Bonjour from Cannes, France!
We arrived here in Cannes on August 30th after a whirlwind thirty days in Barcelona. Before we left the Gothic Quarter we knew Cannes was going to be a completely new experience just judging by the Air BnB we had rented months prior. This apartment was located just steps from a small beach peninsula while the busy beaches of Barcelona were almost a twenty minute walk from our little apartment in the city center. When Gregg and I decided to come to France we immediately fell in love with the pictures and, I mean, how could you not? Look at this view!
We are located on the side of the coast that attracts fewer tourists because it is a little further from the main tourist-y street La Croisette which houses all of the super posh, super expensive restaurants, hotels and shops. Our little nook of Cannes has a lot of retired French men and women and a few families here and there. Every morning and through the afternoon you see these ladies and gents taking casual strolls through the shallow water exercising, gossiping and doing an overall patrol of the beach.
You might be thinking, a patrol? What does she mean by they’re patrolling the beach?
I have learned that the French, among many of their positive attributes, are very involved in their community and the “better” of their community. For example, I have been asked AT LEAST ten times “où est son chapeau” or “where is his hat?” The one time I didn’t have one with me I was shamed at the grocery store, but you better believe I didn’t make that mistake again.
The Cannes residents are always looking out for me and the kids, especially when I am not with Gregg. If they see Nolan running on the beach by himself they are looking for a parent, when Nolan was leaning over the balcony outside our apartment one of our neighbors was so concerned about Nolan potentially falling he walked from the beach, rang the bell and had multiple conversations about it with us whenever we saw him. The French are direct, dry and can be some of the nicest people you will ever meet. They make me feel positively safe in a foreign country, and for that I am so appreciative!
The day I got in trouble for leaving Nolan unattended by terrace (but really I was right behind him not being a totally negligent parent)
Another major difference here in Cannes is the lack of restaurants that are vegetarian friendly, which is a big bummer. There are some restaurants in town, but MAN are they expensive! We aren’t looking to go spend a load of money on a meal we have to scarf down because the kids are misbehaving, so we don’t eat out.. ever. Instead I cook every night, which I have to admit is pretty nice (especially given our view). The French are famous for their cuisine, so I was sad to have to skip out on dining out from time to time. My favorite meal I have made so far is this mushroom tart that uses French pastry dough, mushrooms, onions, cheese and an egg wash. So good!
We walk everywhere here just like we did in Barcelona, only we have to walk further if we want to go to “the big grocery store” called Carrefour and is roughly the size of Fresh and Easy back home. I’m dying over the fact that everything here is locally produced, grown and sourced. The French are incredibly proud people, so the “MADE IN FRANCE” label sticks out and I know just what I want to buy. There is hardly any junk food and the portion sizes are realistic (8-10 slices of bread in a bag). You also have to pay for a cart like we did in Germany, only now we understand how it works and always get our Euro back. So far my favorite items in France are the pain au chocolat (bread with chocolate inside), grapes straight from the vine, baguettes and their dairy products. For some reason they are 1,000x better than the dairy in the US!
Some of our favorite activities here in Cannes are trips to the beach, walks to the playground and dinners on the porch. There isn’t quite as much to do here as there was in Barcelona, and space is more limited, but we have done our best to make do with it and continue to explore as much as humanly possible! Griffin absolutely loves the warm water of Cannes and Nolan is a petite poisson (little fish) who enjoys showing off the the locals who are head over heels in love with him. We truly couldn’t ask for kinder neighbors, so all of you who think the French are rude and dismissive, I can truly say you are 100% wrong!
We took a few trips out of Cannes and into Nice and Aix en Provence I will write separate posts about because there is just so much to see and learn about in these beautiful cities! We have learned that a month is too long, so up next is a tour of Italy by train where we have planned shorter stops (1-3 days/city) and action packed days.
As always, thanks for reading and here are some pictures for you to browse through! Look our for our next post about Aix en Provence and our trip to Nice!
Cannes at night
Nolan, Griffin et moi à la plage
Some rare brotherly love in the biggest bath in Europe (kidding)
That sunset though…..