monaco is my life

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ImageAfter a summer of traveling and trying to take in as much visual stimulation as possible I feel compelled to share what I saw, heard and felt with the blog world. I have been away from my computer for so long and all I have experienced has sparked my creativity again. So, here it goes and I hope you enjoy the first installment of my summer travels. This entry is comprised of excerpts from my e-mails to family and friends as my sisters and I galavanted around Monaco & France-places none of us had traveled to before! June 6

After many hours of traveling I have made it here! Arriving in Nice was a bit stressful because I had to find Whitney and Smyth but they couldn't come into my terminal and the baggage belt broke so they had to wait almost 2 hours for me! When we finally caught the bus to Monaco, all worry faded as the drive was amazing, up super windy hills overlooking the sparkling Mediterranean! Our hotel is ok. To be expected for the price. The room is quite big and has a little kitchen. But we haven't found a market yet. I think everyone here is so rich that they don't need to cook. Once we took a nap and regained a bit of energy, we walked down to the port. There are so many crazy boats here! Huge yachts just perched out at sea with rich folk sipping champagne! We went to the Fairmont Hotel horizon deck and champagne bar which was beautiful but super pricey. We settled for a couple of 24 euro cocktails and olives. A gorgeous setting! We ventured to find a more affordable dinner spot. We ended up at the famous Cafe de Paris that is next up the big casino. It was on Whitney's dinner list and was absolutely delicious. I don't think Smyth and I are going to last staying vegan here. We were pretty good. I had an amazing salad and red wine. Smyth had ratatouille and Whit had veggie tofu lasagna. Yum. We walked back to the hotel around 10 pm and called it any early night. My sleep is all messed up and I woke up at 4 am unable to go back to sleep :( so I'm in the lobby eating a snack and writing emails.

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June 7

Last night we went to an amazing area with the palace, a big cathedral and some amazing museums. The buildings were along a cliff beach with incredible views. The little town next to the church had endless back alleys with restaurants and shops. We ended up having pizza at an Italian restaurant and returning to the cathedral for a violin concert. It was very special, unlike anything I's ever seen before. There were about 6 musicians playing mostly Bach, that echoed perfectly throughout the cathedral.  Today we spent the afternoon at the beach (totally got sunburnt despite sunscreen). William Reed suggested this beach club/jazz restaurant and we went there for cocktails. Tonight was supposed to be our big night out in Monte Carlo but it was kind of a bust. We went to Buddha bar for dinner all dressed up. The decor was very unique and chic but the service sucked. Our waiter was rude and didn't even ask if I wanted another glass of wine (whaaaaa)! After dinner,  we then went to the Monte Carlo Casino. The building was beautiful but its nothing compared to Vegas!!! Tomorrow off to nice!!!

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June 8-9

Bonjour! June 8th, my birthday :) We packed up our hotel and hopped on the train to Nice, which was a very scenic ocean route. Our hotel was a pretty far walk from the train station with all of our bags but we made it. The staff was very friendly and our room was fine...kind of resembled a triple occupancy dorm room. But okay for one night. We went exploring immediately as it was our only day in Nice. The city was awesome-much less ritzy than Monte Carlo. It has a big city feel with small town charm. We were very centrally located and found a beautiful plaza with many outdoor cafes. We went in search for a lunch spot and turned down a small side street to discover a world of narrow alleys lined with shops and restaurants. We got some dried fruit from a delicious smelling spice shop, some unique candy from a crepe stand and a homemade lollipop for Aven from a cute candy store. We found a restaurant called La Mama (there are so many Italian places around). The staff was hilarious and laughed with us as we attempted to order in French. We had wine, pasta, salad, espresso, and a great time. We then made our way through the old town nice to the promenade that follows the coastline. The beach was not as lush or inviting as Monaco, but we stopped for an hour and read our books. Finding our way back toward the hotel I saw an observation point up a million stone stairs that switch-backed up a green mountain. We walked up and discovered a whole park, hidden walkways and a panoramic view of the city and the port of Nice. After spending some time wandering down each pathway and taking many pictures, we ventured back to our hotel, stopping to get some pastries on the way. We were all exhausted and chilled out. Whit and I ate some tiramisu and chocolate while Smyth was snoring, passed out for the night already. The next morning we went back to old town for coffee and wandered a bit more. We found an amazing flea market that I could have spent hours at.  But we had to catch our train to Paris. It was a gorgeous 6 hour ride partly along the coast and partly through the French countryside. Whitney and I practiced French on her phone, read books and planned our next couple of days. We arrived at our apartment a few hours ago. It's amazing....

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Paris deserves its own entry ! Tune in next time for Parisian mishaps and adventures.