12 Aug 2008

Forehead sign

Do I have a sign on my forehead that says “American Sucker”?

You may recall that we left off yesterday where they asked us to volunteer to room to an upgraded room, a nice suite, in order to accommodate some other guests. Always being happy to help, (especially since they gave us the night for free) we agreed and off we went to dinner. When we returned all of our things were moved in the exact same position in the new room. Then the problems started.

Now I must warn you that my boys constantly tell me that I just can’t
keep running into problems and incompetency. They think I expect too much from mere mortals. So let me give you a list of some of the room problems:

We spent the night there and moved again this morning. We now have a beautiful, newly refurbished top floor room, further discounted, thanks to Allyn’s assertiveness.

Restaurant tip – One of the most charming restaurant streets in the world is rue Saint-Antoine. You can’t go wrong anyplace there.

We ate at Le Mesclun,, tonight which is a bit fancier and mainly inside dining.

11 Aug 2008

Breakfast sans croissant

I did it. I survived a breakfast with no croissant, pain au chocolat or any other bread. The trick was to order room service and not be tempted.

That handled, it was time for Allyn and me to head to the gym. Again, I was amazed because I actually was looking forward to it and then actually enjoyed it. It’s amazing what eating crazy for ten days will do to you with no exercise after having been on a program for a couple months.

About 7:30 pm the manager called and wanted to give us a free night and an upgraded room if we would move. It turns out that a shiekload full of Arabs wanted the entire floor we were on. No problem. We went out to a beautiful dinner and came back to a nice, new, larger suite.

Restaurant tip - Gaston-Gastounette , the most dependable fish restaurant down by the old port at St. Pierre

There is a pizza restaurant next door to Gaston-Gastounette that I have not frequented but it is always jammed and has a constant line. It must be either dirt cheap (which I doubt) or outstanding.










10 Aug 2008

Goodbye yacht; Hello Cannes

We headed out this morning for Cannes where we had to give a final goodbye to our yacht-for- a- week, but gave a big hello to The Majestic Hotel which will be home base for nine days.


Michael is tooting off to Istanbul to visit friends and will hook back up with us for the next leg.

I barely had time to handle the room situation and then had to get back to Monte Carlo to play in the finals of the tournament from a few nights ago.

Tip – It is almost an unwritten rule that in the older hotels where most rooms are rather unique, that you must show displeasure with the first one that they put you in so that they will give you a better one, for the same price of course.

Cold decked in Monte Carlo - The tournament was a drag. I came fully prepared to win, but only mustered up a 33rd which got me my $4,250 back, but wasn’t enough to cover the $250 taxi ride back to Cannes. The JETSETWAY would, of course, be a limo but I assure you I wasn’t in the mood to spend the $400 for the 1.5 hour ride.

I had laid my trap perfectly and was cold decked by my target.

Definition – Historically a cold deck has been an expression for a deck of cards used by cheats that was brought in fresh to a game with the cards preset. The expression gets its name because the deck actually felt colder than usual because currently used cards feel warm from handling. These days it refers to a hand that plays out as if it were a cold deck.

09 Aug 2008


Today we moored at Marina Baie des Anges which is located between Nice and Antibes. According to their website it is the prettiest port on the French Riviera. According to others the concrete apartments here are an eyesore.

From a distance, the four pyramid-shaped huge apartment complexes offend the eye. Surprisingly, as we approached the Marina and then disembarked, the area was quite nice indeed.

The marina area is definitely lovely, surrounded by clean peaceful restaurants, bars and cute stores. I don’t find the apartments architecturally ugly, up close, but then I like big cities with big skyscrapers. Certainly everything is new here, which always helps.

Fact – All the way from the Italian border to Cannes the beach is rock, not sand.

That is not my idea of a good time.

Fact - The city of Nice sits on le Baie des Anges (Bay of Angels). It is so named because of the angel sharks that inhabit its waters and “protected” the denizens of Nice from pirates, back in the day.

Antibes – Tonight we went to Antibes to check things out. Like many other European spots, they have several blocks blocked off which really makes it nice for pedestrians. I highly recommend spending an afternoon or evening there.

Antibes restaurant recommendation – Michelangelo

08 Aug 2008

Monaco Millionaires

Thirty years ago I was sitting in the swankiest golf clubhouse I had ever frequented. The gentleman I was with who had been a member for decades told me that they had two types of members – rich millionaires and poor millionaires.

They seem to only have the rich type millionaires here. I have seen more Rolls-Royces and Ferraris here in two days than in my entire life in Beverly Hills, New York and Miami combined. Many of the taxis are Mercedes Benz.

Fact – The Principality of Monaco is only .75 sq. miles with a population of about 35,000.

The industry here is just tourism and gambling. But that is plenty, given that millions of people travel here annually and one family owns the town.

Wealthy people flock here because the weather is great, there are NO income taxes, and other wealthy people come here. That doesn’t hurt the retail or casino industry at all. It seems to work just fine.

I was so amped after the tournament last night I stayed up until 5:45 am having fun with the family and writing the blog. Tomorrow is our last full day on the yacht.