This is my first trip to Cannes, France. After an amazing EasyJet flight we arrive into Nice France. The four of us take a $90 taxi ride from the airport to our Airbnb in Cannes; about a 30 minute drive. We meet up with Vicki’s friend Angeli, who was staying with us at the Airbnb.
It’s pretty late, about 10:30PM, and we are all starving. There are not many options for late night dining. The only thing we see is a hotel that looks to have a restaurant, the Cannes Palace Hotel. We decided to go in, but they are closed. We ask the receptionist if he had any recommendations, or if he knew of anything still open. He tells us there isn’t much but there is an Italian restaurant still open right around the corner. Parfait (French for perfect).
30 minutes before closing, this lady sees the five of us walking into her restaurant, and she nearly has a heart attack. She tells us if we have 5 minutes to order. So we quickly sat down, and we quickly read over the menu, and quickly ordered. We all get pizza… except for Vicki. Vicki decides she will go with the house specialty, the Sea Bass. What the… Lol
As the food comes out we all start sampling each other’s meals, but that Sea Bass was pretty out of this world. Good choice. Finishing up dinner we decide to just head home since we had an early morning. Tomorrow we are headed to Monte Carlo for the world famous Monaco Grand Prix.
Day 1: A Day Trip to Monaco
It’s the morning of the Monaco Grand Prix, and we want to be at the Cannes train station by 9AM. We are trying to catch the early train to Monte Carlo, Monaco. No trip to the south of france is complete without a trip to Monaco. If you can be there during the Monaco Grand Prix, well even better. We are lucky enough to have this opportunity.
We walk into the Cannes Train station like a gaggle of geese. It doesn’t help that Vanessa just stomps her way down the stairs, as it echos throughout the quiet station. It also doesn’t help that we walk up and down the station like 3 times, trying to figure out what platform we are on, and where to get coffee. #Scene. It was way tooooooo early…for all of us.
We stamp our train tickets and head out to the platform. (Remember to always stamp your ticket before getting on trains in France) We are ready for our one hour train ride to Monaco. Read more about my spring day trip to Monaco for the Monaco Grand Prix.
After the Monaco Grand Prix, we return back to Cannes around 12:30AM. Tonight, I decide it’s best if I sleep with Vicki. Everyone else in the house snores and Vicki doesn’t; bless her heart. Vicki and I hit the bed, and both pass out…hard.
Day 2: A Day Trip to St. Tropez
It is a ruff morning, I am exhausted from the past two days, and my jet lag is kicking in. I didn’t want to move, but we have only 20 min before we have to be out the door. I quickly wake Vicki and the rest of the girls up. I scurry to the bathroom to shower and shave. I get out, and just double check, and Vanessa is still passed out. I wake her up again..and she is salty af that no one got her up before. A) Yes I tried B) I woke your ass up again C) I am not your mom D) Set an Alarm
With 5 min to go, I am ready and waiting on the rest of the girls to finish up. I ask Vanessa if we should bring the bachelorette stuff, as I start gathering it together. She straight up ignores me. Even after she made a scene in Monaco about me not having more fun with it. I look at Vicki, as she is in the room too, because it is beyond awkward. Vicki is hand signaling to me to leave it. Well…Big Gulps.
Finally we are out the door.
Getting from Cannes to St. Tropez
We are in a hurry because we have to catch the ferry that leaves at 9:45AM. I try for an Uber but there are none available. It is now 9:05, and the port is at least a 30 minute walk. No pressure… right. We have to speed walk the shit out of this. Shin splints here we come. Initially I suggested we take a helicopter from Cannes to St. Tropez for $180 a person. That was vetoed.
Leading the pack, we head out towards the water, walking as fast as possible while also trying to avoid being hit by cars. We turn right at the beach promenade, and start making our 30 minute adventure down it. I am so thirsty and hungry, but there is no time. ‘There is never any time’ – Jessie Spano Save by the Bell circa 1993.
After a few hours of extreme fun at Nikki Beach St. Tropez, everything came crashing; harder than Amelia Earhart. An awful argument breaks out between the group, and next thing I know we are being kicked out of Nikki Beach. WTF!? We we return to Cannes around 10 or 11Pm. I am not even sure. I am just ready to get the hell out of the AirBnB. Read more about my trip to St. Tropez.
Cannes Palace Hotel
I basically King Curtis the effe out of the situation. For those of you who don’t know…see below.
I can not be around this toxic enviroment. I feel it best to remove myself, so I pack my bags and got ready to leave. Vicki, Ang and I down a bottle of champagne as we cry and bitch about everything. My husband Matthew, who is in Amsterdam, helps me book a new hotel: The 4 star, Cannes Palace hotel for $109 a night. It is literally right up the street from our AirBnB. Parfait.
Well…. I assume. The Cannes Palace Hotel is not a Palace, nor should it be 4 stars. The Hotel seemed decent from the outside, and the lobby area. However, once you step off the elevator and smell that old musty smell, the hotel just starts getting creepy af.
Walking down the hallway to my room, I feel like I’m walking in the hallway of the hotel in The Shining, where Jack Nicholson sees the twin girls and reddrum written on the wall. . Vicki and Ang trying to make me feel better about the situation: ‘oh this seems nice, oh look you have AC and a balcony….’ Well the AC didn’t work, the wallpaper is peeling off, and the lights in the bathroom had a constant flicker like a cheap motel room. I am living the high life. The Miller High Life.
Feeling like shit the next morning. I call and extend my stay for another night. That’s how shitty I am feeling.
Trip to Cannes France Day 3
Waking up the in the morning, I feel like utter crap. I can barely move, and then I start getting sick. I know I would feel better if I had something in my stomach. I crawl over to the phone and call down and ask for some fresh fruit and toast. The lady who answers the phone is an angel. She mentions they don’t have regular toast, but she can toast a baguette, and asks if I’d like some ginger lemon tea as well. What an angel. Thank you.
I feel so helpless. The food comes, and I shakingly go answer the door and shakingly carry the tray over to my bed. I am so dramatic, but I feel like shit. Cuddling under my sheets, taking the smallest bites, I try and get down as much food as possible. That last bottle of champagne was not needed. I mean at the moment it was, but I am regretting it right now.
Lunch in Cannes
It’s about 1:30PM, and Vicki and Angeli walk up the street to meet me. They munch on the rest of my fruit while I’m finishing getting ready. I am so slow. We then head out in search of some lunch. Hungry, we decide to walk in the direction of places we knew. Or so we thought. Just condo building after condo building, there are no restaurants in sight.
After 15 minutes of walking we find this tiny local spot; about two blocks from the water. This small cafe is filled with old men smoking cigars, drinking their afternoon wine, reading their paper and catching up on gossip. Extremely quaint, we sit outside, under a tree, enjoying the perfect weather and sunshine.
Oh, what’s that I see. Oh yes, it’s mashed potatoes or how the French like to say ‘purée de pomme de terre’. Yes please! Having great conversation, I find out that one of Angeli’s degree is in Japanese…mind blown. Who are you? lol. Fully satisfied, we opt to walk down by the water, and just take it easy.
Luxury Shopping in Cannes
Once we get down to the water, we look in awe at all the luxury stores: Gucci, Celine, Hermès, Mui Mui, Jimmy Choo, and so much more. You want it, you got it.
We start with small boutiques at first, but who are we trying to kid. Go big, or go home. Finding excuses after excuse of why we needed to go in the stores. I was getting married in a few months and need shoes. I did see a pair of Jimmy Choo heels I wanted. Obviously I have to try them on.
Walking into Jimmy Choo, we are instantly in awe of the cinderella show they have on display. It’s a gd glass slipper, for only $4,000. WHAT!!!! Lol We move downstairs, something more within my price range. I select a few shoes to try on. The lady assisting me at Jimmy Choo is sweet; She offers us water and champagne. If there is one thing that goes with luxury shopping, it’s champagne. Whelp, So much for going easy.
I try on several pairs, while our second glass of champagne is being poured. I do find a pair of champagne colored Lance sandals covered with crystals for only $1,800…not bad. JK they are way too much….but they are beautiful.
We continue our shopping extravaganza by going into Hermès. Fun fact Hermès started off making horse saddles. Another fun fact, an average Hermès silk scarf costs about $500 USD, however they do show you all the different ways to tie your silk scarf. So obviously it’s worth the purchase. Joking, but I still want one lol.
After Hermès we seamlessly float over to Gucci. Gushing over my girl crush, Selma Hayak, we talk about how fabulous it must be to be married to the owner of Gucci, Louis etc.. Did I mention I love Selma. Gucci bags, Gucci dresses, Gucci heels, Gucci everything. In the words of 2 Chainz ‘When I die, burry me in a Gucci Store’.
Mui Mui & Celine
We hit up Mui Mui next so Vicki can try on some gemstoned sandals. I was really trying to get her to try on the furry ‘Cousin It’ sandals…but she would not. Whatever. We move to Celine. Angeli is melting over every bag. It is amazing to see how she lights up when we enter the store. It is her happy place. Celine Bags on display tables, Celine Bags hanging on the walls, Celine bags everywhere.
Hotel Majestic in Cannes
Making our way down the Boulevard, we decide to go into one of the Luxury hotels and use their facilities. Hotels always have a plethora of clean and available toilets. Perfect the Majestic hotel, one of the best luxury hotels in Cannes. This place is magnificent. Walking around ground floor, we wandered through the lobby and restaurant before asking for the toilets. Note the toilets at the Majestic Hotel are downstairs from the restaurant.
Sunset in Cannes
Towards the end of the boulevard, we stop for an early evening pick me up: Lattes & espressos. It feels so good to sit down. After our caffeine, we want ice cream. It is unusually hot in Cannes for this time of year. We stop for ice cream at one of the many carts along the beach promenade. It’s just what we need on a hot day.
We continue to venture down the promenade, and all along the walk there are these life size poster cut outs of famous movie characters. Yes, as you may assume, we are stopping at all of them and taking photos. The Terminator. Check. Edward Scissorhands. Check. Luke Skywalker. Check. We are growing more and more excited for each one as we pass by. We carry on with this for well over an hour; all the way to the other end of the beach. We finish off with the most exciting poster cutout, Harry Potter. Yes we are fools.
It is perfect timing, as we reach the east end of Cannes beach. We have a great view of the famous sunsets in the French Riviera. We decide to get our parkour on, and start climbing up on the walls next to the harbor. We walk along the edge, until we find a perfect spot. Three huge flat rocks just for the three of us. Would you look at that. Seriously, the sunset is amazing. We are surrounded by the beach, the mountains in the background, mega yachts, and purple and pink skies. Heavenly.
Dinner in Cannes
Later that evening we head back down to the water, and to the main boulevard for dinner. We don’t see much open, so we choose Le 72 Croisette for dinner; towards the east end of the beach. We see in open table outside, and go to sit down. We are stopped by a skinny, older man who seems all sorts of frantic and stressed. I turn to look at Vicki, who is attempting to use the ‘German hand gesture for the number 3’ while trying to say 3 in French. This is amazing. Annoyed, the guy lets us sit down, and he quickly sends someone to set the table.
The other waiter comes out, he is this chubby scruffy looking old man. We were not sure what to make of him. He brings us menus, but we quickly realize they are in French and we need English menus. The waiter is annoyed, but upon his return, he is super sarcastic and it’s fantastic. More fantastic, because I feel many people outside the US do not get our American sarcasm.
Our food is great as well!
Trip to Cannes, France Day 4
I wake up pretty early this morning and get ready and pack my bags. It is around 11:00AM and I need to check out of the Cannes Palace hotel. It is an interesting hotel to say the least. They have great service but awful amenities; definately not 4 stars.
After check out, I walk down the street, over to the Airbnb to meet Vicki and Ang. They are late getting ready, so I walk over to my new hotel, the Intercontinental Carlton Cannes!!!! The most iconic hotel in Cannes.
Checking into the Intercontinental Carlton Cannes
About a 15 minute walk from our airBnB, I drag my luggage behind me as I made my way down the main street. I am beaming with excitement. I am checking into the Intercontinental Carlton Cannes, one of the most famous hotels in the South of France; maybe the world.
I do feel a little ridiculous walking up to the hotel, versus rolling up in a 6 figure luxury car; like every other person who is checking into the Intercontinental Carlton Cannes. I am also a little annoyed no one comes to assist me with my bags; probably because the staff assumes I am not a guest, as I don’t arrive by Rolls Royce
Check in at the Carlton Cannes is great, and I get an upgrade to an Executive room. Awesome. Excited to go see my room, I follow the most handsome bell hop boy I have ever seen. To all my single ladies he is in his early 20s, tall, with an athletic build, dirty blond hair, blue eyes, and English accent. OK enough, I’m not thirsty.
As I open the door, the room is magnificent; better than I could even imagine. It is large, bright, warm, luxurious and more. The bed is ginormous and super comfortable, the wardrobe is grand with body length mirrors, and the mini fridge…..stacked with Belvedere vodka, Johnny Walker Blue or Red label, and more. And the view….I can see the Mediterranean, the yachts and the harbor. It is a dream. Read my Intercontinental Carlton Cannes review for more about my stay at this luxury hotel.
After having an orgasam over every creves of my room, I get a knock on the door. It’s Vicki and Angeli! They come in and basically melt over everything I did…the room is insane. We debate about whether or not we go to Nice, go to the beach in Cannes or explore the Cannes city center. First thing first, we need to eat. We can figure out our plan over lunch. Angeli uses her trusty phone and Googles this great spot in the town center of Cannes.
Exploring Cannes Town Center
We use Google maps to guide us to the lunch spot, Volupté. Volupté is located in the center of the town; on a street lined with a bunch of other small cafes. Hangry, we are not willing to wait for a table outside, we go inside. The place is tres cute. They serve a bunch of fresh pressed juices and delicious fresh sandwiches. I highly recommend going to Volupté for breakfast or lunch.
We discuss what our next moves are going to be: lay out at the Carlton Cannes Beach, explore the Cannes town center, or go to Nice for the evening. We hard pass on Nice, since it seems like too much work this late in the afternoon, and with the weather looking like it is going to rain… We decide to explore the town center.
Popping in and out of all the little shops, we busy ourselves for a few hours trying on clothes, looking at art, eating macaroons and more. We roam the streets for hours, until we are thirsty. We stop at a corner cafe for some rose. What do you know, it’s literally across from where we had lunch.
There is good amount of people here, so we sit down at a table outside, next to an older gentleman who was alone. It feels great to just sit down, after hours on our feet…shopping does take alot out of you. Exhausted, we fill our glasses to the brim with some refreshing rose. Of course we make a scene doing so. Vicki, cautiously demonstrates how to pour wine like a waitress at a fine dining restaurant, while rose is splashing out everywhere. Sure enough, Angeli and I soon follow suite, and mimic Vicki’s exquisite pouring skills.
We drink, we share stories, we laugh and we drink some more. Soon it is time for our second bottle of rose. Feeling great, I casually sing out, ‘When I die, burry me in a gucci store.’ The girls are all sorts of confused, and I am confused as to why they are confused. They have no idea what I am singing about. Time for me to bust out the rap music videos.
Wouldn’t you know, here we 3 young ladies are, nicely dressed, well spoken, sitting in Cannes at a quaint French cafe, drinking rose outside while watching a 2 Chainz music video. The ‘Birthday Song’ music video by 2 Chainz is amazing, and it is being played at an audible level for all to hear. For those of you who do not know this song watch below:
The best part about watching the music video, is watching the 70 year old man sitting next to us. He is also watching the 2 Chainz video, so intrigued, The guy doesn’t look away, not even blinking.
Finishing our rose, we are ready to make some moves. We walk back towards the water to grab an aperitif on the beach. Wrong. The restaurants along the beach in Cannes seem to close at 5PM in the off season. To the Intercontinental Carlton Cannes terrace we go.
Last Evening in Cannes
We walked through the magnificent Intercontinental carlton Cannes, my new home for the night, out to the terrace restaurant in front. We grab a table, and order some cocktails. Our drinks are delicious; at 26 euros it better be gd delicious. We did get free snacks!
Before we know it the sun was starting to set. Suckers for a great sunset, we go buy a bottle of Rose and walk down to the rocks to watch the sunset in Cannes for one last night. When the sun goes down, we walk around to find a place for dinner. It is pretty late on a Tuesday and one of the only places still open in the off season is this Lebanese restaurant. Great garlic chicken wings!
Day 5 in the French Rivera
I walk over to the AirBnB to say goodbye to the Vicki and Angeli. I help them pack up and go with them to the train station for my final goodbye. They are running super late, and of course Ang’s phone dies and her Credit Card company blocks her because she is in France….It was one thing after ther other. I offer to run up the street to my old stomping grounds, the Cannes Palace Hotel. I figured if anything, perhaps the hotel could call me a taxi for them. What do you know they do. That service 🙂
The taxi pulls up, and takes us to the Train Station. Vicki and Ang make their train to Paris with 5 min to spear! No pressure. Lol.
Solo traveling in the French Riviera
After they leave, I make my way back towards the water. With some time to waste, I decide to walk along the water and grab an ice cream. I usually get a cup of ice cream vs a cone, but I decided on a cone for some reason…bad choice. 10 min later, half the ice cream is down my arm, on my legs and feet…I’m a mess. Im rinsing myself off with my bottled water in the middle of the street of Cannes. Classy. Still hungry, I go back to the same place I had Lunch yesterday with Vicki and Ang. It is so delicious, I want more.
Finishing up lunch, I pay and journey back to the Intercontinental. With more time than I anticipate, I get a drink at the Carlton Cannes Beach restaurant. It is beautiful out, I enjoy a refreshing Gin and Tonic with some free snacks, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, littered with yachts. Life is not so bad.
Getting my bags, I had a Latte in the Lobby bar while I wait for my Uber. I drink my latte while eavesdropping on everyone with in listening distance. Apparently Queen Beatric of Monaco is at my hotel, and they are putting on a special event for her. What? A Queen? With me? No wonder this is the most expensive Latte I have ever sipped on; 17 euros!!!! – insert Matthew telling me to get a job.
Getting From Cannes to Nice
It’s about 2:30PM, I get my Uber and I am dropped off at the train station; 10 min away. I could take the Uber from Cannes to Nice for about 60 euros, but the train is $7 and I don’t have to deal with traffic.
Walking into the train station, I can not find my train on the board..not this again. I am not sure if the information on the display is old, or if I am so flustered that I can not read the train board. Regardless, and clueless, I find some security officer to ask. The guard politely points me in the direction of where I need to go, and he indicates it’s platform 2 and that I will need to validate my ticket. Awesome.
I get to platform two but now I don’t know which way to go. I look for young person. My thought is most young adults in France know how to speak English. Perfect I find someone, and she tells me that both trains will go to Nice, but take the train on the furthest side as it is a more direct route and half the time, about 30 minutes.
Arriving into Gare de Nice Ville, I follow the herd of people, and exit the station. I walk out into a large open square, with Gare du Nice behind me, and across from me is a street lined with shops and restaurants. Not the cleanest of areas, I venture out into the city to see what I can find.
Walking to the end of the street, I turn the corner and follow the tram line down towards the water. I am mostly looking for a quaint cafe with outlets; my phone battery is at .01% power…story of my life.
At the end of the street I come up to a row of outdoor cafes. I choose the one at the end, as it had the best views and it seemed like the most traditional. I walk inside and I am instantly greeted with smiles and Bon jours. I politely ask for an outlet in broken French and Voila… my poor phone is getting the juice it needs.
I set up shop at small table in the cafe, next to the open doors. I order wine and some olives, and just gaze off people watching. I feel so at ease in this very moment. Which is weird because I hate being by myself, but there is something just so calming and serene about this very moment.
I site here for a few hours, ordering several more glasses of wine. Initially I want to walk around and explore more, but I am so content. I start writing, but mostly just relaxing. All I need is a long cigarette, and I would be the Frech stereotype. After a few more hours, it is now 6:30PM and I need to get an Uber to head to the airport.
The Uber ride is a quick 15 minute drive from the Nice city center to the airport. The Nice airport is new and clean, but there isn’t much going on inside. If you are flying out of France, you will have to go through an extra security check point. The check point isn’t the issue, but after the checkpoint there is not much (if anything) for food and drink. I was planning on eating dinner at the airport. Wrong. I am starving. I pay 30 euros to use the lounge upstairs, so I can at least drink my hunger away… and snack on apple sauce until it was time for my flight.
The flight is a short 1 hour flight to Amsterdam. I am HOME!!!!!
Until next time…