In 2011, long before I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat-Pray-Love and certainly a few years before Julia Roberts played the heroine in the movie by the same name; my daughter and I lived our own version. Ok we did not take a lover, (I am married and our daughter was only a teen) and we did not wind up in an Ashram in India and certainly there was no vow of silence but…both my girl and I have big hair so it’s ALMOST exactly like Julia:) and we certainly lived the EAT part !
Now I am going to give it to you in five installments because it was quite a trip and I don’t want to take up too much of your time in one post.:
Monte Carlo, Monaco
We arrived in Monte Carlo on a Thursday afternoon Monaco Time exhilarated from the Taxi ride between Nice Airport and Monte Carlo.
The quintessential Mediterranean scenery is in three simple words “To -Die- For” !!
The sun is shining and hot. The air is salty, the lush palm trees and flowers are an overload for the senses. The turquoise water is shimmering, the mountains and peaks are to wonder at. The people are glamorous as can be dripping in jewelry, draped in Louis Vouton, Cartier and Yves St Laurent to name but a few designers.
Our taxi ride takes us through approximately twelve tunnels as the roads are built right “through” the mountains.
We arrive at the famous “hair pin” turn so often seen during Grand Prix race and we arrive at our hotel. Our taxi stops behind a few Ferraris and Porsches and we step in to the very “happening” hotel. There is an electricity charged atmosphere and the Casino is in full swing.
Our room overlooks the water and when I say overlooks I mean the pillars under our balcony are literally in the water. Basically if you had the notion you could dive from our balcony into the sea. Directly in front of us are what look like many cruise ships but in fact they are some of the largest and most formidable yachts I have ever seen!
We are exhausted having had about four hours sleep between us BUT…you know what? We didn’t come to Monte Carlo to sleep 🙂 so….we go for a dip in the roof top pool, take another bunch of pictures then get refreshed, get dressed and hit the city for a walkabout and dinner.
The city is awash with lights and gardens and yachts and the night is hot and wonderful.
We drop in to bed at 11pm as we have promised ourselves a busy day tomorrow.
We enjoy our leisurely breakfast on our balcony. At 9am we walk along the harbor to the train station. We cram in to the train (standing room only) standing barely inside the doors all the way to Ventimiglia, Italy. We have come to attend the Friday market place.
We walk down th rua de la statione all the way down to the sea and from there we walk through the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of stalls . All providing great deals and great products. My daughter purchases her first pair of Italian Shoes! We unload some Euros here and there and stop for authentic pizza for lunch.
After five hours of walking in the super sun and heat we grab a croissant and some Evian and lay in the shade of a palm tree before re-boarding the train.
Arrivaderci Italia! Everyone has been so kind and warm and welcoming. We have very much enjoyed speaking with hand gestures and being greeted with big smiles everywhere we go.
We tumble off the train at 6pm and walk back to the hotel. Another dip in the pool to refresh our aching leg muscles.
By 9pm we are dressed again and find our way to the incredible roof top restaurants overlooking the water again.
Some how we find the energy to go for another evening stroll and collapse in our rooms at 12:45am.
6:45am is just around the corner….waiting for us to pack-check-out and board the train to France which I will tell you all about in Part 2..