|Chagall must have been having "women issues".|
|Interesting fountain. You figure out the meaning!|
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go to St. Paul de Vence, an ancient city, famous for the Belarussian-Russian-French artist, Marc Chagall. Did you know that his last painting was done at 97 years old and it was a premonition of his life after death? The painting was a reunion with his first wife and his self portrait had wings. He died 3 days later.
ANYWAY. My new artist friend, offered to give me a ride to Vence where she dropped me off in the town center and went on to her prior engagement. I was to meet her at the same spot at 5:30 that evening for pick up back to AIX en Provence. Well, guess what! It never happened.
I spent the day at the Foundation Maeght, a beautiful contemporary art museum and garden at the top of the hill.....(seriously, it was an 85 degree incline) near the historic village of St Paul de Vence. I felt like I had climbed Mt. Everest. Once I recovered, I was privileged to chat with a very friendly gallery owner, who's family owned gallery had been in existence for generations. He had an original Picasso and several Chagall paintings. I was a starstruck old American lady. (I wanted to say middle aged...but....)
Once my visit was over, I headed back to the bus stop. Wanted to be sure I didn't miss that bus for my ride. Oh SUE!!!! What have you done? I GOT ON THE RIGHT BUS.....IN THE WRONG DIRECTION!!! What is it with me and BUSES and French directions and French schedules!!!!!
After about 15 minutes on the bus, I walked up to the bus driver ..."are we going back to Vence?" He looked at me like...."You pitiful American!" I ended up in Nice. Say it...with a French accent. Does that sound the same to you? VENCE. NICE. VENCE. NICE. Anyway, Nice, that beautiful Cote d'azur city. By the time I got there, I had decided not to panic. I had resolved that I probably wasn't going "home" that night, called my friend and said, "travel on, my friend. I'm in Nice." So I checked into a Meridian Hotel.
Ok...the Meredian. I honestly thought..."what's the worse that can happen?" I have a credit card. So I asked the receptionist, "what is your best rate?" She looked for a while and said, "I can offer you a $500 executive room. That's all I have." Then, I politely said...."Would you mind pulling up the train schedule? I need to get back to Aix...tonight!" We both laughed. Then, I asked....and where can I get something to drink? "Ah, Oui, Madame, over there." I "proudly" walked on over and ordered a Tangueray and tonic (besides, I needed to plug in and recharge my phone) and thought, "Relax, Sue. Relax. It's only money". It was now about 7:00 pm.
After the T&T set in, I saw lots of "group" tourists there in the lounge. Tons of retirees, with plans that had been made for them...like luxury clients sipping on their "whatevers." It reminded me of when my husband and I were on our award trips and everything was paid for. Top of the line...everything planned and perfect. All we had to do was show up. Why do I always have to do things the hard way? Here I was in my disgusting, mint green, sweaty tank top and linen skirt with no place to stay, no husband, no friends around, and, for a nano second, I sighed...."oh, how nice to be taken care of." Then, I came to my senses! I let go of my anxieties and pulled up my trusty "Kayak" to find some hotel quotes. GUESS WHAT? There was the Meredian for $200. Ah- ha! I quickly snagged the room online and went back over to the front desk. What a great moment that was! So I put on my giant black sunglasses, pointed up my nose, and pranced off to my "Nice" soft bed...with clean sheets...I couldn't wait. Everything else could wait until morning.
|The Phyllis Diller look! No brush, no clothes, no toothbrush,|
just a cell phone and credit card!
What happened was, I got on the bus to Antibes with a few other people and got off in the town center. Figured I could have a nice lunch, do some sketchbook drawing, then head back. When I got off, I found myself completely lost along with two young girls from Spain. They were adorable! I was their mother! They spoke Spanish. I spoke English. None of us spoke French very well. So we bonded! Both of them happened to be in Fine Arts school in Spain. SO COOL!!!!! They weren't even embarrassed to hang with me. We were LOST IN TRANSLATION together! We went to the Police station hoping to get a map or directions to the tourist information office. Not a chance! The officers took us to the back to show us a map that was taped to the wall. We snapped a picture with our cell phones. That was somewhat helpful but..seriously, who can read a map that small on their cell phone? Can't you just envision it! They didn't understand a word, nor did they know where the tourist information office was. ..or if it even existed. One of the girls, asked for directions to the historic city center...he looked confused...I said..."You know...the OLD city...like me!" He said, "Ah. OLD!". He got it. Man! Was that a blow for me!
Last but not least was at the end of the day when I met a beautiful woman from IRAN. She was working for the Canadian Consulate in Turkey. What a beautiful woman inside and out! I could go on about her culture but there is not enough time. All I can say...is..don't believe the media.... that...if the Iranian people are like her......it must be a beautiful culture of people.
Today was even better than art!