Our last day in Cote d’azure

We spent the last few days day in Nice on a whirlwind of adventures. Everyday during our vacation, I tried to get photos of the beautiful landmarks in Nice. Yet, with so many tourists, “C’est impossible.” I finally decided to wake up at the crack of dawn (which is difficult for an insomniac like me) to get photos.

Our first stop was Le Negresco hotel. Of course, there were cars parked right in front of the entrance but it’s my unlucky curse. Even without the crowds, I couldn’t capture how beautiful the hotel is. I just love the architectural details.

How sweet was the bellhop? Our next stop was the fountain of the sun in Place Measséna.

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Even at 8 am, it was so hot I wanted to jump in the fountain. We drove over to Castle Hill park, a park on top of a mountain. Lucky for me they have an elevator. We stopped at the I love Nice sign for a cheesy family photo.

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We walked across the street to Castle Hill park. There is an elevator built right into the mountain.

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OMG! This view was everything.

We asked a couple to take our photo with the beautiful coastline of Nice and this is what they delivered. I took their photo and made sure to not get the morning shadow and I took several photos. They took three of the same exact shitty shot. *EYE ROLL*

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I don’t know what to say to describe how pissed I was. I am sure it was the extremely hot weather but we were all in a grumpy mood. Luckily, Antz broke the tension making fun of my attempt to rock a chic French scarf. He said I looked like Bret Micheals from Rock of Love and I couldn’t stop laughing.

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We set off to find the waterfall I heard about and after walking forever we realized we kept passing it.

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I feel like my entire day was an article of expectation vs what you get. We bought popsicles from a snack bar and took Liv to the playground.

We almost died from the sun! I couldn’t brighten these photos anymore.

The Castle of Nice (Chateau Hill) used to be a military citadel but it was destroyed in 1706. It is a must see spot to visit in Nice (just bring tons of water!)

Poor baby was dripping with sweat. We hurried back to our rental car which I had to return before noon. We took the tram to the Nice train station and then took another tram to Old Town so we could meet my friends for brunch.

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The couple that we house swapped with last March were in town for vacation. Her family is from Nice so we met at a friend’s cute restaurant and we met her brother and his family. I wish I took more photos of all of us but they food and conversation was so amazing, I totally forgot.

I am normally not a huge prosciutto fan, but it was sublime paired with the fresh cantaloup. Antz ordered mashed potatoes at the chef’s suggestion and I took a bite. Ummm, did I just taste the yummiest, creamiest mashed potatoes of my life? Just look at that fresh butter! I was falling in love with the south of France even though the sun was trying to melt us.

The place we had brunch is:

Marinette
13 Rue Colonna d’Istria
06300 Nice

After brunch, we took an Uber back to our rental and had to hit the beach for one last swim. We met two sweet ladies on vacation and chatted with them. They were a mother daughter duo and the daughter was on summer break from college in America. The funny thing about our conversation was they were both topless the whole time so it was pretty weird for us, but they were so chill about it, we just ignored the obvious awkwardness. Good thing I was wearing sunglasses.

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Antz had to start work that afternoon and Liv needed to relax and play video games on her Nintendo Switch. I took a quick nap. Later that evening I had to meet my friend Brandi for drinks one last time before we left.

The next morning we flew back to Paris. I know we will return to the south of France. I would love to visit more inland in the Aix-en-Provence area.

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My Evian water bottle crates

Bonjour,

I have a story to share about how I copped the most coveted pink Evian bottle crates. I first saw the Evian crates on Apartment Therapy’s Instagram a short time after we moved to France. I thought they were perfect for our apartment but I had no idea where to find them. The next thing I knew, I was seeing them everywhere.

All the brasseries have their bottled drinks delivered daily, so you can’t help but see the colorful crates stacked outside on the streets.

I have asked the staff at every brasserie about buying one of the crates however they told me the crates were rented from the Evian water company so they couldn’t sell them to me. “Ç’est impossible” seems to be the French National motto. Thus began my Evian crate obsession, asking every time I saw some at a bar or restaurant. I never even knew how much I was willing to spend on them (€25 each probably) because no one would even consider it. Finally someone told me to just go to the source and ask the Evian water company directly.

I never got around to that, we happen to be driving back from Cannes when I saw a ton of crates on the sidewalk.

I made a quick (and probably illegal) U-turn and jumped out to ask the guy who was making the delivery. He didn’t speak English so I had my official translator do her thing and he sounded happy to help me.

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So the guy tells us, he isn’t allowed to sell them but we can go to a nearby grocery store to see if they have any. I had butterflies in my stomach with excitement!

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We followed the guy a few blocks away to a Franprix store (a smaller version of Trader Joes) and he spoke to the guy at the register. I was grinning like a crazy person when he walked us to the back of the store. He then pulls out a 12 pack of Evian plastic bottles of water and is like “Here you go!

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The language barrier is no joke. So that was a complete bust, I disappointedly drove back to Nice. I was over it by then. I knew that I would just end up bidding on an Evian crate on eBay for like $200 with ridiculous shipping. I looked for the crates online and I didn’t find any for sale.

So, the next day we went to the the Cours Saleya market in old town Nice. As we were walking over Antz noticed a door he thought would be interesting to photograph.

As I was posing in front of this door trying to get a shot without so much shadow, a guy came over with a delivery of water bottles and of course he had a few Evian crates.

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At first, I just moved out of his way but Antz insisted I ask the guy. He was confused by my horrible French but Liv translated and he told us to hold on while he went inside. I was fully prepared to hear the same thing “Ç’est impossible.” Well, he was smiling at us and he told us to come with him. We walked around the block to his truck. He jumped up and started moving things around. I was asking Antz for cash, not sure of how much I should offer. He then slide over a Coke Cola crate towards me. Liv then said “Non, rose Evian s’il vous plait.” I almost started crying when he jumped down he handed a crate to me, then another one he gave to Liv. I told him I only had €20 but he refused to take it. You guys, this angel straight up gave me two of the most sought after things I’ve been searching for in Paris for months!

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I gave him bises (two kisses on the cheeks) and said Merci a million times. I mean look at my face!! Nice is so aptly named. I couldn’t offer anyone any amount of money to get one of these things in Paris but he just gave them to us. So freaking rad!

I was ecstatic. It didn’t at all occur on me that I had to haul them on the plane back to Paris. I didn’t really care, I was just so happy to finally have them.

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If I had the space I would buy all the vintage postcards and portraits I could find. I love Victorian photographs.

 

This vide-grenier (antique sale) had so many good treasures. I was looking for a French emblem often worn after WW1 and WW2. The first ones we saw were expensive. He wanted €75 for this one.

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I found some cooler ones for €40 for two. They are so fragile, I’m afraid to wear them out because I don’t want to lose them.

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I also fell hard for this Parisian landmarks charm bracelet.

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I wish I bought it but it was a little over my budget and the bracelet was too snug. If it had a few more links it would have fit more comfortably. I am still on the lookout for a vintage bracelet, it’s exactly what I want.

I ended up having the Evian crates wrapped in plastic at the airport for €25 and then Air France charged me another €70 to fly them home, so in reality I spent almost €100 for these crates but I love them so much, I think they are totally worth it.

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I am currently using one of the crates for our plant and the other one is our printer stand until I find a replacement. I could also use one for a bed for Lola or to hold my records. They are super cute and functional.

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Have you ever been on a mission for a sought-after item? It’s so much harder here in France because my go-to websites don’t ship here. Yet, it’s still fun to search for treasures.

Bonjournée!

Road Trip: Cannes

A visit to the south of France requires a visit to the most famous city, Cannes. The international film festival is held in May. It was a scenic hour drive from Nice.

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I admit, I thought the city would be pretentious and snobby but it was as charming as any of the cities in the south of France. There was more traffic than we had seen before and of course more luxury brand boutiques but after we parked Liv found an American style diner and we bought some ice cream.

We were so sunburned from laying out on the beach the day before, ouch! I was so happy to find my first and only Invader in Cannes.

Liv and I rode the ferris wheel. The city was practically empty.

I normally don’t like riding ferris wheels, but I felt brave and I prefer enclosed rides. The view was worth it.

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If I ever go to the Cannes Film Festival (because I totally am) I would like to stay at the Splendid hotel. Now I know the famous Eden-Roc hotel is where all the celebrities stay in Cannes but I feel burned that we were turned away at the gate when we tried to get a drink at the notorious bar. Turns out you can only visit the hotel grounds if you have a reservation and the guy at the gate said there was an opening in 11 months. Cool.

We walked across the street to a little park and found a cute brocantes (antique sale).

I was super tempted into buying a Louis Vuitton travel case that was a bargain for €600 but luckily, she only took cash and I realized, I had nothing that valuable to travel with such an expensive bag.

Maybe one day.

Cannes was lovely but also just a normal French town. I have always associated it with such A-list celebrity, even the public bathrooms were just a fancy port-a-potty.

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On the lovely drive back to Nice, Liv asked if we could stop and ride one of the beach bikes. Antz was exhausted so I took one for the team and rode in the blazing heat with Liv and Lulu. The things I do for my kid.

It was actually very fun, it would have been perfect if it wasn’t so darn hot. We rode the breezy coastline for an hour while Antz napped in the car with the air conditioner on.

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We couldn’t find a restaurant open to have dinner so I ordered my delicious Mediterranean pasta again from the place in Old Town Nice.

Cannes was a lovely day trip. I would only stay overnight if I chartered a yacht, we didn’t find much to do if you aren’t doing some serious shopping.

Road Trip: Côte d’Azur

Day three in Nice I took the bus to the airport to pick up a rental car so we could drive to a special beach outside of Nice recommended by our friend Louise and drive the magnificent Cote  d’Azur.

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The only compact car they had with an automatic transmission was a boring black BMW. I always imagined myself driving the cliffs along the south of France in a cute vintage convertible like Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief yet my non-stick driving skills doesn’t make that a reality.

 

We drove south of Nice to the small coastal town of Saint Jean Cap-Ferrat. The roads were very narrow and curvy.

 

 

The roads were right along the cliffs against the stunning blue sea waters and houses were built right into the mountainside. It seemed impossible to walk in the city but we saw women pushing strollers right on the tiny streets. It was such a contrast to the huge, busy beaches of Nice.

It was easy to find our dream house.

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Bougainvillea everywhere!

 

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The beach had rocks but we spent most of our time in the water.

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It was a perfect beach, the water was lovely. No seaweed, no sand in your bum and we even saw little fish swimming with our GoPro camera. I can’t believe I just realized that this was the same beach location from one of my favorite Grace Kelly and Cary Grant films…To Catch a Thief!

It finally got too hot for us so we grabbed some lunch at the little cafe and drove back to Nice.

 

I wanted to take a shower and change clothes because we were driving to Monaco that evening.

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There were so many sailboats and yachts scattered in the harbor. It felt like we were in an Alfred Hitchcock movie in the 50s!

The drive to Monaco is less than an hour from Nice. We were stunned by the tunnels built right into the mountainside but also apprehensive driving along the sharp, curvy cliffs. How cute is this fruit stand?

 

The first time I drove into Monaco, it’s so small I drove right past it! It’s through a tunnel and you have to make a quick turn or you’ll miss it. It took forever to find parking unless you were driving a Maseratti, because there were plenty parked just outside of the Grand Casino.

 

 

 

It was surreal arriving at the Casino Monte Carlo, which I had only seen in black and white on an episode of I Love Lucy.

 

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I just had to play one lucky game of roulette but they don’t allow children inside the casino. Antz and Liv hung out in the ornate salon while I paid the €20 admission fee along with taking €100 out of the ATM. There was a strict no photography policy inside the casino so I was only able to take one shot with my iPhone.

 

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I was surprised to find the casino charged an admission fee. When I went inside there was only a handful of people inside. I sadly didn’t see any celebrities or royalty.

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Not as glamorous as I expected. I lost my €100 in an instant. I’m so used to gambling in Las Vegas with free drinks and computerized boards that show the last number drawn in roulette so that threw me off. I was also trying to hurry knowing Liv and Antz were waiting for me.

I disappointingly returned to Liv and Antz and told them about my swift loss. We left the  Grand Casino and found another smaller casino right next door.

 

Since the second casino was free and we felt ripped off from the first one, I sent Antz in and told him to come back a winner. Liv and I hung out in the lobby and waited an hour. He returned with not just my €100 but also another €200! Yippee!

We left just in time to catch the summer night fireworks show.

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I don’t know how I made the hour long drive back to Nice but I managed.

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The minimum age is 18 and they only allow Euros to gamble.

 

Nice in Nice, France

We began day two meeting our friends from LA for brunch in Garibaldi Square which was beautiful. We met them at a restaurant/furniture store. All the furniture in the restaurant was for sale. We had an amazing breakfast and the best hot chocolate ever.

I met my dear friend Brandi many years ago through a Mom-only Facebook group we belong to and I reached out to her to ask about life at the French school Liv attended in LA. Her son is a few years older than Liv and I knew she was very involved in the school. So we met for coffee to chat about her experience as a non-French speaking person of color in the private school. I felt like such an outsider before Liv started at the school because we didn’t know anyone or have any connection to the LA French community and Brandi welcomed me with warm arms. She bridged the gap for us at the school and introduced me to another incredible friend of mine. I have since extended the same courtesy to other parents who were interested in the school to pay it forward. I adore this woman so much. PS, she is kinda of a big deal!

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Her rad family is living abroad and traveling like us, we were joking about pooling our money to buy a mansion with sea views together. Liv had a ball playing babysitter to her sweet little ones.

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Brandi had to go to work for the day so we spent the rest of the morning checking out the Port of Nice. It was a gorgeous day so we took a quick boat ride across the bay.

 

 

Posing with my yacht, no big deal. There is a cute ferry that will take you across port for free.

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This was Napoleon’s modest 1794 crib in Nice. Now it’s a lawyer’s office.

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These two look like sisters!

After taking an Uber back to our rental, we hit the beach and I was surprised to find rocks instead of sand. It’s strange at first but the rocks are smooth and warm so it feels nice on your back, like wearing Crocs. We borrowed a beach umbrella from our rental and bought Liv a unicorn float. The water was the most gorgeous shades of blue. I am so used to filthy, polluted ocean water in LA, it was so nice to actually be able to see through the water. I was so happy not to have to deal with sand in our hair!

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I baked in the sun while Antz and Liv played in the water. I also observed the many topless women and old dudes in Speedos. We actually ended up befriending a nice Mom and her daughter who were laying next to us. It was very hard to carry-on a friendly conversation with them both being topless however, they spoke English and were very sweet. We saw them everyday during our trip.

Antz rarely wears his hair down but when he does I swoon. South of France Antz is so handsome!

We packed up and stopped at a little snack bar near our apartment for an ice cream cone and spent the rest of the night enjoying the air conditioning and watching TV in Italian and French.

 

Summer Vacation: Nice for What

We headed down south of France for our summer vacation to sunny Nice. We were excited to visit our dear friends from LA who moved there a few months after we did for a year-long job. I was also excited to find that our friends Louise and Florent (our house swappers) were also there for the summer. We discovered that no one stays in Paris during August due to the extreme heat (and lack of air conditioning) and the flood of tourists. Instead of taking the train, we flew because it’s less than two hours flight and I found tickets on Air France for about €60 each. I couldn’t find any available house swaps that were located close to the beach so I found an Airbnb one block from the beach. I would have preferred to do a house exchange but Airbnb was the least expensive option I could find. There were insane mansion rentals with private pools that were driving distance to the beach that were up to €1,000 per day! Our Airbnb was a studio apartment that was clean, compact and most importantly, it had a pool and air conditioning (Liv and Antz must-haves).

Our flight from Paris was super easy and quick. Our rental was only a fifteen minute Uber ride from the airport.

 

We had to wait ages for our host to let us into the apartment and we were dripping with sweat, so as soon as we dropped our bags off, Liv and I changed into our bathing suits and jumped right into the pool. Antz had to start work but he was in heaven with the freezing cold air conditioning.

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After a few hours of Liv jumping into the pool like a mad woman and me getting sunbaked, Liv and I showered and we all decided to find a place for dinner. The neighborhood we were in barely had any restaurants nearby and everything I saw was closed. It was around 6:30 pm so we were starving. I found an Italian restaurant on Yelp so we took the bus to Old Town Nice.
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We got off the bus at the wrong stop so we walked for several blocks and found Old Town a little after 7 pm so we had a wait awhile to be seated. Did I mention it was blazing hot?
At first glance, I wasn’t impressed by the menu and the staff seemed to ignore us. All was forgiven when they finally brought out our food.
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This was my first authentic Mediterranean meal and it was DELICIOUS! I am not exaggerating when I say it was the best pasta meal I ever had. I loved it so much, we ended up eating at this restaurant several times during our stay. I even ordered it to go a few times. I don’t know how they made such a simple plate of shrimp alfredo so perfect but I wish I could have some right now. Antz had spaghetti and Liv had pizza as always. They weren’t blown away as much as I was.
By the time we finished our meal, Liv and I had to go to the bathroom. By now, we have gotten used to sharing a tiny European bathroom stall so I asked Liv to hold my iPhone for me. Well, my clumsy self ended up accidentally knocking Liv’s hand and she dropped my iPhone in the toilet! Before I could react Liv screamed like someone got shot. I was so worried about calming her down I just stuck my hand in the toilet and grabbed it. Luckily it was before we used the bathroom. It was half funny and half traumatic. Antz was quick to point out that I had an iPhone 8 (which was brand new) so it’s water toilet proof.
We went to wait for the bus however we noticed no one was waiting with us and it was close to 9 pm so we agreed the buses stopping running by then so we decided to walk back to our rental. It was a beautiful and breezy walk back along the Promenade des Anglais next to the beach. We didn’t realize it was over an hour walk but it was so nice out, we didn’t mind.
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Our first day in Nice was chill. I honestly didn’t think it was that pretty of a city as I expected but I later found out we were staying on the wrong part of town closer to the airport in a more tourist area.
Day two is when we found the true beauty Nice had to offer.
I used the hashtag #niceforwhat for our trip on my Instagram. If you are old and lame like me this is what the kids were listening to last summer! Apparently, it’s a bop.

Places in Paris: Pink Mamma

You guys, I have been on a hunt for really good pizza in Paris. I know I won’t find any deep dish, extra cheesy and greasy pepperoni like my beloved Round Table Pizza so I needed to compromise with a decent Italian pizza. I heard about a beautiful restaurant called Pink Mamma in Pigalle, a popular spot on Instagram so we headed out on a late Saturday afternoon. We took the bus to Pigalle which took longer than we expected so we arrive a little after 7pm (just after opening). I was surprised to find a long line ahead of us. Then I realized there were no reservations so when we made it inside the hostess told us to return at dix, Liv translated to us that she meant come back at TEN PM!! Holy Cow, there was no way I was going to wait three hours to eat. We were starving. Since we were already there I decided to hang out and take photos of the four story gorgeous interior. The decor is different on every floor and I tried to capture what my eyes saw however, it was awkward taking photos of strangers eating so I had to be discreet about it. Luckily, the light was at golden hour so Antz took these incredible photos of me feeling like an Italian Goddess. I never looked so fancy riding a public bus before.

 

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The four story staircase was bananas. It was like being inside of an art gallery. We spent a lot of time checking out the paintings.

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Was hoping to snag this table on the top floor but it was reserved for a party of five.

 

I mean, could I ask for better light. My kind hubby was playing paparazzi while the diners were looking at me like I was an alien. Whatever, I was feeling myself!

 

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Liv and I headed to the loo, which was in the basement.

 

I have never seen a meatlocker look so chic. I mean, I was looking for a mirror and instead we got a view of all of the meat.

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Just as we were about to leave, the hostess saw we were still there and she said if we wanted to eat now, she could get us a table. I was disappointed that we couldn’t dine on the top floor (which looked like the best spot) however, we were so hungry we happily took whatever we could get.

 

I didn’t have any high expectations for the food (I have been so disappointed by food in Paris before) so I was pleasantly surprised by the menu. I hadn’t had any delicious bruschetta since our goodbye dinner with Leslie and Stephen last February at my favorite Colombo’s Italian restaurant in Eagle Rock. I do wish they used balsamic vinegar but I really liked the fresh apricot that was added in place of tomatos, very rustic. Antz ordered a steak and potatoes dish that he loved and Liv had kids pasta. I had pretty yummy pizza. I enjoyed it but I not a big fan of the burnt thin crust, Margherita style pizza. Sorry, I still miss American food terribly. The good news was our bill was reasonable for such a fancy place. Around €60 with wine.

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So, Pink Mamma definitely lived up to all the hype. Be sure to go well before they open to get a good table. We ended up walking around lower Pigalle neighborhood after our meal and popped into the trendy Hotel Amour for dessert on their patio. The weather was lovely, Antz and I shared a delightful strawberry tart. Liv had ice cream. Then we took an Uber home.

 

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Pink Mamma
6:45 – 11 pm
20bis Rue de Douai
75009 Paris

Hotel Amour
8 Rue de Navarin
75009 Paris

Disneyland Paris

We had to take Aimee to Disneyland Paris and since it was four years since our last trip, I had to buy tickets. I am not exaggerating when I say I made the stupidest mistake ever by thinking we could take a bus from Paris to Disneyland. Let me say, Google maps totally mislead me. We waited for a bus forever and got frustrated and finally asked another bus driver where the hell the bus was. He told me that bus only runs at night. Since we wasted an hour waiting for the non-existing bus and many of the metro lines were stopped due to a strike I used a last resort of calling Uber. We ended paying $95 for a 40 minute ride. Well, the good news was, it was a beautiful day and Disneyland was a ghost town! We knew there was World Cup game that afternoon but we didn’t know it was the final game so literally all of France was watching the game as we rode every ride three or four times in a row! It is so nice to experience Disneyland without the crowds and tickets that are a little less than $100. Isn’t it like $250 bucks and a kidney in California?

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The park was so empty! We had this police car to ourselves and Liv even got to go behind the wheel.

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Fun fact: You remember that hat box I brought with all our luggage from Los Angeles? Well, I packed a few of my Disneyland Mickey ears in it. I even brought my souvenir Disney pins but I didn’t want to wear them on my neck all day. Aimee bought Liv a new set of Mad Hatter ears.

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She’s actually a good driver in real life. I let her drive my car at Mom’s private roads in the desert.

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We were bummed to find the Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter Teacups ride was closed for maintenance. Oh well, I could ride It’s a Small World all day!

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I couldn’t believe that our favorite ride Le Phantom Manor (The Haunted Mansion) was also closed for maintenance. We had to promise Liv to bring her back when it re-opens in the spring.

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We made up for our disappointment by riding Pirates of the Caribbean and Hyperspace Mountain with a FIVE minute wait! That is like impossible in California, even if you have Fast Passes.

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We figured out how to take the RER train back home and our Metro passes worked. We were lucky to get seats because the station after Disneyland was packed.

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Little did we know that Paris was having the biggest celebration in twenty years. Les Bleus/ The French soccer team won the 2018 FIFA World Cup! It was their first World Cup in twenty years. When we left the metro every single Parisian was celebrating. We sang along even though we didn’t know the words!

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It was exhilarating and a little scary seeing the French celebrate all over Paris. We were so used to seeing them angry because of some protest but this was incredible to witness. This is what we saw when we arrived at our station in Republique which is the center of Paris.

I love my adopted country!! Allez Les Bleus and Vive la France!

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Musee d’Orsay

As many times as my BFF Aimee and I have visited Paris before, we have never made a trip to visit the Musée d’Orsay. Built in a former train station in 1986, Musée d’Orsay is the little sister to the overcrowded Louvre. I bought our tickets online on their French only website and we took the hot, hour long bus there. Guess what? We went on the wrong day! It wasn’t so bad, we ended up walking through the beautiful Jardin de Tuileries and hit up the summer Fêtes des Tuileries. The only thing was I didn’t have euros on me so we couldn’t go on any rides. Liv was placated by the world’s biggest cotton candy. So pro tip, if you want to hit the carnival in Paris, always have euros on you, they don’t take credit cards.

Don’t let those smiles fool you, we were dripping with sweat and so hot we were considering jumping into the Seine!

Beautiful Beau-Arts design.

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Okay, let’s try this again. The next day was much cooler and we took the Metro this time so the ride over was much shorter.
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I relate to her on so many levels!

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I was super excited to see the Edgar Degas Little Dancer of Fourteen Years sculpture. It was much smaller than I imagined it would be.

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Oh my goodness, I was so frustrated by my photos in this light. I tried every possible setting and angles. This was my heavily edited result but there is something about the low lights in museums that work against me. Any tips or solutions?

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Liv was highly amused by this guy. Fortunately for us, Aimee was there for some serious art appreciation so we checked out the Van Gogh exhibit and she was excited to see the Gauguin art. Her Mom is an Art Historian so she has a sophisticated level of art snobbery.

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Liv and I chuckled at the long-legged cat.

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We were blown away by Van Gogh’s pieces. I wish I could have captured the vivid blue paint better than my iPhone did however it’s best to see them with your own eyes. It was an inspiring experience. I have to return to see the Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec artwork.

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We climbed upstairs to see the famous clock but had to wait forever for the selfie seeking mobs for a shot. I guess we are the same, taking the shot for the ‘gram but I don’t get how anyone gets a clear shot that isn’t a dark silhouette against the clock. Thank you Lightroom app!

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Musée d’Orsay
Rue de Lille
75343 Paris

Open Tues – Sunday from 9:30 am – 6 pm and until 9:45 pm on Thursdays
Closed on Mondays

Jusqu’ à plus tard amis!

Summer in Paris: BFF Visit

My bestie Aimee came to visit us for ten days in July! The last time we were together in Paris was March 2015.

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Since it was the middle of summer and unbearably hot in Paris, we took a road trip to the seaside towns of Deauville, Trouville and Honfleur. Lucky for us, the weather was much cooler. We stayed at a beautiful, historic bed and breakfast in Deauville. I finally struck gold with my car rental skills. Not only did I get the actual car I reserved, a sweet ass brand new Volvo, but it was white which they never have (so sick of driving silver and beige cars!) If we ever buy a car in Paris, I am seriously considering a Volvo. I mean, if I can’t find a vintage Fiat Pop 500 with an automatic transmission or my dream car this light blue beauty. I guess Liv would have to sit on the hood.

It was a quick two hour drive west so we stopped in the village of Buorneville which is in the Normandy region. We needed to stretch our legs and I had to take a pic in front of this adorable Mairie. Little did we know that we stopped right in the middle of an insect horde and we were covered with hundreds of tiny black bugs. It was awful. Liv noticed them first and next thing we knew they were all over us. I have many things I cannot tolerate and bugs is high on the list. They were in my braids, all over the rental car, in our clothes. I was miserable during the rest of the drive. I planned to take photos of the picturesque village of Pont-Audemer but we just drove through without stopping. We felt like there should be warning signs saying watch out for tiny almost microscopic bugs that don’t bite but crawl all over you! Has that ever happened to anyone else? I still itch just thinking about it.

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When we arrived in Deauville at our hotel Villa L’Augeval thirty minutes later we immediately jumped into the shower and changed.

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Our room was quaint. Aimee, Liv and Lulu had their own tiny room to share.

The view from our window was more impressive than the room. This lovely church bells chimed every hour. Liv was stoked because our hotel had a pool.

We headed to a restaurant in Trouville-Sur-Mer for dinner which was highly recommended by our French friends.

 

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Trouville-sur-mer is a 15 minute drive from Deauville and it’s so cute. Most of the houses have a Art-Deco Victorian style. We drove around picking which mansion would be our future beachside vacation house.

I am no fan of onions, as many of you may already know, however I have always been enticed by the smell of French onion soup in the past. I saw it on the menu and decided that I would be brave and give it a try. Aimee was excited to order seafood and oysters. Antz got a steak and Liv ordered something simple from the kids menu. Lulu just ate bread.

Well my dears, the onion soup was a big disappointment! I was excited to see the raclette of cheese covering the top and it smelled yummy but beneath the bland cheese was a bowl of warm water and big, almost raw onions. I was hoping for the creamy broth of soft onions I have seen at restaurants in LA but this was Normandy style which seems to translate to no seasoning. The plate of shrimp I ordered were served cold to my dismay and Aimee didn’t enjoy her food either. Yet another expensive meal we wish we just went to McDonalds. I swear I am trying my best to open my palette to French cuisine but no luck so far!

Liv got an ice cream cone for dessert. Antz took these lovely photos by the Trouville harbor, I love my new Modcloth dress which was giving me 1950s vibes and it has POCKETS!!

We dropped Aimee off at the hotel so she could take a nap and sleep off her horrible dinner and we drove to the beach to catch the sunset.

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The Deauville American Film Festival has taken place since 1975. The Promenade des Planches was built in 1923 and now has the names of popular American actors and directors. I was surprised by some of the names we saw but happy to find my imaginary lover Jeffrey Goldblum. Olivia only knew Jessica Tandy from her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

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The next day happened to be July 14th which is Bastille day in France! We began the day with a refreshing swim at our hotel.

She still loves to bellyflop!

We checked out of our room and headed to the beach for breakfast. But first, Liv challenged us to a game of table tennis. I beat them both!

I found the OG actors on the planches further down the boardwalk. Liz Taylor, Bette Davis and my girl Grace Kelly.

After promising Liv we would return so she could spend a day playing in the sand. We headed to Honfleur to spend the rest of the day before driving back into Paris.

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Somehow there is an unspoken rule that when we see a Ferris Wheel, Liv must ride it, no questions.

It appears carousels follow this same rule as well.

Being weird with my best friend 21 years later.

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The Honfleur harbor is giving me Copenhagen vibes.

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Aimee was super stoked to finally get a delicious bowl of mussels! I don’t know how she eats them.

We listened to a French band play while we dined. There was a World Cup game playing so the entire town was distracted. I drove through Versailles to see if we could watch the Bastill