It is no secret that I love my job, so pausing on the French Riviera to do an underwater maternity shoot was pretty exciting.
It gave Evan an opportunity to enjoy an area he had missed due to being in hospital after an appendectomy last time were we there, and it gave Belle and India a chance to catch up with a friend of theirs. It was win win all around.
Again, we stayed at Hotel Le Versailles, in the pretty town of Villefranche Sur Mer. I mentioned before that without an itinerary, we spent most nights searching for accommodation in our next destination. To be near, or in Monaco was proving very difficult with many places booked out, and many of them just crap, and with time running out I decided to just go back to Le Versailles. It cost a little more, but it was very nice. Turned out to be significantly more expensive once a third bed was added to the kids' room, but I wasn't to know until I paid the bill. We had much smaller rooms, and four years of wear and tear had taken their toll, so while it was still nice it was not good value.
Last time the insurance company shouted us - that was really great value!
Nice view from the room.
My job was in Monaco. My friend Susan, and her partner Fred run a harbourside fun park there each summer, and it was Susan's friend Marika that I was shooting there (I hope to share photos from that session soon).
But I did say a fun park...
Belle and India demonstrate here that it's good to have friends in high places - it's not what you know, it's who you know...
And Evan climbed to high places - broken arm and all.
We were there day and night. The kids loved it! I'm seriously not surprised.
Monaco is an interesting little country (and the second one we had visited this trip). At only 2 square kilometres it is the most densely populated country in the world.
Perched on a harbour and surrounded by tall, rocky mountains, I'm told it is illegal to walk around without a shirt on, and the Monegasques, while enjoying living income-tax free, are not allowed to gamble in the country's casinos.
For the photo-shoot Kiana and her sister Elisa took us to an awesome swimming spot. A huge concrete set of bleachers sitting in deep, azure water, it is the coolest underwater backdrop!
Selfie with Evan...
The problem with the location as far as the buoyant Marika and I (I need hard-core weights to hold me down because I can float on my back, with my legs crossed, reading a newspaper) were concerned, because we couldn't touch or hang on to anything. It was hard to get way down underwater (as evidenced in the shot above), and hard to have a rest between shots, and waves, to catch our breath.
So, as much as I loved the industrial backdrop, we moved to another location (I will preview those photos another time).
The whole French Riviera can be all it's cracked up to be.
There are some postcard beautiful coves and beaches to laze around at, and the Vietnamese restaurant in Villefanche is really delicious! It is all worth spending some time exploring.
No, I didn't have that time.
If I had the chance again (again - I know! So greedy after two attempts already!) I would stay in the hinterland for a week. I would make sure my accommodation was delightful, and had a pool, and I would enjoy.
Because it makes me smile.