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Oct. 21, Monday: The Nice Workshop Begins.

First, just in case he is reading this blog, I want to say Happy Birthday to my son, Justin. His birthday is October 20, and I didn’t do a post about that day, the day everyone was arriving for the workshop. Carl and I sat in the lobby of the Hotel Ibis while our group arrived in singles and doubles to drop off their luggage while they went out to get a few groceries to bring to the villa, then they came back with those groceries to wait with us for the bus. It was a long day, but fun, as everyone got to meet each other and get to know each other. The bus ride to the villa went smoothly, but was very comical as it was 15 of us with luggage and groceries in a bus already full of lots of people. Our evening at the villa was very busy with settling in and having a casual supper of wine, cheese, bread, and chocolate…well, what did you expect?!   But I am getting away from my main message: Justin, happy birthday and I love you with all my heart. Carl and I can’t wait to see you in November for a belated celebration. Hugs!! Now, Monday, Oct. 21: We all managed to find coffee, tea, and breakfast in our new kitchen and we made the 10 a.m. bus. Our walk from the villa to the bus stop is treacherous, and that is no exaggeration. It is a very narrow winding road with two-way traffic and they drive it like bats out of hell. There are no sidewalks and a cliff on one side (thank goodness, with a fence in front of it, and walls on the other. We have to walk single file and yell out every time, “Car coming!!!” so everyone can hug the sides. But so far so good. We might not have rented it had we known this, but we are truly enjoying the villa itself, so we will save that final judgement till the end of the week as we see how it all goes. Once in downtown Nice we hopped on the tram that took us to Place Massena where we hooked up with June and Joe, who are staying in a hotel. They have a rental car and join us in the evenings and meet up with us in a predetermined place in the mornings. Once all together we took a walk down rue Massena, a main tourist/restaurant/shopping/pedestrian-only street, then on to the street where my apartment was, rue Halevy, then to the Promenade Des Anglais for a short stretch, where we stopped at a beach restaurant and made a reservation for lunch and walked down to the water for just a brief time. Then we went to Cours Saleya for the Antiques Market, and after that I took them on a tour of the Old City. Tired and hungry, we then went to our lunch right on the beach. The food was excellent, the sun shone, and we had a fabulous art session. Realizing that I had put too much in the day (a common error for me), I ditched our afternoon plans and we sat on benches on the Promenade Des Anglais and listened to a busker playing the cello while we had a second art session. Then we went to Monoprix grocery store on rue Jean Medecin and we all bought more wine, cheese, bread, and chocolate (yes, we bought other things, but this makes a better story, don’t you think?) In the evening we swam in the heated pool, sat in the hot tub, ate, drank, and talked. No photos of that, sorry, I was beat! I am two days behind and am struggling to even write this one, so no promises. This fearless leader is so busy leading that she has little time to blog (but I have found time to swim, hot tub, and drink wine, I admit). But I will try to keep writing. I am going to publish this mistakes and all.
We are on our way! After meeting up at the Hotel Ibis, and a bit of a wait at the bus stop, 15 out of the total 17 of us (2 are staying in a hotel and join up with us somewhere every day) crowded onto a 22 seat bus with all our luggage plus groceries. Many of us needed to stand, but here are a few of the lucky ones who scored seats.

We are on our way! After meeting up at the Hotel Ibis, and a bit of a wait at the bus stop, 15 out of the total 17 of us (2 are staying in a hotel and join up with us somewhere every day) crowded onto a 22 seat bus with all our luggage plus groceries. Many of us needed to stand, but here are a few of the lucky ones who scored seats.

Here's a couple of our group who had to stand, and I was one of them, so I wasn't able to really get good photos of this rather hilarious ride. Rather than stand, I should say those of us who were flung about with the constant twisting and turning of the bus on these narrow mountain roads. And we had all the luggage stacked about us, which we were attempting to keep from rolling and tipping all over the bus. The couple of French people using the bus were, in turns, puzzled, helpful, annoyed, intimidated, and amused by this crazy crew who had taken over their, probably, normal routine bus ride. We apologized to all of them.

Here’s a couple of our group who had to stand, and I was one of them, so I wasn’t able to really get good photos of this rather hilarious ride. Rather than stand, I should say those of us who were flung about with the constant twisting and turning of the bus on these narrow mountain roads. And we had all the luggage stacked about us, which we were attempting to keep from rolling and tipping all over the bus. The couple of French people using the bus were, in turns, puzzled, helpful, annoyed, intimidated, and amused by this crazy crew who had taken over their, probably, normal routine bus ride. We apologized to all of them.

15 out of 17, stepping out into Nice!!! Unfortunately, two of our group were under the weather and joined us around 2:30 in the afternoon, but we didn't think to take a new photo at that point. Perhaps today.

15 out of 17, stepping out into Nice!!! Unfortunately, two of our group were under the weather and joined us around 2:30 in the afternoon, but we didn’t think to take a new photo at that point. Perhaps today.

The first thing we did was take a quick tour of Place Massena, rue Massena, a brief part of the Promenade Des Anglais, the Antiques Market on Cours Saleya, a few streets of the Old City, then we went to lunch.

The first thing we did was take a quick tour of Place Massena, rue Massena, a brief part of the Promenade Des Anglais, the Antiques Market on Cours Saleya, a few streets of the Old City, then we went to lunch.

In this photo and the one before we are walking rue Massena. Marcia looks surprised and delighted, doesn't she? Actually, she was clowning for the camera.

In this photo and the one before we are walking rue Massena. Marcia looks surprised and delighted, doesn’t she? Actually, she was clowning for the camera.

My "home." Well, not any more. I'm showing everyone the apartment I lived in for 2 weeks, well...the door to the apartment.

My “home.” Well, not any more. I’m showing everyone the apartment I lived in for 2 weeks, well…the door to the apartment.

Hittin' the beach for the first time! Just a brief stop, then on to the Old City and the Antiques Market.

Hittin’ the beach for the first time! Just a brief stop, then on to the Old City and the Antiques Market.

Another checking out the beach shot, plus a getting reacquainted shot. Some people have never met. Others only see each other once a year at the April Retreat. Others see each other about once a month at the Independent Study Workshops.

Another checking out the beach shot, plus a getting reacquainted shot. Some people have never met. Others only see each other once a year at the April Retreat. Others see each other about once a month at the Independent Study Workshops.

Jan and Ron at the Antiques Market. The assignment to the students was to find one thing to use in the art session that would take place at the restaurant after lunch. By the way, the nine women in the group are the students, and the men are our support system - and so far are doing a fantastic job!

Jan and Ron at the Antiques Market. The assignment to the students was to find one thing to use in the art session that would take place at the restaurant after lunch. By the way, the nine women in the group are the students, and the men are our support system – and so far are doing a fantastic job!

Sam and Elizabeth hunting for treasure at the Antiques Market.

Sam and Elizabeth hunting for treasure at the Antiques Market.

I found a treasure! But not for art work; an inexpensive but lovely pin to hold my buttonless sweater together when it gets chilly in the evenings here.

I found a treasure! But not for art work; an inexpensive but lovely pin to hold my buttonless sweater together when it gets chilly in the evenings here.

The fearless leader fearlessly leading.

The fearless leader fearlessly leading.

Touring the Old City, while trying NOT to look like a tour group.

Touring the Old City, while trying NOT to look like a tour group.

We had an incredible lunch right on the beach!! The food was gourmet. The sun shone. It was warm and the Mediterranean Sea was right there. Wonderful!

We had an incredible lunch right on the beach!! The food was gourmet. The sun shone. It was warm and the Mediterranean Sea was right there. Wonderful!

Here we are again from another angle.

Here we are again from another angle.

And after lunch, we had a 15 minute art making session.

And after lunch, we had a 15 minute art making session.

And here's the other table hard at work.

And here’s the other table hard at work.

Bossy, bossy, bossy.

Bossy, bossy, bossy.

After our lunch art session we walked along the Promenade Des Anglais, stopped on these benches, and had a second art session while listening to a busker playing the cello, with the view of the sea before us. Here is Margaret is in the blue and white, with Ken in black beside her. Karen in in brown and her husband, Gerry, is in red beside her.

After our lunch art session we walked along the Promenade Des Anglais, stopped on these benches, and had a second art session while listening to a busker playing the cello, with the view of the sea before us. Here is Margaret is in the blue and white, with Ken in black beside her. Karen in in brown and her husband, Gerry, is in red beside her.

Jan on the left and Marie on the right. The guy on the far right is not part of our entourage.

Jan on the left and Marie on the right. The guy on the far right is not part of our entourage.

Elizabeth and her husband Sam.

Elizabeth and her husband Sam.

Danielle. I didn't get photos of everyone at each activity, but hopefully overall I will include everyone over the week's time.

Danielle. I didn’t get photos of everyone at each activity, but hopefully overall I will include everyone over the week’s time.

A photo of our living/dining room in the early morning with the sun just coming up and a little of the view and a bit of our heated swimming pool. I will get some better photos of our villa for you as the week goes on. Monday and Tuesday have been so busy, changeable, fun and wild. I haven't taken enough photos, haven't written enough and I'm two days behind on this blog...or is it three?

A photo of our living/dining room in the early morning with the sun just coming up and a little of the view and a bit of our heated swimming pool. I will get some better photos of our villa for you as the week goes on. Monday and Tuesday have been so busy, changeable, fun and wild. I haven’t taken enough photos, haven’t written enough and I’m two days behind on this blog…or is it three?

A view in the opposite direction. We have pulled the white-covered dining chairs into the living room so that we can all sit around together and visit and talk. Obviously, I'm the only fool up this early on this day!

A view in the opposite direction. We have pulled the white-covered dining chairs into the living room so that we can all sit around together and visit and talk. Obviously, I’m the only fool up this early on this day!

Laura
October 25th, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Thanks for sending this Debi!

It’s fun to see familiar faces. I’m sure it’s been a whirlwind week, but equally sure everyone’s having a great time!!

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Debi Pendell Artist by debipendell.com