Cote d'Azur Day 1
Thursday, October 21, 2010.

Lee and I began our trip yesterday from our home in Fort Worth, Texas and we are in the South of France today. The nine-hour British Airways flight took us to London, and after a two-hour layover at Heathrow Airport and a short flight to Nice, we are finally here.

Nice is the largest city in the region called Cote d’Azur, a region on the southeast side of France which stretches along the Mediterranean Sea from Marseilles to the Italian Border.

Picking up our luggage and clearing French custom took no time at all and with the Euros we had exchanged from the US, we bought two bus tickets for the ride on Bus 98 from the airport to our apartment. The 4-Euro per person bus ride is a bargain compared to a 30-Euro cab ride to the same location. A Euro is approximately 1.40 US dollar.

Promenade des Anglais, Nice, France
We put our luggage in our room then went out to the balcony for celebratory drinks and picture taking. Even in late October, the wide sidewalk running alongside Promenade des Anglais is full of people walking, jogging, riding bikes or just relaxing on beach side benches. We are so lucky to be here.

In the evening, we strolled to the old Nice, passing several restaurants, cafes, gift shops, parks, water fountains, and even a casino along the way.
Reuniting in Nice: Don, Khanh, Bo and Lee on our apartment balcony
The bus dropped us off a block from our apartment located at 52 Promenade des Anglais where we rendezvoused with Lee’s sister, Khanh, and her husband Don who arrived from Paris the same afternoon. Khanh and Don live in Fort Worth and had gone to Paris a few days earlier and were glad to have escaped the cold weather in Paris and be here in much more hospitable climate.

The two-bedroom apartment Khanh had reserved is in an amazing location. It is a corner unit on the sixth floor of a building right across the street from the beach. It has a wrap-around balcony where we can sit, watch the sunrise and sunset, the spectacular blue water of the Mediterranean Sea, and the palm-tree-lined Promenade des Anglais. There is a cozy restaurant on the ground floor of the apartment called ‘Le Jardin du Capitol’ where we go for dinners or drinks.

The apartment is also near several bus stops which is convenient if you want to take advantage of the bus system used extensively by the locals. A one-Euro bus ticket can take you to Eze, Cap Ferrat and even to Monaco. A 4-Euro ticket gives you unlimited rides in a single day.
Khanh and Lee walking to town
The famous Negresco Hotel in Nice
Don and Khanh at a fountain near Place Massena
Lee and Bo
Dinner in Cours Selaya
Cours Selaya
Cours Selaya in the center of the old Nice is packed with restaurants, shops, and people; and we had a good dinner of mussels, steak, and pasta in one of many French-Italian restaurants.

Back to the apartment, we had coffee, wine, and more conversation then we called it a day. We had a good day and I am glad Lee and I did not experience any jet lag at all. We are ready for a big day tomorrow.
Mussels, steak and fries

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