Monday, April 9, 2012

Way Behind! But here's Spring Break

It's been nearly a month since I've last posted, which isn't my normal. That means life has been rather on the busy side lately! Both of us have had many things going on that by the time we reach our chairs at night, we're plum tuckered!

A recap on the month of March.... nothing too exciting. Jay has been working hard on planning a community celebration for May. It's a huge event that he's had a major hand in. I just finished up third quarter this past week at school. I had my grades in and finalized by Thursday night. Along with school, I'm coaching the high school track team which takes up every afternoon. After that is over, on Wednesdays and Fridays I dart over to the softball field to coach the middle school team! I said all winter that I wasn't going to coach so we would have time to travel! I even turned down both coaching jobs at one point. How I ended up coaching both..... it's because I have a big ol' stamp on my forehead that tells everyone I won't turn them down! But.... I love coaching both of them, so it's really not so bad! Jay took four days to go to Sicily with a friend he works with. I didn't have the days off, so the guys went together. He had nice weather and saw many sites.

Now we are into April. That means the start of nice weather.... at least we hope! It also means SPRING BREAK! Today is actually my first day of spring break! I took Friday off so Jay and I could go on a long weekend for Easter. We left Thursday night and drove down to Nice, France, which is part of the French Riveria. On the way there, we left Germany, passed through Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland (where we slept in our car for the night), Italy, and finally made it into southern France. It was a nice drive, even though it was long. We toured Nice for the rest of the day on Friday. The Nice coastline...
Then on Saturday we took a tour of Eze and Monaco. Monaco is the second smallest country in the world, after the Vatican. It was about a fifteen minute drive from Nice. Monaco is also one of the richest coutries in the world. Every car that we saw was top of the line. Our tour guide told us that a Mercedes is just an every day car around there. Here's one of many that we saw.

Monte Carlo, the main city in Monaco, is the home to the Formula 1 Race. Our tour guide took us along the whole path, but not quite at the same speed. Here is the start and finish lines.

Saturday evening, we got back to Nice and went back downtown. We ate ice cream with a mother and daughter that we met on the tour. Then we went to the casino with them. We looked around for awhile, then decided we better play a little bit.

Jay gave me 20 euro to play at the Black Jack table. It was a little difficult at first because I don't speak any French. I wasn't really sure what people were saying. I figured out what worked best to communicate with the dealer. A tap on the table met hit me and holding my hand up meant to hold. Afer several rounds, I ended up losing all 20 euro. There was a minimum 10 euro bid, so I was lucky to make it more than two rounds. We walked around for a bit more, but then decided to play some more. Jay handed me another 20 euro. I sat back down at the same table, but in a different spot. I was beside an old man who had nearly a thousand dollars worth of chips in front of him and beside a woman probably in her thirties. Neither of them liked me, perhaps because I had a cheering crowd of three behind me. The old man yelled at me several times. I was hitting when he thought I should be standing. The lady beside me said many things in French that we couldn't understand, but she sure didn't like me! I played for quite awhile and was doing pretty well. I kept asking Jay if I should stop since I had made up the 40 euro we spent. He told me to keep playing! By the end, I had 100 euro's worth of chips! I took them straight to the counter and got my money! What a sweet way to end the night!

On Sunday, we toured Cannes, which is where all the movie stars go. Another really rich town! We didn't quite fit in with our jeans and tennis shoes! We couldn't afford the 22 euro hamburger at the restaurants, so ended up at a McDonalds down the street! It was a beautiful city with a georgous beach! A nice way to end our trip in the south.
We started our drive back home. We stopped in Como, Italy for the night! Another georgous location! The town is at the foot of a huge lake, which sits at the bottom of the mountains. The lake is surrounded by houses on all sides! We drove half way around the lake before calling it quits for the night. We slept in a parking lot in town, then finished our drive home this morning.

It was a fantastic and relaxing trip. This area certainly takes your breath away!

Tonight, we are refueling! The washing machine is going. Our bags are repacked. Camera batteries are charging! All to leave again tomorrow! We fly out in the afternoon to head to Latvia. We'll tour Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia for the rest of the week! We'll be back Sunday, just in time for school to start again on Monday!