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Oct. 10, Thursday: Workshop Logistics: testing 1…2…3.

I accomplished a major feat today (not feet!) – I figured out how to take the bus to the villa and I did a test run. Now I know where the villa is, and I also checked out a restaurant near it. I also got a bus map and some bus schedules. Now that piece is making good sense in my mind, and I can do some further planning.   It just occurred to me that some of you reading this might not know what I mean by the “villa.” I am teaching a workshop here in Nice from Oct. 20 to 27, and 15 of us have rented a large villa up in the hills some distance from the center of Nice. We found it on the internet and none of us have ever been there, so it is something of a risk. But I think it’s going to be great. Stay tuned for photos after the 20th. I woke up this morning, Thursday, around 6:15, even though I really wanted to sleep later. But that’s OK, since I was able to get to Starbucks when it opened at 8:30. Couldn’t get my corner table with the plug in, but did get a table out of the fray. Bought a muffin and finished and published the post for Wednesday – all caught up. I also did a lot of emailing and checking my email files for workshop information. So many arrangements with so many people. And now I am thinking that I will do a major rearrangement and restructuring of the workshop week schedule. I’ve learned so much in the last four days – wow! has it really only been 4 days that I’ve been here? Feels much longer. Every day I get a little more familiar with the city, with the sights, with where to get coffee, and food, and free wifi. And now I am tackling how to get around on public transportation. I’ve never really used buses any place I’ve lived or visited and, I have to admit, I was rather intimidated by it. But it began making sense today. I’ve traveled by train more often at home – to NYC in particular – and I’ve traveled a fair amount by train here in France on this trip, so my confidence has increased with that. It’s all about practice. It doesn’t matter what it is, the universal principal is that everything requires practice. Duh…any application to making art here??? I stayed at Starbucks till about 11, then I walked up Avenue Jean Medecin, turned left onto Avenue Thiers, and found the bus stop for bus #’s 64 and 75, to take me to the villa – I hoped. According to my bus schedule I was way too early, so I took a little walk down the street and stopped in a store looking for a pad of lined paper – no luck. Then I went back to the bus stop, where I had to wait about half an hour more, because I wanted to watch and see what it was all like. Really, not much to it, but the longer I hung around and watched people getting on and off the buses and running to catch them but missing, the more comfortable I got – even though I couldn’t picture where it was I was going. Finally the bus arrived and I fumbled my way through paying and validating my ticket (two tries, I keep putting it in upside down) and showing the bus driver the name of the restaurant I wanted to get off at, Mas Des Oliviers, since I didn’t know the name of the stop. All went well, I got off at the right place, after a little confusion and looking around I found the villa, and I spoke with a man at Mas Des Oliviers restaurant and told him about my group and he welcomed me to take photos. I’ll post a few here. Then I had to wait about half an hour to take the bus back, so I amused myself by taking some photos – I have included only one because, as I have mentioned way too many times, this blog takes a long time to do! Finally the bus arrived and I headed back down to the Nice train station. More relaxed now that I had achieved my goal, I watched out the window to note the route. To my surprise, we passed by the Russian Cathedral, a place I have on my list to visit. So, when the bus dropped me off at the train station (I could have gotten off earlier, but this was a test run for the workshop group), I retraced the bus route on foot. I have included some photos of my walk here, just to show you a more “ordinary” part of Nice, not so touristy, more everyday city. The buildings are not special historical sights, just buildings in use in regular living. And I found the Russian Cathedral, after a stop at a boulangerie to fuel up with a delicious mushroom quiche, but the Cathedral was closed, although it was a day when it is usually open. This is a gross generalization, but I have found that this happens quite frequently in France – things are not open at a time when it is published that they are open. One needs to be a bit more relaxed here. I will go back to the Russian Cathedral another time. I wanted to continue to explore the more ordinary, everyday parts of Nice, so I chose to walk down Blvd Gambetta toward the sea to the Promenade Des Anglais, then back to my apartment. I didn’t take any photos of this street, guess I was getting tired. But when I took a left at the Promenade (actually, across the street from the Promenade. The Promenade Des Anglais is only for walking, biking, rollerblading. Then there is 4 lanes of traffic. Then there is the sidewalk I was walking on – I’ll look up the proper name on the map. But not right now. I’m in this little French cafe, trying to blend! 😉 ). So, as I was saying, when I took a left at the Promenade I found myself at the Musee Massena and I decided to go in. This happens a lot. I think I am out to do one thing and then I end up doing several others that simply present themselves along the way. Rather like life, no? Well, the Musee Massena was also closed on a day when it was supposed to be open. But the garden is beautiful and has lots of benches and it screams “art studio!” Once again, I headed for my apartment. At the corner where I turn left to go into my street is a cafe with sidewalk tables (actually, they ALL have outside tables here), and I practically bumped into one of the waiters, so I asked him if they have free wifi – only curious, not planning to stay at that moment. But he was off and came back with a piece of paper with the wifi code on it, so I sat down and ordered a cafe creme and worked on this blog post. The blog site was sluggish so I didn’t do any photos, I just wrote. Then…when I tried to save a draft, it hung up and lost everything I had written!!! Yikes!!! Tired and frustrated, I returned to my apartment, had some supper, and rested. Well, I call it supper, but my eating times match no one’s. It was about 4:00. At 5:30 I was back at the Nicetoile sitting in Starbucks, surrounded by a continuous crowd, crying babies, barking dogs, and the noises of construction right next door. I worked on this blog post until they asked me to leave at closing time at 7:30 p.m. I hadn’t done the writing, only the photos. Back at the apartment, I worked on my own art and my workshop planning at the same time, going back and forth between the two, until 10 p.m. Then some reading, as always, and asleep by 11. It is now Friday morning at 9 a.m. (I slept till 7:15 this morning! Perhaps I am losing the gardener’s schedule at last.) I’m going to publish this post, then eat my croissant and then head off on today’s adventure.
This is the bus stop where we will get off to go to the villa: Saint-Pierre-de-Feric. We will take bus #64 or #75 from the bus stop near the train staion, in front of the Ibis Hotel (photo later). The bus ride is about 20 minutes. For those of you joining me in Nice for the workshop Oct. 20-27, I will be in touch via email soon with more details - I'm still working it all out.

This is the bus stop where we will get off to go to the villa: Saint-Pierre-de-Feric. We will take bus #64 or #75 from the bus stop near the train staion, in front of the Ibis Hotel (photo later). The bus ride is about 20 minutes. For those of you joining me in Nice for the workshop Oct. 20-27, I will be in touch via email soon with more details – I’m still working it all out.

Across the street from where the bus drops us off is this restaurant: Mas Des Oliviers. I stopped in and talked with a man who was there and told him about our group. He was very welcoming and invited me to take photos - I'll show you a couple.

Across the street from where the bus drops us off is this restaurant: Mas Des Oliviers. I stopped in and talked with a man who was there and told him about our group. He was very welcoming and invited me to take photos – I’ll show you a couple.

View from the bus stop Saint-Pierre-de-Feric, looking in the opposite direction from Mas Des Oliviers restaurant.

View from the bus stop Saint-Pierre-de-Feric, looking in the opposite direction from Mas Des Oliviers restaurant.

It is a short walk from the bus stop to the villa at 28-30 Corniche des Oliviers, "La Citronneraie." Here is the gate. I couldn't see the villa because the wall to the left of the gate conceals it. Looking through the gate, I could only see the driveway and some cars.

It is a short walk from the bus stop to the villa at 28-30 Corniche des Oliviers, “La Citronneraie.” Here is the gate. I couldn’t see the villa because the wall to the left of the gate conceals it. Looking through the gate, I could only see the driveway and some cars.

Front patio of Mas Des Oliviers.

Front patio of Mas Des Oliviers.

Inside dining room of Mas Des Oliviers.

Inside dining room of Mas Des Oliviers.

Bar of Mas Des Oliviers.

Bar of Mas Des Oliviers.

Poolside patio at Mas Des Oliviers. Seems like this is also a hotel, but I didn't think to ask when I was there.

Poolside patio at Mas Des Oliviers. Seems like this is also a hotel, but I didn’t think to ask when I was there.

Return bus stop next to Mas Des Oliviers: to catch the bus to go into downtown Nice.

Return bus stop next to Mas Des Oliviers: to catch the bus to go into downtown Nice.

View sitting at the bus stop.

View sitting at the bus stop.

Just one of the many photos I took to amuse myself while waiting for my bus back to Nice.

Just one of the many photos I took to amuse myself while waiting for my bus back to Nice.

Poste Thiers bus stop: where I got both on and off the bus to the villa. This stop is near the Hotel Ibis and the train station. Photo taken after I returned from the villa.

Poste Thiers bus stop: where I got both on and off the bus to the villa. This stop is near the Hotel Ibis and the train station. Photo taken after I returned from the villa.

Interesting building on Ave. Thiers, the street the train station is on - don't know what it is, I don't think it has any claim to fame - I just saw it as I was walking to the Russian Cathedral. Just wanted to show you a different part of the city.

Interesting building on Ave. Thiers, the street the train station is on – don’t know what it is, I don’t think it has any claim to fame – I just saw it as I was walking to the Russian Cathedral. Just wanted to show you a different part of the city.

Still walking on Ave Thiers, on my way to the Russian Cathedral - lovely building, great tree!

Still walking on Ave Thiers, on my way to the Russian Cathedral – lovely building, great tree!

Boulangerie I stopped in at the intersection of Ave Thier and Blvd Gambetta. Excellent mushroom quiche that I ate at one of the sidewalk tables out front.

Boulangerie I stopped in at the intersection of Ave Thier and Blvd Gambetta. Excellent mushroom quiche that I ate at one of the sidewalk tables out front.

Inside the boulangerie.

Inside the boulangerie.

Small park on Blvd du Tzarewitch, the street the Russian Cathedral is on.

Small park on Blvd du Tzarewitch, the street the Russian Cathedral is on.

The Russian Cathedral, unfortunately closed today. I'll have to go back some other time.

The Russian Cathedral, unfortunately closed today. I’ll have to go back some other time.

The garden at the Musee Massena, a great art "studio."

The garden at the Musee Massena, a great art “studio.”

An empty bench at the Musee Massena, just waiting for one of my workshop students. Email me for reservations! ;)

An empty bench at the Musee Massena, just waiting for one of my workshop students. Email me for reservations! 😉

Charles Waters
October 15th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Hi Debbie, I’m doing prep for our stay with you at the Villa and I decide to google “what bus should i take from center of nice, france to 30 corniche des oliviers”. And you blog is the first hit on the list. Wonderful information…I can’t wait to explore Nice and your information just save me much research time. Danielle and I are looking forward to seeing you all. Charles

October 16th, 2013 at 6:49 am

Hi Charles, Wow, I so surprised about that! But I’m glad my info is accurate. Please do more research though, I welcome any and all help from all of you. I’ve never been here before and there is so much to learn! Glad you guys are almost here, can’t wait to share this adventure with all of you! See you Sunday.

Martha
October 13th, 2013 at 1:24 am

So much preparation for a workshop! You are doing a great job of getting yourself ready and giving images ahead of time for your participants to get oriented, and without a native tour guide. What an accomplishment…..bravo…tres bien, etc.

Laura
October 12th, 2013 at 1:39 pm

I continue to be so impressed at how you’re navigating, literally and otherwise, a foreign land. Your writing and photos clearly convey the transition from seaside town to busy city. This alone must be daunting. Then throw in the workshop logistics and what a task! But we all know it will be a wonderful workshop, as your workshops always are.

Marie Fortin
October 12th, 2013 at 7:09 am

It sounds like you’ve been busy. I wonder if some of the closed sites have off season hours, that aren’t listed in the brochures. Yes, do reserve that bench for me at the Place Massena as I will need to sit down and rest after all the walking around. There seems to be plenty of room for me to spread out my materials on the ground and get a good seat for class.
Thanks Debi, can’t wait, 9 days and counting.
Marie

Jan
October 11th, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Good job,Debi! Will be looking forward to your next email regarding the workshop. We’re leaving Lyon for the Loire Valley tomorrow and hopefully for better weather by the time we all meet up in Nice. Brrr. Excellent idea about creating a central meeting place on Sunday. You’re cooking, lady! PS I know what you mean about the veggies; unfortunately we have no kitchen facilities to cook them in.

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Debi Pendell Artist by debipendell.com