Monday, July 27, 2009

Farewell--Day 6

We woke up early to pack and get organized--not painfully early though, our flight was at noon. I continued to soak up the people and the house as we said our goodbyes.

We decided that we had time to stop at a cafe in St. Paul de Vence for one last croissant and coffee before we headed home. I was so grateful to have a few more moments to relax and enjoy Thomas and Lotta before the airport chaos arrived!

Off to the airport, then the 10 hour flight from London to Dallas--yuck.

Thank you for the invite on this amazing vacation, Lotta! May we meet again in London or Chicago!

Au revoir!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nice and Cannes--Day 5 (Part 4)

The drive home from Monaco was emotional for me. I was tired, but it was sinking in that this would be our last day to BE here. I was ready to get home and see Riley, but I felt like I wanted to stay another week...and felt guilty for that. I enjoyed so much of this trip and knowing myself as well as I do, I knew there would be some tears at some point! :-)

When we arrived at the house, I walked around snapping photos, trying to soak it all in.

The cupboard where we grabbed our wine glasses...was there any other type of glass in there?

The amazing view from our little guest house.

The kitchen...always a busy place.

Our living area in the guest house...we didn't spend much time in here, but it was a little piece of Sweden in France!

Another view of the amazing landscaping--my photos won't do it justice.

We enjoyed one last meal on the rooftop. Many spoke of the amazing experience we'd enjoyed together--and Marcus said he was renting this place next year--for 2 weeks and we were all invited!! I couldn't muster up the courage to say a word. I knew my emotions would get the best of me. I hope my friends know how much I truly treasured this vacation, this opportunity, and all of the wonderful moments we shared. Unforgettable, thank you.

Enough sap--it's time to get ready for our last night in Cannes--we promised it would be an early one (yeah, right)!

We all met at the table for a drink and guess where were decided to go? Back to Mocca for one last hurrah!

Here is some of the Cannes Film Festival fanfare...

Back to our table at Mocca...

Our fantastic waitress.

He borrowed these from a passerby!

Goodnight Cannes!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Monaco--Day 5 (Part 3)

On our way down to Monaco, we stopped for this breathtaking roadside view.

Monaco is beautiful--very clean with stunning architectural details.

As we were driving the streets, we realized that a Formula One race was going on while we were there--we didn't expect that. Many roads were blocked off and race fans were everywhere! Tickets to the race were $600 and up. No thank you. The race is on the streets...and they're not very wide. It would've been fun to watch...and I'm NO racing fan.

We could hear the cars speeding by but couldn't see them. Russ found a crack in a barrier and videotaped them zooming by--you can hardly see them, but boy could we hear them. Vendors were lined up along the streets selling shirts, cars, food, etc. Not what I was expecting, but fun nonetheless!!

Here's a little history courtesty of Wikipedia:
*Estimated population of 33,000
*Smallest French-speaking country
*2nd smallest country in the world (2nd to Vatican City)
*It takes the average person 56 minutes to walk across the width of the country.
*Monaco is the name of the country as well as the name of its capital city.
*It is a constitutional monarchy and principality with Prince Albert II as its head of state.
*The House of Grimaldi has ruled Monaco since 1297.
*Though an independent country, Monaco's defense is France's responsibilty.

Hmmmmmm....I learned right along with you. Thanks for playing! Here are some shots of the castle--mostly from afar because of the races.

A few more parting shots in Monaco: