France Days 12 and 13: Monaco and St. Paul de Vence

We've had a couple of extremely busy but wonderful days, so I'm behind on my updates. I'll have to do big posts on these daytrips when I get back. I just can't do them justice on my phone. But I can share a couple of pictures from each place.

On the 1st, we went to Monaco. After being stuck in the train station for an hour because of crazy, unexpected rain, we caught a taxi to the oceanographic museum.

I loved the museum. I took a million pictures in the aquarium and even some video.

We also took a tour of the palace and walked down to see the fancy stuff going on Monte Carlo.

The highlight of the day happened as we were having a drink at the Cafe de Paris. Apparently it's the people-watching spot near the casino and Hotel de Paris.

So we're having a drink and watching the people when, alll of a sudden, a police escort pulls around the circle and Prince Albert steps out of his Lexus. He was maybe 40 feet to our right.

He walked into a special event tent and our waitress said "it's the Prince! He's going to have a drink."

Later, my dad even got a smile and a wave from him when he left. He also got a great picture.

It was a huge surprise!

Here are a couple of videos and pictures.










Yesterday, we went to St. Paul de Vence, an medieval hilltop village. It's known mostly for the myriad art galleries and shops that line the old, narrow streets.

We were lucky to be there at the end of the high season. It was busy but not "I feel like I'm in a herd of cattle" busy. Which was good, because I don't do well in herds.

We strolled and shopped. There was lots of major pretend spending on art and some real spending on more reasonable things.

I took about 8 billion pictures of doors and streets and windows and little surprise bits and pieces hidden throughout the town.

We had amazing lunch around a famous old tree called La Tilleul. Their grilled duck breast was perfect!

Before we came back to Villefranche, we spent over an hour at a cafe near the pétanque field. A group of town characters entertained us the whole time with their great personalities as we drank.

It's currently ranked first in the "favorite day so far" competition.