Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cannes - July 2011

Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.  I can just hear famous English celebrity writer Robin Leach nattering on about this playground for multimillionaires whilst hosting his signature show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.  

Our day in Cannes happened to be the only port where we had elected to just stroll the shops and check out the beach rather than schedule a shore excursion.  We ate a leisurely breakfast instead of rushing headlong into the dining room and gobbling down a meal as we raced to get off the boat on time.  We were sporting swimsuits beneath our clothes and were ready to bask in the sun like lizards on holiday.

Here is a pic of Annie standing on our balcony, checking out the coastline once we had dropped anchor for the day.  

Cannes' port isn't deep enough to accommodate the cruise ships, so passengers had to take a tender (aka a people ferry) to the dock.  The girls are in the first pic, looking a bit windblown.  Dana and I are in the pic below that.  See that cute little cover up skirt I'm wearing?  I fought like a tiger to keep it from blowing up around my shoulders and thus defeating the whole purpose, which was to keep my saggy baggy backside from public display.  It was a losing battle since Typhoon Tessie was a blowin'.

I knew we were in trouble when we went to get off the cruise ship.  We got checked out with our cards and proceeded to the gangway.  We stepped out onto it and started making our way down to the floating dock to board the tender.  After a couple steps, my whole world started rocking.  And I don't mean rockin' as in woo-hoo, we're gonna party like an 80s hair band.  A wave hit the dock rollicking atop the water and whipped a cold spray blown by a wild wind all down the left side of my body.  Brrr!  I kept my head down, walking into the nonstop wind gusts, and was in a hurry to get aboard.  Check out the whitecaps!

About a dozen feet from the tender, the four of us came to a halt because we were behind Mama Maria and her girls herding Nonna NoHurry.  They were just a chattering in Italian, probably warning the little white-haired old lady not to fall and break her hip.  Then who's gonna make the marinara sauce for Uncle Umberto's birthday celebration in a couple weeks?  

Nonna totters to the ferry's door and is stymied because she just (push) can't get (push harder) her walker (push yet again so that her arms trembled with the effort) to fit (set down the walker and throw up her hands in disgust while rattling something in Italian) through the door.  Yet another cold wave slaps up against the floating dock and I look up just in time to get a face full of fine Mediterranean mist so that I can't see a thing out of my sunglasses.

The tender assistant guy saves me from having to push Nonna out of the way because I keep envisioning myself falling over the side of the undulating dock.  And these waters are probably infested with Great White Sharks or Man of War Jellyfish or something equally horrific that has me clinging to the temporary, and thus wobbly, railing in my bid to keep my skirt covering my thighs instead of over my head while peering suspiciously into the beautiful blue water.  Did I just see the flash of a dorsal fin?  So yeah, the guy picks up Nonna's walker and turns it sideways to fit through the door whereupon the Italian women gleefully chatter in unison a couple octaves higher as they all FINALLY hustle aboard the ferry to take a seat.  Me - I'm saved from making an international scene that no doubt would have been captured by the ship's CCTV allowing them to replay ad infinitum my best imitation of an offensive lineman plowing past Nonna in my rush to get out of the salt spray that was no doubt rusting my new sunglasses by the second.

The ferry took us on a bouncy, nausea-inducing ride over to the dock at Cannes.  Seriously, these are the rides I totally avoid at the amusement parks.  We disembark and make our way up to the road that leads into town and the beach.  I feel like I'm in a windtunnel as I try to walk with my skirt totally wrapped around my thighs so that I move like some sort of tubby geisha taking tiny steps.  We made our way to this spot in the pic below and it was just beautiful.

It was so pretty that it hurt my eyes... and then my legs as the little bits of sand kicked up by folks walking across the beach became some sort of hideous exfoliation process gone terribly wrong in the throes of hurricane force gales.  We turned right around and boarded the touring trolley so we could get an overview of Cannes since the beach was a complete fail.  No need to get a sandblasting here when I could hop back aboard the ship soon and catch some rays while lounging on the Lido Deck with a fruity drink in my hand.

The main arteries criss-crossing Cannes were lined with the most exclusive shops - Prada, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Hermes, Dior, Chanel, etc.  But look at the quaint little brick paved side street pic above - love it.

It was indeed SPLENDID to ride along the beautiful road that runs parallel to the coastline, seeing the yachts bobbing on the brilliantly blue water and the palm trees being bent almost in half by the howling winds.

In the pic below you can see our ship off in the distance.  After an hour on the sightseeing trolley, we hotfooted it back aboard the tender to head for home sweet home.  I didn't think it was possible, but the ride back to the ship was even rougher than the ride to shore.  That evening we discovered we were the only cruise ship dumb brave enough to allow passengers to disembark for the day in such high winds.  But it was all good since I washed down a couple aspirins with a martini to chase away a slight headache and scheduled a spa pedicure after risking my life to reboard the ship.  All is right with the world when I've got somebody cleaning up my cuticles and massaging my tootsies with lavender scented lotion.


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