--> Côte d’Azur were too much. We called our rental car company which couldn't have been more accommodating. 'Sure', they said, 'Just bring the car back and you can swap it out for a smaller one.
This, being a de-I/Wife/Eldership adventure, meant winding our way back to the Nice airport, going through three different parking garages to find a space to park...which miraculously had us exit exactly where the rental car center was...go to the rental car desk where they tell us to return the car but indicate to them to not close the contract...involve winding our way through the airport to get back to the rental car drop off point...get our new call, a very nice much smaller but adequate Peugeot...got to our rental car to find out that there is a error light on about tire pressure...go back to the rental car counter where they tell us they take the caps off the air intake stems for efficiency reasons and that means the light is always on (and why they don't tell you that to begin with is a mystery)...and head off whereby we ACTUALLY GET OUT OF THE AIRPORT CORRECTLY!!! I will report that driving with the new vehicle is intensely less stressful :)
It was raining quite heavily but I had made an appointment for a haircut so after we got back Wife decided to stay and rest while 2.1 came with me to Menton. She went boot shopping while I had my hair cut. Then I stopped at a wine shop I had noticed the other day that had a good selection and prices (Spoiler Alert for 3.0 & 3A - think Provencal Rose and Rhone Reds). We then did more grocery shopping at my favoritest of all French Supermarket chains the 'U' only this isn't a 'Super U' but merely an 'U Express'. It's still good and it still has the best freaking private label chocolate I've ever had!" I bring back kilos of the stuff when ever I can get it.
The next day was rainy again. I really needed to chill from all the driving the last few days but since we didn't want to be in the house the whole day, we decided to go the 10 minutes to the next larger town in Italy, Ventimiglia. It has an old town so we thought we'd walk around a bit, have some lunch and come home. Well once we got there, parked in the old town area way away from the main town and started to walk around, suddenly it got very dark with lots of lightening.
We hightailed it back to the car just as the heavens let loose. We waited in the car for about 30 minutes until things subsided a little bit. I had noticed what looked like a small restaurant not far from the car as we were avoiding the storm. Sure enough it was there and open.
As so often happens, especially it seems to us in Italy, we found one of these everyday places serving some really great food. All hail the Bar Pizzeria Porte Nizza!
We started out with a bit of Salumi for an Antipasti
And then it was three pasta dishes each better than the next
Wife had a penne with salmon.
There was something smokey in the sauce like they used some kind of smoked pork as flavoring
2.1 opted for the Spaghetti alla Vongole (with clams)
But the best in my opinion was my dish which took the Vongole above and added Bottarga, fish eggs that are cured with salt and then used as a flavoring (think Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce). It is the yellow shavings on the dish
I've read tons about bottarga but never had it. Very wonderful. Adds depth. It all melts into the sauce.
Like the really good Italian food we've had in the past, the flavors don't seem to get tired on your tongue as you eat and the after taste is almost as good as the initial bits.
They had pizza here which we were all hankering for but it is only served after 7 PM.
We made reservations for tomorrow evening :)