Strolling through Southern France – Nice & Monaco

Only a few weeks into fall, Cole and I were already planning our escape from the cold weather and dreary skies of Amsterdam. It had been over a month (shocking!) since we travelled so we started getting the “itch” to explore more of Europe.

We headed to the South of France for warm weather and blue skies and we were not disappointed. We flew out Friday night and arrived to our hotel close to midnight so decided to take it easy and get some sleep for a big day on Saturday. We woke up early and headed out for a long run along the famous Promenade des Anglais. We ran the whole strip and ended up making our way down to the marina. We wandered the beautiful streets of Old town, Vielle Ville, where we checked out the daily market which was set up with fresh food, flowers, lavender, soaps and so much more. We stopped at a boulangerie (bakery) for some fresh bread and treats – Carb loading after our run 😉 After exploring the streets a bit more, we headed back to our hotel to shower, change and get ready for an afternoon in Monaco. Cole loves to gamble occasionally so he has always wanted to visit Monte Carlo. Since it was only 30 minutes away by train we thought it would be fun to check out another country.

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We arrived and immediately upon exiting the train station, were greeted by the enormous yachts in the marina. We picked up our jaws off the floor and continued to make our way through town, heading up the hill to the infamous Monte Carlo casino and Hotel de Paris. We decided it was a requirement to gamble when in Monte Carlo so headed into the beautiful casino. We played some roulette and Lady Luck was on our side, immediately winning on our first hand when we selected the number the ball would land on. We continued to play and got lucky once more on what we decided was our final hand. We walked away with triple our money and we were pretty pumped. For Cole’s mom, I played Wheel of Fortune on the slots, again winning some money (pocket change but hey a win is a win!).

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Our view immediately upon exiting the train station

We then headed back down to the Marina to celebrate our winnings over some drinks and watch the sunset at a cool waterfront bar. Afterwards, we decided it was worth the small hike to head back up the hill to see the casino lit up at night. We grabbed some wine and snacks from a little grocery store and then hopped on the train back to Nice. After some research online, I found what looked to be the best Italian/pizza restaurant in town, but unfortunately it was closed. We hopped on some bikes (the local bike sharing company) and made our way back to the old town to the Place Massena, a beautiful historic plaza right next to the main shopping street of town.21fullsizerender_3

We ate dinner at Attimi, a delicious Italian restaurant right in the heart of the square. After dinner, we ventured to find the “best gelato in the world” according to my brother and sister-in-law, which had also unfortunately just closed 😦 Exhausted after a long day, we headed back to our hotel and watched a bit of the Georgia Bulldogs game before passing out.

Sunday morning, we woke up early and headed back down to the promenade to eat breakfast. We decided to see the beautiful Le Negresco Hotel in person and got to eat right along the water while we soaked up the last bit of sun before heading to the airport. fullsizerender_1

While our trip was short, it was easy to see why so many people vacation in the French Riviera. The views of the blue water and rolling hills were spectacular combined with delicious food and beautiful architecture, I can’t wait to go back in the future and enjoy more of the South of France.

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