THURSDAY: Woke up ridiculously excited at 6:30am to get ready for school at 8:30am . I'm still the nerd that loves the first day of school (Even though this was orientation, still exciting in my book). Got ready and headed down to the boulangerie/patisserie right near my apartment. After a sausage croissant and espresso by the sea, the group of us living in Juan met at the bus stop to head to SKEMA.
Twenty minutes away from the sea into the mountains the bus arrived at one of the most hilly and gorgeous places ever, our new school. Who knew schools didn't have red brick everywhere? Sitting in the most cushion-y seats in the auditorium we all settled into life at SKEMA. We finished orientation and some of us waited to go to Carrefour. Its a grocery store, however there is one near Sophia Antipolis that is MASSIVE! Its like a Walmart mixed with a mall. After hours of searching and countless stores, I finally found a curling iron at this Carrefour! My hair wont be frizzy now, thats excitement only girls will understand.
FRIDAY: First big step in establishing residency is to have a French bank account. So I set up an appointment for Monday, and headed into Antibes. The bus wasn't running for some reason, we walked. It's a 15-20 minute, hilly, walk to Antibes from Juan les Pins. We arrived and headed to lunch. Walking through Old Antibes, we stumbled upon a place near a gorgeous old fountain. After one of the most delicious salads, where I ate every tomato. (Big deal since I typically hate tomatoes on salads!) We had Speculos crepes and then headed to SFR to get phones. I have the most old school phone. No QWERTY keyboard here!
We went shopping at Mango and Monoprix (the French Target). Coming back here to get ready and then we all decided to go to dinner in Old Antibes. Restaurant Aubergine is a must if you come to Antibes!!! But be ready to dedicate three hours to eating the French way. However, easily some of the best salmon, risotto, and goat cheese salad I've ever had. From there we went to meet the rest of the program at the Hop Store, an Irish bar on the water. After a reunion, we went to L'Ekinox which was a British inspired bar and danced the night away.
SATURDAY: MONACO!!!!!!!!! I'm convinced its easily one of the most beautiful square miles in the world. Walking around the ridiculous hills of this place will make you appreciate your calves. The entire day felt like a dream. It was just the most gorgeous and picturesque place. (I feel like I'm going to say that a lot over the next five months.) We walked around the outside of the Monte-Carlo Casino and took pictures. Then we had lunch by the harbor overlooking all of the yachts. The shrimp risotto is banging here. (Risotto aux Gambas at Le "M" restaurant)
Then we walked up to the Royal Palace is located. And by up, I mean UPPPPPP half a mountainside of stairs. You can see everything from this hillside. It is gorgeous. To fulfill my lifelong obsession with Grace Kelly, we walked to the Cathedral of Monaco, where she was married and is buried. I literally may or may not have teared up at the beauty of this place. It is amazingly gorgeous.
After hiking down the mountain we walked back up to the Casino and went inside. I wish I had pictures but it is forbidden. Ornate does not begin to describe this place. Crystal, gold, and velvet everywhere. We played the slots, lost 5 euro to the machines, and drank a glass of wine . (sorry Mom and Dad its an experience!!!) Dinner at Le "M' was fantastic, mumbai chicken curry. We took the train the wrong way home. Thankfully we didn't end up in Italy, just yet. Overall, it was the most perfect day despite the wrong way train ride.