Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another day in paradise

It's Thursday evening here in France. I've not blogged since we arrived.... we've actually been quite busy, and when we aren't busy, we find ourselves on the beach or taking walks by the harbor.

Yesterday, we went to Marseille. The primary purpose was to visit a customer who lives there. We were also hoping to visit the city. As it turns out, I was incapable of driving in Marseille. Talk about a cluster!!!!!! "No rules driving" is pretty much how I describe it.

In fact, I was soooo scared, that after an hour of driving down the teensiest one-way streets with delivery trucks facing the other way, intersections where if you don't go for it and cut off someone, you will never go across, and let's not mention all the pedestrians who just step out in front of you with no warning.... oh.... and the mopeds that go whizzing by and around you forcing you to brake instantly.... well, we parked somewhere in a bad neighborhood and called to come get rescued.

Luckily, my customer and her husband were not far. They came to the rescue and Christian drove our rental car with Matt in the passenger seat, and I rode with Marjorie in her car. There is no way I was getting back behind the wheel in that madness!!!

We ended up going to the Port of Marseille and having a wonderful bowl of Bouillabaisse (a fish soup) which is the specialty there. Then we went to the beach for an ice cream, and finally, Christian led us back to the freeway entrance. We had to stop on the side of the road in the middle of a round-about to switch drivers. I felt comfortable taking the wheel back as I could see the freeway and knew the direction home.
Today, we drove along the sea coast road almost to St Tropez, but we had to return the car by 2PM, so we didn't go too far. Besides, Matt wasn't too keen (and neither was I) on repeating yesterday's experience. LOL!!!!
Tomorrow, we have slated a relaxing day on the beach for our last day here in Frejus. But the weather report is calling for thunderstorms.
Saturday, we have a travel day: first cab ride to the train station, then train ride to the Nice aiport, plane to Paris, subway to the train station, train to Vendome where my dad will pick us up. We won't get to their house until late in the evening.....
I'll write more when we get there.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

On vacation - Day 1?

It's Saturday night..... so technically, it's not day 1 of the vacation, but it feels like it. It's the first day our body clocks are adjusted to the time change.

We left home Thursday morning for a brutally long trip. Medford to San Francisco, S.F to LAX. LAX to Paris, and Paris to Nice. Got to Nice at 6PM Friday night. Thank goodness I had reserved a room CLOSE to the airport in a 2-star hotel (the French equivalent of a Motel 6). It was so close to the Nice airport that taxis won't even take you there... you have to take the bus. But we crashed and hard!
Next day (this morning), we took the train to Frejus where we are staying for a week. We rented a studio apartment overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The weather here is beautiful, still warm, but all the tourists have gone. This is the off-season. Everthing is less expensive and calmer.

this picture was taken from our balcony. As you can see, the beach is a mere walk away, and not crowded at all. The little jut of land you see on the far right is St. Tropez (where all the RICH Americans go... notice we are NOT there, LOL!!)

Since we are staying close to the harbor, there is a little pier there where people fish. We saw about 8 cats all waiting for a handout. What a life!!!
Ta ta for now, I'm off to eat my dinner. (more tomorrow)