I had heard about the French Riviera, and the Cote d’Azur, but I always assumed that it was just like Malibu, or maybe Cancun, with a nice beach, some towns and a few stars.  It turns out that I way underestimated it.  The Cote d’Azur is a stunning stretch of aqua blue Mediterranean coastline with beautiful towns, mountains, beaches, and great food.  I’m lucky enough to have cousins that live in Nice, at the center of the Cote d’Azur, and we spent a fun few days exploring the area and visiting with them.  The beaches in Nice itself are made of small pebbles, but it’s comfortable to lay on them on a towel.  One danger you may want to watch out for, however, are bare breasted leathery old ladies!  Mixed in with the normal bathers there were a few oldies who looked like they had been tanning since the 1950s.  Whatever discomforts you encounter on the beach are instantly forgotten the minute you jump into the truly aqua warm water.  I can see why Jacques Cousteau setup shop a few miles down the road in Monaco!

Speaking of that exclusive principality, we visited it in the best way possible, we went sailing with my cousin and one of his friends!  From the boat cruising out of the harbor in a steady breeze, we could see the apartment buildings housing the most expensive apartments on earth, and got great views of the mega yachts in the harbors.

The Riviera has water that you can swim in year round, beautiful people and architecture, and a pleasant way of life.  As if it couldn’t get any better, the Italian alps with their world class skiing are only a few hour drive away!  It’s a good thing that Nice doesn’t have any surf, because if it did, I doubt that I ever would have left!


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