Nice Is Nice (Monaco, Not So Much)

Posted by on Oct 5, 2011 in France, General Travel, Monaco, Running | One Comment

I know, I know, my title is super creative. But it’s true — Nice is a beautiful city. Sure, it’s a little grittier than I remembered, but it hasn’t lost the beautiful architecture, the surrounding green hillsides, and the broad Promenade des Anglais, perfect for running and cycling along the ocean. The rocky beach leaves a lot to be desired, but that doesn’t seem to stop hordes of people — locals and tourists alike — from flocking there. And no, we didn’t take any pictures of the city while we were there. Oops.

We caught the TGV (France’s high-speed train) from Avignon to Nice for a weekend at the end of September.

So fast it's blurry.

So fast it's blurry.

We wanted to check out the Côte d’Azur, but the primary reason for our trip was to visit some of our favorite French people — the Charleses.

From L-R: Robin, Brice, Jacques, and Denise.

Robin, Brice, Jacques, and Denise.

Denise is my maternal grandmother’s cousin, Jacques is her husband, and Brice is their son, who also officiated at Pierre’s and my wedding. We love them, and not just because they are always so hospitable and feed us fabulous meals every time we visit them! Jacques and Denise recently moved south to Nice from Versailles, and certainly seem to enjoy the sunnier climate. We had a fabulous time catching up with them and chatting about everything from family history to the DSK scandal (they agree that he’s a huge ass, by the way).

While we were in Nice, we also decided to seize the opportunity to check one more country off our list, and took the 30-minute train ride over to Monaco. We expected obnoxious rich people, but figured it would at least be a pretty place. We were sorely disappointed. It was not only shallow and pretentious, but also ugly!

Bleh.

Bleh.

Not impressed.

Not impressed.

A boat for sale, with a jacuzzi on the third level. Barf.

A boat for sale in the harbor, with a jacuzzi on the upper level. Barf.

Okay, okay, the casino was pretty. Too bad they have a strict dress code and turn away people they deem not good enough to enter — including a baby! The guard told the mother that the baby had to be 18 before he could enter. Poor kid. Anyway, we decided not to risk the humiliation of rejection, so we just scoped it out from the outside.

The real Monte Carlo casino.

The real Monte Carlo casino.

Detail on the casino.

Detail on the casino.

Trying to look angelic outside the entrance to the casino. The rejected baby is behind me to the right.

Trying to look angelic outside the entrance to the casino. The rejected baby is behind me to the right (on the steps).

After a few hours, we were ready to get out of there, and made our way to Monaco’s gleaming train station (complete with marble hallways) to head home.

So sparkly!

So sparkly!

1 Comment

  1. Sandy
    October 8, 2011

    I think not letting babies gamble is appropriate. Everyone knows the the little rugrats cheat!

    I love the picture of you with Jacques, Denise and Brice. Robin’s grandma loved it too.

    Keep on trekking you two!

    Reply

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