First, thank you for your words of support following Callaghan’s loss. Thank you for your kindness, your thoughtfulness, and for being here… for reading, and for caring. All the love means more than we can say.
Callaghan’s been handling his emotions well, leaning on humor as a tool, enjoying time with family and friends, and keeping busy with work, as well, with some of his French clients. This morning, he left early for a full day of work in Toulon; I’ll spend the afternoon hanging out with a friend until Callaghan gets back tonight.
We brought Papy’s ashes home yesterday.
It’s been busy. The fact that we’ve been going non-stop since we landed hasn’t precluded me from taking tons of pics, though, so I thought I’d share a few of them here (sans family members).
To start, this first one is a quote we found in a German magazine on the airplane, because it had us in fits of laughter. A little lightening up is always good, right?
It was probably one of those you-had-to-be-there situations, because we’re not sure why we found this so hilarious. We just did, and I’ll tell you what… we’re not complaining about cracking up over some much-needed random silliness.
On that note, here’s a pic I took of an old bank in Nice the other night:
Old bank in Nice. No idea what it’s called.
I’ve walked by this bank hundreds of times, but I only thought to take a picture of it this time, because, again, Random Silliness Therapy was in order. See, this very bank is the bank that French actor Jean Dujardin’s character attempts to rob in Brice de Nice. Brice de Nice is one of my all-time favorite comedies, and was filmed here in Nice. The bank robbery scene was actually shot inside this bank (as opposed to on a stage set).
To give you an idea of the bank robbery scene, lest you haven’t seen the movie:
Six years before he swept up Best Actor awards at the Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Globes, the Oscars, the BAFTAs, and the SAG Awards for one film (The Artist) in one awards year (2011-2012), Jean Dujardin, then mostly known in the south of France as a comedian, wore ridiculous blond hair to play a ridiculous character of his own creation, Brice Agostini, in a ridiculous movie. (Brice de Nice is pronounced “Breece duh Neece.” The character calls himself “Brice duh Nice” as you’d say it in English, though… that’s a part of the humor.) Brice de Nice belongs in the “So bad it’s good” category of films, so if you haven’t seen it and you’re in need of Random Silliness Therapy, I recommend it! (Get the subtitled version if you don’t know French. Dubbed is awful.)
Brice de Nice has something of a cult following around here. The whole joke of the story is that Brice aspires to be a champion surfer, but he “surfs” at the Mediterranean beaches of Nice, where there are no waves.
Here’s the trailer from which I’d snipped the pics:
On a more somber note, due to current events, some loved ones in the States were concerned for our safety regarding going to France. I was cautioned to refrain from “galavanting around,” as I’m wont to do when I’m here, but galavanting can’t be entirely avoided if daily life is to be lived. We had (and still have) errands to run on le Rue Jean Medecin and the Place Massena, which is adjacent to Vieux Nice, which attracts a lot of people and is therefore potentially hazardous… and since our schedule’s been so hectic, we’ve had to go at night, mostly. But it’s been fine. Here are a few pics:
The Ferris wheel all lit up.
Nice Etoile (mall)
A less-traveled street in Nice.
Flag made of lights. French patriotism like I’ve never seen it. There are also a lot of French flags hanging over people’s balconies.
The train station where we went to get Callaghan’s great-aunt, arriving for Papy’s service.
Weather-wise, it’s been chilly and mostly overcast and rainy, but the sun came out this morning, giving me a good opportunity to snap the views. Here’s the view from our bedroom in Callaghan’s Dad’s house in Le Bar-sur-Loup, a village in the hills above Nice:
Bedroom view, Papa’s house, Le Bar-sur-Loup
And the view from the bathroom:
Bathroom view, Papa’s house, Le Bar-sur-Loup
And food-wise! I have indeed been taking foodaholic pics, even though I’m a vegan in France, which translates to “I’ve mainly eaten salads supplemented with things from my back-up supply of nutrient-dense food that travels well.” By the way, this is the first time I’ve stubbornly refused to deviate from veganism in France. Not a single pastry has passed my lips… no croissant, no pain au chocolat. No cheese, no dairy of any kind. It’s hard to figure out what to eat. This is not a country that makes it easy if you go out to dine at restaurants and at people’s houses.
But here are a few of the beautiful salads of which I’ve partaken:
Salad in a restaurant (greens, tomatoes, onions, toasted walnuts)
Salad at Callaghan’s Dad’s house (endive and green apple with a homemade mustard vinaigrette)
Salad at Mamie’s house (Callaghan’s grandmother): Mixed greens and tomatoes in another homemade vinaigrette, this one with garlic).
That’s a piece of tomato pizza off to the side, by the way. It’s a south of France thing, and in its original form, like this one, it doesn’t have cheese. We picked it up in the boulangerie across from Mamie’s place in Cagnes sur Mer. It was delicious.
While I’m sharing foodaholic pics, here’s what I ate at the airport when we stopped over in Frankfurt, Germany on our way here:
Muesli with soy milk
Because it was 5:45 in the morning. I also had coffee with soymilk. Germany is hip with the times and you can ask for things like soymilk and almost always get it, like in the States.
I also got a pretzel, since I was in Germany, the mothership of pretzels, and I love fresh, authentic pretzels:
Wonderful pretzels in Germany!
Last, I took a couple of pics of the artwork Callaghan did for his Mamie when he was just five years old:
Artwork for Mamie (Grandma) by Callaghan, age 5.
His signature wasn’t written by him, though.
And that concludes my sharing of random photos.
We have three days left here.