Thursday, August 28, 2008


Our ship was in port in Monte Carlo, Monaco on Tuesday, July 1st. I will post photos taken as the ship approached this miniture principality known as one of the most famous places and most wealthy country in the world. Our bus excursion took us directly from the port to Cannes and then on to Nice. We did not see the famous casino of Monte Carlo which we did not care to visit anyway. After the city centre, we took a leisure tour of the open market as the vendors putting out fresh produce, flowers, freshly made bakeries, snacks, clothes and household items.

Nothing special about the above photo of a display in front of a gift shop. I just wanted to add a little humor to my blog. Perhaps my adoring fans would like to provide some clever captions. Clean and for general audience comments only, please.
The photo above reminded me of when I lived in Viet Nam and saw the typical loads of merchandise and passengers, not counting the driver, being carried around by skillful drivers on scooters. When we were little, my Dad used to drive us around town on his motorcycle. My sister, CH sat behind my Dad, then I would sit behind CH and protect CH by holding on tight to my Dad. My little brother, VL sat in front of Dad, right above the gas tank. When VL started to grow, Dad had to request that VL kept his head down as VL began to block Dad's view. My little brother, aka Qaptain Qwerty, has grown into a tall good looking young man and now a proud father of an eight years old son.
Not much to write about these photos, just a pleasant walk around town. It was two blocks from the Promenade des Anglais, Nice's four mile seafront promenade. It might be Boulevard Jean Jaures.
Here is a funny story about my faux pas while in Nice. I tried to learn Italian prior to the cruise by listening to language cd, just enough to be polite and to get help if necessary. I gained confidence after a few days of speaking Italian to other passengers and staff on the ship. That morning, I was ready to show off my language skills by greeting "Buongiorno" to a street vendor. I then pointed at the items and said, "Vorrei una coca cola e acqua". I was so proud of myself when the lady gave me exactly what I asked for, a coke and a water. The lady would have known by seeing where I pointed at anyway. I handed the lady 5 euros. She gave me back half euro and said, "Merci". I then realized that I tried speaking Italian to a French person. In my attempt to be a sophisticated traveler, I got my languages mixed up and forgot that I was in Nice, France!
But then the lady might have thought that I was knowledgable about Nice being a ward of the Italian court for most of 500 years and that prior to officially became part of France in 1860, the city of Nice had closer ties with Italy. Some Italians feel that Nice remains Italian than French in its character and temperament. At any rate, it was nice to be in Nice!

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