We caught an early flight and were in Nice by 9 am. Since we couldn't drop our backpacks off at our hotel room yet, we decided to walk down the main street (of which unfortunately, I still don't even know the name), look around, and find a cafe for breakfast. We ended up at a precious, cozy little place where we had cappuccinos and pastries. After breakfast, we dropped our bags at the hotel, wandered around town a bit more, then caught a train to Monaco. We picked up some baguettes and cheese to eat en route on the train to suffice for lunch, and it made for an interesting situation. The three of us got lots of looks on the train from passengers. Either three American girls eating bread and cheese looked strange or they were giving us dirty looks for eating on the train. Well, that's what we thought. However it was actually very different. One lady who we thought had been giving us the stink-eye, actually asked us what kind of cheese we were eating because it smelled so good. Then she asked if she could try it so we gave her a little piece! And another lady who had been watching us said "Ah, a baguette and cheese, classic French. Now all you are missing is Red Wine!" And what's even more interesting, is both of them were French. I know we all have heard the stereotype that French people are rude and snobby, and while I"m not saying that's not true, I will say that every French person we interacted with this weekend was almost excessively nice. (And as a side note, the cheese we were eating was Boursin garlic and herb. Yes, they sell it in the States. And in advanced, you're welcome. Because trust me, you'll thank me.)
Now, in case you don't know (as I didn't) Monaco is in fact a different country. It is a self-governed city-state, that France has no jurisdiction over. Monaco and it's most well known part of town, Monte-Carlo, are the stomping grounds of the ridiculously rich. I saw more Bentleys, Rolls Royces, and Ferraris in my 5 hours there then the rest of my life combined. Yikes. Once we arrived, we walked through the town a bit then down to the port to see the ridiculous number of yachts, ranging from speedboat sized to small cruise ship size. Absurd. With stars in our eyes, we walked on, up the hill next to the port to find the Casino. I'm guessing you've heard of Monte Carlo's famous Casino. (Here's a hint, it's the inspiration for the Casino of Casino Royale.) Ya. That casino. We decided that since we were here we just couldn't pass up the chance and we spent a little time in front of the slot machines. It was truly an interesting experience. I've never thought much of gambling aside from Black Jack, Roulette, and of course Texas Hold 'Em, and while I don't foresee a lot of slot playing in my future, it was quite fun. I myself was so fortunate to turn a profit. € 9.04 to be exact. After the casino, we walked around a bit more, caught the bus back to Nice, grabbed dinner and called it a night.
With only two weeks of classes left, I have a fair amount of work on my plate right now, but we have one final trip scheduled for next weekend and lots of fun stuff planned to close out our sweet time here in Rome. The fun isn't over yet!