Wednesday, January 2, 2013

3 meals, 3 countries, 1 day

{Monaco during the holidays}
     Over the holidays, we were fortunate to have family make the long trip to France to visit. And while we had plenty of exploring days, there was none more memorable than last Wednesday, or to which it will now be referred to it as, '1 day, 3 countries'. We started the day off in France with some fresh pastries for breakfast from our local boulangerie. You see, when we have visitors, we try to give them as much of a taste of the French life as possible as I could not look myself in the mirror after serving Honeynut Cherrios when our local boulangerie lies a mere block away. Disclaimer: we did buy a box of cereal for the kids just in case they shunned the French way and wanted some good old fashioned American breakfast. Happy to report though that they all did us proud and partook in devouring a few trusty croissants, some quiche lorraine and a couple chausson aux pommes (think croissants stuffed with apples/applesauce). So there you have France.

{Hot croissants, pain au chocolat, and chausson aux pommes, doesn't get much better than this}

     We headed to Eze, a medieval village perched atop of a hill overlooking the Med, for an hour or so of exploring and picture taking. We knew it would be difficult with Shaun and his injury since it is very 'hilly' so we headed up and Shaun took his time. Every once in a while, we would wind around a cobblestone path and run into him slowly crutching/walking his way towards the top. The views at the top were amazing and we took the time to enjoy a drink or two(and a much needed breather for Shaun). Then off we went to Monaco for lunch. 1 country down, 2 to go.

{View from Eze}

{Cobblestones pathways that wind all throughout Eze}

{Little drink break for Ty and Shaun}

{Jacklyn, Ty, Shaun and I enjoying some Cokes and coffee}

     Having been to Monaco multiple times before, I wasn't expecting to be as blown away as I was with the Christmas decor. But let me tell you, they did it up...and in typical Monegasque fashion, très chic. Monaco already oozes class with it's pristine streets, beautiful architecture and posh vehicles but add to that the Christmas lights and holiday decor, and it takes it to another level. We ate quickly then roamed the streets near the Casino taking in the luxury that I am hoping is contagious because I am all for adding a little bit of that to my life. There was an attempt to 'hit it big' while inside the casino which fell flat but I would like to think we are a little 'richer' in culture for having just the ability to experience all Monaco has to offer. Now I would like to think that, but realistically,  I would rather have lots o' euros padding my pocket. After eating and offering the 'Casino Gods' our money, we made the decision to head into Italy for dinner since we were only 15 minutes from the border. 2 countries down, 1 to go.

{Monte-Carlo Casino}

{The Hotel de Paris and it's luxury vehicles}

{Over looking the harbor}

{Shaun, Mickey (Shaun's brother) and Ty taking in the view}

{Little photog fun}

(Holiday decor in front of the Casino that changes color}


{And my favorite, pink}

{The Rolex street clock, sums up the luxury in Monaco}

     We stopped at Ventimiglia in hopes that our favorite restaurant, Pasta e Basta, was open for dinner. Selfishly, I was craving it since we have yet to eat there this year. Unselfishly, I thought our family would love it. Sadly, it was closed. In hindsight, why would it be open? It was only just a Wednesday night. (FYI, things here close for reasons's a Tuesday, it's raining, it's a Saturday night at 9pm, it's cold outside...get the sarcasm?) So we had to settle for an 'un-known' restaurant which turned out to be great also. With full bellies, sore feet and bags full (Lambrusco is only 2euros in Italy!!!!) we headed back home to little old France. Sometime on the ride home my niece Jacklyn was talking about the day and how beautiful Monaco was and how excited she was to tell her friends that she was able to see 3 countries during Christmas break. And just as I was marvelling at how mature she was, she says "Mom, just spending the day in Monaco makes me realize that I need to fly first class from now on...." Guess that luxury was contagious after all......

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