Changes and a Challenge

Hey all, I’m back!  Hope you weren’t too bored stiff by that series of posts.  No worries, next will be travel ones about a couple places my boyfriend and I went 🙂 Until then… an update!

As stated in the title, there have been a couple of changes in the life of Kelsey (la vie de Kelsey…bahaha).  One of the biggest is that I changed the date of my return ticket to the US.  Like I mentioned here, I bought a round-trip ticket, and I chose the arbitrary return date of May 23.  I knew my contract ended on April 30, and I wanted to have a few weeks to travel before I came back to the US.  However, what I didn’t know was that I would be done teaching April 12 (HOLY COW THAT’S A MONTH FROM TODAY); French schools happen to have a two-week break at the end of April!  Technically I should have to teach April 29 and 30 but I don’t have any classes on Tuesdays, and I doubt they’ll make me come in on Monday; they always need me less the week after breaks, but even if they do ask me to come in, it’s only for a few hours.

Therefore, I changed my return ticket to come back to the States on May 2.  I did this for several reasons:

  • It only cost 50 bucks to change my ticket.  Thanks, STA Travel!
  • My sister is due to have a baby in mid-May (AUNT KELSEY!!!) and I really want to be home before the baby is born.
  • Six weeks to travel/hang around Nice while not working, especially when my friends probably won’t be around, is an incredibly long time and will probably cause me to spend all the rest of the money I have saved.
  • I’ll still have nearly three weeks free after I’m done teaching to travel wherever else I want to go.
  • I’m applying for jobs and I feel like I’ll have a better chance of getting one if I’m actually in the US to interview, and many teaching jobs will be interviewing during the month of May.

The other big change was in my mindset once my boyfriend left last week.  For some reason, it made me realize, “Wow, I really don’t have that much longer here…I need to live it up!!”  It was probably a combination of talking with him about how much longer I’ll be here, and the fact that I changed my ticket to come back three weeks earlier. This realization just re-motivated me to make the most of the time I have left in beautiful France.

And now for the challenge part of the post… one day while my boyfriend was here we went on a mad hunt in Vieux Nice to find this bag that I had seen someone with once.  It was a typical French Riviera souvenir bag, but most of the ones I’ve seen have the names of all the Cote d’Azur towns on them: Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Eze, etc.  This one bag I saw instead had the names of a bunch of well-known places in Nice on it, and I thought it was so cool, and would be a good way to remember the city of Nice!  After striking out at a bunch of places, we finally spotted one at one store, but it was black and gold, which isn’t really my thing.  I took a picture of the storefront so I could come back if I decided to and we kept going.  Luckily, after just a little more looking we managed to find the same bag, but in more “me” colors!  Here it is:


Yes, Jennie and Mom, your cards are stuck up behind my mirror before they get up on my love wall.

I realize it’s kinda hard to read, but it was dark out when I took the picture so I had to have my bedroom light on.  Oh and yes hanging on my closet door hinge IS its permanent home, thankyouverymuch.  Bag + wall hanging = double win.  Plus, it’s not like I’m gonna carry this bag around Nice… I’d hate to look like a tourist!!

So I was SUPER happy to find the bag and once I got it home and started looking at it, I realized that I haven’t been to, and don’t even know about, several of the places on the bag!  I decided then to make it my mission to go to as many of those places before I left as I could.  Also, in the weeks before my boyfriend got here, I started making a list of things to do in Nice, as well as towns near Nice and what there is to do there.  We went to/did many of them, but there are still several I’d like to do.  So without further ado, here is my (by no means exhaustive) list of things to do in Nice and the surrounding area.

On the bag: Cours Saleya, Port, Place Massena, Promenade des Anglais, Vieux Nice, Carnaval, Musee Chagall et Matisse, Le Chateau, Jazz Cimiez, Opera, Baie des Anges, Bataille de fleurs, Marche aux fleurs, Parc Phoenix.

My list of things to do in Nice (has some repeats): market and marche aux fleurs, Chateau and cemetery, Mont Boron (bus 14), Matisse Museum and ruins in Cimiez, Chagall museum, St. Nicholas’ Russian Orthodox Cathedral, bowling (Avenue de la Republique), movie (Jean Medecin), Train des Pignes (, skiing (La Colmiane, Auron, Isola 2000, Valberg)

Eze: climb mountain, little church, old village (Bus 112 or 82 from Place Garibaldi)

Menton: La Fete du Citron (in February/March)

Ventimille, Italy: market on Fridays

Cagnes-sur-mer: medieval village in Haut-de-Cagnes

Villefranche-sur-mer: museums, Citadel

Antibes: fortress, Marche Provencal, Picasso Museum, Juan-les-Pins

Cannes: castle, market

St. Paul de Vence: very beautiful, Chagall’s grave (94 or 400 bus)

So now I officially have a list of things to accomplish when I have some free time and feel like adventuring!  I’ll be reporting back periodically about what I get done before I go.

My next post will be all about Carnaval, those wonderfully weird three weeks in Nice characterized by crazy clothes, silly string, confetti, weird parade floats, and street closings… check back in a few days!!

Categories: Life in France, Random thoughts | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Changes and a Challenge

  1. Gloria Nelson

    Kelsey…..I just LOVE reading your blog posts! Now, I am glad you got the bag you wanted….you know me and my color palette….I would have snapped up the black and gold one! LOL I think this year has been such a wonderful opportunity for you and you’ve also had the joy of sharing it with some of those you love the most in this world! GOOD FOR YOU! You will always have these memories. I am sure you’ll head back home and maybe 6-12 months after you return to life in the US, you’ll go back, read your own blog and smile from ear to ear! Sending love to you and I will pray for safe travel mercies on your return. Chelsea graduates on the 3rd!!!!! Continue to enjoy the rest of your adventures….and the rest of us will stay tuned and live vicariously through your writing and great photos!


  2. Aunt Elaine

    Love the bag!! Definitely worth the search! I enjoy every single post and I’m so glad it’s helping other people too.

  3. Loretta

    Go, Kelsey! It was so good to hear from you. Love, Loretta

  4. Dad

    I like a happy girl!

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