While all of my friends spent their spring break lounging on the beaches in Florida or taking advantage of all inclusive resorts in Mexico, I was stuck where the weather was not as warm. However, I refused to allow the lack of sunshine ruin my spring break. My friends and I decided to get out of the UK and headed straight for Italy. We spent time in Rome and Florence where I ate more carbs in a few days than I probably have in my entire life. My excuse was that by not eating my weight in pasta and pizza I was being rude to the Italian culture! Other than a day of rain, Italy was beautiful but not my favorite destination of spring break.
After our Italian adventures, we caught a flight to Nice, France. We were not even off the plane before I could hear my friends wishing we had spent the entirety of our trip there. Out one side of the plane we could see the Mediterranean Sea and out the other side, snowy mountain tops. Luckily for us, the sun shone for the duration of our stay. Our days were spent exploring the markets and walking along the beach. There was a flower market that sold the most beautiful bouquets for a fraction of what they would cost at home. While I personally found it too chilly to put on a swim suit and lay in the sun, the residents of Nice flocked to the beach ready to start on their summer tan. At night we wouldwatch the sunset on the beach and then find dinner in a café along the water.
During our time in Nice we had seen ads for all kinds of summer activities like boat rentals, canyoning and scuba diving. Even though it was not hot summer weather, I wanted to go scuba diving more than anything. I made a few phone calls to scuba businesses in the area and convinced two of my friends to join me. We showed up one early morning to Nice Diving on the Marina and signed our lives away. And while my friends seemed worried about what I had gotten us into I assured them we were fine. We got all our gear and boarded our boat with a bunch of other people, who were basically professional divers. Our lovely instructor walked us through the entire thing and never left our sides. Everything went very smoothly. Fortunately the water was not freezing like I had expected. We jumped in, swam around pretending we were fish and then when it was time to return, boarded the boat for our ride home. We relaxed at the front of the boat and drank wine and told stories with all our new scuba friends. Once we docked our hunger and fatigue set in. So being the healthy, seize the day kind of people we are, we headed straight for McDonald’s to get Big Macs and then took a two hour nap on the beach.
The second smallest country in the world, Monaco, is only a thirty minute bus ride from the Nice Marina. We visited Monaco one day just to see what it was all about. Now it doesn’t take long to explore a country that is only a square mile in size, but it was wonderful and I would move there tomorrow if given the chance. We arrived around lunch time and headed straight for a restaurant my friend had heard of called Stars ‘N’ Bars. They had anything and everything on the menu. Apparently this place was popular because anyone from Madonna and the Spice Girls to Chase Crawford had been there. The walls were covered in hundreds of framed, autographed photos.
After lunch we wandered around shops and admired all the yachts. At one point we were stopped by one of the marina valet attendants to let a car pass. We had seen the man get into his mint green, vintage Fiat. He looked like every other boat connoisseur we had seen, just with a less flashy car. The attendant must have seen the confused look on our faces and proceeded to ask us if we knew who that man was. Obviously not. We were then informed that he was Princess Caroline’s son and the grandson of Grace Kelly. I was five feet from royalty and didn’t even know it. Oops. That evening we tested our luck at the Monte Carlo Casino. I was taught a few things that day; gambling is kind of stupid, yet people are obsessed with it and when you start loosing money walk away. While I did go back to Nice a few Euros richer I cannot say I am dying to go back to a casino. We returned to our hotel to pack our bags, we had an early flight. After our week of travel, I was looking forward to getting back to London!