Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Carnaval, Florence, and PACS, Oh my!

Things have been going well. Carnaval in Nice ended with some fantastic fireworks, I met a new friend, we spent last weekend in Florence, Italy, and we will be pacsed this Thursday.

As I've mentioned before, Carnaval is like Mardi Gras, but more family oriented. Nice has parades, activities, etc. for several weeks and then it ends with the burning of the king (not a real person, but a big man-made float thing) and fireworks over the water. Here are a few floats during a Carnaval parade.

Here are the king and queen at the end of Carnaval.

These fireworks were hands-down, the BEST fireworks I have ever seen. They must have cost Nice taxpayers a fortune! I watched the fireworks with my new friend, Asha. She is from Poland and has lived here for the last five years. She is the girlfriend of one of Olivier's close friends, and we met a few weekends ago. We are the same age and get along well. We can relate to each other, as we are both expats and share many similar experiences. I'm guessing we'll be spending quite a bit of time hanging out together. I have to give Olivier a Betsy-break every once in a while, after all. ;)

We will be pacsing this Thursday. Pacs is the French civil union. We decided to go away together for a weekend to celebrate our pacs. I called it a pacs-moon. I was thinking just a weekend in a small provincial French town. However, I randomly suggested Florence as it is only about a 4.5 hour drive from Nice. The next thing I knew, Olivier was checking out Florence hotels. That was Wednesday night. We left Friday night for Florence. It was a perfect weekend.

When we went to our hotel room, we were surprised to see that it had not been cleaned. We told the concierge, assuring him that it was no big deal...mistakes happen. He was very embarrassed and assured us that this does not happen in his hotel, and then upgraded us to a very nice, big room...with a jacuzzi tub! Not so bad. Here's Florence...

We spent all day Saturday being tourists. Luckily the weather cooperated, because it definitely did not on Sunday. We didn't have time for the museums, so we decided to save those for our next trip. Here is Olivier acting the part of a tourist.

If you ever go to Italy, you must eat gelato. It is delicious! It is basically delicious ice cream. I don't know the technical differences or anything like that.