Nice, France | Part Deux

It occurred to me recently that I have not written here in such a long time! I have a new website venture (www.thesleepypineapple.com) where I am focusing more on food and fitness. Travel is my first love though and this blog was such a big part of my life for so long! There are many more places and sites I have yet to tell you about too! It was sad for me for awhile there, my life in Toronto became a bit stale when I first returned from my whirlwind trip. Talking about my adventures made me sad and I became a bit depressed again. The good news is I persevered! I am now teaching Pilates and working at the studio full time! I began school for Holistic Nutrition and I am doing very well over all. I still give myself too much to do and I’m trying to juggle multiple jobs and new endeavours, but I am happy. I continue to dream big and I am working towards those dreams everyday!

Last fall I got to return to the place where it all began, Nice, France. I was lucky enough to bring my boyfriend this time and show him around. He thought it was picturesque and stunning. If they didn’t speak French, I could probably get him to move there with me! I showed him the Promenade des Anglais, Place Massena, the Chateau de Nice and the old town Vieille Ville.IMG_1752IMG_0190IMG_1635We stayed in a six floor walk up, we found on Air Bnb, that had the sweetest little balcony that looked out on the city. I would 100% stay there again, even with all the stairs! I was blocks from the beach and the lively tourist section of the city, which wasn’t as busy due to us arriving in early September.

We did lose our luggage on the way there, as we flew via Frankfurt from Dublin and there was a bomb scare that very morning. Thanks to a mix up we also lost two days waiting for the luggage to arrive and had to go to the airport to pick it up in the end, 3 days after we arrived. While I do hate we couldn’t even go swimming because we were waiting for luggage and I missed out on seeing some of my old haunts from when I was there in 2013, I still loved every second of being there! I’m also incredibly thankful for my travellers insurance!

Luggage aside, we did get to the beach multiple days and I swam my little heart out! We also took a day trip to Monaco and Eze! If you look at past posts, Eze is magical and it was just as beautiful as I remembered. Lovely little shops and cafes, stunning views and adorable surroundings. We sat on a patio over looking the sea and had some drinks. We wandered through the small pathways and up to the church, where I lit a candle for my father (as I do in all churches). We even hiked down to Eze sur la Mer, which was MUCH longer than I remembered and definitely much hotter as well!

In Monaco, I changed my mind at the last minute and we went to the old town first and then to Monte Carlo. That was a mistake! Because, we by the time we made it to Monte Carlo, it was passed 1pm and my boyfriend couldn’t get in with his flip flops. I think I was more disappointed for him, then he was about not getting to go in. We did sit in front at a cafe and had some Monaco brand beer, which was quite good though. Afterward we made our way into the smaller casino next door and lost some money, all in good fun of course! There was a lot of construction though and I will admit, it did ruin the ambiance of the area quite a bit. It didn’t have that same luxurious quality and the designer sports cars were lacking in numbers. It was still a fun excursion and a great day!

We did buy some groceries and had a full kitchen but surprisingly we ate out quite a bit more than we expected. There is no shortage of foods to try and while we tried to eat cheaply at breakfast and lunch, dinner out and drinks seemed to be standard practice. It is just such a lively and fun vibe at night, the city comes to life! It’s hard to explain but we loved wandering the streets and stopping to have a drink at an outdoor table, people watching and talking. It was my favourite part of the trip.

I hope to return again soon, it seems to be every three years right now, just by coincidence! I do hope to make it back sooner the time. Of course, I want to see many new places as well, but Nice will always have my heart!

September 2016

 

 

Amsterdam, Netherlands

photo (49)

photo (50)

photo (51)

photo (52)

Firstly, I would like to sincerely apologize for the delay since my last post. I have been under the weather and just cannot seem to shake it. However, it has given me time to look through some of my trip photos and I stumbled upon a couple I really liked from Amsterdam. It just so happens (with the theme of being ill) that on my arrival to Amsterdam from Copenhagen, I became very sick with a cold. As I mentioned before, Copenhagen was very cold at night or in the shade, but sweltering in the sun; I blame the weather changes for me falling ill. I had to fly due to an issue with my overnight train which ended up working out better in the long run and I arrived at 11:40am in Amsterdam. The best part about flying in is that they have a second Iamsterdam sign at the airport; with a lot less tourists around I was able to snap this unobstructed picture above. With great directions from the hostel, I found my way with relative ease (and a little help from CityMaps). As with most accommodations, you cannot check in until later in the day, so I decided to get something to eat nearby and wait until I could get into my room so I could change and clean up. Right from the start, I fell in love with the buildings and architecture of Amsterdam. The canal houses that line the streets and intricate bridges are so beautiful; you really have to see it to understand. It’s the energy too, the whole city is alive. As I am sure you are aware, bicycles are a bit part of life in Europe; this is especially true in Amsterdam. The mix of pedestrian lifestyle, the constant flow of bicycles and the canals with their boats; this all lends to a unique feeling that only Amsterdam can give you. Because I had become so sick almost immediately after arriving, I only walked around my first day, shopping a little and stopping to eat or drink and just taking it all in. By dinner time, I’d had enough and found an adorable little restaurant with fresh orange juice and homemade soup. I was so content sitting on the tiny patio just looking out at the canal and gorgeous homes, watching passersby that I sat for almost 2 hours. One such passerby gave all us patrons a great laugh when he declared to a passing tour boat, “You want to take pictures? Here, take a picture of this!” and proceeded to moon them! It was done in good fun though and everyone laughed, including the boat of tourists. Coincidently, the next night was an actual full moon and it lend itself to one of the most beautiful walks I had the whole trip as I made my way back to the hostel on my last night in Amsterdam. Again, I wish I had stayed longer, two days was definitely not enough time. The people I encountered in this city were colourful, to say the least. A man rode his bike into a girl that had stopped on the side of the path in Vondel Park; he then proceeded to steal the beer of a man sitting at patio adjacent. The best part was the street performers; I saw amazing break-dancers and a man who juggled knives while eating an apple! There was so much to see here and I did manage to make it to the Van Gogh museum, which was lovely and the Red Light District, which was what you would expect. The main site I wanted to see though was the Anne Frank House; I felt an undeniable feeling of sadness here and even cried at the end, it is profoundly intense to experience in person. I finished my site seeing day with a canal tour which was quite relaxing and luckily I did not get flashed a stranger’s bum! Overall, Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen and I had a great time. I would return in a heartbeat; but I’d rather not be sick the next time!

August 21-23, 2013

Base Flying and Bravery in Berlin, Germany

photo (20)

My European adventure was just that; an adventure. I didn’t intend to go for so long but it took on a life of its own. What’s funny though, I never once considered asking someone to come along. I’m an only child and can independent to a fault; but I also tend to be a pushover, not wanting to rock the boat. This was my dream and while I was terrified to be a female alone in a strange place; I didn’t want to compromise, not on this. I chose every place I went and every site I saw, creating my perfect trip. Also, the dork in me had planned about 90% of it before I even left Canada. I’m a planner though, it’s who I am, and I don’t know if I would have been able to relax had I not set it all out prior. Having that structure, allowed me to feel secure while I ventured out on the bravest journey of my life and tested myself in ways I never had before. I started out being very claustrophobic, afraid of open water, talking to strangers, and heights. Berlin is where I conquered one of those fears! I had already tackled the chatting and swimming (I’ll tell you about those later); but this day was the most alive and exhilarated had felt in years! I was riding on a tour bus at the end of a long day of sightseeing on my last day in Berlin, when my guide pointed out the Park Inn Hotel. He (mistakenly) told us bungee jumping was available from the 37th floor and having always wanted to try, I got off at the next stop. After a quick pep talk from my mom, I made my way to the hotel where I learned it was, in fact, something called base flying. I couldn’t think about it or I would have backed out. I paid my money, signed the waiver, took the elevator to the 37th floor, harnessed up and did it. You hover above all of Berlin for about 5 seconds, before dropping (attached to a rope) to an awaiting attendant, 410′ or 125m! I screamed until my breath ran out and afterwards I couldn’t stop shaking, but I also couldn’t stop smiling. I had done it and my mom was right, it reminded me I was alive.

“Bravery occurs when the desire to do, outweighs the fear.” –Me

August 17, 2013