February242012

The commencement of Carnaval! 

3PM

More un-silly string-ed Carnavale floats.

12PM

These are some of Nice’s parade floats that are moving into position. You can tell because none of them are covered in confetti or silly string yet. Yet.

11AM

Nice sur la mer! 

11AM

More pictures of Nice, pre-Carnavale. The sunshine was lovely, the market was bustling, and overall the city was at its prime.

11AM

Some pictures of Nice before Carnavale started. I love Nice so much - it’s beautiful, the people seem happier and friendlier than other French cities, and it doesn’t even smell like pee! So far every city I’ve been to has smelled like pee. Even you, Monte Carlo. But Nice was fantastic!

February62012

This is from our tour of the Fragonard Parfumery (http://www.fragonard.com/), located in Eze-sur-la-Mer. It’s really fancy and expensive perfumes, but it was still interesting to see how everything was made. Did you know that it takes one ton of violets to get a liter of usable extract (they don’t use the flowers alone, so they can get more from them), and it takes three tons of roses to get a liter. That’s why perfume is so freaking expensive.
The only thing that I bought from there was a bar of soap for my sister, but some of the girls were buying bottles of the perfume. Crazy. 

3AM

Fancy Shmancy Things of Monte Carlo.

In the first picture, I was trying to take a picture of the tiny streets with the contrast of the mountains, when all of a sudden a red Ferrari zooms into the frame at the last second. I hate it when Ferraris ruin my photos. #firstworldproblems

3AM

So I forgot to upload the rest of my Monaco pictures - oops! Here’s a selection of photos from the Monte Carlo casino. It costs 10 euro just to walk in, so being the opulent woman that I am, I promptly said, “Boy you cray-cray!” and decided to wander around instead.
So many fancy cars…

February52012

Existentialism with Taylor Lautner

So, Aix-en-Provence on Sundays is a bit slow, in that very few sources of entertainment are open/available, and even fewer in the cold spot that’s been gracing us with it’s presence for the past week or so. Which is fine, since I needed to stay in and do homework.

Which is precisely what I didn’t do, because I answer to no man or conscience.

Instead, I watched “Abduction”. If you’ve had the pleasure of never seeing this movie, please enjoy this complementary buffalo wing, and keep up the good movie tastes. The story is that Taylor Lautner is “Walking Meat Hunk #1” out of ten or so. He discovers he’s adopted and his parents were spies and not the bad spies are after him, and the good spies all die, and the neutral spies are actually bad spies, which are after him too. Sigourney Weaver is in it, and even she was popsicle-y (icy, with a wooden core). This movie is like the four humors from Hippocratic medicine, in that it induces yellow bile, black bile, blood, and phlegm.

After about ten minutes or so, I started playing mahjong to distract myself from the atrocious acting. After game four I forgot to look up at the movie. After game nine I realize that it was still playing. Then I hit a dry spot with my mahjong luck, so I decided to watch the movie – you don’t need to follow the plot to know what’s going to happen next. It was getting close to the end, just a few minutes before the final Boss round, when I suddenly sat back and thought, “What am I doing with my life?” Taylor Lautner squinted back from my computer screen as if to say, “Seriously girl, you gotta get out more.” Or he could have been saying, “Oh my stars and garters, I seem to have stepped on an adolescent inamorata. Oh well, toodly pip!” It’s the same squint, so it’s easily misinterpreted – the mark of a fine graduate of the Keanu Reeves School of Acting and Emoting (home of the Fighting Cockatoos).

Despite this revelation, I continued to do not much of anything. I read enough of my book to make me feel self-satisfied, after which I lost interest. It’s a book of short stories, but they are so avant-garde and modernistic that it gives me a headache and a distinct feeling of aesthetic inadequacy (not unlike the same feelings I get when walking into an American Outfitters and seeing the price tags). One story was 50% a man passive-aggressively blaming his mother for his abandonment and his love of Vietnamese prostitutes and 50% recipes that use dog meat (like, legitimate recipes complete with details and suggested side dishes and wine accompaniments). Another story consisted entirely of a phrase or sentence on one page, with a black wall of scribbles on the other. And not even discernible scribbles, it’s like someone gave charcoal to a sociopath and said, “Draw a picture of your inner child”.

Needless to say, I found it to be very French, in that it is only enjoyable after copious amounts of wine, and then only as a coaster.

Other than the reading, I did a bit of research for future travel plans. There’s this crazy lemon festival in a few weeks that I would like to attend. It’s in Menton, which is a bit of a hike, but by train it shouldn’t be too bad. Apparently lemons are popular to grow/eat there, and every year they have a festival and make extravagant parade floats and grand statues entirely out of lemons. Because what else are you going to do in late February? It sounds pretty spiffy, so hopefully I can find someone to go with me.

Now I’m just hanging out until dinner (in about 15 minutes), then back to my room to plan out tomorrow’s events and take another stab at this laborious “studying” process. Judging from the lack of available food, perhaps a trip to the Carrefour is in order. It’s like if a super Walmart ate another super Walmart. Carrefour is so big, that they have not one, but three different generic brands: Carrefour, Carrefour Gourmet, and Carrefour Discount. They make discount generic brand foods. And they are delicious.

A bien tot!