I almost feel embarrassed to tell you how great everything is going for us, so please read this as absolute gushing and not bragging. Taking the flight instead of the train from Nice to Barcelona was one of the best decisions we’ve made on this trip. I feel like I’ve said that before, so I guess we’re just consistently making awesome choices, but this time I mean it.
The Nice airport is compact and easy to navigate, and we went with EasyJet airlines which was a great choice: after a quick internet comparison of EasyJet and Vueling, I found that EasyJet was consistently ranked higher in leg room, service, comfort, the price of checked luggage was less, and the fleet was younger. I’ve had some bad flights (if you were with me on the Bahamas trip in March, you’ll know what I’m talking about with Eleuthera to Nassua. Also, a flight in 2001 in Russia had me in [not a joke] a folding card chair that had been screwed into the floor. No, not the same flight as that one…the one you’re thinking of was on the way home from Russia where the man next to me clipped his toenails. Same trip, different flight), but this was not one of them.
EasyJet was wonderful and I really didn’t find the leg room to be bad for a cheapie quick flight. They were hard-nosed about carry-on luggage which I value, and made everyone weigh and prove that theirs was within the airline’s limits by putting each bag into one of those pre-measured metal boxes. Boarding was a breeze and we got priority boarding thanks to bambino. We truly lucked out when the gentleman who was meant to sit with us in our row asked the attendant, “do you have any other seat available on the plane that I could sit in, to give this family more room?” He was willing to take anything and was being gracious oppose to not wanting to sit with a baby, and then his good deed was repaid when they gave him an entire row to himself, so we both won! What a gentleman.
The flight was smooth and a complete non-issue — I wouldn’t be afraid of flying if every trip were like that! (Yes, I know, avid traveller is afraid of flying…it’s worth it to get to the destination!) We took a taxi to our hotel and things just kept looking up.
The gentleman at front desk hurried along the people in front of us saying “go relax in your room, and we can sign these documents later…we need to check the baby in.” So considerate. Midway through checking us in, he looked a bit glum and said we had booked the standard room but he didn’t think we would be comfortable in there with a baby. Despite ensuring him it was no problem to us, he said he just didn’t feel right putting us in a small room, and upgraded us free of charge to the most beautiful hotel room I’ve ever stayed in. If you’ve been in our home, it’s the size of our bedroom, ensuite and laundry room combined — mosaic tile is laid throughout, there are soaring 14 foot ceilings with beautiful detail and crown moulding, and three juliet balconies from the bathroom that over look the hotel’s terrace and patio.
I’m not kidding that by the time we got up to the room, they had already set up a crib for Baby, and had a little welcome pack for him — a bath sponge, baby soap, baby lotion, baby perfume (is this a Spanish thing?), and a little toothbrush and child toothpaste. Adorable.
This hotel is a high-end hipster’s dream, set in a beautiful historic building and outfitted with rich colours and comfortable bedding, but quirky features set it apart from a typical boutique hotel — a giant bowl of Starburst candies sits on the front desk, an eclectic soundtrack of beachy acoustic music floats gently through the corridors, an all-you-can-drink coffee and espresso bar (with complimentary fresh-baked pain au chocolats, and croissants in the morning, and donuts throughout the day) is available to guests, and a beautiful lounge complete with computers and a book exchange has French doors opening onto the terrace.
Sturdy complimentary umbrellas are available in case of rain, and they take free wi-fi one step further, by offering free PORTABLE wi-fi during your stay — an internet hotspot to take with you.
I could honestly keep going, but now you think I’m just showing off. Instead, I will let you know we did do laundry (at the swankiest laundry mat I’ve been to), and did remind each other during supper that our train would just be pulling in to town, and toasted to a change of plans well worth it! Tyler wonders if this is due to the Pope’s blessing? Ha.
If you’re ever in the area, I’m telling you, Praktik Rambla is the place to stay!
Until next time,