Friday, February 14, 2003

slept late this morning, till about 9:30 at which point one my current roomates, helen, says "there's free coffee for guests downstairs before 10". so needless to say i inquired about this while i was paying for my next night's bill, but i was told no, it was before 9. *sigh* perhaps a way to convince myself to get out of bed a little earlier. we'll see.

this morning had helen show me around the city a little while she did a few errands. then we went to the picasso museum, which was nice. much smaller than i imagined and not containing quite as many of the types of work i recognize, a lot of ceramic plates with child-like drawings of faces on them.

after being terribly warm all morning and carrying my coat around, i decided i would go sit on the beach a little after lunch and read. well, when i got to the beach i had about 10 minutes of wonderful warm sunshine before the sun slipped behind a massively huge cloud, where it never came out from, and me without my coat got very cold. so i walked into the english bookstore and looked around a bit (i've just finished my current book "island" by aldous huxley). needless to say it was not a whole lot warmer in the shop. in fact in the basement where the used books were, there was a small machine blowing out cold air! blah. but have chosen my next book: "the celestine prophecy" by somebody-or-other.

tomorrow i'm planning on a walk to juan-les-pins, which is essentially the same town as antibes, but they have separate train stations, post offices and tourist offices. supposedly it's a little bit younger, a little bit hipper.

did not go out to the pub last night, instead walked with my other current roomate, selina, to get a pizza, which we brought back to the room and ate while i read a found copy of october 2002 british marie claire. lovely evening. though helen was astonished that i didn't go out on my first night in antibes, i think we'll be going out tonight.

and it's terribly cold!!! i'll definitely be wearing my coat!

Thursday, February 13, 2003

today i moved camp to antibes.

was able to easily find and get a room at my first choice hotel, the crew house, which also has and internet cafe connected! how convenient. there are lots of people here looking for work on yachts, and there are lots of yachts, but i've read that there's just too many people looking for that sort of thing... at any rate, i'm not strapped for cash... yet.

walked around the city a bit today, which is a little more condensed than nice and a little less touristy. it's nice. (but then again nice is nice as well, didn't i say). tomorrow i'll go to the picasso museum, apparently he stayed here (in antibes) for a few months and they were very productive months, and so now there's a lovely museum.

walked down to the water and the wind was so brutal that i thought i would die of cold. bought a new, cheap sweater today (10 euros) to keep me warm. am going to break out the mittens again. hopefully it gets a little bit warmer.

there seemed to be some talk about "the pub" so i may be doing that tonight.


Wednesday, February 12, 2003

have been contemplating all the dog doo on the sidewalks.

what do they feed these animals? it seems that 2 out of 3 piles of dog doo are diarhea. must be all the foie gras. or something, it must be something....

a little cool out today, and it looks to be like that for a while. i guess i'll live, at least it's not snowing. took my last day trip from nice today to menton. it was just okay, that secret riviera stuff is a bunch of crap. (says me). menton is home to the (a?) jean cocteau museum, which was pretty interesting. his art is sort of crazy picasso line-ish stuff in strange colors. i liked it.

had a difficult time finding a good place for lunch. i walked around the pedestrian zone for a while, peeking in shops and checking out where other people were eating (usually a good indicator). so i decided on a place and i sat down at an outdoor table (in general, you just sit wherever you want and a waiter comes up and asks you what you want, no "hostess") and started to look at a menu that was on the table next to mine. and i waited. i decided to get a pizza (menton is very close to italy) and a glass of wine. and i continued to wait. and wait. the people who were there started leaving. so i left. i walked around and tried to find somewhere similar, but couldn't. finally just picked a place with people and when i looked at the menu all they had was drinks and ice cream and a couple of snacky type things. so i settled for "croque-monsieur" (essentially grilled ham and cheese with cheese on the outside of the bread as well) and a beer.

walked around the city some after lunch and decided to walk the "chemin du rosaire" which is this path that leads up to this hillside church that some princess of monaco built when some saint cured her leopracy (or something). supposedly it was decorated with like some human bones or something. well, if it was, i didn't see them. and it was a very long, uphill walk to this place. great view of the city though.

now i've picked up some groceries for my dinner and a french vogue and i'm ready to go back to my hotel and put up my feet. :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

i once read somewhere: "a day without wine is like a day without sunshine". how true!

this morning i got up early and was out and about by 9 am (hey - that's early - i'm on vacation here!) had a coffee and did some people watching at a cafe and then went to find the museum i couldn't find the other day. well, i found it this time. a small museum, but interesting, had some cool paintings by some Dufy guy, who is from nice or something. also had "le baiser" (the kiss), the sculpture by rodin.

took a walk to the outdoor market and found a sunny little cafe to have lunch at. i kind of like having my big meal at lunchtime. i can sit alone and people watch while working on my tan and not have to count on someone wanting to go to dinner from the hotel in the evening. and it's an excuse to drink wine, which along with the sunshine makes for a wonderful afternoon. had some prawns or shrimps or something that not only had their shells still on (which i dislike, though i know it's a somewhat posh thing for restaurants to do - i just think it's lazy) but they also had their heads still on. with their big black eyes staring at me. yuck. and since i was given a little hand wipey i assumed that i didn't have to eat in a civilized manner. and it was so messy. and despite all the work (and they eyes) it was tasty. sat on the beach for a little while before heading back to the hotel for a little laundry. i'm starting to look a little sun-kissed on the cheeks and nose, which is very exciting.

did a little shopping, grocery shopping too, which was an experience. i had bought some bread, goat cheese and apples yesterday to have a couple of cheap meals. well today i decided to pick up a tomato to throw into the sandwich, which i didn't realize i was supposed to weigh before i went up to the cashier. so i had to run back to the vegetable section and weigh it, get my little sticker and run back to the cashier. just another lesson learned i suppose (like you need your london subway ticket to get out of the station as well as in).

tomorrow i'm planning a day trip to menton, "the secret riviera" (according to my guidebook). we'll see about that. :)

Monday, February 10, 2003

hooray!! no rain today, as forecasted - in fact it was a beautiful day.

took a trip to monaco today, and walked around the entire country (it's not that big). lots and lots of walking..... i'm very tired and very much looking forward to a)laying on my bed with my feet up and b)taking it easy tomorrow. hopefully it will be nice enough to sit on the beach.

saw prince rainiers palace and the place where princess grace is buried (along with dozens of other dead monacan royalty). there was a desert garden on a hillside (waaaay up the hill) that i almost died trying to reach. i almost considered forgetting about being economical and take a bus or something. then went to the casino in monte-carlo, didn't actually gamble or anything, mostly sat by the water trying to recover from my walk. then there was a lovely japanese garden.... it was all very lovely, including the million dollar yachts in the harbor - wow.

so yeah, ready for some rest....

Sunday, February 9, 2003

thought i would get up a little earlier today, before 9 instead of before 10 (i'm still on vacation, before 9 is early) so i started to walk around and noticed that not many things were open yet, so i'm thinking "this place is exactly my speed, no need to get up too early". but it wasn't until much later when i was going to write in my journal that it occurred to me that it was sunday. and in the end only about half of the cafes and none of the shops opened. *sigh*

today was also a rather yucky day. very cloudy and very windy, which made it quite cold. i sat on the beach for about an hour (maybe less) it was all i could stand. looks like rain tomorrow which is no fun for walking around in (i do have an umbrella). my plan tomorrow is to take the train to monaco, but we'll see how much i really do there if it's raining.

have been feeling very tired today, even after a mid-afternoon siesta (i think that's more a spanish tradition than a french one, but oh well) but i guess i've had a busy week, i'm entitled to feeling a little tuckered out. it's not even 5 o'clock and i'm thinking of picking up a sandwich for later and heading back to the hotel. such a lazy day.