Panda in Paris


paca pâques

I went south for Easter  weekend with David.

First we were in Toulon…

He is happy because he's not in Paris.

Place de la Liberté

Then we went, on the recommendation of one of the English teachers where I work, to Ile de Porquerolles. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and the only reason I can think of that it wouldn’t be as touristic as some of the other places in Cote d’Azur is that it’s off the coast of some of the uglier cities in Cote d’Azur (Toulon? Hyeres? Eh…) If it was closer to Nice and Cannes, it would probably be packed all the time. It would be nice to go sometime when there’s actually beach weather and bike around the little paths…

Pretty!

Me being saucy (Before you get too jealous, it wasn't really warm enough for me to be barefoot with no jacket...)

Steps from the beach to the bike path

The island is mostly known for beaches, bike paths and parks. One of its only monuments is a little windmill called “Le Moulin de Bonheur,” or the Windmill of Happiness, which is supposedly how the owner sarcastically named it in 1971 when it was a ruin and he was placing an ad in the newspaper looking for a wife.

GET IT! HE IS DON QUIXOTE BECAUSE HE'S SPANISH! (This was his idea, not mine.)

The place in Hyeres where you have to catch the ferry to and from Ile de Porquerolles is called La Tour Fondue…

Does it look like a melted tower?

The next day we got up early and took the train to Nice…

Beasts of the fountain

Cote d'Azur, being azur

Bittersweet graffiti

He's thinking about Nutella.

We took a detour to Villefranche, which was beautiful before it started raining…

Cute little passageway...

Villefranche right before it started pouring...

…then back to Nice at night. There are seven statues of men in different sorts of meditation positions that glow and change colors at night. The “seven” are supposed to represent the seven continents, which sparked a long and heated debate on why in America we learn there are seven instead of five. David thinks we don’t consider “America” to be one continent because we don’t want to be associated with South Americans. He is just jealous because America is the center of the universe and all Spain has is ham and matadors.*

USA baby. U. S. A.

Our last day was the only day during which the weather was actually beach-appropriate. Cannes was somewhat overrated…it has a nice enough promenade but it’s not as pretty as Nice or Villefranche, and most of the beaches are private.

Private beaches in Cannes. Marylin Monroe is also arbitrarily on everything.

My parents told me to take this because there is a picture of me on this carousel as a baby.

We finished our trip in Antibes, which had nice beaches and a fantastic view of the Alpes.

I got more sunburned than I'm proud to admit considering how short of a time we were actually in the sun.

Other things:

1) My inability to find summer employment means I’m going back stateside at the end of May. I would have liked to stay the summer, but most of the people I care the most about here will be gone by then anyway, apart from my small handful of friends who are actually French and never seem to have any free time. This means I will probably get to go to Washington in June to see my friends before they all graduate and disperse, which I’m pretty happy about. I am a little bit worried about wasting away jobless at my parent’s house in July and August, but then I will start grad school either at Madison or here in Paris, and everything will be okay.** I’ve applied for a summer job in Portland, but I have learned not to expect much from such things.

2) Places I would like to go before June:
a) London
b) Marseille again
c) Frankfurt when David moves there? Maybe?
d) Somewhere Latin with a coast (Portugal? Italy?)

3) Now that it’s getting warmer my students have gotten in the habit of remarking how sexy I look. This job has been good to me but I’m still pretty happy it’s ending.

*In case this is the first time you’ve read this blog, that’s a joke and not actually how I feel.

**Or I will be rejected from all the grad schools I apply to and will starve in the street.

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