Before departing for Eze, I withdrew money to purchase a cappuccino and the king of all pastries. Not quite a doughnut, not quite a croissant, this sweet loaf of bread filled with chocolate and cream was worth every calorie. I will never understand how the french are so skinny.
I stared mouth-open during out trek up to Eze. This village hosts the best views in all of the French Riviera, as well as the Fragonard perfume factory.
Our hour long tour through the museum was an hour too long. Perfume is not my thing, as I’m the patron stealing sprays of Chanel at the beauty counter while passing through a department store.
Digging my nose into a dozen jars to predict a scent was fun and all, but after another dozen sample wands, images started spinning. Of course, bringing home French perfume as Christmas presents would make a great gift, but 40 euro for a .5 oz bottle was a bit out of my price range.
From a factory of fumes to the highest point in Eze, we hiked up to Jardin d’Eze. Landscaped after World War II, this outstanding garden breeds cacti and succulents from the Mediterranean regions, Africa, and the Americas. I could have stayed up on this piece of heaven all day. After hundreds of photos, Bridget and I sat up on the peak in silence, taking in the beauty.
But Really, How Are The French Not Fat?
All good things come to an end unless you move on to the next best thing.
In our case, the next best decision involved ordering crepes. We sat on an outdoor patio overlooking the ocean and ordered ham, egg, cheese and tomato crepes. Filling up fast, I savored every morsel.
Portioning, Maybe That’s Why The French Aren’t Fat
James Bond Satus
With images of bliss in my mind and delectable food in my belly, we bused down into Monaco.
Bridget and I dozed in and out of consciousness during the thirty minute ride until I woke her up to view the neighborhood. Every house featured a clear blue pool facing the ocean. Bridget recognized the view from an Instagram traveling account. At this moment, I took in another breath of gratitude.
Changing on the bus, Bridget and I walked out in dresses ready to hit the Monte Carlo Casino. Joe came prepared, and the three of us carried ourselves with class throughout the streets of Monaco.
The closest I’ve come to betting has been at Churchill Downs. I secured my pocketbook and headed into my first casino. Until I cross Vegas on the bucket list, I doubt much will compare to the Monte Carlo. The entrance contains rows of slot machines and a few tables, but the gaming rooms require a strict dress code and an entrance fee. Though aesthetically prepared to enter the gaming rooms, we settled with the lobby’s posh ambiance.
Clueless as to where to begin, I lingered around the slot machines asking people if they had any idea what they were doing. They didn’t. I finally chose a game and surrendered 10 euro. Much like my Super Smash Brother gaming strategy, I hit buttons until I saw results. My lowest account reached 2 euro, but I kept faith and collected my money at 8.40 euro.
Time to hit the tables.
Joe and Bridget were playing roulette, up by 160 and 50. That’s what I’m talking about! I bet 20, lost two rounds, and got lucky on the third try. Too afraid to lose it all, I walked away with 20 extra euros in my pocket.
Happy with our earnings, we left Monte Carlo to see the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. We had an idea of where to go, though each time we asked for advice, the young French people would start laughing as we followed their trusted directions. Regardless, we found the aquarium on top of a cliff nearby the palace. After being questioned for being a real student at the ticket booth, we finally entered the museum with a discount and a smile.
After looking at fish, we decided to eat some for dinner.
My friend Brianna visited Monaco a few weeks prior to our trip and recommended the Buddha Bar for happy hour.
Though no happy hour was happening, we happily ordered four rolls of the Pink Lady, Fire Dragon, and two variations of the California roll with a cocktail. Though we were starting to fill up, the sushi was worth another round and a few more rolls.
Finding Our Hostel
Leaving the Buddha bar we considered staying in Monaco all night and renting out a hotel room. We were already living large, why stop now? Taking our time through the streets, we made it to the bus station en route to Nice. Our tour leader noted that once we arrive to Nice, “it will be obvious how to get back to the hostel”. Obviously not. Luckily, Joe Bridget and I were too drunk in the moment to care.
You’re not really traveling if you’re not getting lost.
Eventually, we started to recognize the buildings the second I broke my sandal. Laughing at my crippled state and the French men serenading us, we took a tram dropping us off right next to the hostel.
We arrived later than expected but the night was still young. Planning to check out Club Pompeii, we screen-shot a few directions and strolled through town. When reassuring our route, the locals told us that Pompeii would not be open yet, so we went back to Wayne’s. There was no live band but the bar was just as fun as the night before. Bridget and I danced, sang, and told men we were Canadian.