Saturday my “handsome brother” and I hopped on a plane from Paris to Nice where he and his girlfriend recently moved. The promise of the warmth and sun of the French Riviera was not fulfilled, but, sometimes you’ve gotta bring your own sunshine. Am I right or am I right?
We spent the next few days galloping along to Côte d’Azur. Dinner in Antibes, long walks along the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, another dinner in Villefranche, a long, rocky hike in the Cap Roux and spending a wonderful last day in Monaco, where the sun made an appearance. I’ve not spent much time in the south of France, but can see why it’s such a hot spot. Blue water, (usually) sunny skies, with the mountains as a backdrop- how can you not love it? I look forward to coming back when I can swim in the warm Mediterranean and I’m so lucky to have family who graciously opens their home to me, making it quite affordable.
Wednesday it was off to Geneva to see one of my favorite people on the planet. Lara and I grew up across the street from each other and spent our twenties having a blast together under the same roof. If St. Cyr en Val is my 3rd home, wherever Lara is is my 4th.
She had to work Thursday, so I went into Geneva alone to do touristy things. I started at the Red Cross Museum, which was just ok. After an insanely overpriced sandwich (Switzerland is crazy expensive), I went to the United Nations for their afternoon guided tour. I arrived early, so I sat on a bench eating an apple and taking pictures. I asked the security guard if I could throw the core in his trash. First, he wouldn’t even acknowledge me, but I was literally standing right in front of him and asked again. He said, “no,” and waved his finger at me. Really?!?! Lara had warned me about the probability of rudeness. So, in an act of revenge, (and because I couldn’t find a bin) I littered my apple core in the flower bed. Take that United Nations! Stacie -1. World – 0.
Once it was time for the tour, I handed over my passport, was asked several questions (none of which had to do with littering, thank God) and went through security. They gave me a visitor badge and then I was free to move around the campus as I wished. I found this very strange.
The tour was pretty awesome though. Our guide Pablo (Spain), lead our group through several rooms, shared what historical events took place there and told us fun facts about the UN, world leaders, art work, procedures and policies. It was really interesting and I highly recommend if you’re ever in Geneva.
My next plan was to take the bus to Old Town. After a little searching, I found the stop and was 99% sure I was going the right way. I prepared my fare and when the bus driver pulled up, I asked (in French and English), “Does this bus go to Old Town?” The driver, looked at me after I asked nearly four times and refused to respond. Then, he started driving, as I was still standing, knowing that I was not 100% confident of my direction. Really?!?!? What was even more surprising is that no one around acknowledged this or tried to intervene. And they say French people are rude. So, in my second act of retaliation against the Swiss, I did not pay the fare. Take that, Switzerland!
Fortunately, I was on the right bus. I got off in Old Town, visited the cathedral and stopped in a cafe to rest and have a coffee. I then walked to Lake Geneva and spent the next couple hours walking along the water admiring the Jet d’eau, birds and beautifully manicured spring gardens. I made a couple creepy, but harmless “friends” who offered to show me around Geneva. I said, “Sure, my name’s Lara,” and shared her number with them. Haha! I’m kidding, but it was fun seeing her face when I told her she should be anticipating some calls. All kidding aside, it feels good to have my pretty back, even though it’s only my husband’s opinion that I care about.
And can I just add that I have greatly overestimated my ability to be away from said husband – missing him!
In the early evening, Lara picked me up and we went to an adorable little village for a drink before heading home for dinner and hours of great conversation. The kind of long talks that you can only share with your nearest and dearest. Love her and excited to begin our 36th year together this weekend.