Bonjour! I know that it has been a little quiet on the blog as I get settled into my new life but you can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to get more of the latest details of what’s going on in my life! It certainly has been a bit hectic as I’ve adjusted to the time change, cultural changes and living without a fully stocked kitchen. But so far I’m loving it here and there isn’t much to complain about so let’s dive in to what I’ve learned and experienced in the past week!
Just a little background…our first 3 months we have an apartment rented in Villefranche-sur-Mer which is just outside of Nice on the French Riviera. This town is actually a really special place to my husband and I as we stumbled upon it by accident back in 2011 when we came here on vacation as boyfriend and girlfriend. We instantly fell in love with this quaint little town and the beautiful beach! Fast forward to 2016 when we came here again to celebrate one year of marriage and fell even more in love. And now, 2 years later, we get to call this place our HOME for three months! It’s really crazy to think that we actually live here for now and keep saying that to each other in a sort of ‘pinch me to make sure I’m not dreaming’ sort of way.
We arrived on Monday, got checked into our apartment and settled a bit before heading off to Monaco to buy a celebratory bottle of wine. And again, we spent all day saying to each other, ‘Can you believe we live here?!’ Yep, we do. We picked a little pizza spot for dinner in Villefranche-sur-Mer at the recommendation of Rick Steves and got to bed early after our long day of travel and excitment.
Our second day was filled with more learning as we ventured over to Nice to figure out our phone service. It’s much different here than in the US and we just walked up to a little kiosk in a convenience store to purchase a new SIM card for our phones. Thankfully the shop owner, who didn’t speak much English, was actually very willing to help us walk through the prompts and voilà, we had phone service!
Our next stop was at a store called Carrefour to pick up some groceries and toiletries for the apartment. There are different varieties of this store, some just sell groceries, but we went to one of their mega-centers which is basically a combination of a massive Wal-Mart and a massive grocery store. I’ve read that at certain locations the workers actually wear rollerblades because the stores are so large. I think we were there for almost 2 hours trying to navigate the aisles and fulfill the necessities on our lists. Here’s my #1 takeaway from our trip: everything is smaller in France! The shampoo bottles, the paper towel….everything. It took a while to figure out what to buy because there are very few products here that are in America and all of the labels are in French.
Navigating the grocery aisles was slightly easier because of the pictures on the labels but it certainly was an adventure. Since I have a very limited kitchen now I need to work on being able to cook with the utensils that I have in the apartment and work with a smaller selection of herbs and spices. I miss having everything on hand and knowing exactly where it is in my kitchen! The one thing that I have enjoyed is the amazing selection of fresh produce in the grocery store and at the markets. You would not believe how gorgeous the tomatoes are here!
On day #3 we went back to Nice to check out their daily street market which features an amazing selection of flowers and gorgeous produce. I could really get used to having fresh vegetables and fruit at my fingertips and it was difficult not to want to buy a little of everything because of how delicious it looked! Since we had just went to the grocery store I opted to just select a beautiful head of garlic, some tasty carrots and a couple of fragrant spices to use in some upcoming recipes.
After all of the excitement of the week we decided that we would take it easy on Thursday and head to the beach for a bit to swim. I’m literally a 5 minute walk from the beach and the water is crystal clear! Seriously, I live here?!
As we head into the weekend I am looking forward to venturing out a bit more and we have a hike planned for Saturday and perhaps some more beach time scheduled for Sunday. I’m also going to be working on a couple of new recipes posts that will come next week inspired by my new home!