Experiencing the Monaco Grand Prix

Jun 28, 2017
Visiting Monte Carlo, Monaco has been on my Dream Destinations list for awhile. While there are many amazing sites to see in Monte Carlo, we went for my husband's Bucket List reason - to see the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix.


The Monaco Grand Prix is a Formula One motor race held each year on the Circuit de Monaco. The race is held on a narrow course laid out in the streets of Monte Carlo, with elevation changes, tight corners, and a tunnel, making it one of the most demanding tracks in Formula One.


Nick and I started the festivities on the Friday night of race weekend. Friday is a 'no race day' at Monaco, which means the pits and the track are open to fans. Nick and I were able to see the race teams' garages, support teams, and the cars. You are also able to walk on the track (in fact, we walked the entire track). There's music, beverages, and photo ops everywhere! You can also check out/admire the multi-million dollar yachts. Friday night's events offer a fun atmosphere to set the tone and get everyone excited about race weekend.














Nick and I stayed in Nice, France and road the train in to Monaco. We arrived about an hour prior to the first event on Saturday, and started our morning checking out the lines of stalls of merchandise for sale on the streets of Monte Carlo, which are a must for any Formula 1 fan looking to pick up some swag. Saturday offered a full day of on-track events including a Renault Series race, F1 Free Practice 3, F1 qualifying, and the Formula 2 Grand Prix. 







Unfortunately, we didn't stay for the actual race on Sunday because we had to hook up with our tour group for Switzerland. This is the one thing I wish we had done differently. I had such a fun day on Saturday I would have thoroughly enjoyed watching the actual Grand Prix on Sunday!

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

If you watch the TV coverage, the media makes the Monaco Grand Prix look nothing less than fancy and fabulous, which parts of it are. Unless you pay primo bucks to sit in a box, get a package from a hotel where you watch from their balcony, or you happen to find yourself on a mega yacht, you don't need to dress fancy. It was HOT (like in the low 90s), so shorts, a t-shirt or tank top, comfortable shoes, a hat, and sunglasses worked. Nick and I sat in the grandstands and this was appropriate attire. Don't forget your sunscreen!



There is an hour between each event, but finding a place to eat outside of the grandstands can be tricky unless you do research first. I advise doing research on restaurants off the main path that offer quick service if you are set on seeing the start of every event (which we were) - and remember meals are much, much more leisurely in Europe than they are in the US. We ended up window shopping and enjoying the shade during the breaks instead.



Kiosks selling sandwiches, water, and sodas are set up under the grandstands, but the offerings go quick. The sandwiches were pretty much cleaned out by noon.  If you do snag a sandwich it's worth it... fresh rolls, cheese, and meat! And they were reasonably priced! We also found a grocery store and a stand set up by a family selling water and fresh fruit right outside one of the grandstands exit/entrances.



Stay in Nice, France. Monaco does not have an airport (only a helipad!) so you'll have to fly into Nice anyway. Monte Carlo hotels raise rates during race weekend so Nice offers more affordable accommodations. Nick and I stayed in a hotel that was less than a 5 minute walk from the Nice de Ville train station. Hopping a train from Nice de Ville station to Monte Carlo was easy (buy your tickets at a kiosk and find your platform) and the ride is 25 minutes or less. Staying in Monte Carlo would be an awesome part of the experience so just make sure to budget for it.




Let's just say that is sporting event was so much more organized than any event I've been to in the US. You can leave and reenter the grandstand whenever you want. They give you a ticket stub for reentry. Yes, you will have to pass security every time you leave and re-enter the circuit, but it's fairly quick. Sections of the grandstand are clearly marked, and they have knowledgeable volunteers who can point you in the right right direction and even walk you to your seat. There was no pushing, shoving, arguments, over priced concessions, or overtly drunk spectators. However, drinking and smoking are allowed in the grandstands. Oh, and the portable restrooms are CLEAN!





About

Jun 27, 2017
HERE'S THE STORY...



I'm Ashley, a 30-something East Coast girl living life in the Midwest.
I'm the square peg that doesn't fit in the round hole.
I see life in shades of gray instead of black and white.
I'm a wife, dog mom, career gal, Wander Luster, sister, daughter, aunt bookworm, reality TV junkie, and Royal Watcher.
I was born and bred in the great state of Pennsylvania, 80 miles from New York City and 56 miles from Philadelphia.
I now call Western Michigan home.
My favorite place to be is seeing the world.



Nick is a Midwest boy who fell in love with an East Coast girl.
We got married in 2008, and he brought me back to his home state in 2011.



Scout is our only child.
He's a cuddly 10-pound bichon/poodle mix who loves people more than other dogs, will do anything for treats, and is too smart for his own good.
We're obsessed.



ABOUT THE BLOG




This lifestyle blog was launch in June 2013.  It started as a place for women to meet and share their stories. A Cute Angle as evolved over time to become an amazing way to connect with others, a glimpse in to my life, and a space to share beauty tips, recipes, good reads, all things royal, and much, much more!




"My sun shines all around. All you have to do is just surrender."











Monday Madness 6.26.17

Jun 26, 2017
Happy Monday! And a very special Happy Birthday to my big brother, Brett, who turns 35 today! Speaking of birthdays...


My sweet husband, Nick, turned 34 on Saturday! 


We had Nick's high school friend and his wife and two boys staying with us for the weekend. His friend plays in a beach soccer tournament every year, so it was good to have them up and see them, and to see some other childhood friend's of Nick who we only really see at this tournament.






It was fun celebrating Nick's birthday with friends, cook outs, and cupcakes! We were so busy, but I still managed to make time for my special littlest buddy.



The best way to finish the weekend is Sunday night snuggles with Scout! Have a great week everyone!



My Camping Adventure

Jun 19, 2017
My sister-in-law Meghan convinced me to go camping with her and my three month old niece. I have no idea how she convinced me to do this. I just must like her a lot. So on Friday night we set out on my very first camping adventure.


We rented a rustic cabin (no running water or bathroom facilities) in Waterloo State Park near Chelsea, Michigan. Meghan and I were excited to hear that the two cabins that sandwiches ours were under going renovations so we had the whole area to ourselves!


We ate, sipped, took walks, read, napped, peed in the woods, and each got a collection of bug bites.






We even foraged for our own fire food, chopped it, and built a fire.



Well, that part was mostly Meghan, but I do know how to grill mean hot dog from my days at Camp Akanac with my cousins growing up.



HAPPY MONDAY EVERYONE!
 
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