Cote d'Azur

"Can you even imagine?!"
-Blake Frederick Funston

Well, yes, actually I can imagine.  I can imagine what paradise looks and feels like because I have visited Blake's villa on the Cote d'Azur: "La Sorrentina"
Blake's villa, La Sorrentina 
Blake's villa, La Sorrentina
From the sound of the constant rush of water flowing over the infinity pool to the spread of breakfast each morning, to perfect streams of warm Mediterranean heat washing over us as we sat by the pool, to delicately prepared decadent desserts... my long weekend stay at Blake's villa was two words: pure bliss.  As you read this post, try not to be too envious of me... it's not my life! It's Blake's!!  I'm going to rush through the Nice trip as quickly as I know how so that I can catch up with the rest of the blogging that I need to do.

Blake's long time family friend and villa caretaker, Yvonne, generously gathered us from the airport last Thursday evening at the Nice airport.
Blake & Yvonne:
Me, Sarah, Blake, Lucie & Mimi
(Mom, do you like my new Herve Chapelier bag? :D)
Posing in front of our ride:
Blake's road: jeunesse
I literally couldn't believe my eyes when I saw where I'd be resting my head for the next few nights!  The interior design of the room I stayed in (the bedroom of Blake's two younger sisters) & the bathroom that was assigned to me were, in a word, "BEYOND!"
 Cutest flamingo wall paper + pink backsplash tile!
We quickly unloaded our bags and freshened up at the house before Blake took us out into Nice for a delicious meal down in his little village, Ville Franche sur Mer.  The village is not even two miles from Nice, France, yet much calmer.  
Monsieur Funston & I at dinner:
A very sweet American took this photo of us:
Her son just started Clemson on a golf scholarship.. SMALL world!!!
 Where "Cheers"-ing in France, always look your friends in the eyes
View from my bedroom on Friday morning:
(it looks gray but it wasn't at all!)

 Good morning boys!
Yvonne & "Greggers"
Sadly, the weekend we were in town was Yvonne's last weekend working for the Funstons after many happy years of service.  Heuresement, we had the pleasure of meeting Yvonne's very kind predecessor, Gregory -- pronounced "grayg-oar-ey" or, for linguistic ease, "Greggers." 
we were more than satisfied with breakfast: 
as well as our tanning experience, post-breakfast:
 Sarah & myself:
We stopped at the hotel that Blake used to frequent before the villa came around.  The hotel was gorgeous!  I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to live luxuriously while in Nice: Hotel Voile d'Or in Ste Jean Cap Ferrat
 Ladies walking through the hotel and out the back
(take note of the mountains in the background): 
 The hotel is on the Mediterranean and shares a border with one of the many little marinas in Nice.  Can you even believe those mountains in the background?! So beautiful.
 Lunch @ a cute little pizza place on the water...
(I got stuck in the bathroom... pretty much the lowest point of my trip)

We had plans to visit Villa Rothschild (see below) but were too late to make it on Friday.  Thankfully I took some pictures while were there because by the time Blake and I went back on Sunday, my camera had died.

View from one edge of Villa Rothschild:
With little time left in the day for much else... we went to Vieux Nice to do a little shopping:
Not much had changed since I'd been there with Mme Mack's class when I was 17.  

We got "all dolled up" after shopping,
 took some individual shots with Mr. Funston,
and headed out to:
Good drinks:
& good food:

Blake wanted to show us one more place before we went back to the La Sorrentina... so, of course, we found ourselves in another beautiful, old Nice hotel:
Me & Sarah:
Blakey in all his suave-ness! 
Thank you a second INCREDIBLE evening, Blake!!!

Saturday was another absolutely gorgeous day on the Cote d'Azur.  I somehow managed to wake up a little earlier than the other girls and so I read my book on by the pool until they woke up.  
Blake, lounging in the pool & taking in the scenic coast of the Mediterranean
We then ate our large breakfast with this scene in front of us: 

Once finished with our lunch, we set out for Monaco.  I have had the pleasure of visiting Monte Carlo, previously, but was happy to visit again.  The castle is called the "Prince's Palace of Monaco" and although we were not allowed to take photos, I did learn some interesting little facts about the sovereign family of Monaco.  For instance, did you know that Monaco used to be the site of a large monastery?  Founded in 1191 as a fortress on a mountain, the monastery was attacked and captured by members of the Gramaldi family in 1297.  How? might you ask -- good question.  Family members dressed as monks got inside the fortress and stayed there until the attacked! Yikes!!  
Here are my few photos of Monaco:
Honestly, in my own opinion...
Monte Carlo is a little overbuilt:
 But this Swiss organic ice cream is FABULOUS!
 We got lost on the way back but had a great time jamming out to techno!!

The rest of the gang ordered Indian food but I for one have missed cooking so, so, so much.  I cannot wait to have a place of my own to cook! I will keep up with this blog if I can cook & have a glam apartment once I move back to the States.  Which probably won't happen!  Anyway, I will be happy to cook for anyone who wants to eat... in Atlanta.  Just bring wine.

Okay! That's really all the photos I have and I need to start blogging about my every day life.