Kozik Family Photo Blog
For Mother’s Day, we spent a normal day. Liz sent some really nice flowers. Mike and Liane sent some presents. Good kids. We went kayaking, and at dinner time we had a zoom call with Liz, Mike, Liane and the cats and dogs. I got some simple flowers and a Mother’s Day cake from Bailey’s. Happy Mother’s Day!
We celebrated my birthday in Sanibel. On my birthday, I did a bike ride through Ding Darling; later Cathie took me to Ding Darling to get me a Senior Pass, thank you!
Then we went for a really nice hike through Sanibel’s Shipley Trail; we saw the green herons, turtles and bald eagles. Such a nice trail. Then we kayaked Clam Bayou to the beach. It was really nice.
Later that afternoon, I went golfing at Beachview. Then I came home. Mike called me. I talked to my Mom and Cathie’s Mom.
At 7pm, we setup a zoom session with Liz and the cats. We celebrated my birthday and the birthdays of Monster and Tiny kitties with candles on a key lime pie from Pecking Order. After our zoom call, we went to Mucky Duck for dinner. We were able to sit inside. I opened my birthday presents including the brand new Nikon Z 24-200 lens. Very nice. Very happy!! Thank you Cathie, thank you everyone!
Because of Covid-19, we did Christmas a little differently this year. Mike, Liane, Liz, Cathie and I all took Covid tests and bubbled together. Mike and Liane came home Dec 20 and stayed through the Saturday after Christmas. On Christmas eve we went to Mom and Dad’s to drop off presents. We briefly talked and then left. I was the right thing; lots of people were getting sick from family gatherings and we wanted to avoid spreading.
That night we had dinner and opened presents. On Christmas day, Mike and Liane went to her parents house and Cathie, Liz and I binge-watched the new Netflix series Bridgerton.
For this year, Mike couldn’t come home and we didn’t want to invite anyone over to our house. So it was just me, Liz and Cathie for a really nice Turkey dinner.
-We were happy that Sue was coming over. She’s helping with Grandma while we are traveling
-But we also had Vicky come over and watch the kitties. That’s ok, more is better
-We had a full day preparing to leave including taking down the Christmas tree
-Mike, Liane and Hannah all had to leave the 26th
–Mike cannot come because of work
–Liane was departing from Dulles
–Hannah was to depart from Detroit.
–Liane and Hannah’s flights have a common connection point in Amsterdam
-Cathie, me, Liz and Nora caught a limo to the airport at 3:45pm
Fri 12/27 UA952 ORD->MUC 6:05pm to 9:35amCET
Sat 12/28 UA9481 MUC->NCE 11:15am to 12:45pm
-We made it to Munich on time and spent an hour in the very nice Luftansa lounge
-We were seated in an exit row on our LH flight to Nice
-The Alps were beautiful
-We landed on time and got our luggage promptly. The Nice airport is very small
-Our nice driver met us right away
–He spoke French to me the whole trip
-We got to our Hotel Masséna. The front desk staff spoke to me in French!!
-Our rooms weren’t ready until after 3pm
-Hannah and Liane who arrived 90 minutes before us found a cafe and we met them there.
-The cafe Monsieur Albert served us snacks and drinks on the sunny Place Masséna, really close to our hotel
-After two hours we went shopping
–Hermès — two scarfs
–Gallery Lafayette — just looked
-Then we went back to the hotel. Our rooms were ready (by about 4pm).
-We decided it was ok to take short naps. I slept from 5:30pm to 6:15pm
-Then we went to dinner. Based on the hotel’s recommendation, we went to the Les Épicuriens
–It was great. Niçoise food. We were the first ones there. By the time we left the place
-We planned our day for tomorrow: Vieux Nice and a cooking class
-I called our New Years Eve place: La Langouste +33(0)493 88 79 23. I confirmed the reservation but I need to pay on Monday
Ce serait mieux si on se parlait en français ? / Il vaudrait mieux qu’on se parle en français.
Où est l’ascenseur au sommet de la colline
-Weather — mid 50s, mostly clear skies
-Ate breakfast at 9am. I slept the whole night!
–Very normal European breakfast. I had scrambled eggs, cheese, meat and croisant from a nice buffet
-We walked to the water front, found the elevator to the top of castle hill
–We followed the Quai des Etats-Unis going East
–L’ascenser du Chateau to the top of Colline du Chateau
–beautiful views of the new and old cities
–The sun came out, made it warmer
–We saw a very active aerobics class on the top of the hill. This is not an abandoned monument
–Painfully (for me), walked down the hill. Made our way to the old city (Vieux Nice)
–We shopped at the fantastic outdoor market, Marche du cours Saleya
–We ate at a cafe, La Civette du Cours
–We toured a church, Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate de Nice
-We went back to the hotel for a break
-Then we went shopping in Nice
–Bought shampoo and rinse at Galeries Lafayette
–Didn’t find anything else, but we had excellent crepes from Pinocchio food stand on rue Massena
-At dinner time, we took an Uber to a private home for a cooking class
–“Cooking: Are you ready to cook a receip from Nice” — booked through Air B&B
–She taught us to make ravioli
–She served us our ravioli, plus pizza. We had home made Terramasu for desert
–Lemoncello made from Lemons from her garden
–We shared the table with an engineer from Colombia who is working in Germany.
-The same Uber driver picked is up after the dinner
Monday 12/30/19 — Monaco
-Weather: same nice mid 50s weather. Clear sky, sunny all day
-We went to Monaco
–Tram to SNCF. Trouble with turn style, nice SNCF person
–Arrived at Monaco. 9am
-Walked to Casino de Monte-Carlo
–beautiful views of facade, water and mountains
–entered Casino. open for tours until 1pm
–excellent cafe, next to Christmas park w/music. Café de Paris Monte-Carlo. Server knew I was paying
-took taxis to castle
–two taxis. cash only
–watched changing of the guard
–“Disney-like” charm and beauty. Great views
–Toured the Cathédrale de Notre-Dame-Immaculée (sans Hannah)
–Lunch at wonderful out door cafe Le Bar Express — most of us had pizza
–walked through gardens and found Musee Oceanographie
-Walked down long trail from castle back toward SNCF station
-Walked through Christmas Market — very nice
-Had a challenge catching the train back
–5:26pm — rush hour, packed!!
–no up escalators working. I was exhausted
–Needed local people to help with Nice-Ville Stop
-Took taxi to our New Years Eve dinner place
–We needed to put a deposit down on our reservation
–at first had troubles accepting our credit card
–But person in charge was ok
-Back to the hotel. Exhausted
-Dinner near hotel: Maison Margaux
–seated outside, too cold, they moved us inside
–made friends with the server — treated us to lemoncello for dessert
Tuesday 12/31/19 — Cannes
-Weather: clear and cool. Started 45, high 55.
-New Year’s Eve
-Liane and Hannah need to catch an early flight next morning we booked at 4:40am limo!
-We all slept better. 8:30am breakfast
-We had a wonderful day at Cannes
–We took the tram and took the train to Cannes
–There was an InOui express train, but we bought TER tickets. 20min vs 40mim saved 3.5e person
–Arrived and right away stopped at a bakery that served Brioche Rolls with Sugar.
–Walked to the water front, passing by an excellent shopping area and flea market
–Walked past the famous movie theater where the annual film festival is held
–Saw lots of really big yachts. Cathie saw nostalgic pictures sans the yachts… that the Cannes she remembers.
–They were doing a big beach rehab. Lots of construction
–We made our way all the way over to the boat tour area and went on a cruise to Île Saint-Honorat
—We saw the vineyards, the monastery, the old fort/castle, and walked along the rock shoreline
—We bought lots a the gift store La Rina Boutique
—We were the 2nd to the last to be served at the restaurant La Tonnelle
—We had salads and Gnocchi, wine and dessert… right on the Mediterranean Sea. Beautiful!
—We took the 3:30 boat back. It was nearly full
–We walked through the Christmas market area, and made our way back to the train station
–We were lucky because the 4:53pm train starts in Cannes, so we were able to sit the whole way
–It was busy but not packed
-We got a tram back to our hotel
-Took naps to help prepare for New Years Eve dinner at 9pm
-We went to the La Langouste Restaurant.
–The hotel made us a reservation on 12/23
–We got there at 9pm and left at 11:45pm
–It was a wonderful 5 course meal with 3 bottles of rose and 2 bottles of champagne
–Each first 3 courses featured lobster
–We sat near a live band. Fun music. Just quiet enough that we could talk
-We left and quickly walked to the Massena Square.
–People were walking to the water front. Really crowded.
–Just in time for the countdown and fireworks.
–sent a picture to Mike
–Lots of impromptu fireworks
–Saw the police stop someone with big long fireworks sticking out of his back pack
–As usual, the Italians were the ones celebrating the loudest. Fun!
-Walked back to the hotel
–Had another bottle of champagne
–Shared with our server
–Went to bed by 1:30am
–Liz tried to stay up with Liane and Hanna until 4am
-I got a little sick, but it passed quickly
Wednesday 1/1/20 — New Years Day Movie, outside dinning
-Weather: Cool, Sunny, clear 45-55 degrees
-We hope Liane and Hannah’s early flights worked out. We’ll be sleeping!
-Liane and Hannah texted us from Amsterdam. All was well waiting for their connections back to Detroit and Dulles
-Cathie and I had a brief breakfast at 11:30am.
-I was able to check Liane and Hannah out of their room 215, as planned
-Then we walked to the park and found a bench and sat for awhile (Jardin Albert Ier)
-I was really sore, both feet and walked really slowly.
-I was happy to sit.
-We then went for a walk thru Vieux Nice. It was very lively with some shops open. The Marche was closed
-We bought nice things from Parfumeries Fragonard
-We did a lot of walking and by 2:30 or so, the crowds were less and we found a spot at the pizza place called. Da Giulia on Place du Palais
–That was good and light
-Going back to our London New Years, we decided to see a move
–Took the tram 2 stops
–Les 4 filles de Dr Marche — Little Women
–Cinéma Pathé Massénae at Jean-Medecin
–It was VOST - Video Original w/Sub Titles in French
–Really good for French learners
–Really good for me to rest my feet
-It was after 7pm and looked for a simple dinner near our hotel
-Took the tram back to Massena Place
-Bought gifts at the Pylones store
–Ate simple dinner at Le Liber’tea
-Back at our rooms by 8:30pm
Thursday 1/2/20 – Villefranch-sur-la-Mer
-Weather: supposed to be cloudy, but turned out sunny 45-55, again!!
-slept well. Though got up early because went to be by 10pm the night before
-Had breakfast at 8:30. Normal.
-Toured the old city again.
–Bought nice things from the Marché aux Fleurs Cours Saleya
–Newpaper, plaque, greeting cards for next year’s holidays, herb de provence
—Le Comptor Familial wanted us to order from their website
—Papeterie Rontani — Christmas cards, I had my own bag!
–Went to the bank machine twice for 40 euros just to get small bills
-Dropped out stuff off at the hotel
-Headed for Villefranch-sur-la-Mer
–Took the 11:07 train
–Long lies at the kiosks
–Had to run to catch the over crowded train
–Got off after two stops. No problems
-Villefranche sur-Mer was really nice, perfect weather
–We followed the path way up away from the beach
–We saw the narrow streets of the old town
–We saw white cat (Ripley) and tuxedo cat (Monster)
–Just at noon we stopped for drinks at the Les Palmiers cafe
–After that we walked over the Citadelle de Villefranche from the 1500s, now the Hotel de Ville
—Really nice. Museums, view of the water front, old building structures
–By about 2pm, we walked our way down and found a cafe on the water front Spalato
—We were right on the water with a beautiful view
—Dueling seagulls and pidegons.
—Flying cheese. Our serve dropped Nora’s warmed cheese plate. We were teasing the Nora would have flying cheese nightmares.
–We walked over to Chapelle Saint-Pierre de Villefranche-sur-Mer, the Church with the drawings by J Cocteau. Really nice. No pictures, we bought post cards
–Cathie bought a sweater from the store Cargo Sud
–We caught the 4:16 train back to Nice (not crowded). Only two stops
-Took the tram back to the square.
–tried to book haircut appointments. All booked
–shopped at the bookstore across the street from the hotel, Librairie Masséna
-Took a nap until our dinner at 8pm
-We went walking toward the square to the water and a restaurant La Petite Maison
–It was very popular, but full.
-So we walked toward the opera house and found Le Grand Balcon Restaurant
–We had an excellent meal and deserts.
–We sat in a sheltered outside area… we had blankets
–We sat next to the owner. He was very nice to us
-We walked over to the waterfront, then headed back to the hotel by 11pm
Friday 1/3/20 – Musée National Marc Chagall
-Slept well, awake by 7:30am, breakfast at 9am
-Salon Gaspard – all full
-Weather: clear skys 45-55
-Last full day in Nice
-Breakfast at 9am
-Took Uber to the Musée National Marc Chagall
–part of the exhibit was closed, thus museum entry was free
–beautiful exhibits. religious in theme, very colorful
–drinks at a nice outdoor cafe, cute little white dog
–4 bus tours were visiting
–bought some post cards, plus a picture of a couple with a chicken (mike and Liane?)
-Walked to our destination, back toward the square, about 1km
-Walked past a rather large Alliance Française de Nice with a big cafe area
-Stopped at a Comic book shop BD Fugue Cafe
–Liz bought lots of books
–We had drinks at the cafe
–The staff was surprised when Liz pulled out her own back
-We continued walking back to the square
-Stopped to eat at the Pâtisserie Canet … fantastic!
–Cathie and I had Millefeuille
–Liz and Nora had Tarte Citron
-We also stopped at candy store 50.00 for my french class
-La Chaise Bleue
-Nice Jewelry at Esprit Malin
-It was nearly sundown, so we found a place on the water front
–Watched sun down on the balcony
–There was a student sitting next to us. we ordered her a round of drinks (tea)
–There was a lady from Paris sitting next to us who exchanged business cards with Liz
–The bar like us to much they made us some snacks
–we left after sunset, but…
-Liz fell into the Med
–after sunset, in the dark, at the waters edge, she slipped on the stones and fell in
–We could see the water crashing over her lit-up phone.
–She went back into the water to rescue her phone
–The phone was ok, but she was wet.
-We all rushed back to the hotel room to get her in dry clothes
–Liz was fine.
-We then went exploring and found a tapas place called Le Metropolitan
–Simple mini-burgers, mini croques, shimp
–Good music, fun server
-For desert, we walked over the popular crepe place called Ballanger.
–Lots of whip cream and sugar. Really good.
-Walked back to the hotel room to back.
-Reserved a car to the airport at 5:15am
Saturday 1/4/20 — Heading home
-Confusion with ride to the airport
Sat 1/4 LH2277 NCE->MCE 7:40am to 9:05am
1/4 UA953 MUC->ORD 11:25am to 2:15pmCT
As usual, we celebrated Christmas at our house. Mike and Liane went to her parents house at 9am; they came back by noon. We had a big lunch and opened presents. Cathie fixed an excellent roast. Liz had an excellent recipe for Brussels Sprouts. Grandma came over, too.
Mike and Liane had to leave late in the afternoon to go back to her parents for dinner. They had to leave the afternoon of the 26th to go back to Baltimore.
We were delighted when Mike and Liane drove in from Baltimore Christmas Eve morning with their puppies Pamb and Gus. The weather was good for their drive, but they were certainly tired. We went to my parents by 3pm and celebrated Christmas Eve as we traditionally do.
We were please that all the grandchildren and all the children were all here. We took some great family photos!
Pamb was able to join us, but Gus stayed at Liane’s house. Thanks for coming home for Christmas!!
Molly Dixon got her ECE degree from Purdue University 12/15/19. She has a job in Indianapolis.
We attended the commencement ceremony. It was very traditional Purdue… I loved it!
Congratulations Niece Molly!
For 2019, we had Thanksgiving at our house, back to normal. We were so happy to have Tom joining us for the first time in many years! We had a fantastic meal and were able to do a fire on the patio.