After two full days on the Côte d’Azur I think I can truly say that my mother is having a good time. Sure, I could take all the credit and tell you that it’s because I’m her daughter and she’s happy to be here with me. The truth is she’s enjoying the good wine this country has to offer.
I can see it now and my wonderful mother is preparing herself for the comments that she will hear upon her return to Toronto. More on that later. Let’s get to the details first.
Monday, was our first relax day. After a quick trip to Carrefour and a long and leisurely lunch on our terrasse, Mom and I headed into town. We took the scenic route to and from Place Massena: we strolled the narrow streets of Vieux Nice; we imagined ourselves living the high life as we window shopped at Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Cartier; and we ogled the pastries at both J. Multari’s that we passed. I really didn’t feel like cooking dinner last night but I couldn’t really ask Mom to cook…could I? I didn’t, just in case you’re wondering.
The fun really started yesterday however. After breakfast, I took Mom with me to my usual butcher shop and to the market in Cours Saleya. She enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the market as well as the gorgeous blooms in the flower market. With my basket fully laden, we headed home. The plan was to head to Monaco for lunch with Albie. We had planned on leaving around noon; however, D’s conference call delayed us. We didn’t hit the road until 1:15 pm.
We had lunch at an Italian restaurant on Boulevard Albert 1er before heading for our climb up the hill to the Palais Princier, home to HSH Prince Albert II. The views from the top of the hill were gorgeous despite the lack of sunshine. The castle is currently undergoing renovation to be completed, I imagine, before the royal wedding this summer. This wasn’t my first visit to the top of the hill but it was my first visit inside the castle. I loved hearing about Monaco’s history and the ties that bind the principality to France. Unfortunately, the visit includes only a portion of the lower floor of the castle. At the end of tour we were left wanting more.
We headed back down to the port where our car was parked and headed to Èze. The plan was to visit the Exotic Garden but, as we had started our day late, we arrived just in time to hear the clock tower strike 6 pm. The garden was now closed. Despite that, Mom and I headed up. (Yes, only Mom and I made the walk. D was in the car on another conference call.)
We decided it was time to head home and took the scenic route along the Moyenne Corniche. At home, D put together a plate of two types of saucissons and served that with a kir violette. Dinner was a light affair, just a simple green salad and leftover lasagne.
But back to the wine.
My mother is not a wine drinker. At least, that’s how I remember it. I obviously missed the memo. I’m not saying that she’s never had wine before. I am saying that in the past two days she has had more wine than in the past two years. She’s only had a few glasses but there must be something about this country that makes people want to pick up a glass and toast the day. Before lunch she enjoyed her first kir cassis and she had a glass of rosé with her meal. I know that les parents have at least one bottle of champagne chilling for this weekend. How much will Mom have? I’ll let you know next week.
Now, it’s time to head to Grasse. How are you spending your day?