Our last day in the area, my mom woke up talking about visiting Monte Carlo. She said it was gorgeous with a castle and told me about Grace Kelly.
I was transfixed, royalty from America, thoughts of becoming a princess and living in a castle flooded my mind. I could be a real life Cinderella. While my mom was starting to talk about how we would get there, we needed a cab and for some reason this was not her ideal way of transportation. I am not sure why it was miserable for her, but her misery continued as she became car sick in the back of the taxi. It only took us around 30 minutes to get to Monte Carlo and we were at a fantastic castle and my fairytale idealizations came flying back into my brain.
As we crawled out of the car and approached the castle we realized it was a casino and the bouncers made it very clear that I was not allowed inside since I was not 18. We looked at the Ferraris and Lamborghinis that were on display in front of the casino and took pictures with them. We had wasted 15 minutes. There was nothing left to do and we started walking along the walkway that went back towards Nice. I thought the view and the cliffs were enough to take your breath away, my mom seemed to think this entire trip to Monte Carlo had been a waste of time. Walking past Dolce and Gabbana, Gucchi, and high end stores I was looking at the amazing dresses in the window. “You’ll need a lot of money to buy something like that,” my mom said staring at me.
“Maybe someday!” I said. Thinking it would be nice to have all that money but where in the world would I wear a ball gown too? Perhaps a royal ball I laughed internally at my own hilarious internal monologue.
My mom was extremely quiet as we went back to Nice, she had obviously been disappointed with the entire experience which was now seeping into her excitement for the rest of the vacation.
Back in Nice, my mom’s excitement seemed to creep back in as she walked straight to the shop where she bought the painting the night before. When she saw the artist again her mood perked up immediately. “We will ask him for a restaurant recommendation!”
“Ok.” I said.
She marched up to the artist who smiled at her and greeted both of us. My mom made pleasantries and then said he had amazing taste and so she wondered where he suggested we go eat. The excitement on his face feel (I think he thought we were buying another painting) as he asked what kind of food we wanted. My mom was dead set on whatever he suggested and then he recommended a seafood restaurant up the road. My mom told him how perfect that sounded, gave him a slight hug, and started towards the door with me behind her.
We followed his directions perfectly and ended up at a quaint seafood restaurant with outdoor seating. After reading the menu, we quickly ordered a seafood platter (that we thought was for two) and sat talking and chatting about the evening and the luxury of Monte Carlo. It didn’t take long, but soon the waiter approached us with the most massive TOWER of seafood I had ever seen, the table next to us started laughing and immediately my mom and I joined in. We hadn’t noticed that the platter said it could feed 6. We dived in and enjoyed the food but came nowhere near finishing it despite our best efforts.
After stuffing ourselves with seafood we walked back to the hotel where we went straight to the hotel bar, as our ritual was, for my mom to have some wine. It was a couple hours after dinner and my stomach was not happy. I excused myself to the room where I was immediately sick. My mom was not exceptionally far behind me when she came into the room and saw me sitting on the bathroom floor sick as a dog and said she needed the bathroom too. I got up and went to bed, but I didn’t stop being sick while my mom was sick. We took turns in the bathroom and trying to make it to the bathroom down the hall, but really we were destroying the room with vomit trying to make room for the other.
It was an all night fiasco, and as a promise to my mom, I will not explain just how horrific the room looked, but I imagine we beat the rock start reputation in the grossest way possible. That morning, with absolutely nothing left in our bodies, we were both happy that we were traveling to Barcelona that day and leaving the hotel room and extremely nervous to be on a train at the same time.
Weak and sick, we found our train after immediately asking for help (instead of trying to figure it out as we had in Paris) and walked on the train. We sat at a table in the main cabin of the train and tried to drink Sprite and Ginger Ale but soon we went to our bedroom on the train. Two bunk beds, enough room for our luggage and a small sink greeted us. My mom started talking about how she thought it would be this wonderful room on a train, describing it as if it was Rose’s room from the Titanic. The bed looked fine to me, I just wanted to lay down.