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Throwback Thursday- The French Riviera, Now and Then

French Riviera

I’ve been in my hometown of Baton Rouge for the past week, after driving nine hours from Nashville. I came home for my baby shower (which was lovely) and was also able to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day at our annual parade.

One of my big objectives during this home visit was to download our arsenal of family photos that my dad keeps on DVDs. We’re talking tens of thousands of pictures. I think I got most of them.

Much of my travel began long, long ago, as a child- on family trips. I wanted to document and write about some of this travel, as it had a lot to do with shaping me as a person and how I view traveling to this day. I think travel is one of the most important tools we have to learn about the world, about people, and about ourselves. I am extremely lucky that my parents had this mindset while raising us, and now that I’m about to be a parent myself, I hope to raise my children the same way.

So here’s a little foreshadowing of what’s to come.

French Riviera

The French Riviera Now (sort of)

I recently came across the digital files of my back-packing trip across Europe from 2003. So, it’s not exactly now, but it’s definitely more recent than 1985! My sister and two friends joined me in Spain that summer, where I had been living for eight months, and we traveled around Europe via planes, trains and- well, mostly trains…. (there may have been a bus in there somewhere).

After two of the four returned to the states, my friend Laurin and I continued on to Eastern Europe, then back trough the south via The French Riviera.

Returning to places like Nice and Cannes nearly 20 years later is interesting. You have all of these faded memories and pre-conceived notions about how you will feel and what you will experience, but in the end, all of your experiences are new ones.

French Riviera

What Stood Out

In Nice, it was the pebble rock beaches. The trickling sound they made, clinking and clanking against one another as the gentle waves pulled them up the beach and then retreated back to sea. The ambiance and mood was very romantic. At least that’s what I remember thinking. Nice was slower-paced with great restaurants and a fun nightlife vibe.


Making friends with other American travelers in Nice

In Cannes, it was the glitz of what you would expect to see in the French Riviera: the yacht-filled harbor and she-she beaches.

In Monte Carlo, Monaco, it was the opulence; sheer and blatant wealth that laughed in your face. The massive, super-yachts with helicopter pads, the decadent casinos and hotels took center stage.

French Riviera

The French Riviera Then

French Riviera When I was about six, my family decided to rent a house just north of Cannes for the summer. It was fun. I was a kid. I loved being in another country and discovering all of the weird and wonderful things it had to offer, like croissants for breakfast! And what was with the warm milk on the shelves. Didn’t these people believe in refrigerators?

What Stood Out Then

French Riviera

Our house was amazing, in a hill town overlooking Cannes and the sea. It was our base of operations. While my parents went out and galavanted around Europe with their friends, I stayed home with my two siblings and cousin Michelle (also our baby sitter) and played in the pool and on the beach.

French Riviera

France 85-7 France 85-6 France 85-5

The beaches. I couldn’t get over the fact that women didn’t wear their bathing suit tops!! Scandalous! My cousin Michelle tried to get me to take my top off, but I refused vehemently! Also, I didn’t want anyone to mistake me for a little boy!

French RIviera

Oh, we are IN the Riviera now!

The food. Like I mentioned, I thought the whole warm milk thing was strange, but I loved the warm, buttery and flaky croissants and other fresh pastries we would get in town every couple of days. I remember the smell.. I had never smelled anything so wonderful and tasty in my life!

The house. It was such a neat house. There was the pool, which was essential with three young children in the summer time. France

French Riviera

French Riviera

France 85-4 France 85-3 There was the amazing little garden.

French Riviera

The hillside garden- and those dolls (but they’re German dolls!??)

And then there was our neighbor, who had a vegetable garden and chicken coop. Cullen and I would go over to the fence every day to talk to the old man who lived there, and he would kindly give us fresh berries, produce and eggs! I just thought that was the neatest thing. I knew we were eating fresh, from the earth.

And the VIEWS!!! I remember the views…..

France 85-25 France 85-24

We dined alfresco at cute Cafes.

French Riviera

We entertained ourselves, like only kids can do…


And we explored the quaint, cobblestoned town.

French Riviera

France 85-20 France 85-18 France 85-39 France 85-41 France 85-19

Finding this treasure trove of old travel family photos has inspired me to start a new series: Throwback Thursdays! I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do reliving these amazing and insightful memories!!


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20 Responses to Throwback Thursday- The French Riviera, Now and Then

  1. Sara Catella March 20, 2014 at 8:47 AM #

    wow amazing pictures Lindsay !!! I love French riviera! It’s nice to have such a great memories! Travelling is definetively the best way to grow up!

    • Lindsay March 21, 2014 at 7:54 AM #

      Thanks, Sara! I was surprised at the quality of these old slides from 1985!I agree- traveling is the best way to grow up!!

  2. Trips By Lance March 21, 2014 at 3:25 PM #

    That’s really cool. Whoever took these photos was a good photographer. And is that your brother? Are you trying ti embarrass him with that finger in the nose, and possibly nude climbing on the rocks?

    • Lindsay March 21, 2014 at 5:31 PM #

      Haha- that’s so funny Lance! I was reviewing the post with my dad the other night (he took the photos by the way. I think he’s a great photographer and will tell him you said so!), and I said, “I hope Cullen doesn’t read my blog. He might not like that photo of his finger shoved up his nose.” (Cullen= my brother). There WAS a full-on nude shot I almost included (Mom throwing him in the air in the pool) but I chose discretion! 😉

  3. The Travel Sisters March 21, 2014 at 4:22 PM #

    Great pics! Love your Throwback Thursday idea. We too were thinking of writing up some of our older travels. We have been blogging for only 2 months but have been traveling for over 10 years.

    • Lindsay March 21, 2014 at 5:33 PM #

      Thanks! As soon as Dad told me that he had all (or most) of our family photos on DVDs and we were going to work on transferring them to my hard drive while I was home visiting, I knew that I had to start incorporating some of those travel tales and memories. I’ve spent my life traveling! I can’t exclude that from this blog! 🙂 You should definitely write about your older travels! I think I’ll share stories but also include current info for people wanting to travel to these places now.

  4. Marie-Elena March 22, 2014 at 9:09 PM #

    Great pictures & memories & might I add that you are
    still as cute as a button!

    • Lindsay March 23, 2014 at 9:52 AM #

      Marie-Elena, you’re too sweet! I can’t wait to meet my little button in June!

  5. Carpe Travel March 22, 2014 at 11:31 PM #

    I love the photos of you and your family – too cute!

    • Lindsay March 23, 2014 at 9:51 AM #

      Thanks Elaine! I love those old photos too! It’s so nostalgic!

  6. Kerry Ascione March 23, 2014 at 8:57 AM #

    What wonderful childhood memories of France. I’m so glad to hear that you appreciated your parents traveling with you when you were young. I started traveling with my kids early too. We home exchange and spend anywhere from three to six weeks in Europe every other summer. It’s wonderful! I too have lots of photo’s of my kids in wonderful places. My son was one and my daughter seven when we started traveling abroad. I cherish the memories and the photo’s!

    • Lindsay March 23, 2014 at 9:51 AM #

      That’s great, Kerry! I hope to do this with my child/ren in the future! I envision summers in Europe, winters in Caribbean or South America! I love the idea of home exchange! I also want to get into house sitting! Thanks for your comment!

  7. Alana - Paper Planes March 24, 2014 at 1:40 AM #

    Your poses are fantastic!

    • Lindsay March 24, 2014 at 6:16 PM #

      Haha! Thanks, Alana! I was super-sassy before I became shy! I used to want to be an actress (when I was about 6)- don’t know what happened to that girl! She was replaced with an introvert who loves to read and write! 😉

  8. MightyTravels April 1, 2014 at 10:10 PM #

    Fantastic illustration of how things changed. Btw – just followed you on Twitter as well – please keep it up. Looking forward to connect! Torsten

  9. alexraphael April 6, 2014 at 4:53 AM #

    Awesome that so much of your life is captured in photos.

    • Lindsay April 6, 2014 at 10:16 AM #

      I feel pretty lucky, Alex! My dad has always been an avid amateur photographer…. which means our family has a pretty good track record of growing up! The one catch is pulling all of these little photo gems together! They are all over the place, mostly in slide format… some need to be converted, etc.

  10. Jay B. April 16, 2014 at 2:07 AM #

    I think people don´t really expect the French Riviera to be a place that they could really connect with.. Not everyone is a ridiculously rich celebrity, after all:) Don´t get me wrong it IS expensive, but it´s also colorful and interesting and — well, yeah, glamourous! And I don´t mean only Nice and Monaco, but also surrounding towns and villages, Grasse for example, which was a great surprise to me.

    • Lindsay April 18, 2014 at 4:08 PM #

      Exactly! We stayed in Theoule (I just discovered;-)), and it was a quaint little village.

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