Day 1: Nice, France!

Will and I left for Nice on a Thursday around noon. We flew first to Canada and then, after a significant layover, boarded a plane to Nice!

We were supposed to spend one night in a hostel before my parents and sister arrived and we began our 10-day apartment rental on Rue de France. However, when we arrived at Côte d’Azur International Airport, Will had some news for me.

During our layover, he was idly browsing the internet and decided to check out pictures and the latest reviews of our hostel. He discovered that the most recent reviews complained of ……… bed bugs.

It was nice of him to wait until after the flight to tell me, but we now needed to find a place to go.

After about an hour-long discussion with the “Information” desk (for some reason, they can’t tell you if a place has good reviews. What they can tell you is that it has two stars. Two out of five. Apparently, in France, that’s a good score?) we were on bus 98 to Sans Souci, a “hotel” in the Old City which cost €75 a night.

By the time we arrived at the hotel, which was clean enough and located in a nice building, we were exhausted. We showered and evaluated our options. We could call the day a wash and start our vacation tomorrow or we could try to make something of the afternoon and evening. Will had been dreaming of renting a moped for weeks and he somehow talked me into visiting Bike Elite, the shop he had scoped out from his computer in New Jersey.

The guys at the shop were friendly and very helpful! Will convinced them to rent him a scooter despite having no experience whatsoever driving one. After the papers were signed, we hopped on the bike and he drove us directly into a parked car across the street. I was terrified.

While Will was lying about his moped skills, I was chatting with the guy behind the counter. When I asked him if he had a dinner recommendation for us, he began to tell me about Plage Mala, a beach in Cap d’Ali. The other man, who was smoking by the door, turned around and spoke to him in French. They exchanged a few sentences andstarted to laugh. “We don’t like to tell people about this place,” he explained. The man by the door added in his heavy accent, “We only tell our favorite customers. It’s a place for locals.” Score.

Riding on the scooter was VERY scary to me. I have never been on a motorcycle or anything like it and certainly not in highway traffic in a coastal town in France, but Will was a pro. It took us over an hour, but we made it to Plage Mala… or at least that’s what the GPS said.

We drove around in circles for a bit until we decided to park the bike and venture on foot down toward the ocean. We were in luck! A couple hundred stairs later, we arrived at a gorgeous little restaurant called Eden.


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