Thursday's theme is UP ON THE ROOF. This morning, I woke early but did nothing. Which is great because I was tired of walking and waiting in Monoco. My coach is going to kill me because I walked too much. In not the best shoes. But, there was one last day-trip that had to be made - and that was EZE: an amazing village between Nice and Monoco that everyone has raved about.

 

Eze is a medieval village perched like an eagles nest on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The ancient fortified village is still crowned with the ruins of its 12th-century fortified castle (torn down in 1706), sitting on a narrow rocky peak. The castle grounds host the well-known Jardin Exotique, and from the top (429 m) you'll have an good view of the coast.
Provence & Beyond

Our journey was quite a juxtaposition: Ace downloaded and used Uber for the first time ever to get to a medieval village.  We climbed the to the top of the village via a winding path of narrow stairs. We explored alleys and peaked in private gardens. We found the Chateau de La Chevre d'Or and and a one-room chapel hidden in a covered portico. There are doors leading into shops, homes, hotels and cracks and crevices. There is a church (Notre Dame de l’Assomption) that was simple on the outside but was more ornate inside than Saint Nicholas in Monoco. We climbed to the top of the exotic gardens for a view of.....everywhere. 

We read all the historic info on the top of the rock so we could discover what was beyond the edge. Speaking of U2, (I was, wasn't I?) Did you know that The Edge got married there? And that the King of Sweden had a palace here? And that Nietzche wrote Also Sprach Zarathustra on the Eze trail?

 

 Look Ma, better shoes.

Look Ma, better shoes.

I liked that it was quiet - most people spoke in hushed tones. The only ones who didn't were the hungry Italian bikers, dressed head to toe in fine leather motorcyle gear and speaking with their hands and outside voices about SPAGHETTI! I loved them a lot. They were beautiful and rough looking and I'm pretty sure their voices were louder than their bikes. #ducati-is-the-new-harley

 These statues and sculptures were everywhere. This one reads:   Though the growing keeps me rooted, my mind is in the heavens.

These statues and sculptures were everywhere. This one reads: Though the growing keeps me rooted, my mind is in the heavens.

 See my name? It's riiiiiiiiiiight......there.

See my name? It's riiiiiiiiiiight......there.

Our time was short there and we headed back to Nice for work. And by work I mean IRONMAN. It was go time. The expo, which is located on the promenade is a long strip of sponsor tents sandwiched between the registration tent at one end and the merch tent at the other. It was about as narrow as the streets of Eze. I picked up my packet (and got to speak the most french yet!) and was sent to the merch tent to get my fancy new Ironman backpack. I bought a few bike items (canister, caffee latex and levers) and we were done in about 20 minutes. 

We headed back later for a little bike tech work - I wanted them to double check my headset and pedals since I had to put it all back together after the flight.  He said, not straight but not bad.

 Tracy McCullen and me!

Tracy McCullen and me!

I also stopped and got a leg massage which was c'est magnifique for my calves. Maybe my coach won't yell at me as much. On the way out we ran into Tracy again. His enthusiasm is contagious. He's doing his FIRST Ironman here and his excitement helped boost my energy. He encouraged me to do a ride up a peninsula one harbor over and assured me that getting to the top would be a huge reward.

For dinner, we went to Wayne's, an American sports bar. It was my choice and I was so happy to be there. I sorta wanted to see how they interpreted our restaurants AND they offered a chicken, brie and cranberry sandwich which suddenly I was craving. We sat inside under rock and roll paraphernalia, watching the French Open and music videos. Our servers spoke fluent (not broken) English and the radio was tuned to American blend of pop and rock. The food was American in name only. My "burger" was french fried (I'm sure with olive oil and amazing spices). The brie was melty and smooth and the cranberry preserves were probably local. It hit the spot.

Back at the hotel, what comes around goes back around (which had been playing at the sports bar). The rooftop was hoppin' for a private event. Did I mention that we're right below that? And that the band was set up right above us? They had already started the 80's set when we arrived -  Fresh, Careless Whisper, Billie Jean. Did I mention they had a saxophone? And a good sound system?  During the break they played Let's Get it Started and Justin Timberlake's SexyBack. The band returned and every song was the standard American party mix.

 We snuck up to the roof to get a pic. A band, a photo booth, funky lights and a saxophone.

We snuck up to the roof to get a pic. A band, a photo booth, funky lights and a saxophone.

Ace was so good. He went down to the front desk and asked how long the party mix was going to last. He also asked if there would be another private event on Saturday (the night before the race). He wanted to make sure that if there was, we would be moved to another end of the party. They assured us that there were no events on Saturday night. Right about the time he returned to report all this to me, a partygoer (clearly not the band songstress) grabbed the mic and proceeded to karaoke STAND BY ME. Awwwwww. She was serenading Ace for me. After that, I put on my noise canceling head phones and went to sleep.

"Up On The Roof"
 

When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space

On the roof it's peaceful as can be
And there the world below can't bother me

Let me tell you now
When I come home feelin' tired and beat
I go up where the air is fresh and sweet
I get away from the hustling crowds
And all that rat race noise down in the street
Up on the roof

On the roof's the only place I know
Where you just have to wish to make it so
Oh, let's go up on the roof

At night the stars put on a show for free
And darling, you can share it all with me
I keep a-telling you
Right smack dab in the middle of town
I found a paradise that's trouble-proof
Up on the roof

So if this world starts getting you down
There's room enough for two, up on the roof
Up on the roof, everything is allright
Up on the roof, oh, come on, baby
Up on the roof
Up on the roof

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