Cannes Fireworks Spectacular!! - South of France Spectacular Day 4

August 7, 2012

I'd like to rescind my comment earlier about liking the food to just come my way without any selection. I mean, I guess it's not the fault of the restaurant this afternoon. Then again, if you're going to serve "steak" for a group, you need to make sure you aren't going to overcook it. Stay tuned for that story in a bit...

We have a bit of a routine going on in the morning. Up. Shower. Breakfast. Excursion. Today, we had a bit more time to get ready. We are sleeping harder than we did at the beginning, but we are just so tired by the end of the day that the mornings are getting increasingly hard to get ready. Plus, now I have WiFi, so there's that added time in the morning.

Our hotel is very nice. I do have to say. The rooms are big enough that we aren't tripping order each other. It's in a prime location. The beds are comfortable. Sure, it would be nice to have more than CNN International and BBC World to watch on TV, but I guess we aren't here to watch TV anyway. Breakfast is pretty good too. I've been digging the porridge. I do love me some porridge.

Today, we were off to the town of Eze (pronounced Eh-Zzzzzzz. No, really) and the Gardens of Villa Rothschild. Eze was a medieval village (apparently, you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a medieval village in France) between Monaco and Nice. And from just about every angle you could see some of the bays where yachts dock and party. Eze was built on a hill many, many, many years ago, so getting up to it took a bit of a hike. Quite a bit of a hike. If we thought the streets of France are narrow, the paths to walk up Eze were even narrower. I felt bad for the families with babies and the old lady who was almost to the top of the village (with her cane!!). I also felt bad for us. It was hot and sticky and a steep climb.

There were some cute little shops on the way up and down Eze. But we only had a certain amount of time to stay in the village. This is the biggest downside to group touring. In general, we haven't really had time to shop or go crazy with anything.

We met at the bottom of the hill at a restaurant called Le Pinocchio. It was a cute little open air restaurant. We all sat down and they brought wine and water. But there was only one glass for each of us. The first course was served and glass. The waiter did finally bring everything over and we started drinking the Rose. The salad was fine. A few veggies stuffed with a meat mixture (didn't ask). Then, they brought out the steak. Almost immediately, I knew I was not going to eat much. The steak was wildly well-done. Considering I like my meat to be mooing its last moo as it comes to my table, this was a problem. Plus, I'm not a huge steak person anyway, so...I had a few bites. Not much. After a while longer (and a pointed finger to a waiter to bring us more...water...hah...I know what you were thinking...), the dessert came. Ice cream. In a tall glass bowl. And melting all over. Sigh. Melted ice cream makes me urpy. I did soldier through the dish like a champion, but all in all...not a great meal. Turns out the day before, the meat was so undercooked that no one could eat it. The manager was apparently mortified and did what anyone would do in that situation. Cook the crap out of it the next day.

We boarded the bus to head to the Gardens of Villa Rothschild. This is a home that was built in the first chunk of the 1900's by a Russian woman. She wanted her home to be similar to Versailles and just like a cruise she went on once. This woman also owned a pet monkey and a mongoose, so...there you go. The home was lovely and very ornately decorated, but she didn't spend much time there as she preferred to stay in Monaco to gamble. Freaking 1%ers. The gardens there were particularly lovely and I could have spent much more time hanging out and taking closeup pictures of flowers.

The bus is both fantastic and cringe-worthy at the same time. It's nice to just get on the bus and be taken where you need to go. But man, I get on the bus and instantly start fighting to stay awake. I know I've slept on the bus. I don't think I've snored, but I know my mouth is wide open. And that can't be good.

We had time today to grab a drink once we got back to the hotel. I had planned to get some tea since my stomach was not feeling all that great this afternoon (Pinocchio!!). But the sparkling drinks really sounded good. We had the French Bellini (again) and something involving champagne, apricots, strawberries and maybe a mango?? I don't know what it is, but I will expect to have it again.

Tonight, we stayed in our hotel for dinner. There is a Fireworks Spectacular happening in Cannes and our hotel is right in the center of it. So there is a viewing area on the roof where we are going to drink and dine and see fireworks. Very exciting.

And it was spectacular. Just beautiful. The night started with a mad scramble to get ready. We had been told since the beginning that this night would be "White Night". We needed to all dress in white. I'd been freaking out about what to wear since the beginning (hint - no one gives a rip what you're wearing other than you). To add a mandate to the attire was not cool. But I had a white skirt. And I found a white top. It wasn't Prada, but it was something. Plus...I'm not really a fan of Prada. I'm just saying.

We walked upstairs to a sea of white. It was just cool. Really. The tables were all decked out in white, with covers on the chairs and white roses and everything. Everyone was dressed in very different outfits, but being all in white worked for the room. We were given a glass of champagne and we went to find a seat.

After some light nibblies, dinner was served. Unfortunately, that was the moment where I completely lost my appetite. Maybe it was too much wine. Maybe it was the memory of Le Pinocchio. Maybe it was just monumentally bad timing. But it was like the fish course at Astrid y Gaston. I was out for the count. Now, me being out for the count DOES NOT include issues regarding desserts. I could be ready to heave, but I will find a way to shovel down dessert.

The lights went off, the theme from Chariots of Fire and 2001 started to play and soon enough, fireworks started. I should take a minute to say that we were facing the Mediterranean Sea. On the 5th floor terrace. A sea of people were on the ground level, watching upwards. We were looking straight ahead. I even think we had a better view than the sea of yachts lined up on the other side of the barges filled with fireworks.

Mom said afterwards, "It just hit me right there that we were watching fireworks on the Mediterranean Sea. Fireworks. Mediterranean Sea." Yeah. It was the best thing we've done so far.

Wednesday will be the first day where we get to eat fully on our own. Thank. God. We have a cruise to St. Tropez, then dinner by ourselves. I know Mom wants to dine in the hotel. Honestly...I don't think I can do it. We need to experience some French-ness that isn't attached to a group or our hotel. I might be able to convince her of that...


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