Friday, May 18, 2012

Arrival in France May 2012

At home in Le Cannet.  The trip here was uneventful and just flowed smoothly.  Took about 20hours from SeaTac airport to the front door in Le Cannet.  Luggage was tagged to go directly, which saved us from any sort of customs inspection in London.  The transfer of planes in London was easy and since we were not staying in England, just passing through, we went thru a seperate customs inspection area for those in transit.  We were never affected by any kind of strike at the airport.

Arriving in Nice we passed through a passport check and got a "welcome to Nice" from the passport inspector.  Once we had our suitcases we just walked out of the airport, not a customs official in sight.  Ah, those easy going French!

It was then a simple 10 minute walk to get to the train station and hopped on what turned out to be the milkrun to Cannes. We were starting to lose a bit of steam and it felt like it was taking longer than it really was.  A taxi then whisked us up to the house in Le Cannet.  It was good to be home.  A short walk down the street to find dinner and early to bed (10pm local time).  Gremlins had left us juice, the makings for coffee and brioch toast, all totally wonderful to find for the next morning.

Next day we walked down to Cannes to reactivate our French laptop dongle and were able to get online.  We were both still pretty tired, but felt the need to get moving in order to help with the jet lag and time zone transition.  We both seemed to be having a bit more of an issue with the time zone transition than we have had on past visits.  Some of that may be due to the fact that this was our fifth time zone change in the past month.  Remember, we were in Florida just 4 weeks ago....
Mothers' Day was spent with family in Mandelieu, just to the east of Cannes, cousins Philippe, Carole, Maeva, Charlene and Bastien.  A great lunch of stewed rabbit, which Carole just makes so well.  The afternoon was spent just catching up with each other again and suddenly it was already 8pm, time to get home.

Friday May 18th
It has taken us most of this week and many walks to Cannes to get cell phone set up and internet service dongle truly activated. For some reason there just seemed to be some little bit that never quite connectd and got totally activated as predicted.  Oh well, stuff like that happens in US also when it comes to cell phones and internet service.  Each trip down to Cannes gave us time to see the activity building for the start of the Cannes Film Festival.  There are lots and lots of people strutting their stuff along La Croisette, the main street along the Mediteranean, lined with hotels, restaurants, beach and the Festival center.  There seems to be a contest among many of the beautiful and wannabe women, young and old, to see who can wear the tightest pants and highest heeled sandals.  I am amazed that they can even walk!  Oh, they aren't walking ...they are strutting so makes a difference I guess!  It is also full of holiday tourists right now, especially many French since this is a 4day religious holiday in France, the Ascension.  Unfortunately, today it is grey and raining, so will put a temporary damper on the strutting for awhile.

Last night we could see the first of many fireworks we will surely be seeing this summer.  There were some technical difficulties, long delays during the display, but still quite impressive.  Fireworks happen on the waterfront throughout the summer.  There is an annual international competition even during July and August.

Have already had some really good food at some of the little restaurants in Le Cannet, fried sardines, local pizza with thin crusts, mackrel with lemony mustard sauce and baguette ham sandwiches to name a few.  Every morning we walk the 3 blocks to the boulangerie to get our breakfast baguette, croissants and pain au chocolat...yummy.  The baker speaks some english and turns out to have spent time in Texas.  He really liked San Antonio and spent time in Dallas getting a  degree. Store got busy, so will have to ask more about his time there another morning.  He and his wife remembered us from last year, as have some of the other merchants in the area.  It has really made us feel at home to have so many of them welcoming us back to Le Cannet.

escort service available; guy to the right is handing out brochures about the service.

Bye for now,
Michelle and Fred
Traveling in Europe so you don't have to!