My friend Polly Platt loves Monaco, a silver slipper of a country on a little shelf of the French Riviera not much bigger than Monte Carlo, its capital. But she also attended the wedding of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III here in 1956, the social event of the decade. My experience of the principality, now ruled by the late prince's son, Albert II, was less memorable. I stopped here sans tiara a few years ago on a budget cruise and returned to the ship like a Cinderella who hadn't been invited to the ball. So I decided to do it in style when I returned in the spring with Sarah, my 20-year-old niece. During the Grand Prix, I booked a room for one night at the luxurious Hotel Port Palace overlooking the harbor and got tickets to watch a day of practice runs from the grandstand. -- Susan Spano Read more: A trove of tiny treasures Pictured: The Port of Monaco with grandstands for the 2008 Grand Prix, lower right.
Susan Spano / Los Angeles Times