The weather could be lovely later this month in Nice, France.
It will definitely be better than here in Cincinnati — and Nice has a beach and a market and a Michelin-starred restaurant in town (with several more nearby) and a very close Matisse-designed chapel; BUT I can’t take time away to get there this year — drat!
My loss. Your gain.
Here’s how I was putting together a last-minute, spectacular vacation. Now it can be for you and a special friend.
To nip the winter blahs in the bud, either:
1) Grab your partner. Go to the Air France Flying Blue (rewards) site with $500 and 50,000 points (or $900 and 87,500 points if you want to go over in Business Class for a better chance at getting some sleep.) Find Air France Promo Awards — 12,500 points each way from Chicago to Europe on KLM. The best flight still available is the connection through Amsterdam on KLM’s 747. (Fly a 747 upstairs in Business Class before that experience is gone!)
Traveling directly to Nice, you miss Milan’s Christmas shopping — unless you rent a car and make the 4 hour drive into Italy. Beware: you may head for Milan and get distracted by other attractions along the way. But that’s another blog entry!
2) Take one of the NYC to Milan flights (Alitalia or Delta) made cheaper this year by Emirates’s entry into that market. Last time I looked Cincinnati to NYC in First and nonstop on to Milan (Delta/Alitalia) in Business was $2400 per person or $1076 in coach out of Cincinnati on Air France/Delta. From the East Coast it’s $605 each in coach out of Newark on United/Lufthansa or $721 on Emirates out of JFK.
Stay in Milan a couple days, then drive to Nice. I was going to try the Hotel Suisse (on the coast) and the Hotel La Villa Nice Victor Hugo (in town) in Nice, but there are any number of hotel rooms in the area still open for Euros or points. I saw a Le Meridien promo this week. There’s one in Nice, or Le Meridien Beach Plaza is in Monte Carlo — another adventure not that far up the coast.
Have a great trip!