Day three in Nice I took the bus to the airport to pick up a rental car so we could drive to a special beach outside of Nice recommended by our friend Louise and drive the magnificent Cote d’Azur.
The only compact car they had with an automatic transmission was a boring black BMW. I always imagined myself driving the cliffs along the south of France in a cute vintage convertible like Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief yet my non-stick driving skills doesn’t make that a reality.
We drove south of Nice to the small coastal town of Saint Jean Cap-Ferrat. The roads were very narrow and curvy.
The roads were right along the cliffs against the stunning blue sea waters and houses were built right into the mountainside. It seemed impossible to walk in the city but we saw women pushing strollers right on the tiny streets. It was such a contrast to the huge, busy beaches of Nice.
It was easy to find our dream house.
The beach had rocks but we spent most of our time in the water.
It was a perfect beach, the water was lovely. No seaweed, no sand in your bum and we even saw little fish swimming with our GoPro camera. I can’t believe I just realized that this was the same beach location from one of my favorite Grace Kelly and Cary Grant films…To Catch a Thief!
It finally got too hot for us so we grabbed some lunch at the little cafe and drove back to Nice.
I wanted to take a shower and change clothes because we were driving to Monaco that evening.
There were so many sailboats and yachts scattered in the harbor. It felt like we were in an Alfred Hitchcock movie in the 50s!
The drive to Monaco is less than an hour from Nice. We were stunned by the tunnels built right into the mountainside but also apprehensive driving along the sharp, curvy cliffs. How cute is this fruit stand?
The first time I drove into Monaco, it’s so small I drove right past it! It’s through a tunnel and you have to make a quick turn or you’ll miss it. It took forever to find parking unless you were driving a Maseratti, because there were plenty parked just outside of the Grand Casino.
It was surreal arriving at the Casino Monte Carlo, which I had only seen in black and white on an episode of I Love Lucy.
I just had to play one lucky game of roulette but they don’t allow children inside the casino. Antz and Liv hung out in the ornate salon while I paid the €20 admission fee along with taking €100 out of the ATM. There was a strict no photography policy inside the casino so I was only able to take one shot with my iPhone.
I was surprised to find the casino charged an admission fee. When I went inside there was only a handful of people inside. I sadly didn’t see any celebrities or royalty.
Not as glamorous as I expected. I lost my €100 in an instant. I’m so used to gambling in Las Vegas with free drinks and computerized boards that show the last number drawn in roulette so that threw me off. I was also trying to hurry knowing Liv and Antz were waiting for me.
I disappointingly returned to Liv and Antz and told them about my swift loss. We left the Grand Casino and found another smaller casino right next door.
Since the second casino was free and we felt ripped off from the first one, I sent Antz in and told him to come back a winner. Liv and I hung out in the lobby and waited an hour. He returned with not just my €100 but also another €200! Yippee!
We left just in time to catch the summer night fireworks show.
I don’t know how I made the hour long drive back to Nice but I managed.
Casino de Monte-Carlo
The minimum age is 18 and they only allow Euros to gamble.