Sadly, our month abroad in Nice is coming to an abrupt end that no one is ready to face yet. It might be cliché to say, but it feels like just yesterday we were exchanging awkward Nice to meet yous and settling into our residence. I have learned so much here, not only about the French culture and language, but about myself and the others around me. I am so comfortable here; I have learned my neighborhood by heart, and it feels as if this beautiful city has become a home to me. My friends and staff here have become a family to me, too. I already know many tears will be shed when the goodbyes come.
I am thankful for Abbey Road because it not only gave me an amazing summer in Nice, but it brought people from all over the world together, which is crazy to me once I remind myself that I was able to create friendships with these incredible people in less than a month. So thank you, Abbey Road Programs!
Our last weekend excursion was busy, yet one of the highlights of my trip. Saturday, the staff planned a “super secret surprise excursion”, and we all knew that could only mean one place – Italy! So we left to spend the day in the beautiful city of San Remo.
First, we walked around the outdoor market and stone streets with towering buildings and then found a place to eat. We all decided that, before we left Italy, we had to have pizza and/or pasta and gelato. I think we all found something authentic and delicious. My friend and I split a pizza and a pasta dish, so we got the best of both worlds. They were both so tasty, and I think knowing they were made in Italy made them just a little bit more scrumptious. Afterward, we headed to the beach to swim and cool off. We found a quiet, less popular beach and laid down our towels. The water was so gorgeous, warm, blue, and calm; I couldn’t help but spend hours in it. Afterward, we all got gelato and spent the afternoon exploring and shopping. It was yet another great day.
Sunday we had a free morning, so some of the girls and I climbed up the steep trail to the top of the chateau (castle). From there, there are beautiful panoramic views and a cascading waterfall. Later, we treated ourselves to smoothies from our favorite local place.
Later on, we got on a bus with the students from Saint-Laurent-du-Var and drove to Saint-Paul-de-Vence, a beautiful artist village on top of a mountain. We spent the afternoon there walking around, taking pictures, and enjoying our second to last day in France.
We then got back on the bus and drove to the Centre Nautique in Saint-Laurent-du-Var for a dinner and performance organized by the students from Nice. A few others and I were in charge of the dessert, which seemed to be a big hit. After dinner, we all sat down and watched students sing, play instruments, and perform jokes. They were all very talented singers and comedians. After the show, there was a big end-of-the-trip dance party with the students from both programs. I had such a good time dancing with everyone! I even met some girls from Saint-Laurent-du-Var who were very sweet and so much fun to dance with. I only wish I had gotten to know them sooner!
This was a perfect end to a fantastic month. It’s comforting to know that I will return home with unforgettable memories, life-long friends, and a deeper understanding of the French language and culture.