Monte Carlo

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If someone were to accuse me of being a luxury addict I would never violently shake my glossy blond hair and dramatically scream “how dare you for such outlandish allegations”… well maybe, if  I had too much champagne.  Lao Tzu said, “He who knows himself is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” Oh, I know myself. The moment Mr. Arnold suggested a European summer holiday, I knew exactly where I wanted to go, a tiny cliff at the base of the Maritime Alps along the French Riviera no bigger than New York City’s Central Park, Monte Carlo; ” an international byword for the extravagant display and reckless dispersal of wealth”, according to the fifteenth edition of New Encyclopedia Britannica. A land full of wealth, fast cars, yachts and an infamous casino, where one in three residents are millionaires. A place that can get loud and raucous as wealthy residents rev up their super car engines as they drive about town. The kind of place James Bond drinks martinis and picks up sexy women. M.E.W. Sherwood said “if there is anything so romantic as that castle-palace-fortress of Monaco I have not seen it. If there is anything more delicious than the lovely terraces and villas than Monte Carlo I do not wish to see them. There is nothing beyond the semi-tropical vegetation, the projecting promontories into the Mediterranean, the all embracing sweep of the ocean, the olive groves, and the enchanting climate. One gets tired of the word beautiful.” While the castle fortress is enchanting and the story of Princess Grace of Monaco is a real life fairytale, my favorite part of Monte Carlo are the glamorous Yachts, loud fast sexy cars, amazing looking people and the wild nights of Partying. I’m very selective with my must see type of advice. I am going to list Monte Carlo as a must see during one’s lifetime. Everyone has their own style of travel and is looking for a unique experience. Logistics first, upon planning a visit to Monaco think hard about what type of experience is desired, and what type of transportation best suits the experience. Dress how you would like to be addressed, and make sure your choice of footwear will provide comfort for a bit of walking. If you plan on eating, Do not even think of showing up without a reservation. I have visited Monte Carlo a few times. During my honeymoon, Mr.Arnold carved I love Momo into a cactus at the Jardin Exotique de Monaco, we ate churros and chocolate at a carnival and kissed in front of Prince Rainers Palace. During my second visit, My Mom and I hired a private guide to Chauffer us around for an infamous Monte Carlo night out. Champagne induced, we gambled in the opulent gilded rooms of the famous lavish Grand Casino and my big bleach blond hair allured a bunch of Texas oil Tycoons that provided us hours of inappropriate fraternizing. After covering the basics, I knew exactly what I wanted out of my next visit. I wanted a bigger slice of the legendary nightlife and all of the luxuries that Monte Carlo has to offer. I booked a room from, the Small Luxury Hotel collection. The Port Palace Hotel, the one and only boutique hotel in the Principality, located right on the Marina, walking distance to the casino and Yacht club. The Hotel offered a privileged front row seat to watch all the infamous yachts that glide around the Marina. In our room, two large club chairs provided comfort after we drew the drapes of our large bay window, watched the yachts and toasted as we pre-partied for our night out. On a suffocatingly sweltering evening, we walked along the glittering Mediterranean sea and up a hill to the Cafe De Paris. Completly touristy and not one of the best meals of my life but absolutely fabulous for people watching, strutting and boozing. Mr.Arnold and I ordered a bottle of róse from the most charismatic waiter to ever grace us. We dined al fresco and toasted to the warm air that contributed to the pure romance and glamour we were soaking in. After our time at Cafe De Paris, under the spell of French róse, we walked next door to the Grand Casino and watched the parking attendants valet park the worlds most exorbitant cars. Spectators cheered as drivers revved up powerful expensive roaring engines. Camera flashes bounced off shiny lacquered paint jobs. In the midst of all the excitement, we met the most delightful English couple. They invited us to join them on their night out, and off we went. Let it be a good lesson to anyone wanting to gain entrance to any nightclub, check the dress code! Our time with the delightful English couple was short lived. As Mr. Arnold and I were granted access past the stern looking bouncer, the delightful Englishman in shorts was not. A smooth good looking young gentleman popped his collar as he strutted past Mr.Arnold and I into Twiga, a water-front Lounge, Shisha Bar, Restaurant & Club. Magnificant lighting sprayed the stone like ceiling with colors of green, yellow and red. We toasted with our over-priced fifty euro cocktails and thought we should get out of here soon. While the sexy people, bow ties, the firework topped extravagant shiny bottle presentations were show stoppers and an overdose of glamorous fun, all of the over the top display was not enough to make up for the poor ventilation, stuffy air and lack of dancing. On a casual walk, that was much more like being at a car show, Mr. Arnold and I walked past exotic cars on our way to Nikki Beach Monaco, sipped a few cocktails on the rooftop while enjoying the D.J. The open air venue and cool colored lighting were a cooling relief. With the threat of the sun rising to end my night out with Mr. Arnold, he and I took one last walk under the moonlight past more exotic cars, and down into the marina, along the sparkling Mediterranean sea, past enormous Yachts, and back to our hotel. Stephan El Shaarawy is quoted as stating, “I have found my serenity at Monaco”. Relieved my hotel room came with black out drapes, I pulled them shut. I was ready for my serenity. Monte Carlo gave me exactly what I wanted.

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