travel diaries: france [menton + nice]; monaco [monte carlo]

i’m starting to get that spring time urge to get out and explore some more. perfect timing. am i right? 
i’m right at 8 months pregnant, soooo it only seems logical. ha!
ahhh, cue a little trip to the french riviera.  we’ve done the italian riviera (cinque terre), so we just wanted to go little farther and see what france has to offer.
i was dreaming of sea views, cool breezes, fresh croissants + baguettes, and so much more. let me tell you — the cote d’azur did not disappoint. so gorgeous.

this would have to be our last family trip before baby number two.  it was a whirlwind of an adventure weekend, but i loved every second. we must have walked miles and miles.

our travels started friday afternoon. we traveled 5 hours by van (we decided to share a ride with our good friends, the olsons. that way we were all in one vehicle, and could share the tolls/parking fees). we arrived in menton, france around 9:30pm. if you’re wondering — menton is the last city on the french riviera, and is located just on the other side of the italian border. we decided to stay in menton and make that “home base” while we explored more of the french riviera.

i honestly can’t wait to go back when it’s warmer. i could spend the day laying on the beach sipping a good white wine…. listening to the waves crash. 

here’s a snapshot of our weekend:

d a y   o n e  //  s a t u r d a y 

menton, france [the pearl of france]

matt and i woke up to a beautiful view overlooking the mediterranean & a gorgeous sunrise.and possibly a nude sea bather. haha!  after getting ready for the day, we headed down to have breakfast in our beautiful hotel. we stayed at Le Royal Westminister.

good morning, world.
his curiosity feeds my soul.
  our beautiful hotel.
first walk on the cote d’azur.
rocks are currently his jam. the beach was a win.

  gorgeous market flowers.
walking the streets of menton.
  beautiful pastels were everywhere! and that green?!
we made a little stop for our handsome little traveler to have some fun.
  he loved that plane!
  a quaint little bistro // jean cocteau museum
walking to the harbor.
musee du bastion (a continuation of the jean cocteau museum).

these views from the port were stunning.


post lunch. walking to the train station to head to monte carlo!

the colors had me in awe.


fresh oranges on every corner! we loved being in menton.

monte carlo, monaco

by mid-afternoon we had seen most of what menton had to offer by walking. the ease of taking the train gave us inspiration to head over and check out the richness of monte carlo. if you ever decided to head to monte carlo, buy the pass1 jour (5,50 euro) for the bus and USE it! the casino and old town are quite a ways away from each other.

walking into old town, monte carlo. headed to parliament.
overlooking port hercule — the size of those yachts. yeah, i could live on one of those! 
three countries in the same photo >> monaco, france, and italy!

the prince’s palace + guard  // beautiful architecture at every turn.

of course, we had to see the monte carlo casino. it was gorgeous.


 d a y  t w o  //   s u n d a y 
nice, france
we awoke to another beautiful sunrise in menton. how could we resist missing that view?! holden enjoyed watching some french cartoons while matt and i got ready.

  that’s some serious concentration. he would even laugh or exclaim. “oh, no!” but had no clue what they were really saying. we were dying over cuteness. // leaving our hotel to explore nice!
  au revoir, menton!
and yes, the day we decide to visit nice is crowded with an international bike race!
dreaming of coming back to this spot. ah, the cote d’azur stole my heart.
when the pregnant mama needs a quick stop for the 
ladies room — you go in the nicest hotel you can find.
le negresco. c’est magnifique! the hotel is filled with art!
  apollo statue in place massena // views of Vieux Nice (old town)

  Le marché aux fruits et légumes du Cours Saleya.



the salt blends were beautiful!
  we had lunch at le marché — the food and service was wonderful. we spent two hours enjoying every course they had to offer.
post lunch we had to find crepes + fenocchio glacier! (lemon meringue)
one last stop by the shore before it was time to head home!

au revoir, cote d’azur! we hope to return!



can’t wait to see where our next adventure takes us. next time will be a whole new adventure with four of us!



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