Monday, September 26, 2016

Ciao From Lake Como, Italy.. :)

At Casino Square, hanging out with the "Beautiful People" ;)

Monday Sept. 26th

Dear Family & Friends,

Another fun day.. What can I say, touring around Europe on a motorcycle is fun!
We left Nice,France and rode along a small sea side road to Monaco. I took some video and photos but they simply do not do it justice. I couldn't stop often enough or at the right places to photograph all the yachts, sea side villas, or quaint towns there were on the road. In about 45 minutes we ended up in the famous Casino Square in Monaco. We walked around  bit, peeked inside the casino and had a delicious if not ridiculous expensive lunch there. Monaco is a fantasy land because it so beautiful but so expensive, really only the super wealthy can afford to stay there or buying anything in the stores. I can assure you none of the watch shops sell Timex….
The harbor is full of the most amazing private boats you will ever see in one place. I added an another sticker to my bike and magnet for the refrigerator and decided that was about all I could afford in Monaco so we took off to our next location. 
The weather was great and we rode along the ocean for about half an hour when we passed the “Welcome to Italy” sign.. I am not sure if it was my imagination but I could swear that immediately the air smelled different. There was a distinct taste of garlic, oregano, and olive oil in the air. If it was my imagination it was a good dream.
Three years ago when we were riding down this same highway it was 105 degrees and a MASSIVE traffic jam. So bad there were times we got off our motorcycles and walked around waiting for traffic to move again.
This time it was in the low 80s (perfect motorcycling weather) and the traffic was moving fast. What took us 6 hours last time took 1 1/2 hours this time. At that point we left the coast and rode for another couple of hours in land to Milan. Just a normal freeway (except they are not free here) with lots of traffic and good speed. When we were about an hour from Lake Como we came to a toll section. Some how in all the traffic we lost Duane. We waited and waited but no show. Finally I texted him and said just meet us in Lake Como. An hour later Kim and I arrived at our hotel. Not ten minutes later Daune showed up! I was relived he found the way, but to say he was not in the best mood would be a slight understatement. It was definitely time to get some wine in the old man. We quickly changed and just outside our hotel was a beautiful out door cafe overlooking Lake Como. Within the hour Duane was calm and we had a delightful evening.
We are staying two night in Lake Como so tomorrow should be a relaxing day.  I plan to go for a walk, take photos, relax and maybe get some laundry done.
Whatever you do at Lake Como, its magic.
One last story.. When traveling with friends for long periods of time we talk a lot and learn more about each other. Today I was please to learn I am traveling with a celebrity... I learned that Kim was a TV star on "The New Micky Mouse Club" TV show.. :)

The south coast of France between Nice and Monaco...

Walking into Casino Sq. in Monaco..

Monaco is like a perfect world for the ultra wealthy.

The CASINO is small by Vegas standards and is only open to the public for limited hours. Unlike Vegas the elegance here is real and not some modern replica.

Some day I would like to fly to the Porsche factory and pick up a brand new Turbo S coupe in silver and tour around Europe with my wife, Bonnie.. Just say'n. ;)

Monaco is loaded with expensive and exotic cars, but this Morgan while not expensive by Monaco standards was one of the coolest cars there..

This is where we ate lunch.. $8 for a small bottle of water and $28 for a delicious but small salad..

Even the police station is classy..

My official riding and blogging shirt designed by my daughter, Jessica. Thanks!

A $28 Monaco Salad.

Going to the men's room in Monaco was this cool combination painting and mosaic of cars...

Stopping for a quick break on our way into Italy.

Our hotel in Lake Como, classy old world elegance.

Looking out over Lake Como tonight by our hotel.

Dinner and wine,, a good mood improver for Duane.

Our hotel lit up tonight

The waiters at our restaurant tonight proudly showing me their wine list... Featuring a Morgan sports car!

Looking out over Lake Como.

Click here for a riding video to Monaco!

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