Friday, April 13, 2012

Easter can be awesome - if you go to Parexeco

Warning: this is a joint blog between Josh and Nicole.  Please enjoy the change in vernacular....

Nicole:  Easter weekend was our first official trip away from home since we moved to Switzerland.  We decided on Nice because it was initially a joint trip between us and our travel buddies (Mel and Mace).  Unfortunately, the trip ended up being just the two of us.  Let me set the scene for you:  7 hour drive with two one hour border crossings.  In Europe, it’s like going into Mexico every three hours because the countries are so small.  
We arrive in Nice and discover our bed and breakfast was actually a pretty nice hostel run by a slightly crazy Scottish woman.  Did I mention it was between a train and below a freeway, across the street from a sex shop and pizzeria, and blue light bridges (definition: blue light bridges are blue so drug addicts can’t find their veins - welcome to Europe’s war on drugs, which is actually working).
Josh:  Nicole was a smidge too polite for my blood….she failed to mention the shared bathroom and the super “I desperately want to be your friends” roommates.  You all know the couple…. “hey all…we’re from Dallas…..what are you guys up to today?”  Ughh…shoot me in the face!  And moving on…Once in Nice/French Riviera and over our unfortunate lodgings, we had an amazing time!  In true Josh & Nicole fashion, we dominated that city one bar at a time!  I can honestly say that this was the best eating vacation of my life.  Every meal that was put into my mouth was a pure delight!  Please note the pics of me stuffing my face with the seafood extravaganza.  We kept saying that it was basically like eating the ocean!
Nicole: By now, you are probably wondering why the hell our blog is titled “Easter can be awesome – if you go to Parexeco”.  The unknown word in the title, Parexeco, is blend of two of our favorite places – Paris and Mexico.  Why you ask? Like Paris, the food is tantalizing, the churches where authentic, old, and moving – but on every block.  Like Mexico, anything goes and no one says anything.  In Josh’s words “ I don’t feel immortal like I do in Mexico, but it’s close.” Nice also has the politeness of Paris and the cleanliness of Mexico.  Either way – we loved it.
For those who are looking for a trip recap, here it comes in 300 words or less…
Day 1: arrive, eat at yum Italian (Lunna Rossa  - get the desert sampler)
Day 2: Drink wine and eat seafood, and of course walk around old Nice.  Don’t eat ice cream while the wind is blowing – it makes for an awkward pant stain. Recommend seafood at Café Turin and recommend the Chateux de Collines (Translation – castle hill, but there is not castle – still awesome).  For dinner: Bistro du Fromage- don’t have cheese before – you will get your fill because everything on the menu revolves around cheese (Dad – you can’t eat there).
Day 3: Visit St. Paul de Vence (your GPS will screw you and say it doesn’t exist).  Artsy and beautiful.  Great place to buy little stuff (olive oil, herbs, paintings, macaroons….).  We liked La Carusso for lunch.  Before you leave the area,  Monte Carlo and Monaco is a must. Granted we only stayed in Monte Carlo for 20 minutes before walking up to Monaco.  People, car, and yacht watching is unbeatable.  Just don’t let your husband think that he will one day own a yacht.  The country takes about 1 hour to walk around and you will never ever see a speck of dirt or garbage – little creepy. Drive the coast; it’s worth the extra time.  We did Eze , not a must after St. Paul de Vence, but amazing views. We finished our trip in Nice for dinner at Papayou – fusion Nicoise, Thai, and Morrocan.  You wouldn’t think it would work, but it does, and the wine is great and cheap.
Day 4: drive home early to avoid border crossing lines (Yes – we do learn our lessons).  Stop at random Italian restaurant to eat a 3 course meal plus a ½ liter of wine (which I drank because Josh had to drive.). Pay 20 euros.
Josh:  Awesome first European Vacation!!!...That being said...I better end this blog with a mention of  the fact that: even though our lodgings were crappy…we can at least acknowledge that we paid more for our dog sitter than we did for our so called “bed and breakfast.”  Oh Switzerland…you are so central…but soooo expensive!

(Becs...this blog is especially for you...since you called me out in our scrabble match!)

***The Pics are extremely out of order, deal with it***

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