Friday, April 23:  A Drive, a Casino, a Swim

Today I was slowly waken up by my dad. Everyone else was dressed, so I hurried. It turned out nobody was doing anything, so I just lied around until my dad went to get breakfast. Soon he came back with some yogurt and a pastry for everybody. I got a chocolate one with apricot yogurt. To drink, we had a jug of orange juice. My mom already ate when she was doing the laundry at a laundromat before I was awake. Afterwards, I packed my stuff, and was soon ready. Once everyone finished, we said goodbye to the man who helped with the rooms and walked to the car. Robert and I stayed below the hill to watch the bags, and took turns walking across the street to look at the little ducklings in the river below. It took a while for my parents to come back with the car, especially because they were so awkwardly parked. After that I got in the car again, and we drove off. We were going to La Napoule, in the French Rivierra. This would be our first stop in France, so I was excited. In the car I studied some French words like SACRE BLEU! and stuff like that. Halfway through the trip we came to the French border. We didn’t have to do customs or stuff, there was just a sign in the road. We were in France!

After that we drove for a half hour until we came to Monaco. this was another teeny country, but bigger than the Vatican. I think it was funny that we were in 3 countries in the last 40 minutes! My dad found a parking garage in the city, and he eventually found a spot. After that we left the building and looked around. Monico was famous for being really rich, and I believed it. It was lunchtime, and we packed a picnic. We followed Dad to a very well kept together park. It had lots of palm trees and dogs. Robert found a nice bench, and my Dad made the ham and cheese sandwiches. They were very delicious, and with great (SOFT!) bread, unlike the usual hard and crunchy kinds. Soon everyone had eaten, so we decided to check out the famous casino. It had a very cool fountain out front, with lots of rich dudes driving flat Lamborghinis driving around. Rick Steves said that kids are allowed in the lobby, but those rules must have changed. We waited on the steps while my parents looked around, but retreated when they had to have their bags checked. Next, we decided to go down to the Marina to look at the yachts. There were very many, and looked really cool. After we looked at them, we walked back to the garage. That’s when we noticed a huge swarm of bees lingering around. They seemed to follow us, until we turned left into an alley. Back at the car, we got in and drove some more. We only had a half an hour left, so I didn’t do much. Soon we were in La Napoule, and the French Riviera!

We got a little lost finding the hotel, but soon found it. It was a two story building with a bunch of purple wisteria blooming. The name was Hotel Villa Parisianna, and it looked great. Passing the breakfast tables, we went to the front desk and got our keys. We were on the second floor, and had two rooms. My parents claimed the one with the double bed, and we grabbed the two singles. Our room was very roomy and had a very nice bathroom and TV. My parent’s was almost the same, only their bathroom was more cramped. I settled in, and soon my mom said we were going to the beach. I put on my suit and sandles, and waited. Soon everyone else was ready, and we walked down to a sandy spot near a castle. I jumped in the water, to find it very shallow. I could stand up about 100 meters away from the beach! When I was playing, I noticed a fish with a hurt eye. He wasn’t shy, and I went up to it and it wouldn’t swim away. My brother and I made a temporary home for him, with a water bottle with a layer of sand and rocks and seaweed. I watched him and showed my parents, and then let him go. I didn’t really need to put him in a bottle, because he wouldn’t swim away, and I played with it, and he followed a little. Then we had to go, so I grabbed my stuff and we walked home. I was very cold, so I took a hot shower and then got dressed for dinner.

Tonight we went to a restaurant near the beach and we ate inside. I ordered some pork with fries and ice cream off a set menu for kids. It was very good, and I really liked the pork. My mom’s first course was a vegetable soup, but with bread where you would first rub garlic on it, spread mustard, and then sprinkle on some cheese. After that you would let it rest in your soup until it dissolved. Then you would eat it. I thought that was pretty cool. For my ice cream I got coffee and lemon. The coffee was good, and the lemon was delicious! Plus, they gave you little sticks of bread that tasted like a sugar cone. Afterwards, full, we walked back to the room and instantly fell asleep. Tomorrow we’re doing.................. more driving.