So now I'm going to backtrack a bit to day one of this summer's big adventure. Ιn advance of my upcoming study tour in Rome, Andre and I flew into Nice, France, to stay with some dear friends who live part of every year in a village in Provence. Defying our jet lag, we hiked up to the highest panoramic point of glorious Nice:
From there we heard some kind of concert happening on the beach, so we hurried back down to see what we were missing. Turns out, it was a multi-artist event being filmed for French t.v., hosted by the radio station France Bleu, and open to anyone who cared to stumble in.
To my happy surprise, guess who came out on the stage?
If you can't make her out, it's Conchita Wurst, the gorgeous yet fully bearded winner of the 2014 Eurovision competiton--which I watched in real time via the internet, because when I'm not in Europe I'm pretty much wishing I were in Europe. And though I was rooting for Greece's fantastic Kosa Mostra to win, if it couldn't be them, I'm glad it was the gender-bending, divalicious Conchita Wurst.
The upshot is, we stumbled into a concert by one of the handful of European musicans we are actually familiar with. Is there a French word for serendipity?
And the best part of the day came after that: meeting up for dinner with our dear friends and hosts, Howard, Melissa, and Artemis:
Dinner was fantastic--good food, great company. I tried bagna cauda--fresh veggies and a hard boiled egg dipped in a warm bath of anchovies and olive oil--a salad deconstructed with style.
Oh, and I never knew until that day, but in France you can buy fizzy water with the normal Perrier-style big bubbles or with strangely subtle smaller bubbles. I suppose the French are particularly discerning when it comes to bubbly.
Speaking of water, the waiter brought Artemis a bowl of it (presumably the unfizzy kind) without even being asked, because in France's outdoor cafes, dogs are welcome guests.