Michael and I have been traveling now for 54 weeks, 36 of which have been living and traveling in our van. We’ve been spending a lot of time together. We eat every meal together, we plan activities together, and we spend our downtime together. We have learned a lot about each other too, how grumpy Michael gets if he’s hungry, how emotional I am when I’m tired, and which foods make us gassy — you know, romantic stuff. At the beginning of our trip, when we were in Italy, we went for sushi (yes, you can get something other than pizza and pasta in Italy!). That evening I wore lipstick, and we talked about everything under the sun except plans for our trip. It was lovely! We called it date night. And since then, every three or four weeks, we go on a date night. There are a few rules to date night: I wear lipstick, we go out for dinner, and we don’t talk about poop.
We were in Cannes, France during the International Film Festival (is a sentence I never thought I would say). We found the perfect cheapskate parking spot for the van — free street parking on a side street right off the beach! We found out pretty quickly that it would be near impossible for us to get tickets to see an actual movie, so we spent our days on the beach in the sun, topless tanning, baguette eating, yacht watching, and helicopter spotting. It’s pretty swanky in Cannes on a normal day. Pack in a bunch of celebs, ‘wannabe’ celebs, and ‘I-wanna-see-celebs’ and you’ve got yourself some crazy energy.
I, for one, have never felt poorer in my life. Picture this: we meander down le Croisette, past the exclusive beach clubs with various coloured carpets out front, where the paparazzi snap coveted pictures of models and actors. Then we walk along the main road where shiny black vans with tinted windows pick up and drop off important people at the fanciest hotels. We wander past ritzy cafes, where the espresso costs €3.75, and then down to the golden beach. From here, we can see that the sky over the water is busy with helicopters flying between the yacht helipads and the helipad outside the red carpet theatre, and that the horizon is made up of mega yachts, one of which is painted gold. Then, we turn a corner, climb into our van and pee in a jar. Paparazzi, see me now!
On our last night in Cannes, we went out for a date night. It’s been a year since Michael took me for sushi in Florence. He paid that night, maybe he didn’t realize he’d have to stretch his savings for over a year when he decided to take care of such a big bill. So, on our last evening, a year, almost to the day, later I reciprocated that date. I took Michael for a beautiful meal at L’Assiette Provençale.
Before dinner, we bought a cheap AF bottle of wine at the supermarket, took it down to the beach, and enjoyed it in the sunset. There were lots of people on the beach; couples drinking wine or beer like us, a bunch of young teenagers being goofy in the sand, families soaking up the last minutes of daylight. It was great. We finished our bottle and meandered past the empty red carpet (everyone was inside watching a movie), to the restaurant.
For dinner, we ordered another bottle of wine — this one was much more expensive that the last. I had zucchini risotto to start, duck breast as my main, and the most meringued lemon meringue pie I’ve ever seen. Michael had roast vegetables with candied goat cheese to start, sea bass for his main, and creme brûlée for dessert. It was all so scrumptious.
When we left, the movie was out. The streets were flooded with flashing bulbs and crowd of people. We rushed through the crowd to get where we needed to be: the beach! A few years ago, the Film Festival began showing classic winning movies from festivals past, for free at a makeshift theatre on the main beach. This evening’s movie was Silence of the Lambs! I have never seen it, but it’s obviously a classic, and what cooler place to see it than in Cannes where it debuted? This might have been the fanciest ‘dinner and a movie’ date I’ve ever been on.
I can’t wait to see what Michael does next year to try and top this!
Read about our last date night in Sidi Ifni, Morocco here!