Everyday, I could walk around the block and pick up an almond croissant. Unbelievable texture and taste. An abundant almond creme filling.
We quickly adapted to the Nice/Paris on the water lifestyle. We're just about to head out for a nice little swim in the Mediterranean SEA.
Bike riding has returned to the bike-station to bike-station frenzy of riding. Here's what happens: 1. Before we leave the apartment, Tony checks the website to see which stations have available bikes. There are four bike stations pretty close in every direction from our apartment.
2.We head out to the station with the best odds. Yesterday, it was a sea-front location with 9 bikes. Once the decision is made, we rush out the door....But within the 5 minutes it took to get there, only two remained, one of which didn't have pedals.
3. We go on a hunt for ridable bikes. Bike racks are everywhere, so this isn't a big deal.
4. We start the process of checking out a bike on what is a unique electronic monitor. "Bonjour Tony" we are greeted after flashing our chip embedded cards. And then the proverbial: "Patienz."
While patient, we choose our bike, take out a large, heavy black chain, Tony sets his watch, and we ride off to find a bike path. The French are very kind and cooperative when you follow their rules, but when you don't, or when ride in the opposite traffic direction on a one way street, it's another story.
5. The beloved brain usually knows where all the bike paths are. Usually. Occasionally, the French close off certain roads which throws the brain--remember the pork muffin? But he quickly finds an alternative route. This is where the race against money and time comes in.
6. From bike station to bike station, we only have 30 minutes. One minute over-time (up to 30 minutes) accrues an added charge of one euro. This equals approximately $1.50. Per minute, this is an exorbitant charge. At one hour, it adds another euro and so forth. But when we barely make it back in time, sometimes with only seconds left, it is a cheap thrill. We often ride in at 27-30 minutes. The monitor lets us know time and "No charge."
7. Sometimes, we arrive at a bike station with two minutes left and no space to check in a bike! Is there an accomodation for this? Non! At least in Paris, if one returns a bike to a bike station on a very steep hill, one receives a reward: an extra time credit. But Nice is merciless.