Nice, France

Friday, September 16, 2011:

We leave Montecatini and head towards a drive near the coast, which I have to say is quite lovely.  First a tourist stop of course, to the leaning tower of Pisa.

Leaving Montecatini

Foggy drive to Pisa

It’s definitely leaning…we only have 30 minutes here so we dont’ even get a chance inside.

Hold it up honey!

Maybe it was because I missed seeing a large body of water or maybe it’s the Mediterranean.  It’s as gorgeous as people hyped it up to be, it’s a Sea, but it’s as calm as a lake.  The sun hits it just right and even I, local girl from Hawaii, fell in love.  
The drive is long because there is traffic and the road is winding around mountains and cliffs but soon Elzo is giving us some key french greetings and phrases.  It’s now “bon jour” instead of “buongiorno”, it’s “merci” instead of “grazie”….I’ve always loved the French language and wished I was fluent in it.  I couldn’t wait to try it out in France.
In front of our hotel, this sidewalk is called The Promenade de Anglais
The biggest surprise to me on this trip so far has got to be Nice (pronounced “niece”), France.  I wasn’t expecting much from the place because I figured it would be just a pit stop on our way to Paris.  But I can see why celebrities come to the Cannes Film Festival, Cannes is only 25 miles from Nice.  St. Tropez is a bit further down from Cannes, but the French Riviera is gorgeous, though it caters to a particular set of society…those with money.
Our agenda in Nice?  To hit the principality of Monaco, which is a few miles away.  Maybe it was because it was “Monaco” and we’d be seeing “Monte Carlo” but everyone dressed up that night.  Men wore their dinner jackets, if they brought it and as Elzo said, we cleaned up pretty well!  Josh looked very handsome 🙂

Hotel room, Radisson Blu

On this stretch of the beach, there is no sand, but pebbles…yup, lay on the pebbles!

Heading to Monaco, looking at all the yachts

The roads here are narrow and winding and we had front row seats…I was so tense!

Monaco is a very tiny country…I think the Vatican is the tiniest and Monaco has to come second, it’s basically a city…but they are their own country.  Remember Grace Kelly marrying Prince Rainier?  Such a fairy tale!

Prince Grace and Prince Rainier are buried here.

Prince Albert lives here…

Josh ready to enjoy Monaco

Me too

Pretty!

Newlyweds

Walking towards the restaurant for another feast, french stylee

We had enough gelato in Italy hun

The dinner was scrumptious.  Josh and I had chicken and it was juicy.  The french fries were crisp as usual and the beans were delicious!!  Dunno how they cooked that but seriously, I loved those green beans.  Also, the dessert was perfection, so light and airy….Josh isn’t fond of French desserts, he thinks it’s not sweet or heavy enough…I on the other had never known I loved French cuisine until I ate in France!

So we headed to Monte Carlo, the casino, and had a run in with the French police.  You know in Italy, the police were nonchalant and could care less about you…apparently here in Monaco, if you stop the bus to let people out, the police are on your ass and sure enough Eddy and the police started to argue…I was afraid we’d be kicked out of Monaco. LOL…

The Monte Carlo

It’s a small gambling area, it’s got nothing on Vegas, but it’s the charm and history that  attract you

There isn’t much to see here but Bentleys, Ferraris, and other luxury cars…

 Josh and I went to sit on a bench away from the crowds and reveled in the Monaco lifestyle that surely we’d never live.  Want a yacht?  It’s all about who has the biggest and newest here…even if you don’t know how to navigate one or take it out to sea.

We decide this has been the best trip ever and what a honeymoon it’s been!

We got back to the hotel about 11pm, so it had been a very long, long day.  And that’s all the time we had in Nice and Monaco.  Short but definitely sweet!  Tomorrow morning we board another train and head to our last stop, Paris…

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