Europe, Godivaworld Travels

Cote d’Azur Structures, Sculptures, Sights and Signs 2016

Although this wasn’t my first European Adventure (lol) this was definitely my most entertaining for various and sundry of reasons which I will no doubt blog about at some point but for now…..I will stay on topic.

As I mentioned on a previous instagram post, there’s something to be said for Structures, Sculptures, Sights and Signs when traveling just about anywhere.   I especially love those things you stumble upon when wandering around, be it in your own city or while abroad.

While on my most recent journey to the beautiful Côte d’Azur  a.k.a the French Riviera in January (2016, for my bday *big grin*) there were so many random visual delights, I figured I would just give them their just due in a post all by themselves.  There was everything from Structures to Sculptures to (random) Sights, and Sounds from Nice to Antibes to Cannes to Monaco and the Schiphol Airport where I had a brief layover.

Journey with me out and about in the French Riviera.

Signs are an important part of travel but I personally like capturing them as a form of art.  From Nice to Cannes to Saint-Paul to Monaco, there were more structures, sculptures, and such than I could capture…but here are some my highlights.

Check out some of the signs I crossed paths with during my journey.

Nice (/ˈns/, French pronunciation: ​[nis]; Niçard Occitan: Niça [classical norm] or Nissa [nonstandard], Italian: Nizza or Nizza Marittima,Greek: Νίκαια, Latin: Nicaea) is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, and it is the capital of the Alpes Maritimes département. The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits, with a population of about 1 million[1][2] on an area of 721 km2 (278 sq mi).[1] Located in the Côte d’Azur area on the south east coast of France on the Mediterranean Sea, Nice is the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast and the second-largest city in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region after Marseille. Nice is about 8 miles (13 km) from the principality of Monaco, and its airport is a gateway to the principality as well.

There were some interesting images in and around my hotel in Nice (not to mention the hotel itself) including the sculpture in the lobby that I became enamored with each time I passed her (at the Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée).

Monte Carlo /ˈmɒnti ˈkɑːrl/ (Italian pronunciation: [ˈmonte ˈkarlo]; French: Monte-Carlo or colloquially Monte-Carl,Monégasque: Monte-Carlu) officially refers to an administrative area of the Principality of Monaco, specifically the ward of Monte Carlo/Spélugues, where the Monte Carlo Casino is located.

There was one day I allowed myself to play tourist and and went on a magical adventure to Saint Paul de Vence in the Alpes Maritimes, southeastern France.  Saint Paul is one of the oldest medieval towns in the French Riviera known for its modern and contemporary art museums and galleries.

As this is just about Sculptures, Structures, Signs, and such, I’ll stay true to the topic but no doubt will blog about Saint Paul de Vence in a future post.  For now check out these cool sights.

I purposefully left out a pic from Saint-Paul because the hilarity surrounding it was too much to lump in with the others without some context around it.  You kinda had to be there but hopefully you can dig deep into your funny box to see the humor.

Soooo while walking through Saint-Paul with the absolute bestest (yes I said “bestest”) guide EVER, the most randomness events occurred.

FIRST, these pigeons randomly appeared and seemed to be following us along our pathway with the occasional pigeon noise as if to say, “hey there, I’m here too”……

Next, while talking about her cat whom she rescued at one point before making it her own, a black cat appeared out of nowhere just cattin’ along.  Followed by more pigeons perched up high.

FINALLY, I couldn’t help myself and proclaimed, now if I see a horse I am going to just hoist myself up and over this ledge…..Zara our guide says, “oh funny you should say that because Saint-Paul de Vence has a horse…….” and so appeared Horseshoe Horse.

This adventure was everything I could have imagined and more.  Much like life and all its randomness and goodness, I can say my Cote d’Azur adventure was not only a great to start the new year but a representation of all things good/right with my world.

Until the next journey…..always look for the signs!

 

Travel Inspirations, Wanderlusting & Musings

Where to in 2016?

Often my biggest dilemma is “what in the world will I eat today” (either prepared by me or the likes of some fine dining establishment) but the other question is usually “where to next”….

where to next words

Honestly, I never really know above and beyond – EVERYWHERE!  Of course my friends and family love to joke and say I’ve been everywhere but in travelworld I haven’t even scratched the surface.  5 of 7 continents isn’t too shabby but considering there’s just under 200 countries, depending on the source, I still have plenty of countries to explore.

worldpoliticallarge

Given that we’ve just welcomed in the month of February and I’ve already checked off 2 countries on my ever-changing list is perhaps a good indicator as to how the rest of my travel year will go (see my European Birthday).  Kicking off the year in the likes of the French Riviera leaves my mind to wandering and planning and plotting and daydreaming about which economy I want to donate a few coins to.

Since my peeps are always asking, I figured I’d take a moment to ponder for myself my 2016 travel list based on what’s been a constant thought.  So far what’s been popping up are the following:

  • Cuba –  Havana, Cojimar, Las Terrazas, Varadero, Cardenas (for obvious reasons)
  • Phuket
  • Australia – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth
  • Marrakech
  • Costa Rica – San José, Tortuguero, Arenal & Monteverde
  • Ecuador – Quito, Cotopaxi, Amazon
  • Cairo and Jordan
  • Boracay, Phillipines
  • Nairobi
  • Turkey – Istanbul and Cappadocia
  • Beijing and Shanghai
  • Mykonos
  • Bali (again….I went in 2014)
  • Mauritius
  • Amalfi Coast

I could go on but we ARE just talking about before the year is out *sigh*!!  So as you can see, EVERYWHERE is pretty much on my list and one by one I throw everything I have to make my list a reality!

Where will you go in 2016 and/or where would you like your journey to take you?

~Godivaworld Travels

 

Travels Gone by, Wanderlusting & Musings

Monday Musings of Travels Past, Present, and Future

Been awhile since I posted last but as I sit here during a rather dreary and gloomy weather period in Atlanta my mind is on a constant tour of travels past.  I’d say “Calgon, take me away” but I know good and darn well I’d rather “Delta” take me away lol to somewhere resembling something like this…….

It’s been a busy few months full of new and exciting things but nothing involving my passport, a cocktail, and a 2-piece together.  In the words of one the lyrics from one of my favorite songs, “A change is gonna come…..” and soon and very soon.  For now though I can and WILL revel in the warm and fuzzies of my travels past.

Whilst some people dream of fame and fortune but I dream of new destinations to explore; new adventures to partake in.  Right now, at this moment, I have several in mind and if you know like I know then you know it’s just a a matter of time before I pop up somewhere…..as long as somewhere resembles this…….

Oh the beauty of this world.  I’ll never understand the mind that questions WHY anyone would want to travel to foreign lands,  notso distant worlds…..with all the beauty around us why NOT?

I’m not sure WHERE my next adventure will take me but wheresonever it may be it will be nothing if it doesn’t make me warm and fuzzy inside.

So until next time, next journey, next inspiration, I will let my mind wander to the far corners of the world until the rest of me follows.

Travel on!!

 

 

 

Adventures, North America, U.S. of A

Falling Down (My Skydiving Adventure)

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. ~Helen Keller

When I tell you these past couple years have been full of adventures, both the traveling, exploring, and living on the edge kind.  From my long awaited trip to Bali for my birthday last year which included me partaking in Fly Fish (The ultimate in speed and exhilaration the Flying Fish is the newest water sports toy on the market! Fly Fish is a great adventure where you fly like fish jumping on the seawater with high speed boat); to parasailing in Mexico last October; followed by Ziplining in Barbados this past March.

Even after all that I just needed to quench my thrill seeking thirst by adding to the list – SKYDIVING!!!

Look, its the plane as I soar below it through the sky
Look, it’s the plane as I soar below it through the sky

I feel the need to endanger myself every so often. ~ Tim Daly Continue reading “Falling Down (My Skydiving Adventure)”

Godivaworld Travels, The Caribbean, Travels Gone by

Travel (back) Thursday – Independence Day 2014 | Dominican Republic

As I sit here watching all the 2015 Independence Day events and commercials, my mind wanders back to last year when I had the pleasure of spending the 4th of July in the Dominican Republic *big sigh*! Continue reading “Travel (back) Thursday – Independence Day 2014 | Dominican Republic”

Travel Inspirations, Wanderlusting & Musings

Travel Thoughts Tuesday

I know EXACTLY where’ I’ve been, but hardly ever know where I’m going next!  I am a Traveler!

Always thinking about where to go next yet never really knowing where “next” is life in my world because the “where” doesn’t really matter as long as it’s somewhere!

~ Travel Well ~

Godivaworld Travels, Mexico

Pastimes in Playa del Carmen

It is NO secret that I enjoy a journey, exploring new lands, experiencing new things.  So it should come as no surprise that every now and again I try to drag bring others along with me.  Rewind to October 2014.  Well actually it was some time prior to that but October is when the actual journey began.

Picture this:  my good girlfriend and sister share the same birthday and neither had been out of the country since returning from Germany where our parents were both stationed (military brats we all are).  I told them I wanted to do something special for their birthdays – just because – and all they needed to do was renew their long-expired passports and secure their flights as accommodations and such would be on me.

So began my planning.  Now sometimes I will travel on the fly and on the offchance I actually do pre-planning it’s never much farther than a month or so in advance (with the exception of my birthday celebration to Bali but again that involved other people accompanying me so I try to be more mindful of schedules, pockets, etc).  In this case, I gave the gals a good 6 months or so to ensure everyone had plenty time to get themselves together for this birthday celebration (to include the 2 birthday girls securing their passport renewals).  A small part of me wasn’t sure they would meet my our deadline but lo and behold they came through.  Now of course I made it no secret that I was going with or without them lol but I played cheerleader every step of their passport renewal process because I really wanted them to experience this adventure.

So check: Passports completed; check:  flights secured; check:  accommodations booked and paid for; check: meet up and transportation details finalized.  Off we were for Playa del Carmen.  Why here?  Well I didn’t wanna totally take them out of their comfort zones by going somewhere exotic or say with a much longer flight.  I knew that we wanted beach time, a little partying, an easy breezy and free kinda place that wasn’t gonna break the bank.  Mexico is always a good place for easy breezy or atleast has been to me on my various voyages there so I figured what better place than here!

My goal was to find accommodations more along the lines of a condo, house, or villa of sorts so we could all be under one roof and to enable less of a vacation feel and more of a “I live here part time” feel lol!  Looking around on one of my favorite sites – Booking.com – I came across a few digs I thought would be sufficient but still weren’t sure they fit the bill.  I also did a few random “Villa” searches on Google to see what I could come up with as well.  Sidebar:  People are often shocked that I don’t use a travel agent until I tell them how easy and much more flexible I find it to do my research, booking, etc. myself.   I realize there are “levels” to this travel thing and those who explore seem to be more free than those who just ‘vacation’ if you will.

Anyhoo, I settled on a property that had 2 sister sites and on sight (virtually that is) appeared to be THE perfect digs for us and so I booked it. – Maya Villa & Condos right there in Playa del Carmen, near 5th Avenue, the beaches, restaurants, clubs, etc.

So our adventure began.  Three of us were on the same flight coming from Atlanta while my sister was flying in from Orlando. Once we landed we just posted up at the airport sipping cocktails waiting for my sister to arrive so that we could make the most of the same transportation.

It drizzled a little bit enroute which almost put a damper on my spirits but as is customary, it didn’t last too long.  By the time we reached Maya Villas any concerns of rain I had quickly dissipated.  I recall pulling up to what looked like a random building with these steep steps only to find out that the check-in office was just up the street in a totally different building.  Being the responsible party I made my way over to complete the check-in and obtain any information necessary to aid in making this trip that much more special for my birthday girls.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Maya Villa Entrance

Once I finished the check-in process I returned to where I left the girls who had already been let into our “temporary home” only to be met with approvals on the digs.  Upon entry I, too, was pleasantly pleased with my selection.  For more on the Maya Villa & Condos check out my Where I’ve Stayed, Played, and Layed!  We were all pretty stoked about the digs considering I once again made a reservation based solely on my personal research and not an actual referral.

For the 3.5 days of our stay I left the schedule pretty open as to not overwhelm anyone and really because I prefer to not be held down to a schedule so I can explore and wander.  The only thing I planned  in advance was the birthday dinner which happen to be the very night we arrived.

Arrival and Birthday Dinner

After arriving and getting settled into our digs it wasn’t long before we began to get ourselves together for our dinner reservations.  I chose a lovely spot solely based on its menu and it did NOT disappoint – Plank – which was right down the block from our digs.  We hit the cobblestone walkway and made our way to Plank.

There was lobster and prawns and sole (fish) and mac n cheese (with more lobster) and cocktails and pure gluttony. Need more proof?  Check out “Plank not Planking in Playa del Carmen” and bring a napkin to help catch the drool lol!  Not only was this a great meal it was a wonderful way to kick-start our trip while celebrating the 2 birthdays!  Afterwards we headed out for a little club hopping.

Random shenanigans

By leaving our time pretty free, it enabled us to just stumble upon things which we largely did especially once our 5th guest arrived.  By then I’d made my rounds to the supermercado and fell upon a cigar shop where I copped a few to include some Cohibas.  The rest of the day we basically wandered around which was an adventure in itself.

Events and Activities

Without question on of my best or shall I say favorite moments was parasailing while the gals were doing a myriad of things from lounging on the beach to beach side massages.  By far the best rush EVER!!!  See Fun Friday – Parasailing in Playa del Carmen!

One of the other things we did as a group (minus one) was the Tulum:  Mayan Archaeological Site and Chikin Ha Cenote X-Tabay day trip.

Needless to say the birthday celebration was a success by the birthday girls account.  We came, we saw, we ate, we beached, we played and most importantly we laughed as much as possible!

~ Travel Well ~

Travel Inspirations, Wanderlusting & Musings

Wanderlust Wednesday

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

Do you see my yacht?
Do you see my yacht?

Do you see what I see?

Instead of being on my yacht (see above)

I’m at my desk

in my zebra robe

looking out my window

in Atlanta.