Join us on our new journey to Monaco and Europe! We are so excited, and want to share with you all of our exciting adventures...and maybe some, not so exciting! Thanks for joining us...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Visit from Good Friends

On March 21st, our dear friends, Maureen & Bill Byrne, from Jacksonville, joined us for a few days in Monaco...they arrived on Friday after a usual all night flight from the US, and headed to The of the finest hotels on Casino Square in Monte Carlo. After freshening up, they were ready for their walk around our wonderful city/country.

We set out for a walk around Casino Square, with the most beautiful tulips for the Easter Holiday. The day was crisp and sunny, making our walk ever so lovely.

We headed out towards the port, doing a little window shopping at Chanel, Celine, Louis Vuitton, and more. Zara was a hit, with some very chic, yet affordable fashion, for their girls. We walked passed The Hermitage and onto the corner by Hotel Paris...on to the Port. The boats were glistening in the harbour. A few tour buses have begin to return, but no cruise ship sightings yet. They are soon to be plentiful, again.

We went to have lunch at a wonderful French style bistro, Quai des Artists...which sits right on the Port du Hercules. This is one of our favorite restaurants in Monaco. We dined on their wonderful Fish Soup, which is baked in a crock with a pastry pillow top...One of our favorites, and now, Maureen & Bill's, too. Of course, you cannot go to this bistro without enjoying at least a dozen fresh and sweet. A bottle of Rose' wine and a few beers, and the afternoon just melted away!

Of course, in Monte Carlo style, there is that wonderful walk home. We took a bit of a different route, walking around the Casino and taking in the wonderful gardens as well. Easter in Monte Carlo is just a sight with the flowers blooming everywhere.

The next day, we set out for a wonderful lunch at another one of our favorite spots, La Pinede, on the beach in Cap d'ail. This casual restaurant sits right on the rocks just meters from the Mediterranean Sea. Deb Dove, my dear friend from the US, who taught me so much about this wonderful country, was in town to retrieve her beloved girls, the labs! So she and the girls joined us here. Unfortunately, never a dull moment, Deb's car had a minor breakdown, and Art was off to rescue her...all worked out, timing was perfect, and the day began with another bottle of Rose' wine, with the sun shining off the water. Hats were provided by the restaurant, to protect us from that Cote d'Azur sunshine...

This wonderful lunch, with the freshest of fish, crispiest calamari and wonderful salads made our afternoon magnificent! The sounds of the waves crashing on the rocks, sea birds flying all about, and others enjoying their lunch filling the air with laughter and joy, make for a great experience on this piece of the Riviera!

After this lunch, we took a ride up to the town of Eze, which is just two towns to the west of Monaco. The medieval village sits high above the sea, with vistas that are amazing of Cap Ferrat and Cap St. Jean. There are a few lovely Bed & Breakfasts in this village, one being an elegant Inn where we climbed to in order to have a glass of champagne on their balcony. It's called the Chateau de la Chevre d'Or....just a beautiful place.

Eze has stone walks with steps that lead up in several directions, enhancing the beauty of the flower pots and storefronts, with doors of wood that are only as tall as a 12 year old would be. Ducking is a must entering these little boutiques, with jewels, soaps and perfumes from the region.

The evening ended with a very casual dinner of salmon and provence sausages at our flat, resting up for our trip to Florence the next morning. Bill and Maureen ventured out to the Vista Palace Hotel for a glass of wine at a vantage point like no other on an evening in Monaco. I do believe they will be back!!!

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