March 8, 2019.
For Maria’s 21st birthday we met up in the south of France, a place she’s wanted to visit forever. Safe to say, she didn’t have to twist my arm for me to come along for the trip.
We met up on the Côte d’Azur, and lived life like the French for the weekend.
I ran through the Nice airport to greet the birthday girl. Maria’s friend from home came along for the weekend as well, so we were the three amigos (or ‘les trois amis’?).
We checked into our airbnb, unpacked, and relaxed on our picture-perfect patio under the warm sun.
After settling in, we wandered through the quaint town towards the sea. With little side streets and open aired plazas, Nice holds all the charm of classic French architecture, but with more color.
We compared the pastel and multicolored colored buildings to the village sets in Disneyland: something kind of magical and a little staged about the town.
We finally popped out between tall palms to get the first view of the coast. The water was a turquoise blue that I’ve never seen before, simply beautiful.
The pebble beach stretched as bar as the eye could see before it bended along the terrain. We strolled along the Promenade Des Anglais in the windy and warm weather, always checking to make sure the water color wasn’t just a trick of the eye.
We settled down for lunch at a little restaurant by the water, toasting to Maria’s birthday and to our delicious cheeseburgers (suddenly, I’m a burger girl now).
Lunch was positioned right next to the famous road on the coast, and we gaped and gawked as millions of dollars in the form of cars cruised past us. Seriously, I don’t know much about cars, but even I could appreciate the machines that drove by.
After a filling lunch we followed the Promenade up the the “I love Nice” sign and along the beach.
We headed vertically up from the corner of the city, up Castle Hill and onto amazing panoramic views.
The city was gorgeous from this height, and we couldn’t help but question the water color at least a few more times.
After endless exploring and wandering of side streets, we retreated to the airbnb for a quick rest before heading out to celebrate Maria’s birthday.
Travis, Maria’s friend from home, was an extreme car guy and wanted to rent a sports car to drive along the coast, so Saturday morning we went out in search.
Unfortunately (or for me, fortunately), the only car available was an adorable red Fiat convertible.
We all climbed in, put the top town, and maneuvered our way out of Nice and down towards Monaco alongside the water.
Every cove we curved along revealed more of the beautiful coast. Full sun, great company, and a perfect atmosphere made riding in the back of that little Fiat one of the best times of my life.
We cruised into Monte Carlo, Monaco, the infamous land of luxury and casinos. Both rang true as we grew closer to town; the towering yachts creating a unique skyline over the water.
Monaco was large, luxurious, and somehow still cute. The grossly expensive sport cars parked along side the little streets gave the town a kind of expensive charm.
We sat for a quick bite to eat before catching the sun again and hopping back into the Fiat.
We didn’t have a destination in mind while cruising further past Monaco, just enjoying the amazing drive and sun.
Somehow we wandered over the Italian border, managing to drive through three countries (and back) on our cruise.
Heading home just before dark, we took in some amazing views of the sunset, winding back around the twisty roads towards Nice.
We all grew to love our little classic European car, and riding along the coast is something I’ll never forget.
We woke up and sleepily packed our bags, sad to leave the beach town atmosphere.
I said goodbye to Maria at the airport, excited to see her again in just a few short weeks.
All in all, Nice was pretty nice.