Ahhhhhh …

If it’s Friday, it must be France …

That might be a sigh from me that was heard well out into the stratosphere!

Oui! C’est vendredi! It’s Friday AND it is France … we arrived in Nice yesterday and will be here until mid-October. It didn’t take us more than a moment to fall in love with this town all over again.

In fact, the trembling heart action began (it never fails …) as we crossed the last range of Alps and the Mediterranean coast came into view:

Côte d'Azur-PSandsPhotos
Côte d’Azur-PSandsPhotos

Next, the high-rise crush of  “nowhere to go but up” Monaco …


Then a small regatta near Eze-Sur-Mer. If you look closely you can see the spectacular perched village of Eze (that I often blather on about) on that last hill to the right, just past the arches. That’s the hill where I hiked and laughed my way down the Nietzsche Trail two years ago with my sister-in-law and niece on a sweltering July day. We did have a good time!

Côte d'Azur-PSandsPhotos
Côte d’Azur-PSandsPhotos

And then the sigh began ~ ahhhhhhh ~ it wasn’t too awfully loud ~ really, only about half the plane looked ~ Villefranche-Sur-Mer, the town next to Nice and one of my all-time faves …


I couldn’t capture Nice as the plane took a sharp bank just before landing and all we could see was sky on one side and water on the other. This is not unusual as the Nice runway is short and sticks out into the Med … always a spectacular arrival.

Another cool thing about Nice International Airport is that it is right in town! You could simply walk down the street and go for a dip in the Med or have a croissant if you just couldn’t wait. C’est unique!

A quick cab ride brought us to our home away from home for the next month. Here’s the view from our living room window and our well-appointed loft condo is in a building just like this. This is a pedestrian area with bistros, cafés, galleries and shops. The old town with its daily market and the beaches and restaurants of the sparkling Med are just a few minutes’ walk away.

Place Massena,Nice-PSandsPhotos
Place Massena,Nice-PSandsPhotos

Most important, for me, the inspiration to write is overwhelming here. It wraps around me with a gentle urgency … and I love it … ahhhhhhh …

Sorry – gotta get back to the WIP!

As most of you know by now, my husband and I have spent a lot of time in this part of the world so we knew this location well. We are thrilled to have the city experience of Nice this time but will also spend many days in our beloved Antibes just a half-hour along the coast. I’m having a book launch party there on October 4th but more about that later!

Please remember, dear readers, this is not Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous. This is a wonderful home exchange (our 9th) and any one of you can organize a similar experience wherever in the world you might want to visit. You know I love to talk about home exchange so feel free to ask your questions. Dream on!

Published by patriciasands

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada when she isn't somewhere else, particularly the south of France. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography. Much to her surprise a few years ago, she began to write and has now published three novels, including two that are part of a six-book series set in the south of France. Love France? Love her work! Check out her website www.patriciasandsauthor.com She is particularly drawn to the rewarding friendships of women and the challenges many embrace once their families are grown. "It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it!"

39 thoughts on “Ahhhhhh …

  1. I had hoped I’d be in France the same time as you. I had to change my travel plans and won’t get there until the end of October. Still haven’t gotten to the south. We’ll be heading north on this trip and my first sight of the Mediterranean will be from Tunisia in the winter. Hope to see Nice in the not too distant future, though. And there is something about the country that makes me want to write, too.

    1. One of these days the stars will align! Tunisia in winter sounds exotic and I will look forward to hearing about that. We are seriously thinking we need to spend a year here soon … just have to wait until the grandkids are a little older.

    1. Yes … and as usual, working out perfectly. We had a drink with the owners who were here to greet us when we arrived and that is always nice. When you spend time in someone else’s home, you often end up becoming friends. It’s a lovely side benefit to home exchange!

      1. Nothing too exotic, Medicine Hat Alberta to throw an 85th Birthday party for my mom. Possibly Sante Fe in the New Year and then, you never know…..

  2. What a treat to wake up to this Saturday morning. In your corner of the world — paradise — where it’s likely time for a glass of wine, some local food, and people and place watching.

    A month in the country so dear to you? I’m happy dancing for you on this side of the Atlantic. You’re so champagne bubbly any time I see you. In France? Does your face disappear entirely when you smile?

    Yes. I’m curious about home exchanges. I’ve heard of them. I’ve suggested them to The Hubster. But, he has a condition commonly referred to as worry-wart-syndrome. He’s convinced we would return to a home left in chaos with all of our non-existent treasures smashed to bits. Save your breath on assuring me it’s “anything but”…

    He plays the lead in Chicken Little, and holds on to that role with zeal.

    Enjoy paradise!

    1. Gloria, thanks for sending your LOL humour to me over here. I think I’ll have to arrange a chat with your hubster because he is flat out wrong. You know that and I know that but I also understand Chicken Little leads are hard to convince otherwise. Thanks for the good wishes … c’est magnifique! On another note, how’s your writing going? What’s the latest plan of attack? *tapping fingers, eagerly waiting*

  3. Isn’t it just a beautiful weekend all along the med coast? I love Nice and Antibes and would love to know more details of the home exchange! Right now I’m enjoying the sunshine further along here at Marseillan. Heavenly 🙂

  4. Would love to find out about home exchanges! Our problem as I see it is that we live about 70 miles from San Francisco. Easy enough to get in to visit, but who would want to exchange homes to stay out in suburbia, instead of being right in the City?

      1. Thanks! You might be surprised at who would like to be in suburbia. You can take a look through home exchange sites before you join and test the waters. Often people doing exchanges want to explore the countryside as well as the city.

  5. Amazing shots from your aircraft Patricia. We stayed in Cagnes Sur Mer on our last visit and loved it. But your condo sounds wonderful! Like Angeline, I wonder who would want to exchange houses with someone living in a hot humid Indian city.
    Have fun 🙂

    1. Thanks! I had to discreetly shoot across the man sitting next to me as we forgot to book the window seat. Duh! Fortunately he was happy to oblige. I know Cagnes Sur Mer well and can see why you loved it. Anywhere along this coast is so special, isn’t it? I don’t know about exchanges in a hot humid Indian city but you never know until you check it out. p.s. As you might guessed, I’m an optimist!

  6. Wow, its either a great camera or an obliging pilot, you seems to have got so close to all the towns. I guess it’s a pleasure for the pilot as well, no doubt he’s pointing out his own condo to his co-pilot 🙂 Isn’t it fabulous when the Mediterranean comes into view. Enjoy!

  7. Wonderful photos! No wonder you are excited to arrive there. BTW, I downloaded your book on Kindle a few days ago and have been enjoying it so far. I can’t help wondering how much is based on your own personal experiences? I know a lot of my fiction is.

    1. Hi Deborah – Are you reading the Provence novel or The Bridge Club? Like you, a lot of my writing most definitely stems from personal experience. Writing fiction is such a buzz, isn’t it? In fact, that’s what I should be doing now instead of lingering in social media! I’m going to check out your work. Nice to see you here and thanks for buying the book! Drop by again!

  8. Susie sent me. Wow, you have more good pictures from the plane than I normally get on a whole day out (I’m working on that though). LOVE France, studied abroad there and am planning to do a reunion trip so I may take you up on that offer for home stay advice. Enjoy your stay!

    1. Studied abroad? Fabulous! I always love talking about travel here so ask away! Home exchange is a wonderful way to go! If you are traveling by yourself, the Womens Travel Network worked with me to put together a tour of Nice and Provence for 10 days in June 2014. 14 women only so if you know anyone who might be interested, please pass on the link. It’s going to be very special. Thanks for stopping by! Susie is the best!


    1. Hi there! Great to meet you too! Susie has THE best parties, doesn’t she? You are so right about me being happy to be back here and I’m already thinking about next year and the year after. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Susie sent me. That’s one of my fave areas too. The art, the sea, the sky… So many lovely villages. I also love the Italian connection that lets me eat great Italian food as well as provencal french. Look forward to more.

  10. Wow! Tres Magnifique!!!
    What an amazing place. We’ve only driven through Nice. I would love to stay and drink in the vibe of the city.
    Thanks so much for bringing it to the party! (If you get the chance, check your email… 🙂 )

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