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Trip Report Iwango went…to Nice

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Hi all, and thanks for all the advice you gave - both before and while we were on our trip! My husband, adult son, and I went for a week to Nice, from December 11-19th, and had a wonderful time! We concentrated on walks, art museums, good food, and taking in the holiday atmosphere.

We flew from LAX to Nice via Paris on Air France, economy but on the upper level of an Air Bus 380. Something about being upstairs makes the flight less onerous for me - maybe it’s the staircase you can walk up and down, the faster food delivery - or maybe it’s just the excitement of going somewhere cool. Whatever, it was an OK flight. Because our LAX-CDG flight was delayed almost an hour, we had to really hustle to make the usual walk-a-mile trek from 2E to 2F at CDG. Thank goodness we had our son with us, whom we promptly christened The Sherpa (I guess packing an extra set of clothes in my husband’s carryon made schlepping the bag harder than usual. Lesson learned!).

Two of our three pieces of checked luggage didn’t arrive when we did, but they were delivered that night, so we were fine. We booked an airport pickup and return with Mira at Friend in France - recommended, especially as our return flight was at 7:00am, at a cost of around 75E.

We rented an apartment through Nice Pebbles, and it was fantastic (www.nicepebbles.com) ! The company was prompt with replies and queries, made restaurant reservations, and had a great booklet with information for the Cote d’Azur. The apartment was called “Esprit", and had two bedrooms, a large living room, dining room, and kitchen. We had an en suite bath with tub/shower, and our son’s room had an en suite shower and bidet…although it was clearly stated on the website, I missed the fact that the toilet was in the hallway outside the bedroom. It was fine, but someone else might have been disappointed, so I mention it. The cost was about $1000 for the week, and the location could not have been better! We were on the Place Magenta, one block from the pedestrian rue Messena, three blocks from the Promenade des Anglais, and an easy walk from the Old Town and trams, buses, and trains.

After landing, my son and I took a walk around to get some groceries and scope out the boulangeries. I think we ate some bread, cheese, fruit, and crashed. Jet lag.

The next morning I’d booked a food tour from A Taste of Nice (www.atasteofnice.com), for about $75 per person. We met our tour guide, Gustav, by the beach and walked/took the tram all around the city, trying socca (chick pea pancakes, yum), petit farci (stuffed vegetables), pissaladiere, cheeses, macarons, wine delivered from a cask to your bottle, and candied fruit from Maison Auer. It was a great way to acquaint ourselves with the city, its history, and its food on the first day.

Maybe it was the holiday spirits - we bumped into an impromptu Santa-costumed band parade at the farmer’s market uptown - but we were also serenaded while we were sitting having our socca lunch. Gustav introduced us to Georges, a retired Nicois who burst into a traditional local song, Nissa la Bella. I had almost no idea what he was saying, but his gusto and gestures were charming! It was a wonderful morning, followed by long naps.

That evening we went to Luc Salsedo for dinner - fabulous! (www.restaurant-salsedo.com). My choices were a foie gras risotto with mushrooms (my favorite), sea bass, a little coconut mousse, dessert of french toast with apples and caramel ice cream, followed by a tiny cookies and macarons. It was our son’s treat, but I think the cost was around $250 for all three of us. A great first meal in Nice! And on to bed.

To be continued…Antibes, Menton, St Paul de Vence, and Nice. :)

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