menton & monaco

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of all the towns and villages we visited on our road trip, menton - a colourful seaside city near the france-italy border - was my favourite! we spent a morning at the beach and then a nap time exploring the outrageously charming streets. it really felt like there was a perfect picture around every corner. having two small children in tow has definitely changed traveling for me in several ways, and one of the biggest is that i take less photos, especially with my "big camera." i did get to capture a bit of menton's colour and charm through a lens, but there was so so much more wonder that i captured only in my memory. take my word for it even beyond the photos shared here - menton is spectacular!

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^^ gabriel really loved his first few dips in the ocean on our trip. ^^
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^^ i mean!... that beach backdrop made my jaw drop. ^^
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^^ so this (on the right) is what nap time often looks like for our family when we are traveling - one boy snoozing in the buggy and the other dozing in the carrier. i'm grateful and glad that our sons are pretty dang good at sleeping anywhere! ^^
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^^ this colourful canyon in menton knocked our socks off. with the exception of the beach front shops/restaurants, the city was so uncrowded! ^^
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^^ view from the church at the top of the city, and a ride on the carousel when little mo woke up. ^^

we stopped by monaco on our way back to our little holiday home in villefranche. what a fascinating place. the most densely populated and second-smallest country in the world! and wow, there are some really filthy rich people that live in monaco...! (the yachts and cars we saw around were pretty mind-blowing.) we wandered around for an hour or so as evening approached.

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^^ (right) there's this mirror positioned in front of the monte carlo casino and it provides a unique perspective! ^^
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exploring menton & monaco made for a fantastic day on the cote d'azur.
to be continued...!

our holiday home in villefranche

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after sleeping in a new town nearly every night for the first bit of our road trip, it felt soooo good to settle in to one place for four whole nights! we chose the darling seaside village of villefranche-sur-mer as our homebase for exploring the eastern part of the french riviera. our airbnb turned out to be a total home run, with gorgeous views and the perfect amount of space. we were close to the grocery store and the beach, and streets of the town charmed our socks off.

from villefranche we took little day trips to menton, monaco, eze and saint-jean-cap-ferrat. pictures from those amazing places coming next, but first here's some captured memories from the time we spent in and around our little holiday home.

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^^ we just couldn't get over the view from our airbnb. i loooooved waking up and immediately opening the shutters in the bedroom to behold this...! ^^
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^^ a snapshot from our walk to the beach. ^^
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^^ i don't think i could ever quite describe how happy moses was splashing in the ocean on this trip. his joy made us feel pretty happy, too! ^^
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^^ the selfie-taking photobomber is this picture (left) is awesome. ^^
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^^ twilight from our balcony... ^^
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^^ ... and dusk! ian actually took these sunrise photos while i was sleeping in, which was fabulous. ^^
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^^ our airbnb was on this darling street. ^^
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^^ every morning in villefranche, ian took the boys to a nearby playground while i caught up on sleep. since little gabriel has regressed in his nighttime sleep stretches quite a bit, those morning lie ins were maaaybe my favourite part of our trip, haha! ^^
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^^ and every afternoon we hung out with little gabe while mo took a nap at the airbnb. both boys are so good at sleeping on the go, but it's really nice for everyone when moses gets a proper nap at the place we are staying. ^^
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some photos from a stroll i took around town one day during nap time... so many charming, colourful corners. 
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^^ back at the pebbly beach on our last day in villefranche... ^^
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^^ and on our last night, we were surprised by a big fireworks show that went off in the bay ... and the windows of our airbnb were the perfect place to watch! it was the best surprise and watching that glitter in the sky cuddled up with ian is now one of my favourite memories. ^^
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^^ last photos from the balcony - i snapped them while we were packing up to leave. such a serene morning. ^^

we love you so, villefranche!

IMG 1737 be continued!