Nice Travel Blog

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July 28


As has been the general road situation for the past while, getting here has been longer and more arduous than expected. Long waits for rides that go only part way. Then another wait for a partial. The ultimate question in this instance pertains to a decision one must make when a prospective lift stops for you. When told “I’m only going as far as…” does one politely decline and wait for a better option? There are numerous factors that are involved in making that decision. In no particular order they are: sobriety of driver (and if they have more intoxicant to share with rider), smell of car, make of car, breast size. I usually opt for the first ride. It’s a karma thing. Who knows what the result of any encounter will be, so I just go with it.


When I finally arrived, I looked around the town center and realized that I’d reached a world famous destination and would have it stored in my memory banks forever. This is an accomplishment, just by its own definition. I’m on the Cote d’Azure, man!


 First stop was the local American Express office. I had provided the near and dears with a general itinerary prior to my leaving. I indicated places but not dates; therefore people had to either guess as to where I’d be or base their calculations on data I’d sent in subsequent letters. They would forward mail to te local AmEx office that I would or would not ultimately stumble upon. Sometimes I got there too early, sometimes too late. There was a letter from Mom at the depot. Always pleasant to hear that things are OK on the home front. What struck from the tone of her letter was how staid most people’s lives were, which made sense since they were basically glued down in time and space. I on the other hand, was facing a new reality daily. Lucky me. 


I was sitting in a bar, wearing a red and white horizontally striped sweater talking to some guy. I described what people had to do to find me somewhere out in the world having provided them with minimal clues. Later in life I came across the Where’s Waldo? series and have been seeking that guy in the bar ever since, looking for my royalties share.


Two hours of wandering and I managed to secure living accommodations. I quickly realized that this town wasn’t going to be a cheap stay. At the same time, however, I saw for certain how this place got its name – NICE! The clothes, the cars, the women, and the scenery – it all conformed to the town’s appellation. Quite different from Knoxville, Tennessee which is a town; Appalachian. Wealth oozed out of every doorway and café. If visiting this place does not inspire me to work hard when the trip is done than nothing will. Saving a few francs, I decided to dine al roomo, which is like al fresco without the grass. Following a baguette with pâté, cheese and ham, I strolled through the center of the city drooling at the fancy, swanky, big hotels. I strolled the beach and met up with Jutta. With the money saved on dinner, I splurged for ice cream cones. Jutta was a young German lass, or shall I say fraulein. She had a tiny, little mouth and was strung tighter than a grand piano. Give her five years to loosen up and a lifetime supply of Valium and then call me in the morning.


As I worked my way through the various squares and boulevards, lined with chic stores and restaurants, I keep expecting to run into some old Choate friend, on holiday with his deb. I also keep thinking about my dear, rich friend Harry Hopmeyer who used to regale me with stories of family vacations in Nice, imagining what he did and how he comported himself with a limitless budget. Oh yeah, I saw his kid brother Ira in Montpellier. I didn’t like him in Canada and I didn’t like him any better in France.

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5,246 km (3,260 miles) traveled
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photo by: Niki-Travelfan