Nothing but eye candy in the French Riviera

Peter and I had the opportunity over the next few days to explore the French Riviera and it was a circus of delight on our eyes.  From the sky to the horizon to the sea, it’s an ombre of deep to light blue.  A rainbow of vibrant hues that I never knew existed.













Nice was our home base for touring the French Riviera at a perfectly located hotel, Boscolo Exedra Nice.  From the hotel we could walk to restaurants, beaches, and all the main shopping areas.  The interior of the hotel is all white – the piano, the chairs, the floor – everything. It was nicely done and the airiness of the white gave it a sophisticated and romantic vibe while also being inviting.  The hallways are dimly lit with small white lights on the floor which either gave the hotel a romantic vibe or Vegas vibe.  I couldn’t decide.  The rooms are interestingly designed. The shower is in the middle of the room.  So again, romantic or Vegas? Either way you probably don’t want to stay here if you are traveling with someone that you don’t want to watch your morning shower ritual.

image image image


































One early evening we walked from out hotel to admire the yachts in the harbor.  To get there it’s a lovely walk along the promenade where you can admire the crystal blue Mediterrean Sea and feel the energy of the locals and tourists.

Once getting to the harbor Peter and I enjoyed the enormity and glamour of the yachts parked there and did a bit of day-dreaming.  Out of curiosity Peter looked up the rental rates for some of the yachts we spotted and found one that was $150K per week! So Rappers, Actors, Silicon Valley winners, trust-funders, Wall-Streeters, and/or people with stacks of cash are yacht renters.


image image























That evening we stopped to have dinner at a restaurant/Beach Club with a perfect view, Castel Plage.  We were right on the water and took in a spectacular sunset.  We watched the ombre blue turn into radiant colors of pink, orange, and red over the sea while the waves gently crashed against the pebble beach.














The next day we rented a car and took a trip to Eze Village, a lesser known hidden gem of the French Riviera sandwiched between Nice and Monte Carlo.  It is a hilltop town with jaw dropping views.  By jaw dropping, I mean hard to beat, heavenly, breath taking, and awe inspiring.  A view that you can’t get enough of and can’t believe you are witnessing.  The pictures hardly do it justice.

image image image image
















































While in Eze we had lunch at Les Rampants at Chateau d’Or, a hotel restaurant where you go for lunch and then pretend like you are staying to enjoy their views, pools and landscape architecture.  Everything about lunch at the Chateau was flawless.  At the beginning of the meal our waiter wheeled over a cart with two Champagne options by the glass on ice: Brut and Rose.  Even when I think, nah, I’m not going to have a drink at lunch, heaven on wheels gets carted over while taking in an outrageous view of the French Riviera.

“I’ll have a glass of the Rose.  Thank you.” Peter had a Diet Coke.

The service was impeccable and friendly.  The food fresh and tasty, but it is hard to notice anything else when beyond your table is so beautiful and relaxing.


image image























We met a nice couple from Arizona who was staying at the hotel where we had lunch.  They were celebrating their 20 year anniversary and told us about a yacht ride they went on the previous night. The guide pointed out Bono’s four-story villa and his yacht, Cyan.  The yacht is estimated at a cool 30 million.

Our new friends also pointed out a yacht called Ace anchored out in the sea.  This 285 ft yacht complete with helipad can be rented for $1.3M per week for up to 10 guests and 28 crew members.  Again, yacht renters have money raining on them.  ”The haves and the have yachts.”

Peter and I asked them about the hotel.  They were very complimentary of their stay, but did mention that two bellini’s set them back 52 Euros or 68.55 US dollars.  What?! I think they liked us and were impressed with our courage to crash the hotel’s luxury grounds/pool after lunch and offered up their own pool towels issued by the hotel if we wanted to enjoy the rest of the day in their lounge chairs. But we had lots more to see so we politely turned down the offer.

After a few hours in Eze we road tripped it to the city state of Monaco. Another notch on the country-count!  We mainly did a walking tour where we noticed that every other car was a Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Maserati or Lambo.  Monaco has this reputation for luxury cars, but like most stereotypes, Peter and I thought it was probably exaggerated. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Fancy cars everywhere.

We dipped into the world famous Casino de Monte Carlo where the minimums to gamble were offensive.  Probably a bunch of yacht renter, Ferrari owning, Dom Perignon drinkers at those tables.

We did grab a picture in front though.  Can you guess the type of car I’m standing next to?


















Early evening we started the hour drive back to Nice.  Italy was around the corner and we had decided at the beginning of our trip to wait for pizza until we got there.  At this point we were a little bit over the French cuisine, albeit great food, we just wanted to get down with some pizza – no courses, no long dining experience – just pizza.  I did some research on TripAdvisor, my new best friend, where I am now a senior contributor, and found us a spot, L’Atelier de Julien.  Oh man, it’s the small things that can make one happy.  We delighted in some great pizza.  Peter delighted in it so much that he ordered another pizza to go. This is probably just me, but I got a kick out of the pizza box.  Are there places in the States that do this? Maybe it was the wine talking.














The next day we took another road trip to an area with sandy beaches near Cannes, (Nice has pebbles not sand) Theoule Sur Mer.  The beach was nice (no pun intended), but hard to compare to the sandy beaches of California and Hawaii.   After a couple hours of relaxing on the beach, reading our books, and enjoying some unwinding we were off to see a recommendation from my friend Lisa Kidd in Antibes.

Lisa had visited Antibes a few years prior and had recommended visiting the hotel she stayed at, Hotel du Cap, for a glass of wine at the outdoor terrace.  Coincidentally, Lisa Face-Timed me right as we pulled up to the hotel! This place is a hidden gem.  Located away from the busy area of the city.  The grounds were stunning.  Everything on the outside was perfectly manicured and the inside of the hotel was like walking into a world of luxury.  Notice the trend of Peter and I visiting luxury hotels, buying a small item, and then exploiting their facilities? Well Peter and I were pumped to grab a drink and take in the sunset at the outdoor terrace of Hotel du Cap.  Well no dice.  The server took one look at Peter’s shorts and basically said, “You cannot be serious,” with his eyes but with this mouth he said, “No shorts allowed.”  So we were out of there, after a quick photo shoot of course.  The last picture features the terrance we never got to go on.


image image image image
















































After Mr “No Shorts Allowed” told us the deal we took a drive to the lively and energetic, Old Town of Antibes.  This area has tons of outdoor restaurants, street performers, and a good vibe.  We grabbed a seat at a restaurant in an open plaza area and because we liked the pizza so much the night before, we double downed on pizza in Antibes.  Then we went for dessert at Gelato del Porto by recommendation of my other friend Lisa Kavanaugh, who had somewhat recently visited the area with her husband.  Crazy coincidence about Lisa, she and her husband are also currently traveling the world for a year.  We are hoping to meet up in October in Europe.  You can read about their tips for Antibes or enjoy her blog at

Side-note: I didn’t know it at the time but the pizza/gelato combo was a warm up and foreshadowed what was about to go down in Italy.

Our last full day in Nice I started the morning with a run on the Promenade.  As I was taking in the beauty of the ombre blue of the sky I noticed some people parasailing and decided that it looked fun.  When I returned to the hotel I told Peter, “I’d like to go parasailing today.”  He gave me an odd look, as he does frequently.  Dang it.  I knew he wasn’t going to love this idea.

That day we decided to take advantage of the ideal location of our hotel, stay put in Nice, and take a walk to the beach where we could do nothing.  We rented a couple of beach chairs, read, and had some refreshing drinks.  It was glorious not to be moving around.

















After our day of lounging, we packed up and Peter threw this curveball at me, “You ready to go parasailing?” I was elated! If you know Peter at all he is anti-tourist activities.  And it doesn’t get more touristy to go parasailing in Nice, but you know what? It was great.  Really beautiful, quiet, and a fun moment for us to share. There was a certain element of escapism to be up above the water with just my husband and a parachute.

I hate to admit this, but that night we went for pizza at La Pizza Cresci.  If you are keeping track that’s three nights in a row and we hadn’t even made it to Italy yet (that would be tomorrow).

The next morning we were up early and off to the Nice train station en route to Florence by way of Trenitalia.  It was a long day of traveling, about 6.5 hours with four transfers (Nice-Ventimiglia-Genoa-La Spezia-Florence) and a little drama.

We were at the second stop in Genoa where we had 40 minutes until our next train.  I went to go grab some food and water for us.  I was taking my time, deciding on what to buy, people watching when suddenly I received some frantic texts from Peter that the train was about to leave in four minutes.  To add to the circus of the situation Peter wrote “On 2″ and  ”Car 2″ which I mistook as Platform 2.  In other words I thought he had changed platforms from the one we were initially waiting at.  I started my race back to the updated platform number, not realizing he was on the original platform but was just letting me know the car number.  More confusion to franticness was that we were both receiving every other text from eachother.  The real problem was that our luggage was loaded onto the train and if I didn’t make it back he had no choice but to go with the luggage and leave me behind.  There was no way he would have time to unload both bags before the train took off.  He had my passport, my train ticket, money, my toothbrush.  He had everything.  I’m standing at Platform 2 and there is no train and no people.  At this point I don’t have time to even think.  I ran back down the stairs, through the corridor and up another flight of stairs to try the original platform.  I was like a bat out of hell when I see my husband, his eyes wild like an African Lion.  Without a word between us we ran together as if we were both in the 100 meter sprint at the Olympics to where out luggage was residing on the train.  We got to the safety of our cart with, and I am not exaggerating, 30 seconds to spare.  The train whistle screamed and we started to move. Peter and I looked at each other bewildered then sat down and didn’t speak for about 10 minutes.


















Since the train incident I have had a nightmare that I’m on a train with Peter and I get up to use the bathroom. Instead of using the bathroom, however, I end up off the train, but this time with nothing.   No purse with phone or credit cards, just me.  I think we’re still both a little affected by the drama in Genoa.


Up next Florence!


Thanks as always for following.  Much love.


  • We are both affected by the drama in Genoa. We took a train recently from Florence to Milan. Jaime went to the bathroom 20 minutes before the expected time of departure. When we starting creeping up on t-minus 11 minutes I visibly started to panic and sweat. I like keep a chill demeanor when traveling so am going to work on getting over this one.

    Here’s another great picture of Eze Village which really shows off its amazing location.

  • I am dying over the train incident. I could only imagine. It brought back lots of memories traveling with my family taking the European trains. Utter chaos! That pizza box is pretty great!!

  • Shastin it was intense! But all ended up good. It would have been an entirely different adventure had I not made it on the train. Thanks for confirming the pizza box. I wasn’t sure if it was just me. Peter wasn’t on board about it. haha

  • Becky Lessley

    I want to go to the riviera, please! No time to write right now. Leaving in less than 24 hours. Can hardly wait to hear the train story in person. Makes me really nervous to think of Rosemary and I changing trains 4 times. We will be holding hands just like kindergartners. See you both soon. Love you!

  • haha Becky I figured the train story would have you a little worried. Since we just did it you will be fine. See you very soon.

  • Courtney Goodin

    OMG!!! I literally laughed out loud at the train situation while reading your blog at work! Although it probably was not funny to you both at all during the time it took place, looking back, you probably have to giggle a little! Maybe it is just your creative writing skills Jaime that make the story so intriguing to read! Glad you got on the train and are safe!! Muah! Court

  • haha Court, it definitely wasn’t funny at the time, but yes we for sure laugh about it now. Thanks so much for the compliment on my writing. xo