Nice and Alone

black and white photo of the Intercontinental hotel in Cannes France

It's actually spoken "niece", at least when it comes to the city located in the French Riviera where I traveled all alone four years ago to the day.  

I left mid afternoon on a Thursday so David could stay with the kids while I went on a solo trip, partially to trudge through some thickly complicated thoughts and feelings. Him and I had a pretty big thing the week before centered around opinions and values on drugs/alcohol/etc. I wasn't even going to write about this part of the story but I just found some screenshots from our text exchange while I was browsing photos for this post.

The timing is curious as 4 years later we are discussing some of the same things, and more, which are down the line of morality for most. It's haunting to read the words, "Well we would have been divorced a long time ago" with where we are now. I don't know where that is, but it feels like it might be close to that. Am I actually going to post this on the internet? What is the most surprising is how my thoughts haven't changed much since then haha. 

Everything else in life feels fuzzy and grey yet this space (this blog) feels like home. Social media platforms come and go and in fact, I think we are in the middle of yet another transition where Facebook will be what MySpace is now -- pretty much obsolete because hello Metaverse. I could be very wrong lol but I sort of don't think I am, or will be ha. The one thing that has remained over the last decade plus is my home here on Her Five Cents. I currently write on Medium and on Instagram (via captions) and post on TikTok yet still feel the call to be here too. I don't currently have Facebook or Instagram on my phone (I know) and again, social media is evolving. 

Anyway, my initial reason for wanting to share some of my pics from this trip, and write about it a little is because I fuckin' drove to Nice, France from my home in Vicenza, Italy. It was about 6ish hours, and I drove through the top part of the boot of Italy into the southern coastal part of France. Remember, those countries don't speak English, and I was solo in my big American SUV lol. I think this was the first (and only) biggish trip alone in Europe. I didn't have friends or know anyone who spoke the same language as me where I was going. Exciting and terrifying

I have completed what feels like 392 trips back and forth from Arizona to Colorado to Utah since then, mostly solo, so it doesn't feel like a big deal to be alone in the travel sense, but I remember the feeling of solo activity hitting me on the rainy drive through Europe that Thursday afternoon. 

That feeling of aloneness is familiar.

I consider myself extremely lucky when it comes to wandering the world. I am seriously so blessed when it comes to being in the right place at the right time for shit in terms of travel. Turns out, the Nice Carnival was beginning the weekend I happened to be there. I had no idea until I found a pamphlet about it in the room I got at the most adorable Airbnb. lol. How lucky am I? 

According to Wikipedia, "The earliest records establish its existence in 1294 when the Count of ProvenceCharles Anjou, wrote that he had passed "the joyous days of carnival."[1] This may make the Nice Carnival the original carnival celebration." 

My host was a gem. She had the cutest little place and the cutest little kitty. She spoke hardly any English but was most kind in attempting communication with me. I loved that it was just the two of us and her fur baby. I felt less alone after. I wonder how she is doing.

I did things on this trip a lot of people will only dream about. I took a perfumery class and made my own fragrance, I went to the beach and walked solo on the coast of France, talked to strangers (as best as possible) in bakeries and basked in the camaraderie that only an annual carnival can bring. I went to Monaco and gambled at the Monte Carlo. On my way home I stumbled upon the Fête du Citron, a big celebration similar to that of their neighboring Nice. Lucky in every way. 

Moral of the story is take what you like and leave the rest. Is that a stretch for this? I mean, I just told you barely anything about a little of everything and yet that's my conclusion? Yes, I think it is. Haha. I'm pretty sure that's the moral of this human experience...take in what feels good and leave the rest behind. Just like with this post 😉.

I love having you here. 

Atrium of Monte Carlo
Inside the atrium at the Monte Carlo

Fancy stuff outside of the Monte Carlo Hotel in Monaco 

Théoule-sur-Mer, France, this was the first time I had seen cacti in awhile! 

At the parade (see pics below), toward the end, they were handing out flowers! So manyyyyy flowers. I made two bouquets. 

Ahhhhh! The art! The beauty! Obsessed. 

So many political floats at the parade the first night I was there. This is just one of many. Ha

Fragrance making! 

Click for more info on the Fete du Citron. This one deserves its own post. I'll do that eventually which means probably never. lol. 

One of the very few selfies I took. Ragrets I didn't take more. Ha. 

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