How about a sandless beach?

Written by Guy.

The third day of our honeymoon we decided to spend at the beach. It’s the only sensible thing to do when the temperature is 75° and there is not a single cloud to obscure the Mediterranean-blue sky. So we packed our bag with all of the essentials (tequila, books, towels, SPF 50) and made the one-block journey to Opera beach. We were met with a fun surprise.

There is no sand on the nice beaches, just rocks.

No, I don’t mean that the sand was coarse and large. There is no sand. Smooth, stone-skipping size rocks fill the beach instead. I’m talking 3” to 4” stones piled endlessly from the boardwalk to the water. Never having seen (or heard) of such a sight, it was interesting to say the least.

Surprisingly, we loved it. No sand in the shoes. No need to cover/protect our tequila sunrises from windy debris. And no people oogling and staring at us while taking a stroll — it’s not easy or quiet to walk along a stony shoreline. The rocks felt great against the back too!   

Of course there was some downfalls. Taking barefoot steps to the water were a bit of an ouch. Getting out of the water was no easy task. I learned pretty quick that it was either in or out of the crystal clear water. Megan didn’t even venture to try her luck against the toppling stones and risk stubbing a toe. That’s why she is the smart one.

With the weather wet and cold back in Portland, we couldn’t complain about the stones against our backs in paradise. It was a trivial price to pay for new tans and socially acceptable midday tequila drinking. Add a view of the windy, cliff-side Colline du Château and the day summed up to perfect.

Cheers!

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Megan's Outfit

Guy's Outfit  

Hello Nice!

Written by Guy.

A bright sky and warm sun welcomed us to Nice and the second part of our honeymoon. It was perfection. After taking TGV five hours from Paris downward — a trip mixed with sleep and utter amazement at the french countryside — we were in desperate need to stretch our legs. Nice indulged, as is its nature.

We walked out of the centrally-located train station and into a bustling city that looked too picturesque to be real. Pastel colored buildings with large shutters, aged by the sun and salty sea, lined the streets in our panorama. In unison, in awe, we both said at once: “Now this is a honeymoon.”

The city simply doesn’t look real. Everything about the architecture, art in every direction you turn, and ambiance of calm, coastal bliss made us feel like we were living in a Disney movie. I half-expected people to break into song and dance as we walked through the Promenade du Paillon. Well, the people didn’t sing. Still, the mirrored water fountains shooting liquid crystal to the sky while seagulls sounded off in all directions sure kept the Disney-vibe alive and well while we made our way to the Airbnb.

“Nice is for honeymooning” escaped our excited mouths multiple times on the way to our Airbnb.

Oh goodness, and then there was our Airbnb — but let’s save that for next time.

 

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Where to stay in Nice

Written by Megan. 

When we travel, we want to fully immerse ourselves to truly absorb the sense of being in a place. Well, as much as possible anyway. We have found ourselves steering further and further away from staying in hotels. Over the past year, we have been able to stay in some pretty incredible places. We spent our last Halloween in a beautiful vintage hotel in Seattle. We also celebrated Guy's 29th birthday in a quiet log cabin on an Alpaca Farm! This is all thanks to the wonderful hosts through AirBnB. 

Not only did we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of downtown Paris on our honeymoon, but we also found a spot blocks from the beach in Nice. We were able to get a sample of what life would be like if we were to live in these places. We truly enjoyed our place in Paris, but our apartment in Nice was just our style. It had the perfect combination of vintage and modern for our stay to be incredibly comfortable. It may have helped that our host had an almost identical couch as the one we have at home! 

On our stay, we unexpectedly spent our time well in our apartment as I felt ill on one of the days. This forced us to get cozy and relax at home. Even then, we still felt apart of the city-life as we could open the shutters and hear the bustle of restaurants below. We even got lucky and were able have a few live shows, right out our window! 

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How to do Paris in a day

Written by Guy.

Our first honeymooning day was a bit of wash. We were simply wiped out after  taking a redeye from Portland to Frankfurt, running to make a connecting flight to Paris, and then waiting at CDG for three hours. Although we hustled to make the flight to Paris, my bags did not. It was late evening and we were tired when we finally caught a taxi from the airport to our lovely Airbnb.

We woke up the next morning to a spotlight of sun and countless new sounds cheering in from the open window. Paris was alive and calling us downstairs. Trying to take in all the new sensations, it dawned on me suddenly that this was really our only day in Paris. A train to Nice awaited the next day. One day. It was time to make it count.

Megan has never been ready so fast. We were out the door and heading down THE Parisian streets by 10:30 and eating chocolate croissants at Chez Ribe. Although Paris has many wonders and sights worth seeing, our only concern in the sight-seeing department was the grandaddy of them all: the Eiffel Tower. Given the short time we had in Paris, we didn't want to force the day with one attraction after the other. Just two miles from our Airbnb, we headed north towards the great tower with our eyes wide, soaking in the architecture, food, and people that make Parisian life legendary.

The funny thing is that we saw nearly all the other sights throughout the day, by accident and chance. We marvelled at the Eiffel Tower for hours. Twenty minutes in one spot was simply not enough. Migrating from lawn to sidewalk to bridge, we became more astounded by its brilliance with each angle at which we viewed the Tower. By nearly two o’clock we were walking down the Seine exchanging our impressions of the city and looking desperately for somewhere with a meat-free menu — which was harder than you may think.

Instead of food we found the L’Arc de Triomphe. It stood tall and imposing in the roundabout center like a king. The cars seemed but subjects to the Arc’s rule. We dipped and dodged past cars speeding around the roundabout to see it more closely. Of course, we learned only after arriving in the center that there is an underground walkway that allows for safer travel. But what’s travel without some careless risk of life and limb!?

Excited yet hungry, we left the Arc in search of food and wine using the river as our guide (so Portland). In short time we found the food, some pizza and rosé at a food truck-like spot on the Seine — again, so Portland. Looking up, taking in, we also noticed that the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris was only a short walk away. So we took that walk.

There you have it. The three main Parisian attractions in one day, by accident, with several detours and pit-stops along the way. We saw architecture and fashion and everything you hear about Paris that it makes it sheer romance. What we also found were wonderfully kind people — everywhere. Late that night, while watching the Eiffel Tower now illuminated with flashing lights against the dark sky, we talked of the kindness of Parisians. Throughout the day, from breakfast to dinner and even on the metro — the people were kind and helpful. Merci.

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