Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Arriving in the South of France for the Cannes Film Festival

We arrived yesterday, a day early thinking it would relieve any pressure to hurry about or get things done by a particular time. This allowed most of the day to be relaxed and easy. By the time three buses left the airport too full to take us from Nice to Cannes, I was a bit agitated. We had decided that if we missed one more bus we would simply take a local bus to the train and arrive in Antibes that way. In the end, that is probably a very good idea and most likely would have allowed us to arrive in Antibes quite early.

When Sophie and I used to live in Antibes there was a little hotel about a block from our apartment that seems like a fun and easy place to stay. I booked our room a few months ago for the regular room rate of 53 euro per night.

The hotel is easy, simple, clean and with a lovely view. The toilet is down the hall which I find quite fun and as the sales clerk from Civitavecchia would stay very authentic with a charming old world style. The rooms have french doors leading to the large bathroom which spans the length of our room. Plenty of mirror space and a large stand up shower. The enire bathroom floor and lower half of the walls covered in a tiny, pale blue tile.

Its nice to be back in Antibes. We are staying in the old center of town (vielle centre ville). It reminds me of Disney's Pirates of the Carribean ride.

Remember the part of the ride where the lady of the night chases around a potential customer and the plump old man is dunked repeatedly in the depths of the well. There. To me, that is the feel of old Antibes.

It appears the Picasso museum has reopened. We've been before. Once while visiting the area a couple years before our move here from the States we visited. Now it has been renovated. Picasso was down here for four years - from 1945 to 1949. Because of the war, it was difficult for Picasso to access painting supplies. So the works down here tend to be quite unique in their use of medium. I believe the majority of the works were left to the museum which allows it a relatively extensive collection of a unique time and style not experienced in other Picasso museums or exhibits.

Antibulations is a wonderful crazy event of live music and activities. I took a few videos of it from when we lived here a couple years back. It is certainly something worth experiencing.

In the end, Sophie and I unpacked and went to a lovely little chinese restaurant toward the peer which is now a quaint French restaurant, so we headed over to our other favorite chinese restuarant in Centre Ville and finally found a moment to eat at 9 pm in the evening. Considering we started our journey at 9am we were happily tired, finally fed and completely ready for cheap Chinese and rest. In fact, we even passed on our ritualized walk around Port Vauban and opted for an early evening so we would be well rested and ready for whatever our first day at the Cannes Film Festival will bring us.

I woke up at 2:30 am well-rested and unable to return to my dream world allowing me plenty of time to blog - which I had anticipated little time for. All's well that ends well!

Maybe Sophie will want to get up early and for our stroll around the Port.

Oh... there is a strike which has made transportation a bit more difficult. Expect it. This happened last year as well. In fact, down here the transpo dept seems to enjoy a very healthy allotment of strikes. It's the French way, right, duty and obligation. So be prepared for delays!

I strongly recommend arriving a day early, if possible, for the Cannes Film Festival. Arriving can be time consuming and hectic. The extra time can be make even the delays a little more lovely.

Pet Peeves - People who take pictures of you on the sly. Thinking you didn't notice. Hate it! Noticed!

Sidenote: The camera is still at the Barcelona airport and we forgot the cord to the video camera. Thank goodness Sophie finally got her replacement cell phone. So I'll be experimenting with low resolution pics and searching for bluetooth connections.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Antibes and the Cannes Film Festival

Sophie and I are heading down to the Cannes Film Festival for 11 days. We are both very excited. She's soooo big now. She's like a little girl, but all grown up. As she grows up it's just instinctual to give her more and more freedom and responsibility.

Last year, she chose not to come to Cannes. She felt she was better off remaining here for her studies. I allowed her to make this decision but completely disagreed with it. This year, she's coming. A lot of the rebellious teen aspect of mid teens is being, or has been, replaced with the desire to experience... well, Cannes.

We'll be staying very near where we used to live in Antibes. I'm looking forward to returning to both the area and the festival. This will be my third year going. It's fun and exciting and each year has already proved to be different, even though this year has yet to begin.

Sophie is working for both of the festivals this year. She's got both a lot of freedom and responsibility. She'll watch shorts and we've picked out 12 features we'd like to see. There is also a meeting with a prod comp she might handle, plus whatever else she ends up experiencing in Cannes. Oh yeah, promotion. We're equipped!

I've been very excited about going to the beach at the Cap D'Antibes. It's a lovely place to float around in the clear, warm water. I even bought a bathing suit! I've since realized it's not July or August and probably not bathing suit weather. Oh well. I'm bringing the bathing suit anyway!

Can't wait for the Chinese food down there! It's cheap and good! There are some great Chinese restaurants in Cannes, Nice and Antibes. Its so exciting to know we're going to be able to eat our little hearts out again.

We're also looking forward to the clothing market in Antibes. It's huge. It happens on Tuesday and Thursday. I can't remember which day has the larger open air market. We might just have to go to them both! Clothes, shoes, bags, beach wear. You name. It's there and it's cheap! Oh! There is a guy with a little jewelry stand. He sells super cheap lapis, amethyst, jade, and other semi-precious stones. Lovely simple jewelry made from silver and stone. I think he charge 6 or 8 euro per gram.

We will probably also stop by the Provencal Open Air Food Market in Antibes. It's lovely. Our favorite olive spread comes from there.

We've also experience so wonderful local music and events in Antibes. Sure hope some of it is going on while we're down there. It would be nice to take part!