Sunday, February 9, 2014

Joyeux Noel from the South of France - Part 1, Monaco

I don't know about you but while fully enjoyable I find the holidays a bit stressful each year.  I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist by nature so the pressure each year to have that Norman Rockwell Christmas just creeps in even with my best vows to rein it I each year.  So, after another perfectly imperfect holiday last year I vowed to change it up in 2013 to force a more relaxed holiday upon myself.

It all really started last Christmas as I was blog surfing and I stumbled upon some posts from Katy Elliott about a trip she & her husband had made to Provence.  It looked like just the perfect place to escape to.  The seeds were planted....I was going to France.  Nevermind that I didn't (and still don't) speak French and really new very little about the country...except of course that Paris is absolutely fabulous.

And....Audrey Hepburn famously said "Paris is always a good idea"...well, not for this trip.  I was hoping for a little warmer climate plus Paris at Christmas without a special someone by my side...not so much thank you. The warmer temps made Monaco, Nice & Avignon much more appealing.

So, flights booked I headed off to Nice on Christmas Day and after a fairly uneventful 10 hrs hopped a bus to Monaco for my first night.  

Waiting for a bust to take me to Monaco.  Couldn't have been any
easier...just step outside of the airport & wait.
Ok, so not knowing much about Monaco except its only about 1 square mile in its entirety I only planned to stay one day before heading to Avignon so I tried to make the most of my limited time and first thing in the morning headed out for a walk to see the beach/boardwalk.

The boats were just breathtaking...and beyond anything I had ever expected existed in swank

Then headed off to see just where Prince Rainier & Princess Grace lived out their days.

Approaching the Princes's quite a hike (yes those
buildings down by the water were the same from the photo
above) if you're going to walk it...but oh so worth it.
It was just beautiful and I found the people extremely warm to an American who could barely utter bonjour without feeling like I was somehow butchering it. 

The Prince's Palace..fairly unassuming for a palace I thought

Only planning on one day was really a mistake, oh my gosh I love Monaco!  I really didn't get to see all I wanted to but trust me I will be back!  


  1. Sounds like the beginning of a wonderful adventure!

  2. My sister and I were staying in Nice and made the trip on the bus and we too were overwhelmed when we got there and wish we had more beautiful, I can still hear the hummmms of the very expensive cars as we sat on the bench to wait for the bus ride home..


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