We arrived at Frankfurt without incident, and after discovering that the gate for our flight to Nice had yet to be posted, we all found a convenient waiting area (gate A26) that was little used and basically camped out there for the several hours we had to wait between flights. The dogs were walked, the girls played with their toys, we all got to stretch our legs, and I picked up instant energy by buying a package of Toblerone chocolates from the nearest duty free shop to us. When pedestrian traffic was light I played with the girls on the “people movers” as well as on some nearby escalators. Everybody (save me) managed to get a nap in as well.
About an hour before our flight was to leave our flight to Nice was finally posted, so Jennifer and I roused everyone else up so that we could make our way to the correct gate for our flight.
The second flight of our trip was on a smaller, more comfortable plane that provided significantly more leg-room for the likes of me.
Erika and the girls napped for much of the flight, while I got to see the tops of the snow-covered alps far below. I noticed that further south we went, the less-snowy the countryside, until it was only to be seen on the tops of the higher mountains. The trip to Nice airport was just about an hour long, so it was a short, pleasant flight.
Despite the palm trees that could be seen dotted around the perimeter of Nice airport when we landed, the temperature was not much warmer than what we had left at home: about 13C.
We retrieved our bags, and then had to wait in line for ages for the rental car that had been pre-arranged for at the Hertz counter. For the record I made note of the other car rental services available at Nice airport, and they are: Sixit, ADA, Thrifty, Budget, Europcar and Avis. Avoid Hertz, and aim for one of these other agencies instead, who could apparently deal with their customers in a *much* more efficient manner than the single attendant at the Hertz desk. Good case in point: she called twice to ensure that the child seat that we had ordered was in fact there, and then, when we got there, Erika had to ask for it again and then I had to install it. Ugh — never again. And this was on top of at least one other call regarding the vehicle itself (which, for the record, was a roomy Peugeot mini-van). This also meant another ride, this time to the other terminal by bus, so there was another round of unloading and loading our baggage again. After having waited the better part of an hour waiting and then dealing with the Hertz representative, we finally got everybody, the luggage and the dogs piled into the rental mini-van, and headed off for the last leg of the trip to the estate near Ramatuelle.
Both girls slept again, which meant that for the first time, neither of them had been sick for any part of the long journey.
When we arrived we were greeted warmly by our hosts, and then we lugged ourselves and our baggage upstairs. We were shown rooms in the west wing, with individual rooms for Vanessa and Annie, as well as one for Erika and myself, so we essentially had an entire wing of the building to ourselves.
Since I was the only one of the group who hadn’t had any sleep over the course of the trip, after helping to sort things out I gratefully hit the hay and conked out for the night.