Thursday, July 17, 2014

It's a Tough Life

In Morocco, I was so sick I felt like maybe I was going to die. 

It was the absolute worst. The most awful part was that we weren't staying still; between staying with different families and the constant bus rides and activities, I couldn't just lay in bed and sleep it off. Ugh. Poor Holly got sick for our trip to Nice. After WebMDing her symptoms, I spent another good hour looking up hospitals in the area and French phrases I might need to get her help for her deadly meningitis. We're pretty sure it was a migraine now.

This was the only accommodation we booked through Airbnb, which worked out well for the most part. For the sake of contrast later in this post, I'll give a few details about our little apartment: you walk into a tiny hallway with a bathroom to one side and a living room to your front. The living room is also the bedroom and kitchen, and the tiny love seat pulls out into a bed that literally fills the entire room. Like, you can open the mini fridge door, and that's the extent of the non-bed space. There was a second bed upstairs in a little loft. This was also the only time in our trip where we had separate beds, and thank goodness because I didn't want Holly's sicky germs! To get up to the loft, which consisted of a twin bed and space for me to sit my suitcase but not to stand, we pulled a ladder down from the ceiling from the hall. Only problem with the loft was that the bathroom door couldn't open if the loft stairs were down and you couldn't really get to the front door. The bathroom was very strange in that the shower was on a platform that just flooded out onto the floor. There was also no hot water. But it was very inexpensive and the perfect location, so absolutely fine by me!

View from Castle Hill
After feeling confident that she wasn't actually going to die, I set out to explore some of my favorite places in Nice and a few that I haven't seen before. We were staying on Place Garibaldi, which was just a few steps away from Old Town. Markets, cute little soap shops, etc. Again I need to chide myself on the fact that I didn't do my research... Grrr. While sitting down by Pebble Beach and looking through a tourist packet, I realized there was so much more to do and I didn't have time to do it all! Before returning home to check on Holly though, I did make the climb up to Castle Hill, an amazing lookout point and the area once occupied by the Celtic Ligurians. I could have spent the whole day up there!

On an island off the coast of Cannes

The absolute best part of our Nice trip was on our third afternoon. 

One of my student's family has a house in the hills in the area, and were so kind to invite us to spend the day with them on their boat. Now, before reading any further, make a mental image (haha teacher-talk) of the apartment we stayed in. Is it In your head? Good- please continue. Oh my gosh, it was unbelievable. The boat itself was unlike anything I've ever seen, let alone thought I'd be cruising along the French Riviera on. The first thing we saw (Holly was better at this point) was that the boat had a three person crew. They were all probably under 30, and though they did amazing, hard work, they also were a ton of fun and hung around with the family. My student (we'll call her Ginny for the sake of privacy- when we need nicknames for a game in class that's usually what she picks) took us on a tour of the boat and I think I just walked through with my mouth hanging open. There were four bedrooms downstairs, and the bathroom was better and probably bigger than the one in my apartment. On the ground floor there was a kitchen, living room, and a deck with a nice dining room table. You could walk down a narrow corridor on either side of the boat to the front and catch some rays. If you went upstairs, there was a grill, the navigation system, couches, and another big table. I have no words. Well, I guess I do because I just described it, but not really. It was incredible.

The church and abbey

Anyways, after our tour, the captain set sail for an island off of Cannes where we anchored for the day. 

Lunch was a three course meal and was maybe some of the best food I've ever eaten. After, we went over in the little dingy to explore Saint Honorat, a beautiful island full of monks and wineries and a castle. Remember how I said that Venice made me think of 'Man in the Iron Mask?' Well. As it turns out, the filming was done on the island opposite from us! So cool! It was just the most wonderful day. My little student is the one who made me all of those Harry Potter posters and is such a sweetie, and she couldn't come from a nicer family. The mother's sister, parents, brother-in-law, and niece were there along with Ginny, her brother, and parents so you'd think it would be crowded... But no. I think Holly might have been a little nervous because she didn't know any of them at all, but they're comfortable to be around, easy to make conversation with, and a ton of fun. It was such an awesome day!!

Our little island crew
The monastery looked like a castle! 

Last thoughts for the day: I will be conversational in Italian by this time next year. I felt so horrible and rude hardly being able to communicate with some of the family. Ginny's dad told me that he starts off every week with an hour of Spanish lessons and an hour of English lessons. That's the smartest way to make to set yourself off on the right note. I'm gonna do it! Only with Italian, not English because, you know... I already know it...

1 comment:

  1. Yet another great passage, great trip, nice pictures and enjoyable Reading! Thanks.

    Great thing to be the teacher of such nice kids, I mean their wealth is a plus (a nice plus) but is great that you were recieved with arms wide open.

    ABout the idea of learning the language, I am doing just your thoguht...I am dedicating myself at least an hour a day to italian, so I know what you are going through. Keep it up and err..I just think of a Word in japanese, but the clsoest thing would be a Star Wars thing...May the forcé be with you. :P