Retrospective: Parents Visiting Over Spring Break

The weather in Pittsburgh is dreary, so I'll include an e-mail that I sent to my mother earlier today. It details our week on the French riviera during spring break in April 2010, which was not included in my original blog. Enjoy!

Something that's been cheering me up despite the dark grey skies and freezing rain in Pittsburgh: les mémoires de notre séjour sur la Côte d’Azur (the French riviera)! 

Meeting up in Nice, and stopping for wine near the Mediterranean - which I was allowed to order! Remember being forced to get café at a MacDo on the Promenade des Anglais? And then when we revisited Nice, enjoying some nicois cuisine at a restaurant on the Cours Saleya, where we had bought table cloths during the flower market earlier. I remember ordering tomatos farci. And did one of us order a Daube (beef dish)? Everything we ate was wonderful. And do you remember climbing those stairs up the side of the Colline du Chateau? There is a waterfall at the top, which we wanted to see but it was too late in the day. The elevators were not operating, so we took the stairs next to the rue des Ponchettes. 

And how about our first night in Avignon - singing ABBA for karaoke at Bar l'Americain? You and I went to that restaurant in the Place de l'Hotel de Ville and got some local wine and paella, and then on our way back down the rue de la Republique we grabbed 'un hamburger pour beau-pere,' who was watching the U.S. Open? Oh, look - there's you in front of the Palais des Papes in Avignon before our tour of the region and that fantastic wine tasting in Chateauneuf. If only we could have stayed longer in Gordes at that cafe, seated by the fireplace! Remember we bought tartelettes topped with fruit to bring on our trip? 

And of course, casually stopping at the Pont du Gard near Remoulins, one of the most famous Roman Aqueducts. It had those three rows of arches. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Sight, and we walked across it! And once we were across, we saw that 800-year-old olive tree. Check you out on the Pont, all smiles!

And the river Gardon below...

And here is a pictures of you and Jamie sneaking a moment overlooking Monaco at the Jardin Exotique - caught on camera! ;)

Beau-pere in heaven with the succulent plants! And you and I slowly winding our way down the mountainside together, not sure which was more fascinating to look at - the exotic plants or the sweeping view of the Principality of Monaco against the backdrop of the Mediterranean. 

Remember how overwhelmingly good the Fragonard perfumerie smelled? Then, getting a late afternoon tea at that 5 star hotel in Eze - was it the Chateau de la Chevre d'Or? And buying santons de Provence on the way out of the village. 

Memories not pictured: Eating macaroons and crepes in Aix before we went to Marseille - and we took that rickety little tourist train up to Notre Dame de la Garde for the breathtaking views of Marseille and la mer. And taking the boat out to the islands - the Chateau d'If! I miss the beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and having ice cream with chantilly in the tea room. I wish that eccentric baroness still lived there. 

I've eaten my weight in chocolate today trying to beat the melancholy of the weather outside - but these photos did the trick quicker, and for fewer calories.