Saturday, April 11, 2020

NICE: Rivière Redux

Nice, France

One of my favorite trips was going to the French Riviera with old friends which I've written about here before but I thought it'd be fun to explore it again with some more detail.  What was special about this trip was that I flew from Miami to Paris and Paris to Nice all by myself and I didn't even have any euros or Francs to pay the cab driver with so of course he kind of gave me sort of a dirty look when I asked him to stop at the ATM between the airport and the apartment LOL... However even though I flew commercial it seemed pretty much effortless to go from Florida to the Riviera and I enjoyed the autonomy as we had our own apartment on the Croisette overlooking the bay as opposed to a hotel.  (See above image)

I have fond memories of swimming in the bay and having beautiful lunches in the beach clubs as well as going to a wonderful tea room in the afternoons with Robert, my friend who was paying for most of the trip -he was also a very good client of mine back in the 1980s and 90s a perfect gent!  I do think that the reason I was so fortunate to have such a client and friend was that I had my own decorating shop in Winston-Salem and because of that I had very deep and personal client relationships which lasted for many years and which were on a very high level of taste and coordination as well as a sense of never rushing or feeling pressure of any kind. (Pre-Internet )!

Yes we were tourists, however we had our own car and we had an apartment not a hotel and it was fun to explore the area- the same part of France where many artists including Henri Matisse lived and worked.  I also discovered the town of Menton, where there is a museum of the work of Jean Cocteau, one of my very favorite artists from the past.  (We made a day trip to Monte on a wonderful , slow train from Nice!). Menton is near the French Italian border-

At some point, due to the fact that it was one of the hottest summers on record, we decided to abandon the apartment and moved into a very nice hotel which had the most divine air conditioning with the coolest of cool white sheets -I slept like a baby as you can imagine with my suntanned skin brushing against those cool white linens, and the hum of the air conditioner Lulling me into a very deep deep utterly relaxing sleep. Ahhhhhh.....! Tres' bien !

When it was time for me to depart as my hosts were staying behind they drove me to the train station and I waved goodbye and took off solo again for Venice.  (My first trip) - Like many before me I fell completely madly wildly in love with la Serenissima and when I departed the train I treated myself to a private motoscafo to the hotel Danieli.  I truly felt like Diana Ross in the film "mahogany" like a very glamorous fashion designer living la dolce Vita in Europe.  I was escorted to my room after going down many halls then up in the elevator then going down some more long hallways and then into a beautiful beautiful cool very venetian room with a fabulous marble bathroom which I very much enjoyed- I had it all to myself -that was total luxury.  Not unlike when my parents sent me on the grand tour after my chaperone (another Robert) left me there all alone with a gold American Express card, six pieces of matched tweed Hartmann luggage and a Burberry trenchcoat LOL ,age 20.!!!  Can you say fun?  It was!

Funny when I got back to Miami and was driving to Naples I had the reverse monetary problem as I only had euros and no American money but a very kind lady behind me at the tollbooth paid my toll and then when I returned Naples it was summertime and not a soul was here -the town was completely abandoned as it used to be very very seasonal .  Memories!  DF