Monday, September 7, 2015

The French Riviera: Antibes the Secret One

I didn't even know about Antibes when planning our travels to the south of France. But our marvelous host Sara suggested that it had a great historic district and restaurants, so we decided to go check it out for an evening. Oh how glad I am that we did, as Antibes ended up being my favorite city we visited in the French Riviera. We arrived in the afternoon, just in time to be saved by some gelato and air conditioned shopping the cutest store specializing in coffee and teas. Raymonde, the kind saleswoman, even fetched us some cold water from the back when we entered. We had a lovely conversation about the town, the store, and the region. I had lost my voice the day before, so she probably thought I had a severe smoking problem as I wheezed out French verb conjugations. We bought some gifts for our mom, the one to blame behind our caffeine addiction before moving on to the rest of the downtown. Sally found an adorable coffee shop with air conditioning and wifi to catch up with her hubs while I continued to explore and melt in the sweltering streets. But how glad I am I did! I always end up discovering the soul of a city when I least expect it. And as I stepped out of that cool cafe into the heat, something changed I can only describe as magical. The light was golden, no more than golden. Flowers leant their petals to my feet and sweet aromas to my nose. I found myself winding through quiet streets where the only sounds were of babes crying behind wooden slatted windows or pots clanging as the sweet smell of cooking meats wafted into the streets. The enormous plumes of vines and flowers that twisted along the walls beckoned me come in deeper, and at one moment I was utterly lost to world. Eventually I rejoined my sister and we took a turn on the other sie of town, ending on the restaurant street where we met Sara for a scrumptious dinner that was so delightful I forgot to note the name of the restaurant. The long cool drive home through the whispering calm of night that enveloped the French countryside was the perfect ending to our adventures in Cannes and Antibes. The only thing left to do was rummage up a tiara and go play the Princess of Monaco the next morning.

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