Nice, France August 23-25

A quick trip to the French Riviera, celebrating the birthday of my friend Ashley.
(aka a great excuse to take a trip during my weekend off :))

The French Riviera was another one of those places I learned about as a high schooler in French class. I remember it sounded like a place I could never afford to go, with beautiful beaches and ritzy restaurants. And now I can say we went!

This is the most people we’ve ever travelled with. There was me, Ben, Ashley, Diana, and Demetria. All co-workers who don’t mind spending a little extra time with each other outside of work 🙂 It’s also easier to have  a trip dedicated to someone, so the plans can center around what they want to do. Alas, we all went to do some celebrating.

This was also the first trip we took that flew out of Rome instead of Naples. Rome is a 2 hour drive from base and I worked the night before our flight. That morning was a little hectic trying to get off the ward so I could change and we could zip down the highway.

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Our one and only pit stop/bathroom break on the road to Rome. Think they’re trying to attract Americans?

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finally walking around the city of Nice

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happy, sleepy group

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Fromage!!! (cheese ;))

Let me tell you… not sleeping after night shift and going on trips immediately after report does not make me feel well. I always get a bit nauseous and cranky when I don’t sleep. Just like a toddler!
Don’t you feel bad for me?!

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look at the little men on top of the columns

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I think they were setting up for a concert

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fashionistas. as you can see, we’ve already done some shopping!

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statue of liberty lights!

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that fountain hiding in the forest on the top of the hill…. yeah we had to climb up to see that

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the boardwalk. United-Nations-Friendly

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BLEU!

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excuse the messed up panorama

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the start of the stairs on the way up to the fountain in the forest

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the view from one of the stop off points

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it was hot. poor ben

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ben pretending to be happy in the heat

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all the ladies

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anchor window!

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the flag of Nice!

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still walking

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not even there yet

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finally at the fountain!

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Ben feels so refreshed and bello!!

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we were getting sprayed by the water. felt so good after the hike in the heat!!

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i’m still awake! and we’re still happy! 🙂

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view from the fountain

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commence modelesque photo shoot

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the “are we done yet” faces

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this was at the tippy top of the fountain

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and the best view of Nice

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another cut off panorama… oops

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sitting down to take a break

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he still loves me

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I think

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beautiful wall decorations

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belle Nice

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visiting a Jewish cemetery

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trying to find our way back to the town center we found this cute wall art

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so cool!

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Ben really liked this poster for some reason

We walked back to the hotel and got ready for Ashley’s birthday dinner.

We ate at an adorable place with a great atmosphere called La Maison de Marie

at dinner

all the dressed up ladies
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the group!
me and ashley
me and the birthday girl

dessert

Sparkler for a birthday candle. Sure! why not?!?!

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Dinner was delicious, and chocolate lava cake for dessert was amazing

After all the festivities, the end of the day was welcomed. I think we all slept like a rock that night.

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breakfast the next day!

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happy to have caffe and croissants!

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you can see boobies in the background…

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my poor albino husband

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“honey take a picture with me!”

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“no open your eyes!”

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“ahhh okay i’ll leave you alone now”

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hot stone massage? or awesome tan lines?

beach time

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clear beautiful sky

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that’s me and Diana… proof that we were in the ocean of the French Riviera!!

After our beach time. We went back to the hotel, showered, and made our way to Monaco.

Officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state, located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. Bordered by France on three sides, one side borders the Mediterranean Sea.

It’s its own “country” and it only spans about 300 acres of land!

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probably their only police station

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walking around the city

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some of the cutest buildings were here in this city

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gloomy clouds. they didn’t do a good job of cooling us off, and it never rained

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looking for the casino from the map in the gardens…

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all the cool plants at the botanical gardens

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some of those yachts were probably millions of dollars!

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taking a break!

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after a million stairs we came to a cave to do a tour

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ben looking down my dress

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“smile like this honey!”

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all the ladies

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into a million year old cave with mineral deposits just like the cave in Ireland!!

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this cave was more wet, dark, and there were a lot more stairs!

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in the cave

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those mineral icicles are reallllyyyyyyyyyy old!

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mineral icicles is the appropriate term I promise

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I wouldn’t want to be here during an earthquake…

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and the end of our tour! Lots of explanation from our guide… in French. None of us understood what he was saying… I’m going to assume it’s similar to the stories we got in Ireland. Lots of the rain drips into the cave and the minerals build up on top of each other and from the floor over time and create stalacites (mineral icicles) it’s amazing that they last this long.

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I want these flowers in my own garden

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the botanical gardens are most well known as “Princess Grace’s Garden”

Once we were done with the garden, it was time to head to the fancy Monte Carlo Casino!! Sweaty messes and all 🙂

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in front of the monte carlo

everyone’s excited and happy!

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looking for food!

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these stores were all high end brand name… we avoided all of them but did plenty of window shopping!

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my walk and shoot pictures skills are not the greatest 🙂

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the thinking man statue!

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there it is!!

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fancy cars everywhere. this is not Italian style

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there was a celebrity leaving the casino when we got there! Though we didn’t see who it was… and it wasn’t this fancy car it was the black car at the bottom of the steps.

We went inside and got strict instructions that we were not allowed to take pictures 😦

The security guy inside the lobby made Ashley check her camera in the coat check.
Then she asked him if the restaurant was reasonably priced for dinner, and he snarkily replied “It is not McDonald’s!” Hands down the rudest person we’ve ever met in France!
We ended up eating dinner in one of the restaurants inside and it was wonderful, and reasonably priced. The waiters and waitresses were also super nice!
Good thing the security guard was the exception and not the rule of rudeness at this casino.
We saw some high stakes blackjack games, a high roller’s back room, and a slots machine area.
We stuck to the slot machines! I even won 10 cents over the 5 euro I spent on one of the machines. Ben lost it playing one of the computer blackjack games. I say it’s still a win 🙂

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Monaco at night… Still belle!

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these are the men on the columns lit up at night

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they change colors while you watch! it was pretty neat

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breakfast on our last day in Nice!

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getting our fill of croissants!

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wearing Ashley’s hat. Why can’t I pull these off?! I’m going with my brain is too big!

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We walked around the outdoor flower/food/trinket market for our last day. It was one of the highlights of our trip!

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all the flowers were amazing, and cheap! too bad we couldn’t take them on the plane

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seafood like this was everywhere! of course this picture is for mom 😉

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last on our list in france, eat crepes!

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nutella crepe and a glass of champagne. not a bad brunch

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French puppies. No pugs again this trip 😦 France is not where we’re meant to live

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fatty pigeons taking baths on the side of the market

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one final stop to see the iconic Negresco hotel. It’s on all the Nice postcards. The boardwalk was busy!

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broadwalk on the broadwalk

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I walked right in like I belonged there. But the rest of the group wasn’t on the same page, so the front door guard kicked us out 🙂

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and then we ended the trip with a visit to this Russian cathedral in Nice, France… I don’t know either

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Hi Jesus!

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And another successful trip done and done. We really enjoyed our time in Nice. The rock beaches were different… my feet did not enjoy it. It wasn’t much different from other European beaches, where breast flashing is optional, and EVERYONE is in a bikini whether or not they should be. The shopping was fun and I got some great perfume and other trinkets. We would go back next summer, this time with a different plan and some beach shoes to protect our toes. Ashley had a good birthday and we all got along well as a group. As we said the whole weekend, Nice is nice!! 😉

I transition to a clinic schedule and life with holidays off while they’re actually happening starting October 1st! I’m excited and nervous for the new position, but working as a pediatric nurse will be a great relief after my year long stint doing labor and delivery mixed with the occasional med-surg patient. We shall see. Ben is still looking for a job and working on school. Everything will work out, that’s our mantra.

Our next trip will probably be Venice, Florence, and Pisa for Columbus Day. Finally!

Oh and happy one year anniversary of living in Italy to us! 🙂

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