stores and cafes galore. after spending time window shopping, it was back to the beach to do some topless lady gawking, and then back to the car. on the way home we thought we would do a drive by of monte carlo. also a place we hadn’t been in years. boy, i am glad we didn’t bother parking. picture disneyland with twice as many tourists and a cartier on every corner.
it felt really good to wind our way back up the grand corniche and wend our way home to domaine pins paul. up here, all is peaceful and quiet and the views are enough to calm even the most jangled nerves. tomorrow we go home, home being lucca. it is going to be hard to leave this paradise, but leave we must. we are now on a serious countdown with only three more weeks until we are homeward bound. we are trying to make the most of the time we have left, but suddenly, there doesn’t seem to be enough time. when we first got to lucca, may 1st, it felt like we had forever. now forever is coming to an end. i guess we are going to have to come back again next year.