Nice: blue skies + blue seas = happiness

I hate to admit it, but by Strasbourg, we were kind of travel-weary. The weather had turned from sunny end of September to gray, rainy first day of October. I still had a pretty bad cold that was threatening bronchitis. Our feet hurt. We were craving some fresh veggies, and most of all, we were super tired of carrying around all of our luggage, and I was tired of constantly repacking my bag. I hate to complain because it was all still amazing, and I still loved seeing everything. I just really wished we had planned some more time to relax.

It’s a short flight from Strasbourg to Nice, but as soon as I saw that deep azure water below the wings, I felt the weariness fall away.

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And in the cab ride, with the windows rolled down, some up-beat music playing, everyone walking around in short sleeves and sandals, I felt completely re-energized. Of course, we had lots of plans for Nice. There was the Matisse Museum, the Chagall Museum, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral – not to mention some day trips to Eze and Villefranche and maybe even Monaco. But as soon as we saw that beach, we looked at each other and knew we weren’t doing anything except watching the waves. As soon as we checked into our hotel, we changed into more beach-appropriate attire and hit the shore.

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The beaches in Nice are actually rocky. I kind of loved it. It wasn’t the most comfortable for lying on, and of course I missed the sand in my toes, but I also enjoyed the hot rocks against my skin, and I really appreciated that I didn’t have to worry about sand in my camera.

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Obviously what we should have done is paid for a chair under an umbrella at one of the private beaches and ordered drinks at our leisure, but we hadn’t learned the ropes yet. After an hour or so relaxing on the beach, we decided it was about time to see a little more of Nice, so we walked up the promenade.

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But we were still in relax mode, so we didn’t go too far. After dinner on the promenade, we walked down by the shore and just watched the waves crash. Why is that one of the best things in the world? I could seriously just watch them for ours.

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I have debated with friends before about the virtues of a city vacation vs. a beach vacation, and to be honest, I’ve always come out on the side of the city vacation. You may have noticed that I love the museums, the churches, the street scenes, and all the activity. A beach vacation never much appealed to me because I couldn’t imagine spending all day just relaxing by the water. Visiting the Cote d’Azure at the end of our long vacation was the perfect combination of city and beach.

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