I always had a dream of visiting Monte Carlo. Ever since I saw my first James Bond film, I was enamored by the look of the place. It seemed sparsely populated, exclusive and very rich. So from the age of 7, I dreamed of escaping to this unique paradise. At the tender age of 38, I finally got my chance.
Our plane had come in from Geneva and the shores of Monte Carlo that we could see from the large jetliner seemed very intriguing. We strode through the small and relatively quiet airport. My mind raced. The last airport we’d seen was Heathrow and it was a behemoth. This quiet little place seemed alien.
My wife gathered the lighter bags and I carried the heavier ones. She had arranged for us to fly by chopper directly to our hotel. My pulse quickened as we moved toward the helicopter counter. The last helicopter I flew on was in high school with the Air Force ROTC. I remember how incredibly smooth the ride was. I longed for that feeling again. It felt like being held aloft by an invisible hand.
The baggage handlers met us in front of the counter and called us by name. We were impressed. My wife smiled widely. This was her first chopper ride. I knew she’d enjoy it. In a few minutes, the helicopter was loaded up and we were away. My wife smiled warmly as the helicopter took us out over the sea. The movement of the chopper made her blonde locks dance in the air. We moved swiftly through the air but never ventured very far from the hotels, casinos and roads of Monte Carlo. The rich people riding with us were European and they conversed in excited French. The feeling of hanging aloft was exceptional to them as well. We landed at a few hotels, and the guests started to disappear. We were last off the chopper and we tipped and thanked the pilot.
We had to wait patiently for our limo as some dignitary with a small army was ahead of us in line. He had his whole family and a small contingent of 12 guards in his motorcade. It took 20 minutes to get a limousine. The security procedures dictated that no else could be in the pickup area while his armed guards were with him. In roughly an hour, we were at the Fairmont Hotel overlooking the ocean. At $850 Euros a night, it was an excellent bargain.
In the next few days, we ate like superstars, visited the famed casino seen in James Bond movies, and walked the beach where US celebrities play volleyball. Monte Carlo has perfect seaside beauty and the air is frighteningly clean. My wife and I just relaxed, gambled, shopped and rested during our stay. There are relatively few guests, no crowds for anything and the most interesting people you can run into. Monte Carlo is the perfect place to turn off your cellphone and relax. You can walk the beach and quietly contemplate what peace really is. I highly recommend this vacation for people who want to tune out and listen to a different drumbeat. Monte Carlo is a totally different world than most of us are accustomed to.