Well we met, and spent the day together. They sailed away, and we flew home. Short TR on the way soon. I’m off to bed!!
How fun! I can’t wait to hear all about it! I hope Llama was having a great time on her cruise!
The restraining order says I can’t be withing a mile of Llama. So I’ve never gotten to meet her.
Hi Towncar! You are tease for posting that little tidbit!
You must be exhausted. Us Canadians tend to exhaust people with our endless whining and politeness. :laugh:
Can’t wait to hear about it - hope you took some pics to post!
We are excited to hear about this European meet and greet!
As instructed, I gave them a big ‘Eh’ from you. I now know what you meant!
I am excited to hear your TR and see your Pics.
Oh wow! She travelled all the way to France to meet you, but she couldn’t travel a measly couple hundred miles to visit us in Michigan??:pinch: :mad: :laugh:
I do want to hear all about it! :happy:
what she said :glare:
Good! The “eh” is a Canadian artform! :laugh:
How come you’re not wearing a flannel shirt in your avatar?
Let me just step in for a moment (a moment because the Internet is .75 a minute), in between Florence and Rome, to say that we had a marvellous day - and I didn’t whine at all - well, just a little climbing that tower thing. Tom and June are lovely people. Many topics were discussed ranging from suntanning habits of the vacationers of Nice to World War II monuments. Pictures were taken, croissants eaten on the Promenade des Anglais and wine was partaken of (by me). Much more to come. Ciao!
Unfortunately, I’m having some dificulties downloading the photographs from my camera. I will add them as soon as I can, but in the meantime here’s a short trip report to give you the flavour of the day.
Nice Trip Report
The Cote D’Azur doesn’t get its name for nothing. Its crystal clear aquamarine waters sit comfortably beneath a cloudless, azure blue sky, meeting only at the horizon where they meld together as if as one. So picture the scene. Mr & Mrs Towncar sitting outside their sea-front hotel, gazing out across a tree-lined boulevard surveying the sun-drenched waters of the Mediterranean.
A taxi draws up alongside the pavement and out step a man and his wife, their faces etched with anticipation and perhaps a little trepidation. They pay the driver; the taxi speeds away and they are left standing at the hotel entrance. The moment approaches. Was it like this when Stanley came across Dr. Livingstone after all those years hidden away in the bowels of the African jungle?
“Morning!” And that was the moment they met. Towncar T and Llama. After six years of exchanging emails, PM’s and following the progress of each other’s family, their first meeting in the idyllic setting of France’s famous Riviera resort was marked by a simple ‘morning.’ No fanfare; no marching bands.
And that was how our day started. The previous day, Mrs Towncar and I had scoured the town, looking for a suitable place for the Llama lady to fulfil her dream of breakfasting on coffee and croissants overlooking the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean Sea. We found a suitable location fairly adjacent to our hotel, which sported a brightly painted sign sporting the fact that it served both English and continental breakfast “all day long” Unfortunately, when we arrived for the first step in our master plan for the day, they seem to have omitted to add to the sign the fact that breakfasts were served all day - except breakfast time! The bloody place was closed – at 9.30am!!:ohmy:
So a plan B was devised quickly. Back to the hotel, quick exchange of gifts and the search was on for another suitable eatery. We found the perfect place a little way further along the Promenade Des Anglais where Lady L was able to realise her ambition. Croissants and coffee duly taken on board we were off promenading with the Anglais along the tree-lined boulevard built along the shores of the Med. by refugees from the bleak English Winters in the 19th Century.
After strolling the length of the promenade, we took on the 160 or so steps up to the top of the Colline Du Chateau. The chateau is long gone, but the colline (hill) is still there and as leg-sapping as ever. Several rest-stops later, we were at the summit. The views over the city, the marina and the Med were stunning and more photographs were added to the respective Towncar and Llama family albums.
After a quick visit to the toilette (a snip at only 30 cents a leak) it was off for a stroll around the old town of Nice. Southern France has been influenced over the centuries by the culture of North Africa, and nowhere is this more evident than in the narrow streets and alleyways of the Nice old town. At times it reminded me of the souks of Tangier and Marrakesh, with its myriad small shops and the air heavily-laden with the scent of a thousand exotic spices.
We strolled through the outdoor market and visually sampled such delights as beef tomatoes and garlic bulbs the size of baseballs. The sights and sounds of that market are typical of many we had been in throughout the region of Provence over the years and the whole scene was presided over by the pleasing aroma of the region’s principal export crop, lavender.
Lady L bought herself the three most expensive bars of soap she is likely ever to buy in her life. I don’t think she’ll wash with them. More likely she’ll put them in the safe and keep them as an investment for her retirement! Serves her right for choosing the lavender over the lemon that I recommended!
Lunch was a croque-monsieur and a bottle of eau naturelle. Of course, being much more sophisticated I preferred the petillante, as did Mr L. Lady L was a little miffed that she couldn’t enjoy a glass of wine in the alcohol-free sandwich shop, but Mr L assured me that she’d make up for it later that evening! Apparently the Lady likes a drink or three.:laugh:
A walk through the picturesque Place Massena Gardens, with their fountains soaring skywards brought us back into the town itself and we all knew that our day was drawing to a close. But not before we took another stroll in the sun along the Promenade Des Anglais, stopping along the way to admire the view and drink in the atmosphere of the day. Of course Lady L, with her predeliction to drink, wasn’t satisfied with drinking in the atmosphere so we had to find a bar where she could imbibe a glass of the hard stuff (well one small glass of rose anyway) in sight of the sea. A perfect end to a perfect day.:wub:
We sat and reflected on our day. It had gone by ever so quickly and it seemed like only minutes since that first “morning” had started us off. Mr & Mrs Llama had been terrific company. Lady L really is a Lady and I don’t think anybody could fail to be charmed by her. Mr L is a proper man’s man and very much ‘what you see is what you get.’ That’s more than OK in my book.
We finished up our drinks and headed back to the hotel to call a taxi to take our guests back to their ship. But still the day held some drama for us. Having ordered a taxi, we had what seemed an interminable wait while the clock ticked down towards the time when the ship would weigh anchor, with or without two extra Canadians. The atmosphere was becoming a little tense as the realisation overtook Lady L that they really might miss the ship. Imagine the relief when the taxi came into view and pulled up alongside us. As the official French speaker for the day (all my illusions about Canadians being bilingual had by then been smashed) I was designated to tell the driver where they were going. I leaned in and asked him if he knew the port area at Villefranche. “Oui”, he replied “Mais je n’ai pas le temps d’y aller.” I couldn’t believe my ears and asked him to repeat it. “I know it but I don’t have time to go there. I am finishing soon.” It was a bit like one of those ‘Psycho’ moments and only needed some scary screechy music to make it complete. A potential disaster loomed!:eek:
Lady L almost suffered a stroke on the spot as the driver simply closed the door and drove off. Fortunately I persuaded him to ring another taxi before he left, but his Gallic shrug when I told him how pressed for time they were did not fill me with confidence. As we waited for the replacement taxi to arrive we actually got as far as discussing what they would do in the event that they missed the ship. Lady L was visibly ageing by this time. I’m not sure if she took any comfort in the fact that I was sure they could catch a train from Nice to Livorno so they’d only miss one night on the ship. I’m also not sure that the prospect of sleeping on the luggage rack of a French overnight train in the same clothes that she’d worn all day filled her with joy, but I don’t think it did. Just a hunch!:rolleyes:
Mr L asked me to go inside and ask the hotel receptionist to ring them again and emphasise the urgency. I wasn’t going to say no. He’s a big lad. As I hurried into the reception area I glanced behind me to see if I should kill two birds with one stone by ringing an ambulance to deal with Lady L’s imminent coronary. I decided just to ask for a cab.:mellow:
No sooner had I looked up the French for “Tell them to hurry up for God’s sake” than Mrs Towncar appeared in the doorway, a relieved smile across her lips. “They’ve gone,” she gasped. And so they had. But we still had the memories of a lovely day fresh in our minds. We still had a few hours to kill before our flight home, so we sat in the sun and watched the world go by. At exactly five past five we got a text message from our son. In all the excitement of meeting our friends, we had completely forgotten that his Med School exam results were published at 4pm home time, 5pm French time. “Passed all exams” was the message. Now that really was a perfect end to a perfect day.:happy:
Half an hour later a large cruise ship sailed into view from the harbour around the headland. We watched it for over an hour until it disappeared over the horizon carrying two no doubt tired but relieved Canadians on the next leg of their European Odyssey. Next stop for them - Florence. Next stop for us - home. And that’s the way it was.
Great TR… how about those pictures…please…
You really know how to set the stage and tell a story! Thanks so much for your TR! Can’t wait to see your pictures;)
Great writing my long lost friend. Nice to see ya around!!!
Great TR. I love the suspense in your story telling!
What a fun and well done tr. I felt as though I was there with you all. Now for the pictures.
It’s in the wash :laugh:
Great TR Towncar! I’m so glad you had a lovely day with the Llama!