Sunday, July 23, 2017

Bucket List....

So I have quickly been checking off my bucket list. It wasn't all that long to begin with is I never dreamed I would live close enough where visiting all of these places would be a reality. Since I am not ready to go quite yet and my list is getting shorter, Jamison challenged me to set new goals and make a bucket list part B. So here it is....someday...


Friday, July 21, 2017

Nice Day 4

Our last day....we started with a run, went to the beach, wandered the town, sampled the chocolate, sampled the coffee, wandered into a random cathedral and enjoyed the local market.  Perfect end to a perfect week.  The military presence was everywhere. We are getting used to that in the towns we are visiting.

Not a bad view or a bad way to start the day!










We found French chocolate. A goal of our is to try chocolate in every country we visit.


The French version of a candy store. In the middle you could build your own bag of cookies instead of candy.

Translation failure. There was a sign for chocolate olives. Seeing as this was not a combination that we would ever think to try, we decided to try some. Turns out it was chocolate covered almonds!


Local flower market


Old Town 

A whole store just for macaroons

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Monte Carlo

Lifestyles of the rich and famous...we are neither but we did enjoy seeing how those who are live.  The cars, the hotels, the yachts.  It was amazing. The kids were in awe.  The city is absolutely beautiful and the hills, well, we got a workout in. Over 8 miles of traversing between Monaco and Monte Carlo.

We learned that Monte Carlo is one of the cities in Monaco and is named after Prince Charles III. The name is Mount Charles in Italian.

Upon arriving, I told Grayson that we would go see the Grand Prix circuit. What I did not realize was that the Grand Prix was run on the actual streets of Monte Carlo. So while we were walking the streets, we were on the Grand Prix circuit. For my child who loves cars, he thought that was the coolest.

First stop, the Casino Royale of Monte Carlo.  While I would have loved to seen the inside, we weren't dressed appropriately, nor did we have the right title or status.  We can say, "Bond. James Bond." This is where Golden Eye and Never Say Never were filmed.



We stopped in front of a hotel to enjoy the fancy cars parked out front, in particular the Ferrari and Aston Martin.  The parade of cars driving the streets was impressive.


Last stop was the marina to enjoy the view and the yachts.




What a day!  We loved it!

Monaco

Today we ventured out to explore the second smallest country in the world, Monaco.  Ahhh...the beauty but first a stop to eat like the locals, croissants.  Yum!


Once we arrived in Monaco, it was a steep climb uphill to get to the palace.  The kids of course loved the climb, until they realized that the entire day would be going up and down the hills of the country. By the end all of our legs were tired, but here's to a strong start.


About half way up we stopped to take a picture with Prince Ranier (think Princess Grace, an American actress who gave up her career to be the Princess of Monaco). He had one of the longest reigns in Monaco.


Outside the palace.  The day alternated rain and sunshine.  We toured the inside and it was gorgeous - very French and very ornate. Unfortunately, cameras weren't allowed inside.






Overlooking the bay.  Too bad it was so hazy out. It was gorgeous!


We wandered the gardens and came across the cathedral of Monaco where Prince Ranier and Princess Grace were married and where they are now buried.


Lastly, a train ride to view the wonderful cities of Monaco and Monte Carlo.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Nice, Day 2

There were several areas around the Riviera that Jamison and I wanted to explore. The children however had another idea...the beach. We spent the entire day at the beach.  Quite the cultural experience.  The beach in Nice is a pebble beach and we found the rocks hard to walk on and hard on the soles of the feet. Next time we know to take water shoes to help us maintain our footing.  Secondly, the water was a bit chilly.  However, we braved it because you can't go to the beach without getting in the water.  Of course, there was the issue that we were on a FRENCH beach. Yes, that means there were some topless ladies.  Fortunately, Jamison thought to give the children a heads up to what we might see.  Overall, most people had tops on and once the shock of the first lady or two, it really became a non-issue.  No one really commented or noticed after that.





when there isn't sand to build sandcastles, you build fortresses!



On the way home, we found a place for hope to have a macaroon. We are crossing items off of everyone's bucket list this week.







We ended the day with gelato and a carousel ride.  Apparently the French invented the carousel so of course, we had to ride.







Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nice Day 1


  Happy 40th once again Jamison!



His birthday present was a short trip to see the French Riviera. He told us he was always game to go anywhere, and this was one of the few places he had not been on his college tour of Europe.  It works for me as it was on my bucket list of places to visit. The Riviera did not disappoint! The water was several shades of blue, there were expensive cars and yachts to look at, the Jazz Festival was in full swing and IronMan Nice was setting up for the weekend race. There was not a shortage of places to go or people to watch.

This statue to Apollo was at the center of town, just down from our hotel. We were in the center of all the action. It was great.



Our first stop of course was lunch.  A friend of mine noted that there was a lot of Italian food in the Riviera as it was so close to Italy.  She was right. It seemed that all we came across were Italian restaurants. I don't think any of us were disappointed, well, maybe J as he wanted French food, but the rest of us were content with all of the Italian.  We did happen to find a bakery or two to sample all of the French pastries.  Yum!





After lunch, we started our exploration by taking a tour of the area by boat.







We climbed up the hill to overlook the bay and found a playground for the children to play on.




Gelato to end the day!