Transcript for Episode 244: Best Place to Stay on the French Riviera

Categories: Family Travel, Provence


This is join us in France Episode 244. Bonjour, I’m Annie Sargent and join us in France is a podcast where you’ll hear well, pragmatic advice for your next trip to France. And hopefully you get inspired to go beyond Paris and enjoy the rest of France too, which is exactly what we’re doing today. On the podcast, I invite travel enthusiasts and Francophile, such as my guests, Elliot Rodriguez, to join me for a conversation about how their trip went, what they loved, what they didn’t like as much and what they want to recommend. And we give you some inspiration for your next trip to France. Join us in France is a listener supported podcast, take a listen and if you like what you hear, I would love for you to support the show. More on that after the interview. On today’s episode, we talk about a family vacation on the French Riviera. The mom, dad, a toddler and a teenager They did everything using public transportation and a couple of Uber rides. And he helped me answer a question that people often ask, which is, what is the best town to base yourself out of when visiting the nice con Mondo Monaco area? You know, like the Riviera, but the coast, I definitely recommend that you don’t rent a car because parking is a nightmare in those towns. But when you have a young kid, a stroller, a teenager and you know, sometimes teenagers are a bit Moody, I don’t think it was it was a problem in this case, but you know, it’s important to be efficient. So what’s the best town if you’re going to be riding the train, and walk everywhere you go? Well, we discuss the whys and hows and, of course Ellie has nothing to sell. He just wants to be helpful to our podcast listeners. If you’re interested in this episode, I recommend that you also check out Episode 232 the smart way to visit Paul’s where we answer a similar question but having to do with England Paul’s not the coast. We use a lot of French names on this podcast and because I’m useless at saying French names any other way, then the way I learned how to say them in French, if you’re not sure what I just said, and if you can’t spell it, you know, go to join us in France. com forward slash 244 number 244. And you’ll see the episode page with all the links of the things we discussed, and alleys guest notes that go into more detail than what we had time to discuss on the

alley and welcome to join us in France. Johnny, how are you? I am well how are you?

Doing good early in the morning here.

I know you.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. Yeah, it’s lunchtime here. So you know.

That’s the big that’s the big meal we always hear about in the US that France lunch is a very sort of sacred.

Yeah, I mean it is but it on a weekday it’s not database. It’s this, you know, the Saturday and Sunday lunches that we put effort into. Anyway, today we’re going to talk about your visit to the French Riviera and you’re going to give us some advice on how to deal with dealing with a with a family of different ages because you have you were there with a toddler and a teenager and You and your wife, and also dietary restrictions that you have, and the fact that you spent several days and you had time to explore all these wonderful towns. And so you’ll give us a comparison, or what they’re like and what you prefer, you know what, what worked best for you?

Yeah. We had been thinking about France for the last year. It’s me, my wife, our daughter, who’s 17, and our son who’s two. So my family and I had been thinking about traveling since last summer. And we hadn’t done any. We hadn’t even been on a plane for about three years, because since about the time, Marion had become pregnant with the youngest one little, little Roman. And so about last year, we thought, okay, we’ve spent the last few years readjusting to taking care of him and doing that, maybe let’s venture out let’s let’s take a vacation that also while he’s still so young, doesn’t have to be something like say Disney, or something close by. So we said what do we got in us? Let’s try friends. We’d wanted to try France. I’ve been there briefly. I’d been to Paris briefly, about six or seven years ago, hadn’t really gone out and see much else. So I thought it was a great place to see a different region. Also, Marianne and our, our daughter, violet, they live on the beach. They love seeing places that are warm. And they both they both even surf actually. Ah, yeah. Now, we knew that the Riviera, and that whole quote, desert area was not a surf spot. No, but they still love the idea that it was a place where you could have relaxation mix in the beach, or even have entire beach days. Sure. So that became the sort of basic structure that we thought, Okay. It’s going to be a nice spend some time will base ourselves in a good location where we can explore the rest by train. And a nice was kind of a good first visit for us because it was a train hub and it was close to the airport. Yeah. So for those reasons, we said okay, even if we find you know, the place that we’d love to come back to differently. Nice is really a good first place. It’s also a city so you can get a feel for a lot of different things. Sure. And just having that mix of what we knew would be a border area with Italy and all that would give you all those different flavors. So that was basically the setup and the idea of why we chose it. Right. So getting there. We flew in actually from Paris. Wasn’t a long flight. It was actually a very comfortable flight, getting into the airport. And we took a taxi to our Airbnb, which we also chose, because we wanted it to feel like a little bit like home, having a little one having an older child. Everybody had a bedroom. It was really, really nice. And especially because our our daughter actually wasn’t out of school yet. But she’s able to do her last year of high school online. Okay, yeah. So having Wi Fi in her having the space to do her regular day and then be able to be done to come in Join us for beaches for things was was really just a good thing to have.

Yeah, that’s great. Yeah.

So for for nice also is kind of like a microcosm to us of the coke disorder itself our impressions was that actually as beautiful as they say it hits what we discovered when we first got there was that the photos and the films they’re not doctored it’s that nice.

Oh yeah. It’s

you know you see pictures you see postcards, but there’s never any telling what what a place could be like till you get there. And it was an absolute postcard It reminded me many years ago when I first visited California. It just, it was beautiful. It had this sort of lush coastline, palm tree line boulevards, the beautiful turquoise water that that that Mediterranean has right there. The great architecture that’s kind of like the backdrop especially on that prominent design gray With all the old hotels like the hotel in the Glasgow and different sort of Belle Epoque architecture,

yeah. It was like walking through a postcard that first day. And the whole quote, disorder, all those Riviera towns have that to one degree or another, whether it’s small, or big, or a little bit different feeling, but it was just that that was actually one of the biggest things that first hit us, right? It’s true that the architecture is is, you know, very, I wouldn’t say it’s similar, but it’s like it. It’s kind of a content and cutting continuum. You know, it’s, it’s southern France, Italian style, type of architecture, very Baroque, for the churches and things like that. And it’s, it’s gorgeous, and, you know, even small villages will have that sort of feel to them.

We actually and this might just be a symptom of being on vacation. Felt like, Oh, we could live here. I’m sure. I’m sure many people do. I I’ve heard, you know, famous people in the past went there and had the same reaction. Yeah, such as Picasso or Mathias or stuff like people like that. Yeah.

Yeah, there are lots of people if they’re moved it, they’re not from there, obviously.

Yeah. And so the other thing that hit us was the other unexpected thing, at least to us was the family friendly nature of the Riviera. And we might owe that to having traveled Of course, with a toddler. But you know, it can get depicted at least in our view, or maybe from where you might see in films or see on TV or here on the news as very exclusive or high society, you know, places like con Monaco or even nice to some degree. But yeah, for us, for us, it didn’t end up just being con. It was con with a carousel and for the kids and a beach and fun treats and you know, wasn’t just nice, but it was nice with carousels and this whole play area downtown. Yeah, that Roma can be at. And then we could take him for little treats like ice cream, gelato, the family Friendly nature of it to me was we underestimated that.

Yeah, nice. Especially is, but all of these towns will have things for kids because obviously, even if you are speaking of in can, for example, there’s a lot of older you know, the maybe the age average there’s a lot of retirees, well guess what retirees have grandchildren, and they love it when the grandchildren come visit and they want to take them to a nice park a nice playground. And so yes, there’s plenty of that in all of these towns.

So that’s, that was I think some of the biggest first impressions for us was how, how nice it was. Speaking of what are let’s safe overall, the 10 days that we had our favorite, we did that sort of beach track that will sort of I guess talk about we’ll go from west to east I believe our favorite experiences ended up being the towns of the French some air and Montana, Montana is right on the border with Italy. Yes. And for us will function there would be a question Perfect places if you want to come back and just spend some days relaxing, and not have to walk too far where everything’s right where you are including the train station. The old colored building, it’s almost like a horseshoe little Cove of beach. Not too big at all. Yeah, but you but you’ve got these wonderful colored buildings for the old town on one side, you’re kind of see another cape, looking out to the other side with really majestic views. And then the Mediterranean opening up. It could be a place where if you if you want it to walk and not even use a tram, or bus or bike, that that does look like I guess you want to use the word idyllic but that gets over overused. In fact, one afternoon, we saw a gentleman and a Bentley in the backseat of his car being driven by a driver. Wow, Holy God, slowly, very slowly going up the street there, and then he’d have his driver turn around and repeat the church.

Just enjoying the You

we weren’t sure if he was looking for someone enjoying the view or wanting to be seen we we couldn’t tell which was the case maybe he was meant to meet up with someone.

Yeah, that’s true.

But we saw the driver always always kind of like okay, turn around again let’s try this again. And but maybe he was he was taken with the view as we were. So we actually because of what we like so much about France America had we spent two and a half afternoon evenings there. One just for lunch and then we came back for sort of two beach days.

So you prefer the beach at the phones your mouth and that’s nice.

Certainly and maybe that’s because the beach at nice is has large rocks. Yeah. Which is not bad. But it just happened to be that the week we were there, which was the first the very end of June and the first I mean the very end of May, and the first week of June, the beach at nice actually felt quite cold. And a few days in a few days later when we got to the French to mer, that completely changed at least in that area.

Right? Because it’s like it’s a little Bay the bay is close, you know, it’s Yes, it’s close unto closed unto itself. I guess I don’t know how to explain it but nice is wide open.

I think that is it when whenever we were at places that were more open to the water, even like con it was colder. Yeah. And all the little coves and bays were also shallower too. So it’s like the sun could keep the water warm,

right and it’s easier when you have a toddler to have some shallow water for a bit.

Absolutely. And so that beach at the front soon there is to us also perfect because as soon as you literally as soon as you step off that train, and walk down the stairs, it’s the first thing you see. And you see the palm trees and the beautiful turquoise water and then when you get in it, it feels Like you’re in a pool, doesn’t even doesn’t even feel like you’re in like some wide open ocean. That it’s, it’s really, really wonderful. And so we thought, Okay, this, this is that’s why we spent a couple days there. It’s why we came back there. It’s why Roman especially loved playing on the beach there. Behind that though French beach, there’s all these little snack stands, which of course there are a lot of towns on the Riviera. But it’s perfect because you can just spend your day at the beach, if you want to bring your food. You can pack a picnic, but you can also go back and just order any kind of basically food that you want and then walk right across the small little lane in your right back on the beach. Right and, and it’s great because it’s also it’s a mix of sand but little small pebbles, okay and so also Roman love that because he can have little toys like to play with and throw into the water. So for us having something to entertain was was really, really nice. Yeah, but just the idyllic view of Bill French was was probably on Top experience getting to see that place we know it’s a place we’d come back to. We say, Oh, we live here one day, but I know that other people probably think the same thing.

You know, it’s pretty close to nice. So if you fly into the nice airport, it would be a little bit longer fair to get to. to VidCon then then to nice, but not that much longer. It’s not like it’s going to double the price or anything. So it would be a good you know, if you’re interested in the beach, probably which would be functional now would be a good choice. I do agree.

Yeah. And, and because that train station is so close to everything. One like nice, which it’s about, I would say maybe about a 10 minute 15 minute walk back from the beach back. That’s right. It’s

inland a little bit. Yes.

Yeah. If you’re in if you’re in the front Sumit and you want to have an evening, a nice or an evening in Monaco. Or go check something else out. That train is right there for you. If that’s the mode of transport that you want to use, yes, it takes no work and you’re on the way.

Yes, yes, that’s fantastic actually. So if you want to if you want to have somewhere Central, maybe find a an apartment near the, the train station in VidCon show man, you’d be set to go visit everything else,

you’d be set because even if on a day, you don’t want to go anywhere, you don’t have to walk anywhere you can accidentally walk into the beach. It’s that close.


Second to the French, not as close to nice, but second in terms of how it hit us and how we we sort of love The experience was the town of mountain, which was just on the border with Italy that had us also the second most beautiful beach to feel French. And I’m sure some people could say it’s their favorite. But what it is it rather than being just one small little company has sort of two stretches. And there’s a long stretch of beach when you first get off the train that you can walk along with hotels and casinos and snack bars. But it all stretches up to an old town which is closer to the border. And that old town has a beautiful Cove. Great turquoise water, a nice port. You can see beautiful yachts parked and a great view. Great view of the hills in the background. Huh? And right in front of those hills is the most I don’t know the cutest little town of colored pastel colored buildings. It’s like you again that would be you’re in a postcard. A man man made life size postcard feels almost like a film set. Wow. It’s really really beautiful. And in that old town there’s also a great little shopping area. You know made for you know, you can stroll you can shop you can have dinner there and be right back, be right back out on the beach, that that area, which is also very, very small pebbles and sand mixed together was another great place you can take your family we had to we also went there twice because it was so nice, huh? Yeah, just beautiful task.

Yeah. Yeah, the motto is a little further away from the airport but doable because you have the train.

You do we did find that different Sumit if you’re saying how far it is from nice was probably five minutes. Yes, Montana, Montana was more like 35 Yes. That would be about the difference. And if you you know, depends on if you want to stay on the train or not. But that train also for us was the first way to see the Riviera. So when we first got on that train, and they’ll French comes by and the different towns combined like bolo somewhere and you see all their sort of coves and beach areas. That’s what feels like oh, wow, we’re here. We’re on the Riviera. It’s

pretty isn’t It’s beautiful. That train ride is beautiful.

Exactly. And that train ride Something to see our two year old looked out because we speak to him in a in a combination of not quite English, not quite Spanish but everything all at once. He first he first saw it and he went,


and I said That’s right. He was breathtaking by it.

Yeah. Oh, yeah. It’s it’s Yeah, it’s quite the site and I can’t describe it, but it’s like, oh, wow. You know, it’s a wild moment.

Yeah, it is a wild moment. Yeah, that’s what we had going in both directions. Whether you went towards conjure or you or you went towards mountain, you have those wow moments every time a VISTA opens up for you.

Yes, because the beach I mean, in in France, unlike in Spain, the train doesn’t go right along the coastline. The train goes inland a little bit sometimes, but not by much, but you’re going to be a little further away from the water and then close and further, you know, job back and forth. But you get Plenty of beach views and Mediterranean views and it’s beautiful.

The one thing that my my wife appreciated about the whole Riviera was that if we had roaming on the beach, it didn’t necessarily have to be closed all the time. It was easy to change him and not worry about covering him up. He could run around. Oh, yeah. That’s free as a great statue.

Yeah. Nobody worries about that in France.

Yeah. And then the kid running naked on the beach. Nobody is going to bat an eye and for herself from my wife. What was really appreciated by her was the fact that there were a couple times that she wanted to be in the water or play with Roman she could have her top off not you know, flaunting herself around but submerged in the water and she enjoyed that freedom that she that you don’t get that obviously and beaches in the US, ya know. And she also had fun because doing that also mortified and embarrassed our 17 year old talk

So that once our daughter got a wind of what Marianne was here, she’s like, Mom, what are you doing? And she’s like, What’s the

matter? It’s all right.

Every well half of the world population has, it’s okay.

But, so that was nice. Just the sort of, you’re at the beach. Everybody’s got a body everybody can be in the water no matter what size what shape. Yeah, it was fun sort of being in that environment.

Yeah, that’s good. Because sometimes the Riviera has the image any way of you know, picture perfect Hollywood types. And not necessarily it’s it’s a, you know, it’s a French beach. There’s going to be some of everything. There’s going to be old grannies and, and fat people and short people and tall people and some of everything. It’s just the way it is.

Absolutely. Yeah. So after those two towns being let’s say our favorites, After the beaches that we really really like those being our favorites some of the second favorite things that we had was at least some of the food that I found and some of the food that Marianne found. And for that, I guess we kind of go back to nice which is where we started anyway right. But what I found because again, I eat for last seven years have been eat a whole food plant based diet that’s basically vegan but more more centered on just trying to be less processed, if you will, yeah, more natural food. It’s it’s basically the way we also feed Roman with of course vacation exception since we’re on the coaches are, who worries about that. Yeah. And our daughter is vegetarian and Marianne is close to all that but she likes fish. Uh huh. And she she will eat chicken every once in a while. And she was looking forward to having Kaka back what she was able to find at a place called chez Juliet. And she said she really really love that. She was also a To have what she was looking forward to a salad in the swamp. Ah, yes. with tuna fish. He was exactly. She’s had that over here in the US but you want to go you want to go and go to Rome to have what the Romans have it.

I had one a nice recently, but it wasn’t that good. But we weren’t. We were just at one of these fast kebab type places because we were tired and we just sat down and had whatever. But it was it wasn’t that great. But if you pick your restaurant a little better, you will find some really outstanding food in nice.

I think that’s true. I also think that the price point there is actually very good and maybe it’s because they get a lot of tourists and they need to compete. But you can eat very well there for not a lot of money.

Yeah, that’s what I like for lunch. 1620 Yeah, dinner, maybe a little more closer to 2530. But it’s it’s it’s really quite reasonable. Yes. And the one Of course is always reasonable in France, you, you never pay more than 20 for a bottle of wine. Unless certainly, you know you’re at a an expensive restaurant but yeah,

yeah, you can, you can go as high as you want. Sure. And if you just also what we found there was the house wine, which obviously is below 20 was very good. Yeah. You could get a house wine for just maybe five euros for a little cross. Yeah, you’re tasting some nice wine.

Yeah, so nice local wine. It’s inexpensive. It’s good.

And for me, the food that I found there was a little place called Coco green, which was a vegan and raw place, not raw, but both cooked and raw. Okay. And that place to me just knocked it out of the park. I went. I went we went twice all of us. And they’re only open on Friday, Saturdays and Sunday. Oh, because they they spend obviously I guess they have to have a day off but they spend the rest of the week as they told me doing a lot of prep the whole night. Bake everything including the breads. Oh, wow. So by that so every weekend they have a slightly different menu. Mm hmm and what I to me what I was able to taste there with these vegan shoe shawarma wraps, which I’ve never seen anybody make me warm up before that was on on their homemade bread was excellent. I tried their sweet potato croquettes. Great. Then they had Mexican waffles with salsa and guacamole with love that they had a rice based sushi, which was really excellent. They had a role as Anya and then then I admit that I got into their treats like banana cream cake, strawberry cheese. And they also had what they call the vegan Snickers bar, huh? I’ve never heard it before, but Mariana actually says she’s heard of stuff like that.

Oh, that’s really good. I mean, they It’s wonderful to hear that you were able to find not only vegan food, but really good vegan food. You know, that’s, that’s Very good. I’m glad because some some places it’s a little harder to do.

I think what actually happens is, there are some places that sort of set them up as a little bit fine dining ish. And they’re vegan. And if you’re going to go for that experience, you know, sometimes your expectations because it’s a nice restaurant and you want to sit and have a proper dinner service, but when it’s a little place like this, that puts a lot of work into what they’re doing. And it’s not a pretentious place. It’s like a lunch counter. You can go and sit and have fun and have a smoothie or a tea while your foods coming out with your family. That really helps because now you can taste all that they’re putting into the food.

Yeah, sorry.

Sorry, go ahead. So I just wanted to remind the name it was Coco.

Coco green, vegan and raw cocoa green, vegan and raw. And they usually put out their their weekly menu on their Facebook page.

Okay. Yeah. Very good. That’s a good recommendation.

Yeah, and other other than that, we thought that the supermarket’s were quite nice.

Sure, you know, not only

not only could you save money, which we obviously want it to do, but we thought their selection was great. Especially all the supermarkets had great organic sections. Right. And you could you could get a good shopping done there for what we thought was surprisingly, surprisingly cheap, compared especially to where we live.

Yeah. So. So yeah, in France, a lot of French people eat organic and some many exclusively so you will find organic food everywhere.

Okay, yeah, we live we live, I would say, what, 35 miles north of Boston in Massachusetts. And an average shopping just if you’re going to shop for two days can run you can run you anywhere from 50 to $70. And we found that we could do that they’re probably for about 30 heroes, right? That’s what surprises This It was very, very affordable yet to keep your food we thought that since the tip, or at least because the tax is all included, it’s actually a lot cheaper than you think.

Yeah, that’s true. That’s true. Because the prices you see boasted is what you’re going to pay. I mean, you could exactly you could add a few euros for a tip if you want to, but just a few euros, like three, four euros for a family of four is fine. As a tip. Yeah. Yeah. So that so so that were your favorite term. That’s,

those are our favorites. And that’s where, basically, some of the takeaways. The trip, as we said at the beginning was this sort of idea of seeing the Riviera by train, we sort of mapped out that the furthest West we would go would be con. I mean, there’s things further out like central pay and, and places like that, but they weren’t, didn’t appear to be to us as accessible by train. Mm hmm. And certainly a lot longer to get to Hmm. And since we weren’t renting a car, we thought let’s just make con RR. The end of one side. Okay. Yeah.

as far west as you went,

yeah, that would be as far west. Yeah. And con for us was obviously cool because you hear about the film festival and you hear about its history and you see the beaches, like, like you were saying, you see celebrities and almost like, high society depicted there. Yeah, but, but it as well was just good also for families. Sure. And we went there on the train, of course, and we found that the train station was like, nice set back a little bit, but not as far back not as far back. Okay. You could get off the train station and maybe five minutes you’re out onto the front promenade and looking at all the sights and looking at the beach. And we did that we walked along. I think it was called a cassette

closet. Yes. closet.

Yep, that area was was really, really wonderful. We Today, we said that we’re going there for the beach. So we walked along we saw the auditorium where they have the film festival. We took pictures on those the red carpeted stairs. We saw the can Prince of some of the stars. Now get Mel Gibson was one of the handprints that I ended up seeing. I was like, oh, wow, interesting.

It was from 1987. So I know that

he was a lot more popular then. Exactly. Yeah.

And around there you see the casino. We were also there on a Saturday, so it ended up being I don’t know if they have more than one market day but a big market day they’re not far from the Croisette and Marianne remember that she saw a used clothing stall. An original Chanel dress that she thought was amazing. Wow. She didn’t pick it up of course because had quite a price tag. But she just thought to see stuff like that. Just market on the street was pretty Nice. Yeah,

you might, you might want to find the goodwill. Can you be surprised?

Yeah, exactly. That’s cool.

Very cool. And so was it that Saturday seemed to be a day where they had all these kind of non food items at their market. Just like little race car is a really, really nice thing. But the biggest thing for us for that day, of course, was because it was going to be a beach day was finally getting to the beach and setting up. And what’s great about con obviously, is that it has a sandy beach. nice soft sand. Yeah, great, great view of the Mediterranean yachts galore.

Oh, yeah. See?

All of these towns have. Yeah, yachts.

Yeah. And when you’re there, that again is one of those postcard moments where you’re like, wow, this is as good as the postcards and video show just the palm trees, the beautiful sand again, those beautiful buildings. An old hotels right on that cruise that just looked wonderful.

Yeah. So tell me about some of the other some of the other towns you went to because that’s you stopped at a bunch of them.

We did so that was con. Yep. The next week it’s funny because our trip by days ended up being in that order of directions. So we went then next to john the pond.

Is your only bias

drawn upon Yeah, I heard that it’s it was meant to be john but it was an old language like oxytocin.

Yeah, it’s it’s in mean john john in in Poland siloed. from Europe. It’s hard to know which one it is but they’re so close. From john

john john the pond would be I would say if you’re not looking for a place as big as nice and if you if con is also still a little bit too big for you. JOHN, the pond is good because it’s basically a beach resort town and the train gets off right down the street from The beach not as close as your friendship there, but a good maybe two minutes walk. And you’ve got a little casino, beach hotels, beach front, private a little beach clubs. That’s kind of a scene in the vibe of the feel of john upon it doesn’t feel as lived in or as a village as let’s say they’ll function there on time. Right? But if you’re looking for hey I want that sandy beach a con, but I don’t necessarily want the con crowd. And that is big area of con. I think drawing upon it is very nice. And we had a nice day that we spent there as well. That was the day that we actually did use one of those beach clubs and rented your your chairs 1515 years a chair. If you want you can rent a towel as well. And that was a nice relaxing day because the one the place that we picked which was called I think it was called the yellow Beach Club was at a little corner Cove where you could see the water was very calm. And that was great. That was great because we had the two year old.

Yeah, yeah, Roman probably got a little more freedom because of that. And

he actually did. Yeah, we went right across the street before heading to the beach club and buy him a bucket and you know pail and a shovel and things to play with. Yeah, he had probably one of his most fun fun beach day just playing with all those toys sure in the water and the water didn’t even carry the toys away.

Sure, because it’s very calm. The Mediterranean most of the time is very gentle and calm and especially if it’s I mean people who are from California when I go over there and see the beaches in California. Wow, this is rough.

Colder in California Yeah, yeah.

Yeah. Yeah. No, in in the med is is is placid. Most of them. It can have terrible, terrible days as well. But, but most of the summer it’s going to be really nice.

And that’s exactly what we found. So I would say that a good break day if you’re looking for a break or if you just want to stay like I said on the sandy beach only was on the pond is a very good good choice and by train it’s maybe 1015 minutes from nice that’s all yeah and then another five to 10 minutes from con so it could be another area that if you want to take from the airport it’s a good choice Yeah, yeah. It doesn’t like I said feel like it has the same let’s say history or or lived in field but but it’s a nice choice from beach wise yeah

doesn’t have any museums. He doesn’t have any old well probably has an old church or two but that’s that’s not why you go Yeah, you go for for the beach. All right. Very nice.

What else I’ll see. When we ended that afternoon, we said we’re just going to tack on to this little day and john upon taking one stop on the train towards on Team Hmm, cuz they’re basically together on the same boat. Cape Cod, as they call it, yeah. And on TV is on the side that’s now facing back towards nice. Yes. Where’s john? JOHN upon is looking west towards con correct. And for nice what we did was we just decided to do an evening strong we stroll the port, a nice little beach to see what what it was like and it’s nice it’s Sandy didn’t look as finally Sandy as john upon. But the big thing about it Bobby is it was the old haunt of Picasso in his later years. So we see we saw that there was a Picasso Museum we didn’t have time to go in. But we went inside the walled oldest city, which is kind of what it I guess is known for Yeah, and it’s nice and it’s cute. And I know that a couple people had told our daughter and Marianne, you know, when you get to nice and you get to the Riviera, the place that you have to see is on TV will not forget it. But because we thought the whole Riviera was so beautiful. We didn’t see it necessarily in that same view. Yeah,

you’re not you’re not 1,000% better. Yeah,

yeah, it’s a it’s a walled, you know, medieval walled city and it has an old shopping area but you can find a cute shopping area in any one of those towns on, on on the Riviera. But it was it was nice. It was nice to walk around the old town we ended up actually having dinner at a nice little patio restaurant, the old town I actually do. Forget the name of it. But you know, it was a nice place with pasta, we can get pizza without cheese on it, which by the way was so good in France, that Marianne, who loves cheese ended up preferring that to the regular pizza. Really? Yep. Wow, I was surprised by two but I think it’s because the dough and sauce is so good on its own. Yeah. By the time you taste that you’re like, Oh, this is great.

That’s great.

And so Roman could enjoy that. And we did that almost in every town we at one point or another might have had the day 10 At least for lunch, some pizza without cheese and Roman loved I loved it and Marianne would love it.

That’s good.

Yeah. So it was a nice I would say it’s a good day to spend maybe just an afternoon or evening walking and strolling, you could see some shops you could have dinner. It for us wouldn’t feel like the place we base ourselves. Okay. But I’m sure if somebody has something that they’re going there for. It could certainly be Yeah. So getting back the next eastward town. Not to repeat nice, but is nice. Yeah. And it’s it. I think the big difference between the smaller towns on the Riviera and nice is that nice is like a is a full functioning city. Yeah. It’s not like some cute little Riviera town. It’s a beautiful functioning city with a Mediterranean field. You’ve got like a Italian attitude, even almost like an Italian quick pace scooter zooming everywhere. Buses trams and and the big beautiful thing that we thought that was nice about nice and the addition to the beach fun was the center of town called plasma Santa. Yes. It’s a beautiful beautiful Plaza. Very modern looks like I know. They said it’s been redone in the last few years. Oh yeah. Gorgeous, gorgeous colored like pink colored buildings. Nice modern tram going through it and then stretching from there in one direction. You have nice little shopping streets so our daughter could go and shop for like swimwear and stuff like that and enjoy. It’s almost like it’s like an outdoor mall, if you will.

Yes. And you also have the home that you buy you. We buy you buy you buy your i’m not sure i think it’s maybe by young. That’s right there and that’s great with kids. That’s that’s the one that you have all these things for kids to climb on, go under jump and everything and it’s free. It’s really that is really lovely. And that was our second big discovery because right there between the plasma center, and the old town was that play area with All green sort of flooring to it, almost like fake turf.

Yeah. And they also have this whole section which is just devoted to water jet spring up from the ground for kids. Yes, that that was Romans favorite because we have something a very, very small, almost pathetic version of it in the town that we live in. And we’ve always used to give a cute name to that to Roman called a water feature. So when he saw this, he started going, why

don’t feature water feature.

A big one. That one’s been,

I would say about five or six days out of our trip. We went to that so he could run through that in the evening. He loved it. He really, really loved that. And then from there stretches. That’s right on the border of the old town, which is actually very, very beautiful. It’s got the old Italian architecture and stretching into the old town is where you have that morning. course the labor market. Right. Yeah. And that’s the place where was a fun market to go to on some morning so you could buy some bread or try some of their soak up or try a treat or some fruit like berries. Roman loves blueberries. So that would be his place to get his blueberries. I was able to finally able to find to try that famous Soca crepe, which is like a chick pea crepe. Yeah. It’s very good.

Yes. I lie. I was surprised because I had tried to make it at home and it didn’t turn out very well, because I was just going from a recipe. I’ve never had the right thing, the real the real thing. But when I had it in nice, I was like, whew, this is good equity that every day. You

I will say that you definitely need napkins.

Yeah, because there’s always in it.

Yes. And by the time we all sort of been sharing one sofa and passing it around. We’re like, oh my god. All our hands.

Yes, yes. Yes. There’s olive oil. Yum.

So definitely. Boy, does that add to the flavor of that. That crepe. Yeah. It’s hard to you could have it as a whole meal. Yeah, want it? Yeah. Very nice. Definitely.


nice in a nutshell is really, really just the beautiful prominent design gray. We did do a beach day there too. It was much colder. And Roman didn’t mind the rocks. We also had these cute little. They look like they had pictures of whales on a little water socks for him. So that he never had to feel the rocks or anything like that. I didn’t mind them.

Any he probably enjoyed throwing rocks in the water or

something more than we’d like. Yeah, yeah.

Because we had to remind them, you know, you don’t throw it when there’s somebody around or you don’t want to hurt somebody. Yeah, but he saw that he saw them as beach toys.

Yeah, yeah. So let’s keep going west. Let’s keep us to the to the other towns. You went you went to Central Africa to see the Rothschild.

Yes house. So that is like you said next West and it was actually bill front. Mayor would come up first, but we already covered that right and the Then we saw the sunshine car for that was an afternoon where we decided what we were going to do was a non beach day. We actually had lunch that day in Vail for lunch. Then we went up to sunshine cup for to see the Villa de Rothschild and we ended the day with Monaco. Yeah, so we said, all the non beachy things can be in one day. And then also for that Villa de Rothschild on sunshine cup for it was a great place from where we were in nice to just take an Uber to. Okay, guys, if you got one little stretch like that to get out of the way. Then we said, okay, we don’t have to do the 10 minute walk to the train station, then wait for the train. Then wait another 20 minutes to get there. Then take a bus because you’d have to take a bus ride a train station. Let’s just use this to knock out Uber. Yeah, it was about I would say about 25 euros but we thought it was very well spent. Yeah. To get everyone there. And that was really nice because you could just get off Right at the villa, you could walk right up. And I believe the villa was finished in 1912. So it’s at the top of basically the highest point on that cape, and an overlay over looks on one side. What is your front Shin there? And it’s cold. And on the other side it overlooks, I think what’s called bullies summer bullies. That’s right. Yep. And so and then in the front, it just opens out the whole cape sunshine conference out into the Mediterranean. Yeah. So you get some of the most breathtaking views of the Mediterranean when you’re up there. You’re like, okay, let’s take pictures. Let’s just stay here. I can imagine that’s why the Baroness Ross Ross child. And it was a nice little tour of what was her Villa that I think they said again, she finished in 1912. And she had some beautiful gardens and grounds. Some people say it’s like the Versace The French Riviera. But that’s not fair. Because it’s a small little villa. Yeah, you know, but it’s beautiful. It’s very nice to see the take the tour, you can take the audio guides, which we walked around with, to get a feel for why she decorated the rooms, you know, stuff like that.

And woman didn’t mind it too much that he didn’t get to go to beach that they

know as long as you sort of kept it moving along. Yeah, I sometimes would put the audio guy to his ear, even if he didn’t understand it. It would kind of make him go Okay, I’ll just keep waiting to see what what’s coming around the corner. Yeah. But eventually he did have his he did sort of have his fill of being inside. Okay. So we took him outside which they have some beautiful fountains and water and music that plays along with the fountains. And it was another moment where I realized, okay, it’s not just, you know, the high society, highfalutin Riviera, that gets sort of floated as an image. Because as soon as those water just one on, you have the beautiful views down below the Mediterranean, Roman star. dancing to the music. And so he and Marianne just started doing this fun dance that made me think okay, again, I loved seeing everything that we saw with a little one. Even if it’s not, you know, even if you don’t get to go there, replace that you imagine you’re going to get to or not everything on the itinerary gets in just having the little one. help you make the itinerary. makes it a lot more fun.

Yeah. Yeah. And so you went to Monaco that day as well. Yeah. What did you think of that?

Well, we thought it was a lot like being on Rodeo Drive and in Beverly Hills or something like that. We went up to the casino area, by the way, it has the nicest train station of all the places on the Riviera. It’s, it’s of course it’s big and modern. They have a lot of money to put in. And they have nice elevators to whisk you up where you need to go. But we we ended up just concentrating mostly towards the casino area. The hill that overlooks sort of the downtown, little downtown area of Monaco. We had originally planned that there would be either that day or another day to possibly take Roman to the aquarium or go see the castle where they change their guard. But we weren’t there early enough in the day to do that. So it ended up just being looking at some of the grumpy, grumpy premium memorabilia that they have. And they have some nice storefronts with TV screens showing the Grand Prix race. You can see some of the areas where the race actually is running through. And that’s actually was fun to walk around. Yeah. And also Monaco is like yacht town. So it is absolutely like there was a big yacht town Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah, port is is very high level,

serious money yachts.

serious money. In fact, so serious that we did hear that jack nicholson had a famous Quote where he called Monaco Alcatraz for the rich. Yeah. I think maybe maybe he was right.

Yeah. No, yeah. It’s it’s, it’s amazing that I mean, I’ve been a few times and I always feel so out of place. Because, you know, I’m like, I’m like a regular regular bumpkin, French president. Fancy. And so being there, like, Oh, I’m gonna have to mind what I say. And anyway, it’s very interesting it but it’s it’s a beautiful place for a few hours, I don’t think. Yeah, I’m not in love with it. Let’s put it that way.

I would say that we agree completely. It was nice to see it. I think it does have some seat sites that people can go see because we know that there’s a church there where Grace Kelly is laid to rest.

Yes. And it’s nice to have a beautiful Oregon in there.

That Oregon. Yeah. Unbelievable. So it’s definitely worth taking some time. And just like you said, spending a few hours there. Yeah. But it’s not completely reality.

No its own thing. Now one place you didn’t make it to is as

That’s right. In fact, along with on team, we were told to go CS right at. And for some reason, while it was on our itinerary, there were never days where we had to fit it between where we were going either a montage Monaco, we’ve even taken a day to go over the border to Italy to San Remo. So somehow, as even though we kept passing it on the train, we’re like, Okay, well, we’ll try to work it in tomorrow. It was one of those things that got just sort of missed and skipped. And we know that we’ve skipped what is supposed to be a beautiful Hill town.

Yes, it’s beautiful. But so you’ll go back.

Absolutely. That’s, that’s what that Montana for trusted,

right? Well, and especially if you especially if you if you find an Airbnb in Montana, you’re pretty close to as all of a sudden, yeah. So yeah.

So as you go all the way basically to the Italian border. That’s where we find ourselves back. Mountain as as we’ve covered and Montana is also like I said great because you can you can sort of be away from it all and still have the train if you want it’s got to train stations. In fact, there’s a depending depending on which beach you’re are, you might be closer to one train station or the other. And then you can just walk between them, and the town has plenty to do. And that’s what’s also like nice Montana also appears to have a functioning town on itself. Hmm It’s it’s not sort of like john the pond, which seems to be just a beach resort.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Yeah. Yeah. It’s got all again a good shopping area. beautiful places to say very, very colorful. It’s Oh, another thing about Montana we noticed as they love their little lemon cello, of course they do. Their I guess they do. It reminded us of the the Amalfi coast in Italy. Yeah. Where lemon cello is like their their whole thing about montage. They’re very proud of it the stores and shops you can go into and try it and come out. You know, they offer you samples every five seconds as you walk through the store. So you come out feeling a little bust.

Quite frankly,

vacation. It’s okay.

Exactly. you’re on vacation montage was funny to me because we had a late lunch early dinner one day after the beach, and I got into a little trouble with one of their automatic toilets. Hmm. And I think this has happened to me years ago as well in France, where I know that when somebody leaves the door automatically closes to clean

right for the cell cycle.

Yes, self cleaning cycle. But that’s the part I keep forgetting. Also, you went in before I cleaned and for some reason, a couple other people were making that same mistake to the door would open it would seem to stay open.

So right it won’t. It won’t lock. That’s the thing. Yeah, you have to so me explain the procedure. I’ve explained this before, but let me do it again. So when some walks out of one of these self cleaning toilets, you have to let the door closed completely. It’ll take about two minutes to do a self cleaning Zen it’ll open again or at least the the button will turn yellow and you can push it and then it’s your turn and the next person needs to wait till the self cleaning cycle otherwise you tried to shut the door but it won’t love it will latch and so what ends up happening is that people have like their wife or something holding the door while they go to the bathroom. But you don’t need to do that you can just wait wait a couple minutes and it’ll be okay

so that’s what I eventually found was that you do have to let it close go through a cycle Yes, yeah. Then going Yes, but I guess that’s just me being a tourist who’s confused

Well, you don’t have those in America so you would know like to fret very French people we use them regularly so we we got it.

But visitors they don’t know how would they know so yeah.

Alright, so say that Yes, go ahead. Sorry, go ahead. I was gonna say so that basically is like covering our west East trip to the town’s The only thing I think I forgot on my note about nice was there was another place that we ate called fruit city, which is a very, very small little place that’s run by a Belgian couple. Uh huh. And their thing is obviously Belgian muscles and fries and things like that. The one thing that we did like about that place, and the reason I had it in my notes was because how nice the, the owner and the person who worked for him were to Roman. Oh, that’s good, was they kept bringing things out just to see if it would entertain them. And they kept giving him they brought out colored paper and different things. And then in the end, the owner ended up explaining to us that he was kind of doting overwhelming because he has three grown children of his own. And it made them remind them of them so before the owner actually left at one point To go do something else and he before he left, he asked if he could come out. And he gave Roman a giant hug and kiss and

we thought it was so nice. Yeah, I bet he’s a cute kid. That’s why people treat him that

way. Is he is to us. This owner,

which is really nice. That’s great. Well, there’s it we Sorry, I was just going to close by saying that was a great overview of all these towns, because this is the question people have is, they all look really nice. Where should I stay? And you gave them good reasons why? Because the answer to where should I stay is always it depends. It depends on what you want. It depends on you know, who you are, and what’s important to you. And so you gave him a lot of things to think about in order to pick a place so that’s wonderful.

And I’d also say that 10 days wallet seems like a lot really isn’t. Because there is there is so much on the French Riviera. You could spend a month there. still see something different a different town a different area? Certainly, like you said, nice i thought was still we thought it was a great first base because of seeing and also being able to see the Matisse museum was nice. Another thing that we did miss was the Chicago museum.

Yeah. It nice if you all can only do one museum you should go to see the Chicago the Chicago is amazing. The the Matisse is fine, there’s nothing wrong with it. But Chicago definitely worth the visit.

And that’s another reason that we do want to go back, okay.

It’s definitely somewhere in our on our bucket list now includes a place we want to go back to that, again, is the takeaway that we had with the whole code disorder was that it does feel like you could live there, you could pick your town, you could slow your pace down or increase it if you want to be a nice depends on how you see. Of

course you could live there. It’s very it’s very crowded, though. with somebody like me who lives in the southwest of France. I wouldn’t want to live there because it’s too many people that I live in a much, you know, density, population density. It’s much lower in on this in the southwest, which I happen to prefer. But it is a fun place to go.

We did get a sense of that crowd is sometimes on the train. And you could definitely see that there’s a lot of people on the Riviera. Sometimes the train could get a little bit delayed, but people make the best of it. It was actually the train because of the train experience. That was a big thing also that Roman loved was waiting for trains and seeing them come and calling them out. And hearing the SNCF jingle that comes over the loudspeaker. He loved the announcement of all the stops in a portion of a nice Ville. Yeah, he loved all those, all those little things became part of the main event for him and then for me as being like a big kid, they became part of the main event for me.

So it’s a good thing that they have trains because kids, little boys, especially all love trains, don’t they? I mean, I’ve never met a little boy. He didn’t like trains. So perfect.


Thank you so much, Ellie, you have been wonderful, very, very thorough and very fun to listen to. And this is what we aim to do on this podcast is to give you more places for you to visit. inspire you.

I’d say don’t walk run to the desert. All right. Thank you so much, Sally. Thank you so much for having me, Annie. You’ve been very, very helpful, especially your podcast in the months leading up to our trip. just discovering your podcast and hearing the different not only trip reports, but when you talk with Elise about the different towns, it became our way of kind of like anticipating the trip that was coming up in the in the months leading up to it.

Yeah, dissipation is a big part of travel. I think it’s one of my favorite things is to learn about the place. I’m going to go and then oh, I look forward to seeing that. And it’s Yes, it’s very fun.

And so now I think we’re going to take your podcast even after the trip.

Keep listening.

Good. You will have too many places to visit in France after that. That’s true. Okay, well, thank you so much. And I guess maybe we’ll talk some other time when you make another trip to France. That

would be lovely. Thank you so much again,

Annie. Thank you an overview of what Thank you, Don Whitehead, Jan Kugler, Gregory fury, and Mary Jean Lee for pledging to support the show on Patreon this week. And thank you, Phil Robertson for editing your pledge up. patrons enjoy several rewards including membership into a secret Facebook group where I answer questions every day. And you can also hire me to be your trip consultant and help you work out details that you want help with I did one of those while I was in Paris recently, and it’s always a lot of fun to talk to all of you visit forward slash join us PATR When join us no spaces or dashes to see the different reward tiers. And thank you so much for giving back. My thanks also to Sarah Lewis for sending in a one time donation by using the green button on any page on join us in France. com that there’s a there’s a button that says tip your guide, donations of $20. And over also get you an invitation to the secret Facebook group. I also want to thank Catherine Wilson and her husband, I’m sorry has been adopted, but I don’t I didn’t catch your name for testing the last city tour after I recorded it. When they called me to report on the experience. They said how much they enjoyed the content of the tour and that they learned things they didn’t know about even though this was not their first time in Paris. And so I This just makes me so happy because I work very hard to find interesting things that happened in those places that you’re looking In Paris and tell you about, you know, what are you looking at? Why is this important? And so I just, I just love it. And of course, they had some suggestions for things I can make better and you know, make it easier for you. So I’ve done those things. And it’s always good to hear from people who have had, who had nothing to do with, you know, putting together the tours, they don’t know me from Adam. They just listened to the podcast, and they see everything with a fresh eyes. So that was wonderful. Thank you so much, Catherine. So I think the inner city tour is going to be released in the next few days. It’s not in my hands at this point, because there’s an app company involved but it’s, it’s proceeding very, very well. When it’s ready, I will release a quick announcement on the podcast so you know about it, I will also send out an email and, and talk about it on Facebook and all that so hopefully you’ll find out about it. Next up is the mic Tour, which is all written and recorded and all that. It’s in the process as well. And then the more master tour this one I’ve walked, and I have great stuff to tell you about. But I need to, I still need to write it might need a couple of testers for them my tour, I will post a request on on the Facebook group. If that’s the case, for my personal update this week, there’s a lot going on and there’s a little bit more stress than what I’m used to, you know, I’m just a country bumpkin. My daughter moved out into her own studio this week. And that’s, you know, that’s big change, big change, and I thought it would be to not have a good at home anymore. But she’s just downtown to lose. So we continue to see her often. I mean, it’s not the end of it. We’re all just my baby’s gone, you know. And our house is getting a fresh coat of paint. So they’re sanding and painting going on and all. I mean, the painter said, they will do be done Tuesday, and then take me about a decade. To take off dust, anyway. Oh, and there’s also all sorts of problems with my apartment in Spain that you know, everything breaks at once. Don’t know.

But happier news, my in laws are coming for a visit. So it’s my sister in law. So we’re going to have a great visiting and traveling time around the south of France. I will publish an episode next Sunday. I’m not sure about the Sunday after that, because during these episodes is I need to spend hours in my office cut off from other people. And it’s hard to do when you know when you have visitors at home. If you would like to recommend the podcast to someone who already listens to podcasts. Well tell them to find jurists in France wherever they listen to podcasts, if they listen to music, but not podcasts on their phones, tell them to search for join us in France on Spotify or Pandora. And if they don’t normally listen to anything with our phones, send them to join us in France. com and thank you so much for Listening and spreading the word. Send questions or feedback to Annie add join us in France. com Have a great week in France or a great week of trip planning. And I will talk to you next Sunday of the join us in France travel podcast is written and produced by Annie Sargent and copyright 2019 by addicted to France. It is released under Creative Commons Attribution non commercial no derivatives license

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Categories: Family Travel, Provence