Wednesday, February 15, 2006


My bouquet

Since my last post, Jube and I have par-tayed! It's Carnaval time all around the world, and both Nice and Menton have their own celebrations. Here in Nice, it's more traditional, with parades during the day and at night. In the afternoon, the parades have floats that are decorated with flowers, for les batailles des fleurs. The floats throw mimosas to the spectators for the whole of the parade, and then at the end, rip nicer flowers off of their floats and throw them to the crowd. Of course, just to have standing places for this parade, you have to pay
€10! Jube and I paid for the opening of the carnaval, because we had never done it before, but we haven't yet seen the nighttime parades. (Check out fraise's different posts for some pics, commentary, and videos about the celebrations at night.) You can see a picture of the bouquet I gathered above. It's so big and beautiful because I screamned and begged the performers on their floats to throw the flowers to ME ME ME, and then I snatched them out of the air just in front of old grannies and little kids getting flowers for their grannies. But my bouquet is gorgeous, don't you think? Especially the glittery lettuce...

Bresil aux couleurs de Menton

On Sunday we went to Menton, where there is a Lemon Festival. There are huge gardens with different scenes made of lemons and oranges. The theme this year is "Brazil," which is why you can see a representation of the giant Brazilian Jesus made almost entirely of citrus fruit. It was really fun to see all of the things they came up with, including a plantation-like house with jazz players outside that represented New Orleans, and a bridge with a gondola in a lemon-colored river that represented Venice. (Secondary theme: Mardi Gras celebrations from around the world.) After viewing the gardens, we watched Menton's parade.

Leader of the Orange Throwers

Here, they threw oranges, not flowers, which was rather dangerous if you didn't know one was heading for your head. (I got two because I shamelessly flirted with the orange thrower boys--see above for the leader of the pack.) This parade was really fun, especially because there were no barracades separating you from the performers. The kids all had cans of silly string that they used to spray the floats and the spectators (Jube hid behind me a lot because he had worn his leather jacket and didn't want it to be ruined.) We had a really good time at this parade, although we probably wouldn't do it again because it was so expensive (€14 for entrance into the gardens + parade viewing!). The only downside was that we parked really far away to save more money, but at least we had some exercise.

Finally, as you may remember, yesterday was Valentine's Day. I had to work until 7:45pm, and then there was a backup on the direct line into the city, so I didn't get home until 8:30 or so. Luckily the restaurant we had scoped out earlier served until 11:30pm, so when we got there at 9:30 it was still hopping. It was a Mexican restaurant! I love Mexican food, and it's pretty hard to find in France. In Montpellier, there was only one real Mexican restaurant; in Nice, there are probably about four. The food isn't very different at these restaurants from what you can find in the US; the big difference is the price. I paid €14 for my big plate of flautas, and Jube paid €17.50 for his fajitas. When we had finished our food, I was looking forward to a gooey plate of refried ice cream or something like that, but Jube told me that it was too expensive. I tried to resign myself to the no-dessert ultimatum, and we drove home. Once we got back, Jube opened up the fridge, and there they were--two little cakes from Canet! They were good, too. What a nice present! (Sorry, no pic th
is time--they were scarfed down very quickly.)


Helene said...

Is Valentine'd Day an International Holiday?? On the US news last night they showed the Day of Love being celebrated in Iraq. Nice job, Jube!!

Anonymous said...

Aw, what an awesome time! I am reminded of Valencia and the giant... what do they call them? Y'know. The big things that BURN.

I wish I were rich and could come VISIT YOU.

- N

Karina said...

cool! that sounds like a great weekend! someday i'd love to see the lemon/orange festival, that sounds great. maybe next year ;)

good job catching the flowers, are you one of those people who will battle other well-dressed ladies at a wedding for the bouquet? ;) lol juuust kidding!

Jube said...

Yes, she is. She got the bouquet at the last wedding we went to..sigh..

Gem said...

Untrue. I had no need to push and shove for the bouquet--it came right to me!

Anonymous said...

As the bride who threw that bouquet, I can vouch for gem! Also, N, I too wish that I was rich....and didn't Valencia TOTALLY rock????


Samantha said...

Wow, that sounds like an awesome weekend, everything sounded so fun and interesting!