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Old 02-21-2012, 05:01 PM   #196
MinnieDiva
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Eze!

Eze is a hilly little place! Because it literally is built n a hill, there is little of the way of people moving in and out of the town. Having to carry all your stuff up from the road could be a real deterrent. So, I want to say that there are maybe 60 residents year-round?

To get to Eze, we climbed on a bus, then headed west to Nice in order to hop on the middle Corniche highway to head back east. Eze is literally right above Villefranche, but getting there takes a bit of work in a tour bus! If you remember (or here's a tidbit of info), there are 3 different highways in the Rivera. They are called "Corniches" and are low, middle, and high. Low is where the train runs. Middle is up the hill, and high follows what used to be a Roman road (Appian Way?? not sure...). I didn't get a great shot of the 3 roads, unfortunately, but I got views looking down:



In Eze, looking up:



and the town itself:







So the tour group was split in 2, so one half went to look around the town while the other did the perfume excursion. I'm pretty sure we did the perfume first. They took us to Fraggonard, which we were told was one of the big companies in the area. As I don't do much with perfume, I had no clue. We got a tour of the factory; at this point, we were sardine-packed with a ton of tourists. I was a bit dismayed, thinking "how are we going to make perfume like this". Well, in typical DCL style, we got to break off and go to a very quiet classroom, where we were taught about how perfumes are made. This was what was on our desk:





We did our thing and got to take our creation home! I actually like the scents we produced! As most things Disney, our tour ended in a gift shop (no!), and we got some stuff to take home (mostly soaps!!). The kids were given a little box that had a duck soap and tiny perfume bottle in it. I'm pretty sure we were bussed to a main area in Eze, then had some time to wander while the other group did the tour.

Amidst our wanderings, I got a towel set to bring home, but what got me to come to a screeching halt in from of that store was this:



Yes, we finally found a fan for Ashleigh. And...out of hand-tatted lace. Appropriate, I think!

We wandered back to find Jim (who didn't want to hike Eze), and made a gelato stop for the kids (and adults...). Then it was back to the port for a tender back to the ship.

It was a huge surprise to us how much we enjoyed this port. I fully had expected to be bored, but we weren't! Many other Dis'ers did this on their own, and I'm thinking that's how we're going to do this next time around. I think I'd like to take the train over to Monaco (10min ride) to see the palace and the changing of the guard. It would be nice to see the Grand Casino (tho I'm not a gambler), and maybe Jack Cousteau's aquarium. Then, the train to Nice (20 min) to see the market, the beachfront area, and maybe the Matisse and Chagall museums. Then, the 10 min train back to the port. It'll be our 1st stop, so we'll be fresh, time-adjusted, and ready to be curious!! (right?)

Can't forget our evening creature:

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Old 02-21-2012, 05:06 PM   #197
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I just saw an email about American airline's international fare sale from Miami and got so excited but silly, Of course its only good for a short time this year. I hope I can find something even nearly that good next year. We'll even drive to Miami if we have to for $400 round trip pp fares. Wow. I'm really sweating the airfare im sure you can tell. Anyway, sorry to interrupt your trip report. Maybe i shouldn't post it here? Just let me know.
Don't mind at all. I would recommend wrapping your mind around something a bit higher than that, though. If you're going from the East, you'll likely spend a lot less that I'll get to. Remember that some airlines (Europe-based like British Air and Swiss) charge less for kids. Not a lot less...but at least worth looking into. I really wish there was a non-stop option from here....

FYI, I think I spent $3900 on airfare for the 3 of us?? I may be off a touch, but not by much. That was out of San Francisco, BTW.
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:19 PM   #198
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So the tour group was split in 2, so one half went to look around the town while the other did the perfume excursion. I'm pretty sure we did the perfume first.
Sorry - but went back and checked my trip report...we did the perfumery second..not first...if you'll remember...we had gelato and then walked down to the factory....

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Old 02-21-2012, 06:21 PM   #199
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[QUOTE=MinnieDiva;44096920] I think I'd like to take the train over to Monaco (10min ride) to see the palace and the changing of the guard. It would be nice to see the Grand Casino (tho I'm not a gambler), and maybe Jack Cousteau's aquarium. Then, the train to Nice (20 min) to see the market, the beachfront area, and maybe the Matisse and Chagall museums. Then, the 10 min train back to the port. It'll be our 1st stop, so we'll be fresh, time-adjusted, and ready to be curious!! (right?)


Sounds like a plan
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:27 PM   #200
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It was a huge surprise to us how much we enjoyed this port. I fully had expected to be bored, but we weren't! Many other Dis'ers did this on their own, and I'm thinking that's how we're going to do this next time around. I think I'd like to take the train over to Monaco (10min ride) to see the palace and the changing of the guard. It would be nice to see the Grand Casino (tho I'm not a gambler), and maybe Jack Cousteau's aquarium. Then, the train to Nice (20 min) to see the market, the beachfront area, and maybe the Matisse and Chagall museums. Then, the 10 min train back to the port. It'll be our 1st stop, so we'll be fresh, time-adjusted, and ready to be curious!! (right?)




For our visit to Villefranche, we took the train on our own into Monaco to see the Oceanographic Museum and aquarium. As a kid, I loved Jacques Cousteau and I'm always up for an aquarium. This was the place that I was most excited to see on our last cruise, especially since it was the 100th anniv. of the museum. We were not disappointed! The architecture of the building is incredible and I actually saw some fish that I had never seen before. I was amazed at all the different coral species as well. The aquarium is not huge, but had a nice selection of large and small tanks and I was teased for taking a picture of every kind of fish! The museum upstairs is a gorgeous piece of history! Incredible specimens, old charts and tools used to discover the wonders of the sea are displayed on two different levels with a life-sized whale suspended from the ceiling. I am a little tempted to go back!

Marni
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Old 02-21-2012, 06:37 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by MinnieDiva View Post
Mindy and family were scheduled to do the same afternoon Perfumer's apprentice excursion that we were. She had done something cool beforehand, though! She'd taken her kids to a bath soap shop where they got to make their own soaps, so they kind of had an idea how the perfume would go. **I feel the need to insert here that Mindy pulled off the greatest vacation surprise ever....her kids had no idea that they were going on a DCL cruise until they were at the airport***. But that's her story to tell. I just thought it was a great idea for her to do the bath soaps so as to judge their interest and attention span in the project.
So yes, we did take the kids to a place locally pre-cruise that made perfumes and soaps. It was completely on a lark and quite random, since we were coming out of dinner one night and saw the place. I thought it would be a good way to see if my DS would tolerate it. Well he loved it, so I knew it was a go.

Now as for the surprising. We booked this cruise during our very first cruise in Nov 2008. My DS kept asking to go on this cruise and we decided then not to tell them. We kept the secret for almost 2 years....OMG that was tough. We slipped so many times. We were originally not going to tell them until we pulled up at the pier. They knew they were going to Barcelona and were giving me a lot of flack for booking a hotel that didn't have a pool. I ended up telling them at the airport on our way out to Barcelona because we were on the same flight as two other Disboard families and also taking a tour of Barcelona with these families once we arrived. I didn't want everyone to feel pressured to keep the secret. So in true accountant style I created a power point presentation to tell them...see for yourself....
just click on this picture and the video should play
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:16 PM   #202
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that is priceless! What a grand surprise for your children!!!
I love the look on their faces.........you did a great job!!!
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:24 PM   #203
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that is priceless! What a grand surprise for your children!!!
I love the look on their faces.........you did a great job!!!
thanks...it was so exciting for me...I had to keep from crying...
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:32 PM   #204
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Sorry - but went back and checked my trip report...we did the perfumery second..not first...if you'll remember...we had gelato and then walked down to the factory....

Good thing you're keeping me honest!! And I've never seen that pic either! There I am...
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:33 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by o&smom View Post
For our visit to Villefranche, we took the train on our own into Monaco to see the Oceanographic Museum and aquarium. As a kid, I loved Jacques Cousteau and I'm always up for an aquarium. This was the place that I was most excited to see on our last cruise, especially since it was the 100th anniv. of the museum. We were not disappointed! The architecture of the building is incredible and I actually saw some fish that I had never seen before. I was amazed at all the different coral species as well. The aquarium is not huge, but had a nice selection of large and small tanks and I was teased for taking a picture of every kind of fish! The museum upstairs is a gorgeous piece of history! Incredible specimens, old charts and tools used to discover the wonders of the sea are displayed on two different levels with a life-sized whale suspended from the ceiling. I am a little tempted to go back!

Marni

So glad to hear that! Makes me look forward to it all the more!!
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Old 02-21-2012, 10:37 PM   #206
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Now as for the surprising. We booked this cruise during our very first cruise in Nov 2008. My DS kept asking to go on this cruise and we decided then not to tell them. We kept the secret for almost 2 years....OMG that was tough. We slipped so many times. We were originally not going to tell them until we pulled up at the pier. They knew they were going to Barcelona and were giving me a lot of flack for booking a hotel that didn't have a pool. I ended up telling them at the airport on our way out to Barcelona because we were on the same flight as two other Disboard families and also taking a tour of Barcelona with these families once we arrived. I didn't want everyone to feel pressured to keep the secret. So in true accountant style I created a power point presentation to tell them...see for yourself....
just click on this picture and the video should play
Awesome!!!
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Old 02-22-2012, 05:46 AM   #207
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So yes, we did take the kids to a place locally pre-cruise that made perfumes and soaps. It was completely on a lark and quite random, since we were coming out of dinner one night and saw the place. I thought it would be a good way to see if my DS would tolerate it. Well he loved it, so I knew it was a go.

Now as for the surprising. We booked this cruise during our very first cruise in Nov 2008. My DS kept asking to go on this cruise and we decided then not to tell them. We kept the secret for almost 2 years....OMG that was tough. We slipped so many times. We were originally not going to tell them until we pulled up at the pier. They knew they were going to Barcelona and were giving me a lot of flack for booking a hotel that didn't have a pool. I ended up telling them at the airport on our way out to Barcelona because we were on the same flight as two other Disboard families and also taking a tour of Barcelona with these families once we arrived. I didn't want everyone to feel pressured to keep the secret. So in true accountant style I created a power point presentation to tell them...see for yourself....
just click on this picture and the video should play
Priceless -- I could never keep me mouth shut long enough to keep that kind of a thing a secret from Skye and Hope!
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:38 AM   #208
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I was told to stop by and here I am
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:45 AM   #209
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I was told to stop by and here I am
anything to add?
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:47 AM   #210
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anything to add?
??
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