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April 20, 2009

Want me to take your picture?

April 20. Day 294.

Nice has a lovely boardwalk, which more than makes up for its narrow, grainy beach.

(I know, I'm a spoiled Californian, but of all the beaches I've seen, none come close to ours. Allow me to wax obnoxious for just one moment. Our waves. Our wide swaths of fine sand, our palm trees, our bars and restaurants, just steps away. Our piers and sand crabs. Unbeatable.

I have never been to the Caribbean, Asia, Australia or Africa -- i.e. most of the world -- so maybe something else will win, one day. But until then... Cali takes the cake.)

On this boardwalk, people roller blade and bike. And tourists take pictures.

We were strolling there at sunset, smiling at how easy life is when you're in Nice and on vacation, when I noticed something. A man, trying to photograph himself. He was alone -- one of few tourists, it seemed, traveling by themselves -- and he was trying to commemorate the moment by holding out both hands steadily and hitting "click."

But what kind of shot would he get if held the camera himself? His face would block the rest of the amazing background.

"I'll be right back," I told my mom.

"Excuse me?" I called as I approached him. He looked surprised, unsure if I was talking to him. "Would you like me to take your picture?"

His face lit up. He gave me his camera. I stepped back about 15 feet, and caught his smile, the whole boardwalk, the glistening water, the hill in the background. Then, I took one more shot, just in case.

"Thank you very much," he said.

Gained: Made someone smile.
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