My European Vacation

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Buyers' Choice Realty

Amanda & Mirela MONTE in MONTE Carlo...  it fits!

The end of my daughter’s month long French immersion program in Nice was the beginning of our vacation together.  I took this opportunity to have my daughter all to myself for some much needed mother-daughter bonding, after an arduous year in the Real Estate Trenches of short sales and foreclosures.  A little adventure was just what the doctor ordered and I returned refreshed and ready to delve into the business once again.

Two weeks driving through Europe with my daughter provided an ever changing scenery and ample opportunities for exploration.    From Nice we took one of the most scenic drives on Earth, that stretch of road through the mountains on the way to Monaco, where beautiful vistas beckon to be photographed.  Monte Carlo is every bit as “high end” and exclusive as it is in the movies, with the fanciest cars I’ve even seen in my life.   Italy was next, with several wonderful visits: Pisa, Cecina, Florence, Venice, Verona.  The Italians are amazingly nice and pleasant and I must confess, quite easy on the eyes, as well.  The architecture and landscapes are simply breathtaking. 

Our planned visit to Innsbruck, Austria, did not pan out due to some horrible weather, so we just drove through it, promising to return again.  By the time we arrived in Munich, Germany, we had On top of the World at the top of the Eiffel Towerenough respite from the rain to visit the Olympic Village and view this lovely city from atop the Olympic tower.  Our next stop was Saarbrucken, a charming German town on the border with France, where we visited my mom’s best friend.  The last time I saw her, my Amanda was only three years old. You can imagine the surprise when she saw my now 17 year old daughter.  It was a wonderful visit, for which I am very grateful.

Our next stop was Paris, which is only a four hour drive from Saarbrucken.  Although I have been to France on several occasions, this was my very first visit to Paris.  What can I say about it?  Majestic, brilliant, extraordinary, amazing, beautiful, inspiring… there are not enough adjectives to describe Paris, a city like no other on Earth.   By the time we were done with Paris and its outskirts (Versailles and Fontainebleau), we were ready for a relaxing couple of days on the French Riviera, but not before spending the day in Grenoble, a charming city in the French Alps I had visited with my son Alex six years earlier. 

I will post more blogs documenting my journey for those of you who wish to go someday and for those who have already been and would like to reminisce.   If you wish to have some meaningful one on one time with a son or daughter, I strongly recommend a trip through Europe together.  It is a great opportunity to spend time together on neutral turf, without cell phones, texting and a hundred other distractions.  Knowing where your child is emotionally is worth every penny such a trip would cost…

Happy Trails!  Life is short; enjoy it! 

(*note: please run the mouse over each picture for an explanation of the location)

Mirela Monte, Your Myrtle Beach Real Estate Connection             Join The Optimist Group!


On the road from Nice to Monaco

The other building in Pisa...

Views of Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy

The Duomo, Florence, Italy

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy, a city like no other...

My Daughter, Amanda, posing on Juliet's balcony in Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy

At The Louvre, Paris, France - I never knew the Coronation of Napoleon was THIS Big

It would take you a full two weeks to visit the entire Louvre

The Louvre

The opulence of Versailles is hard to comprehend until you see it in person

The opulence of Versailles is hard to comprehend until you see it in person

The opulence of Versailles is hard to comprehend until you see it in person

The Palace of Fontainebleau, located 55 kilometres from the centre of Paris, is one of the largest French royal châteaux.

Grenoble, France, site of the 1968 Winter Olympics

Nice, France, within a half hour of both Cannes and Monte Carlo, is where our trip started and ended


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Jack Mossman - The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton
The Nines Team At Keller Williams - Stockton, CA
The Nines Team at Keller Williams in Stockton

Mirela ... stunning: you, your daughter and the photography - thanks for letting us glimpse a little of your reality!

Aug 25, 2010 04:20 PM #1
Mirela Monte
Buyers' Choice Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Real Estate

Feel free to ask me any questions about traveling through Europe: from car rental to hotels, to the exchange of money...  I would be glad to answer. 

Aug 25, 2010 04:20 PM #2
Nancy Williams
Coldwell Banker Homestead Group Select Professionals - Harrisburg, PA

Such grandeur--thank you so much for sharing--there must be so many wonderful memories with this trip for you and your daughter to share over the years.  Your braveness in  driving on the "wrong" side of the road is exceeded only by your eye for capturing great beauty.  What spot would you most long to return to?

Aug 25, 2010 04:25 PM #3
Mirela Monte
Buyers' Choice Realty - North Myrtle Beach, SC
Myrtle Beach Real Estate

Nancy:  Actually, all of Europe drives on the same side of the road as we do (only they do it a lot more aggressively). I believe that only in Great Britain they do it the other way.  That being said, may I also add:  I drove a stick shift.  It was an SUV...  and manual...  Then I discovered that parking and going uphill are adventures I would have preferred to bypass...  Coming back home in one piece is indeed proof that somebody "UP There" loves me!

Jack:  Thank you!  I have many more pictures I haven't even downloaded yet.  These are from my small, pocket camera, a Canon.

Aug 25, 2010 04:35 PM #4
Larry Story
Total Care Realty - Greensboro, NC
Total Care Realty, LLC, Greensboro, NC Real Estate


Absolutely beautiful pictures.  I do so want to visit Italy one day.  

Aug 25, 2010 05:31 PM #5
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate


We have traveled Europe extensively and your wonderful pictures bring back many memories. You are right about really spending time with each other exploring and being adventuresome without the distractions of every day life. This year we discovered the charm and history of Egypt, Jordan and Israel. So exciting and very different form the European counties.

Aug 25, 2010 08:28 PM #6
Jim Hale
Eugene Oregon's Best Home Search Website

Looks like you had a fantastic trip.  Hope you share some more photos.

Glad you told us you were with your daughter. 

I would have guessed your sister.

Aug 25, 2010 11:00 PM #7
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

Mirela, I wouldn't be the last to say I have to visit Europe it's on my bucket list, My wife and I generally decide on sand and sun when vacations are the topic. But your pictures are hard to look away from.

Aug 26, 2010 01:16 AM #8
Bob Volanti
Keller Williams Realty Fresno - Clovis, CA
Fresno and Clovis, CA Realtor

Ah Mirela, you're living the good life. Wonderful post and pics. My wife, daughter and I had the good fortune to visit Paris, Florence and Rome this summer and it is breathtaking. To be surrounded by such history and beauty. We will go back soon as there's so much more to experience. Me on the Sienne in Paris Thanks again Mirela. Look forward to more from your trip.

Aug 26, 2010 07:35 AM #9
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS

Fabulous pictures, and sounds like you had a terrific time!

Aug 28, 2010 12:51 AM #10
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

This looks like an amazing trip !!!! Glad to see it went better than the Griswald's !!!!*L*(National Lampoon's)

Aug 28, 2010 05:13 AM #11
Drick Ward Property Management / Broker Assoc
NEPTUNE REALTY - Virginia Beach, VA
"RealtorDrick" - Experienced Representation

Beautiful pictures, sounds like you had a wonderful time and created some awesome memories with your daughter. Good to see you're enjoying life and instilling that value in her. Keep it up.

Aug 29, 2010 04:51 PM #12
Terry Adams
Condolux Real Estate & Vacation Rentals - Myrtle Beach, SC

I envy you for going to Monaco. Amazing photos. 

Sep 01, 2010 04:33 AM #13
Joshua Zargari
MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating - Lynbrook, NY
MJ Decorators Workshop

Good morning Mirela!

Great shots...I went with my son on a vacation...Best quality time we ever had...

Sep 03, 2010 11:34 PM #14
Keisha Hosea-
KASI Homes - Chino Hills, CA
Real Estate Solutions For Real People

What a nice way to spend time with your daughter and travel.

Sep 07, 2010 10:34 AM #15
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Mirela Monte

Myrtle Beach Real Estate
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