Italy to Monaco to Nice to France oh my!
We woke up in Italy, drove to Monaco for lunch, had dinner in Nice and are sleeping in Cannes. What. A. Day.
My mind is racing with all that we saw and did today! We are getting used to rest stops on our bus rides which last up to 3 hours a day at most. The rest stops here are fantastic with wonderful local, fresh food. No fast food in sight. Europeans are smaller in general because fast food isn't as common, their food portions are smaller (just ask the kiddos how "large" their large shakes were today) and they walk. A lot.
After a 3 hour drive from Cinque Terre to Monaco, we were thrilled to spend a few hours touring this amazing town! I was going to insert a link here, but all of the sudden my wi-fi is gone....another issue with European travel. But we learn to go with the flow and be so grateful for all we are experiencing!
I can tell you that Monaco is the second smallest country in the world after the Vatican. It is full of wealth everywhere you look. The coastline walk up from the sea to the town is gorgeous. Yachts galore and BIG yachts! The casino, Formula 1 racing are also everywhere you look in souvenir shops.
We split up in to smaller groups of around 3-4 people because it is just so much easier to manage a small group in these towns. Imagine a group of 10 going into a tiny shop or trying to sit for lunch in a small cafe. Not very efficient.
After we left Monaco we took a 20 minute drive to a perfume factory only in France called "Fragonard". Most of the kids weren't took interested but you can bet the moms were on top of it!
Next stop, Nice for dinner. First of all, the walk along the beach was beautiful. Such a fun atmosphere with parasailing , sun bathing and people just having a great time. It had a different vibe than Cinque Terre and yet definitely not Florida either.
We walked through the old town and into the new town. Big. It was big, it was old, it had a slightly Mediterranean fell and yet it was all it's own character. Lots of clothing shops and I am sure SO much more we could have seen but we had to get to dinner at a little French restaurant that was open only for us. Of course it was 6 pm and Europeans don't eat dinner that early so I imagine it is great for the restaurants to serve large groups earlier in the evening. We had delicious chicken with a unique sauce and mashed potatoes. Delish! There was one French woman running the whole show and she didn't know a lick of english so we just sat and smiled as she talked to us and eventually Raoul, our guide, came ot help. Raoul speaks 4 languages and so far we have heard him speak three of them with ease. This is something that always amazes me how the brain can do that!
After dinner we hopped on the bus for the hour drive to Cannes. Now, it sounds amazing and fancy, but truth be told, we are here to spend the night. I am currently exhausted, showered and ready to sleep. Midnight seems to be the sleeping hour and 6 am is the wake up time but tomorrow we don't have to be at breakfast until 8;00 whoopie!