Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The day we paid 14 euros for a bottle of water, welcome to the South of France!



Nice at Sunset, south of France, the day we paid 14 euros for water, mandy charlton, photographer blogger, writer


Don't get me wrong, the Côte d'Azur is beautiful, it's almost like heaven with azure turquoise seas which you can't believe haven't just been painted into the scene before you but when it comes to paying around 14 euros for a litre of sparkling water I have to question how likely I am to  consider it as a regular holiday destination!!
Nice, south of France, expensive, French Riviera with a teen, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

Nice, south of France, expensive, French Riviera with a teen, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

When I asked Abigail earlier in the year where she wanted to go for her holiday this year she said "France" it then unfolded that specifically she'd like to go to the French Riviera, I've since come to think that if someone had told her that it was going to be over 25c every single day she may have rethought that idea and gone somewhere less hot being that she hates the heat, in hindsight she probably would have chosen somewhere less hilly being that she also hates walking long distances up steep hills, retrospect is such a wonderful thing isn't it?
Nice, south of France, expensive, French Riviera with a teen, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

On the Monday nearing the end of our first week we hung out at a beach club at Juan de Pins, after paying 40 euros just to lie on a lounger she removed her T-shirt for 10 minutes, let's just say that pale vampiric teens aren't meant for the sun and she still started to burn despite the factor 50, it's no wonder that next year we've booked to go to Norway where it perpetually rains and occasionally reaches 20c.
Nice, south of France, expensive, French Riviera with a teen, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

Nice, south of France, expensive, French Riviera with a teen, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

Apart from the hills which were too big, the sun which was too hot, the costs which were too expensive and the breakfasts which meant she had to grace the dining room by 10am in the morning the sunsets were also too late and this meant I was extra demanding wanting to try and catch the golden hour for photography purposes each day, I caught 3 of them during our weeklong stay and that was only after a considerable period of begging.  Parents of teens, if yours is anything like Abigail, don't go to the south of France for your holidays!
Nice, south of France, expensive, French Riviera with a teen, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

I must say though that despite the 3 hours of not speaking after we had a row and the disagreements which were often we did have times which were as close to wonderful as I've ever imagined, we had a meal down by the harbour in Villefranche sur Mer which was divine, the sun was shining, the food was amazing and for a short while we were best buddies, this was also the day which descended into the 3 hour period of stomping and silence (mostly mine) but hey, when the memories fade I'll always remember that day as the day I finally went to the place where An Affair To Remember was shot.

Abigail and I are vastly different people and because she lives with dad when we spend intense periods of time together we have to learn over and over about how to spend those times together, Abigail is actually one of my favourite people to travel with because she's just so very interested in absorbing all of the culture, she came back disappointed from not having enough French conversations whilst I watched in awe as she navigated her way through southern France whilst I sometimes had no clue what she was talking to the locals about and once or twice they shared jokes about just how bad her mothers French was!

I think it's wrong to expect that every holiday you ever have will be the best holiday ever, it's a lot to live up to and for me, if I'm completely honest, my favourite holiday this year was a bargain break to Mallorca, I'd go back there in an instant, actually I'd go back to Antibes tomorrow if it wasn't so expensive just to live every day, it's no wonder I've been furiously working each hour God sends since I've come back just to try and restore some order to my bank account.  All I brought back with me was a fridge magnet from Monaco because it was just so costly to live every day, almost certainly, it would have been cheaper if I'd favoured wine over water but as many of you know, if I have 1 glass of wine a month I'm somewhat living on the edge.

I've sworn off France for the near future, firstly because I prefer Spain and secondly because I've decided my next few trips will be to places like Poland and Estonia, oh and perhaps Croatia where you can live like a queen for a week on next to nothing!
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