Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Grand Adventure Part 5: Monoco and Eze, France

The Grand Adventure Part 5: Monoco and Eze, France

This was our last port in France.  We woke up to this view:
 We hopped on a water taxi and headed for the train station just around the corner from the dock.
 Everything was so picturesque and European.
 I should mention now that the weather was perfect every single day for our excursions.  Light jacket, low 70s.  Perfect time to cruise the Mediterranean.
 I just noticed the guy awkwardly holding that kid in this picture.

 There's our boat in the distance!
 Everybody worked hard to make sure we were hopping onto the right trains.  This train was easily the best deal.  I believe it was 5 euros for a round trip ticket to Monoco.
 We had to keep ourselves busy while waiting for the train, so a spontaneous photo shoot ensued.

I may or may not look like an old granny in this picture, but I am telling you, maxi dresses are the best travel clothes.  So comfortable and light.
There were lots of nice arches and bridges everywhere.

Lots of people have yachts in Monoco.
A very nice fountain feature, and our first glimpse of the Monte Carlo Casino!
 This place has been in so many movies and tv shows.
 Jeff was admiring the very nice varieties of automobiles.  Perhaps Bond is lurking around somewhere?

 More modeling moments.

 Taking advantage of cheap public transportation.  We headed up to the Musée Océanographique de Monaco, or the Monoco Aquarium.

 Overall it was a pretty cool aquarium and we wished we could have spent much more time there, and there was a cool museum as well.  There was this huge, strange exhibit of giant fetus statues in different phases.  Or at least that's what we think it was. Then there was this weird exhibit of burning skeletons in some very compromising positions.

We made our way up to the roof for a wonderful view of the coast.  No wonder all these rich people vacation here.  It's is amazing!

 Jeff is channeling his inner Jacques Cousteau.
 They're on an adventure!
 Drew and Julie took advantage of the fun play ground.
 Jeff channeling his inner Steve Zissou, with appropriate shirt.
 They had this little corner on the roof with turtles just roaming around.  We said hello.

 We took a little walk through some lovely gardens to the Palace of Monoco.
 Here we took a self guided tour which we unfortunately had to rush through, but we learned a few interesting things along the way.
 Luckily we found this nice little path that took us straight back to the train station.
 I was excited about this which chocolate twix.
 We had limited time left, and decided the best thing to do was to catch a bus up to the mountain top town of Eze.  I was very nervous due to our time restraints, but Jeff was confident he could get us back on time.

I was getting a little cranky at this point, because it had been a few days since we had contact with Penny, and I was missing her a little too much.  My apologies to my fellow travelers for my behavior at this point of the trip... Stress, mixed with missing my offspring, mixed with worrying about missing the boat, mixed with hormones made me a little bit snappy.  But some nutella covered crepes and quaint little shops quickly fixed that!

 We climbed all the way to the top of the Eze Fortress and paid a little money to visit this rooftop garden.  At first I felt it would be a waste of money, but it actually turned out to be super cool.  We were so high up, and we could see so far (it was comforting to see our boat off in the distance as well. We weren't THAT far away after all...) and the gardens were unique and lovely as well.

 These little shops were carved out of the stone and mountain and weaved through out the fortress.
 I didn't realize this picture was being taken.
 But I definitely posed for this one.

It was in one of these shops that we bought this little handmade dress for Penny.

We barely caught the bus back just in time to get to the docks in time.  We took a slightly strange detour down some back streets, but eventually made it back to the boat!  We were on one of the last ferries. WHEW!

We scheduled a later dinner, so we had light snack at the pizza place on the promenade.  They had a wide selection of cheeses and desserts as well, so of course we ended up stuffing ourselves. At dinner I ended up accidentally ordering two dinners, which was unfortunate as I was already so full.  But whatever, it's all free right?

We went to see the on board full cast musical "Saturday Night Fever" which was fun, but I was so exhausted I ended up sleeping through most of it.  Also, they cut the show short because of some technical difficulties.  So, Jeff and I ended up playing some video games in the arcade, and then had a little dip in the hot tub to finish off the evening.

I had no problems getting to sleep this night. There is just too much to do in a day!

Next up, our first day in Italy!!!