Well That Was Nice

“The traveler sees what he sees.
The tourist sees what he has come to see.” 

-G.K. Chesterton

I’ve been really slow at writing about my travels, but hopefully I’ll be caught up soon. Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit my cousin, her husband, and their one-year-old daughter in Nice, France. I was going to be traveling there and back on my own, so I figured that it would be quite the journey. If I recall correctly (it was so long ago – this is why I should write soon after my trips), I don’t recall there being issues with my travels to Nice. [As I was writing this, I was on a train to Toulouse (on my way to Lourdes), and I saw someone wearing parachute pants. Are those a thing again? Am I really THAT cut off from the world? I hope not…] I took a couple of trains to Vienna in order to fly out to Nice. I was exhausted, so I was dozing off. As I woke up, we were making our final descent. I looked out my window to see the beautiful snow-capped mountains, leading down to the cities on the beaches. These surroundings were beautiful like no other. We flew over the water for a while, so I couldn’t really tell when or where we were going to land. Eventually, they brought the plane down on the runway, and we had made it into Nice.

When I got into the airport, I found the three of them waiting for me. It was great to see faces that reminded me of being back home (even though they live in France); it was good to be with family. We went back to their apartment while, on the way, they were pointing out some things in the area as we passed. When we got to the apartment, they let me settle in, and we just hung out there for a while. We caught up, and I got to play with Camilla. After a while, we went for a walk through Nice. They showed me the area, though I just enjoyed having time with family and strolling through town. Camilla earned some attention for herself, but I still enjoyed the evening. We stopped for a beer before going back to their apartment for a dinner of fish and potatoes. I had never had fish that way: the whole fish, sitting there on the plate. It was…interesting. But I guess that’s Europe for you.

In the morning, we had crepes for breakfast, with jellies and Nutella – mmm… Nutella – with freshly-squeezed orange juice. It was quite the delectable meal. Since Nice was close to the France-Italy border, we decided to go to Dolceacqua, 100_1535a small Italian city set in the mountains. It was a beautiful town. We found our way to a pizza place. It had only been a week, but I had already missed Italy and Italian food. I got a Hawaiian pizza; it was delicious. After lunch, we wandered around the streets, getting disoriented in the weaving alley-streets and just enjoying the scenery. After our time there, we went back to Nice to go to Mass at Notre Dame in Nice. It was kind of a (greatly) scaled-down version of the Gothic cathedral in Paris. The Mass was in French, so I struggled, but I got to receive Jesus, so, all-in-all, it was a good Mass. After Mass, we went back to the apartment to hang out for a while – playing with Camilla, Skyping my cousin’s mom (my aunt). We had a late light dinner of artichoke and some wine. It was quite good.

The next morning, I packed and went out to Monaco with my cousin, where she worked. She gave me a map, suggested some places to which to go, and then, after breakfast, I went on my way. I really just wandered around in the direction she showed me. It was great to just to on a stroll by myself. Despite the fog, it was a beautiful day and a beautiful area in which to explore. I got to see beautiful gardens, (misty) mountains, clear waters, awesome (yes, I mean awesome) churches. It was a good time there. Then I headed to the airport after that. I got some lunch, a coupon for free food, and some people gave me another coupon, so I got a nice full lunch for not-too-much. After hanging out in the airport, my flight took off, and we flew over some more beautiful mountain ranges. I took some more trains and a bus on the way back to Gaming, running into some classmates on the way, having the opportunity to discuss our weekends. That’s something I (often) enjoy doing: swapping stories from travel weekends.

After Rome and Assisi, Nice was probably the best place to which I could have gone. In Rome, we were able to behold the beauty of the great churches and to pray with remains of great saints. In Assisi, we were able to appreciate the beauty and presence of God in His creation and in the simplicity of the town of Assisi. My time in Nice was quite similar to and quite different from those trips. I Although I did have time to appreciate God’s presence in nature and simplicity, and the beauty of huge cathedrals, those didn’t make up the bulk of time there. Instead, I was able to appreciate and find beauty in the simple moments with family. The family is so important. God gives us our families for a reason. Universally, our families reflect the love of God in the Trinity. Families are communities of love. No matter how far from home you are, the love of your family is always there. It can always reach you. To lose sight of that is to fall away from the most fundamental community of man, one to which each and every person belongs, whether they want to admit it or not.

“Other things may change,
but we start & end with the family.”

-Anthony Brandt


Duc In Altum


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: What I Learned in Austria Is… | Eärendil Star

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