A Shopping and Dining Spectacular - South of France Spectacular Day 6

August 9, 2012

I probably shouldn't say it was a shopping spectacular. We just finally went shopping. But we went after a loooooooong sleep. This was the first time we slept in since we got here. No excursions were planned. We didn't have to be anywhere at any particular time. It was just a day to chill.

The only issue was that breakfast stopped serving at 10a. It was 930a when I realized the time. And I was still a ways away from being ready. Which meant I was running down to breakfast with no makeup and wet hair. Priceless. Of course, I wasn't the only one in shambles as many people seemed to use today as their sleep in day. Luckily, I didn't have to sit long in my unmade condition. We shoveled down our food and went along our merry way. After we got back to the room, I slapped myself together and we hit the road for some power shopping.

We made our way back to Rue de Antibes where we knew the shopping would be plentiful. We started out pretty good. There was a store that immediately caught our eyes. 1 - 2 - 3. It seemed like the French version of Ann Taylor. It was early, so we just made mental notes. Then, the next store and the next one. The shopping on this street was not bad price-wise. Unfortunately, I got hit early on with the "maybe I shouldn't spend any money" bug. This bug hits at a moments notice and I become paralyzed while shopping. I had wanted a bauble or something. Anything. I walked away with nothing. Well, a giant macaron. It was salted caramel. It was wonderful. I'm slightly disappointed that I didn't find anything, but then it just reinforces the fact that I can and will go shopping at home.

Because breakfast was so late, we didn't have a huge appetite for lunch. But we were near where we knew we were going to stop for lunch. This little place called Cocoon had been found separately by both Mom and I. It was a cute little place (emphasis on little) and reminded us a bit of the Queen of Tarts in Dublin that we found. We split the sampler platter and wanted to do dessert, but Mom was way full. Plus, we still want to do a Nutella crepe...somewhere. I actually think that one is not going to happen. I hope to be proven wrong...(Spoiler Alert - I wasn't).

Back to the shopping and after a frenzy at a store from Mom (where she learned how "easy" it was to charge the purchase in France. I didn't realize she thought it would be different than using the credit card in the states), we decided it was time to go back to the room. We thought our sunburns might be better served outdoors at the pool or in the air conditioning. Cause, man...it's hot. I knew it would be, but I didn't expect it would be.

We didn't know what to expect with the final dinner of the trip. We had already had a fireworks dinner. What could possibly top that?? Well...

Everyone piled into the bus around 730pm. What should have been a 15 minute trip to a castle "down the street" turned into a 45 minute excursion due to the traffic on the coast. The traffic keeps freaking out Mom, but just like in Peru, I never saw any accidents. As insane as the traffic seems to be and how the rules of the road are questionable, we did not see any problems. Obviously, someone is doing something right.

Our stop was at the Chateau de Napole. This was a castle built by some ex-pats from New York who were interested in becoming a part of the art culture in Cannes. As we got out of the bus and walked in the front gate, we were stunned to see what the night was going to bring.

They had a red carpet and trumpeters who announced our visit. Sure. That happens every day. There were also horses attached to a carriage where a prince and princess were seated. We all got our pictures taken in front of the carriage. Cause you just have to at this point.

We had time to walk the grounds, champagne in hand. There was time to mingle (blech) and we found an outdoor corridor where we holed up with another girlie duo from Texas who mingled just as well as we did. Soon enough, we made our way into dinner.

Seating was the same as almost every other night. We sat with the Baltimore crew. And in a funny moment of symmetry, we realized everyone at our table was at our table on the first night (there were always two Baltimore tables, just so this doesn't sound like a duh statement). A few minutes after we sat down, the string quartet started playing music. I looked at one of the other ladies at our table and said, "Are they playing 'Beauty and the Beast'??" The answer...yes. After two laps of the song, we literally had "Belle" and "The Beast" (in prince form) come out and start singing all of the songs from the movie and the musical. Considering "Beauty and the Beast" is my favorite, I dug it. In between the "Beauty and the Beast" medley, we also had the opera-singing waiters.

Dinner was excellent. Probably the best meal we had during our trip. It might have been because the steak was rare. Really rare. It might have been because I never got insanely full today. It could have been the multiple glasses of wine I had consumed. Whatever. It was a good meal. And the ambiance was even better. We were outside in very white and clear furniture with colored lights all around us that made for a magical setting. It was our last night in France and it was wonderful.

We made it back to the hotel after midnight and started packing. The lure of home was calling us. And not just because we had plane tickets for the next day. We were ready to go home. As fun as being away is, it is also good to come home.

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