Thursday, October 20, 2016

Return to the Côte d’Azur or The Riviera From The Child's Perspective

During the first week of our adventures in the Mediterranean Côte d’Azur I kept a keen eye out for places that I thought would  be child friendly. So we have ended up going back to Nice and Monaco. While we were running around Nice, I thought the beach would be very attractive to the girls and I saw this fantastic playground with a host of items all with a marine life theme. Plus it is a very easy city to walk around with its huge plazas, pedestrian only old city, parks and sea side walk. Plus it was a gorgeous day...a real plus for our family from Amsterdam the Grey. In Monaco the attraction was the Oceanographic Museum with its very large aquarium. That was a big hit with the girls too.
In both cases we decided to take the train as we have two cars and trying to caravan together and get to the same place with parking was going to be a challenge. Plus after doing a lot of walking, carrying and corralling of the five and under crowd, everyone is pretty tired at the end of the day. Avoiding the stressful drive back when we were tired was a plus. And the girls are very used to trains and love them. 
There was one funny incident when we were on our way to Monaco. 3.2 was up from her seat across from #3 wanting Mom's attention when we arrived at a stop. A young woman in her 20's got on board and took the seat. Mom told 3.2 she had warned her not get up from her seat. 3.2 gave the young woman the biggest glares. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera. Speaking of which, I will apologize that for the rest of this week, the pictures are going to be dominated by the family. This is what happens when you're family is spread across the world and you only see them rarely. 
Before we head out, another sunrise

In Nice, La Glace (Ice Cream) is served before lunch

Study of family preparing to cross a Nice street

Something Scenic in Nice missed last time
Pippi Longstockings
If she became a French nude model
First Attempts at Aquarium Photogarphy

After that it is a determined team seeking lunch
Head in this direction!
Seated at the restuarant
A calm 3.1

An anxious 3.2
Calmed by bread
Looking up from our table, right behind us is the Cathedral
Look behind us Wife!
Culinary Highlights in Monaco
A first course of goat chesse on toasted bread with salad
A mixed plate of local specialties including a fried baton from salt cod and a variety of vegetables chopped and served as stuffing and fillings. 
Action shot of gourmand putting lemon on salmon tartare
A nice veal ragout over noodles - very good sauce. Meats are often dry here but the sauces tend to be good.
A trio of very good desserts
Lemon tart, a kick butt chocolate cake, and tiramisu 

Daughter #3 contemplates the differences between the $10MM, $50MM and $150MM yachts and why on the yacht purchasing site where you filter for if you want a helicopter landing pad, ballroom, and submarine, you also can filter for if it has an iPod docking station.
Riding the French Rails?
Be Aware of these Rules!
Clockwise from the upper left corner
Have sore feet? Only put them on the red seats.
If listening to music aloud, your notes must be red
You many only yell at railway personnel if your personal cloud has thunder and lightening.
Please hang out of the car 

And there is this from the Aquarium
No striking of people with your phone on a selfie stick

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Family Vacation Riviera Style

With grandchild 2.1 returning to the gentle climate of Northern Michigan where she goes to school, we were back to just he essential Eldership crew for...about an hour. That is because we had arranged for daughter #3 and family to come visit us during a week their oldest had off from school. The way the timing worked, I was dropping 2.1 off at Nice airport at almost exactly the time they were arriving. It was a race to see if I could get back to the rental house before they got here. I left Wife at the house just in case.

As it turned out on this, my fourth trip to the Nice airport, I found yet another way to get lost getting out. This means that in four tries I have never come back to the rental house coming out of the airport the same way. #3 and family arrived going up the narrow, twisty road literally just seconds before I did with me following them all the way up.

#3, and 3A have two young children, 5year old 3.1 and 2 and a half year old 3.2 (for anyone newish to the blog, I use an alphanumeric system to designate my family. I have three daughters - #'s 1, 2 and 3. Their husbands are alphabetical so 3A is #3's first husband. And the children are numeric so 3.1 is first child of daughter #3). Those who either have children or grandchildren will know that this means that everything goes slower.

Wife and I spent time when we went around with 2.1 keeping an eye out for things that would be family with young children friendly. So don't expect too many pictures this week of new and exciting places. Do expect a crap load of pictures of young grandchildren, So I apologize to those readers ahead of time.

The first Sunday they were here everyone was tired from their early flight. It was a lovely day, I cooked and we spent the day lounging around, reacquainting with our grandchildren...and drinking almost three bottles of wine!

On Monday we went into close by Menton, strolled around, went to the playgrounds, ate lunch, did some shopping.

Study of Daughter #3

 Including a rare picture of 3A
He is a photographer of such skill that he can crop himself out of the picture you take of him before you even download it.
Study of Granddaughter 3.1

Study of Granddaughter 3.2

Study of a Fabulous Sunrise

Study of Mother and Daughter at Fabulous Sunrise

Culinary Highlights
As noted before, we're not really focusing on the culinary experience. So whatever we have some things are interesting and others are so, so. We're going to lots of sort of everyday places.
Another 3A sighting!
I had some oysters that were particularly tasty, very salty from seawater, traditional vinegar sauce was a nice balance to the saltiness.
A couple had Soupe de Poisson, a traditional Mediterranean fish soup.
I thought it was well done, nice and thick, with a fresh fish (not too strong) flavor.
We thought most of the mains were just okay except for a pork stew that 3A had
Children Gastronomy
The children discovered 'finger pasta'
Pasta big enough to be eaten by putting their finger through it
And their Mother made them a lovely Flower Meal made of vegetables, ham and cheese