Lavender Fields Forever, Independence Days for Now
Friday I took the TGV to Nice. The station was PACKED. The train was PACKED. I warn you now that the French are clearly traveling and “EN VACANCES.”
We’re still wearing masks on the train, of course, but the truth is that as of this writing, there are only about 3,000 new Covid-19 cases in all of France. That means that the masks are really not necessary since that accounts for .00004483 percent of France’s population of 67.06 million. I’d say that the risk is minimal, wouldn’t you? At least for now.
And I can tell you that it’s a lot more dangerous to cross rue Saint-Antoine in Paris these days with the newly installed bike and scooter lanes that go in both directions while the users of this path pay no attention to the traffic signals or crosswalks. (We have Madame Hidalgo to thank for this.)
I’m all about taking calculated risks. If it weren’t for this, I suppose I never would have ventured out of my comfort zone and would never be where I am today. Paul Hudson wrote, in the Elite Daily, that “The Biggest Risk is Not Taking One: 14 Risks Everyone Needs to Take in Life.”
I concur, and I urge all of you out there who are contemplating changing your lives by moving to France or purchasing property here to read this and then calculate the risk. What’s the worst thing that would happen? You’d go back if you hated it? That’s about it. It might cost you a bit of money to take the adventure and discover it for yourself, so big deal—you spent a little money on a gamble. Haven’t you ever lost a little change in Las Vegas? And was that as much fun as experiencing another country, culture, lifestyle? I doubt it.
Meanwhile, I joke that my crystal ball is very clear—almost no one goes back. Just know it in advance of arriving, if you’re planning a test period, like I had (almost 27 years ago), then you’ll find out fast you won’t want to change the new lifestyle you have here in France for your old one.
The lavender of Provence is in full bloom right about now. The train passed many fields of bright purple, but it was tough to catch a good shot while the train was going 320 km/h. Colleague and friend Patty Sadauskas LOVES lavender and set out to see the fields this weekend by car with a friend. I was awfully jealous of her excursion even before she started sending me photos of the fields she had discovered. The best time to see the plants in full bloom is from the last week of June to the beginning of August with the peak around mid-July depending on the rainfall. So, if you missed it this year, plan for next year—as I hope to do.
Here’s another of her photos …eat your hearts out!
Paris had been cool, gray and rainy all week long and is predicted to be the same for the upcoming week. Everyone was in raincoats and sweaters, dressed for some season other than summer. It was making me crazy. So, the first thing I did after settling in to my Niçois apartment, grocery shopping and picking up several things I’d ordered online and had sent to Nice, was go to the beach.
If you read the Nouvellettres® often then you know I’m bit of a lizard and love to soak up the rays, get brown as a berry and float on the beautiful aqua colored Mediterranean sea. Yes, yes, yes…I know it’s not good for my skin, but it sure is good for my mental health and a high level of Vitamin D. Don’t worry, I’m careful. I use sunscreen and don’t stay out too long. (Read all about it here)
Sunday, July 4th, was a rainy day in Nice, but I ignored it and went to the Cours Saleya anyway to indulge on flowers and fresh fruit hoping that the clouds would lift before the day was over. By 3 p.m. the sky was blue and the sun bright enough. I hightailed it down to the beach to catch a couple of hours of rays. The sea was one of its prettiest shades of aqua and the beach was virtually empty because of the rainy morning. A swarm of seagulls swooped in and began to dive for fish…or so I imagined that’s what they were doing. It was like a feeding frenzy and put on quite a show for those of us on the beach.
To celebrate July 4th, some of our friends and clients gathered at the Brewdog for burgers. This is the one day out of the year that I indulge in the delicacy of an American burger with all the trimmings. Several clients who I had only met on Zoom and never in person were there—a perfect opportunity to connect up. Some of them are seeing their new apartments for the first time and so far, everyone is overjoyed with his/her new abode. Whew! We can wipe the sweat off our brows as they give us the thumbs up on what fabulous properties we’ve found for them.
Bastille Day July 14th is not far away. Here in Nice, it starts with a ceremony at 9 a.m. at the Villa Masséna as a tribute to the victims of July 14, 2016 terror attack. At 10 a.m. the families and the authorities will deposit a white rose on the memorial. At 10:30 a.m. there will be an interfaith ceremony at the Villa Masséna and the lighting of 86 candles. Later that day at 4:30 p.m., there will be a parade on the Promenade des Anglais facing the Centenary Monument and at 9 p.m. the Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice will perform a free concert in tribute at Place Masséna—believe it or not, the songs will be from An “American in Paris” by George Gershwin.
Fireworks won’t take place until the next night, July 15th, at 10:30 p.m. along the Promenade des Anglais, out of respect for the victims of the 2016 attack when a Tunisian terrorist drove a van at high speed into the crowd just as the fireworks began. The Promenade des Anglais has largely been off-limits to celebrations or events following that incident, but bit by bit life is getting back to normal.
The Nice Jazz Festival kicks off on Monday, July 12th. It began in 1948 and was the world’s first jazz festival. The greatest stars were there, starting with Louis Armstrong alongside other stars such as Claude Lutter, Stéphane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt. During the closing evening, at the Hôtel Negresco, the party ended at dawn with a torrid jam session after the singing turns of Suzy Delair and Yves Montand.
See the full line-up for this year’s event and get your tickets now!
And if you’ve never visited Nice, maybe now’s the time to plan for your next excursion!
(I’ll be here all summer long, so be prepared to get to know it better!)
A la prochaine…
The Adrian Leeds Group®
Adrian ready to enjoy her annual 4th of July burger
P.S. If you are considering a property purchase in Nice, don’t do it lightly. Let us help you make the smartest decisions to ensure you make the best investment you can. We can also expertly advise you how best to create a profitable rental. Contact us to learn more.