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Le Dernier Diner

Happy Women's Day!  That's right, March 8 is the celebration of Women's Day here in France, and elsewhere in Europe; they typically celebrate by giving women of every age a bouquet of blossoms from the lovely and vibrantly yellow mimosa trees.  (Personally, I prefer a mimosa of orange juice and some French bubbly, but thanks anyhow.)

We began our day by learning what it takes to be "a Nose" at the famed Fragonard perfumery of Nice.  Now, maybe you're thinking, 'Um, I have a nose.  How tough could that be?'  Well, tougher than you'd first think!  Here's the skinny:

  • An inherent ability to distinguish scents is required─and few people possess this
  • It takes three years of schooling and seven years of practice in the field to hone the skills
  • Noses cannot smoke and are limited in their consumption of alcohol and spicy foods
  • Noses can only smell (professionally speaking) for three hours per day and can ultimately distinguish among over 2,000 different scents

Needless to say, our group left with copius bags of perfumes, lotions, scented soaps and the like.

Next, we were off to the village of Eze─beloved town of the late Walt Disney and home to cliff-side villas of today's rich-and-famous (including U2's Bono!).  Our bus managed to brave the rainslicked, winding roads for our visit before heading off to . . . Monaco!

Ah, Monaco─home of the Grand Prix, the Casino Royale and more winding roads and cliff-top villas.  It's amazing to believe we're walking the same streets where a classic like "To Catch a Thief" was filmed and where America's own Princess Grace (actress Grace Kelly) lived and lunched each day.  We toured the cathedral where Grace and Prince Ranier married, and visited her tomb. 

After visiting the Royal Palace, home to Prince Albert, and some quick stops for shopping and snacks, we were headed back to Nice for le dernier diner─the last supper.

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with our nine days in France.  Before our final group meal, we enjoyed a gathering to reminisce about favorite memories/moments of the trip.  Each of the 27 travellers was given a personalized award (Among the awards were: Adjunct Professor of History Jack Patton = NDC's Best Professor of History Award in recognition of his informative tidbits during each leg of our tour; Nursing Division Administrative Coordinator Julie Senchak = NDC's Esther Williams Award in recognition of . ..  well, it's a long story!). 

We then dedicated a song to our beloved tour guide, and impromptu weather man, Markus.  Professors of English Amy Kesegich and Lynn Zimmerman also composed an ode.  Finally, we honored our fearless leader, Roz Scheer-McLeod, and shared original limericks (Is there a more original form of French poetry out there?).

Useful French Phrase: J'ai passe un bon moment.  (I had a great time.)

Not-So-Useful French Phrase: Quel est le moyen le plus rapide au couvent?  (What is the fastest way to the convent?)