SLOWING DOWN IN THE FRENCH RIVIERA

Its 10:00PM and we just wrapped up a dessert of fresh raspberries from the local market. Dinner had been just as simple - a homemade salad prepared with seasonal vegetables. Washing dishes in our tiny kitchen, I could see through the living room and out the open windows into the lush green garden that separates our us from the busy boulevard.

Perched atop the hillside, you can immediately tell the building housing our temporary apartment use to be a hotel. The entryway opens up to a grand staircase with ornate detailing on the back of each step. The hallways are long with identical doors gating the no longer identical rooms. Many are open in hopes of a cool breeze, so I peer in as I walk by. Curious about the lives on the other side. It is the individuality that gives the building life, which would otherwise appear abandoned. All the furniture has been removed from the common areas and there is not a thing left hanging on the wall, but the grandeour of what it was, or might have been, still seems to resonates.

It’s been an oasis after being in a state of constant movement, staying only 2 to 3 nights in each destination. But here, in the French Riviera, we weren’t on a timeline. We could wake up slow and head to the market, which feels familiar now. I shout to Todd to grab more olive oil while I vacillate between nectarines or strawberries for our morning parfait. We might go on a run or grab a long lunch before walking the short distance to the beach. We prefer the rocky shores in late afternoon, when the crowds have started to disperse and the sun is high enough to read our books, but low enough to not burn our skin. After a bottle of rose and a nap there is still enough time to jump in the car and drive to Antibes to watch the sunset. 

Everything is slow and effortless here. Families gather at the local beaches near the point, picnic baskets in hand and children in tow. The road wraps along the coast, zigzagging by extravagant homes and landscapes. When we finally arrive at our destination, the sun is still suspended above the mountains. Watching it sink reluctantly makes me question if it does really fall faster back home. Or do I just move so fast everything else around me becomes a blur? In both time and memory.

Chelsie Fish

Slightly exaggerated stories of love, life and travel.