Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm Baaack!

Okay, it's back to life - back to reality. But not before I share some details of my amazing visit to the French Riviera. Our gracious hosts, Peter and Michel, met us at the airport in Nice. And how "nice" it was. Especially because we missed our connecting flight in Brussels as a result of inclement weather here in New York. Sitting on the runway at JFK for 2 1/2 hours was no picnic and neither was not having our luggage meet us when we arrived in the south of France. But what could we do? After filing our claim at the airport, the gentlemen whisked us away to their home on the beach in St. Tropez. Swept away by the vistas of the lovely Mediterranean and the countryside, and with the colorful blooms of the gardens greeting us just below their terrace, I was ready to start my vacation. Our first stop later that evening was St. Tropez proper (the guys live in the village of Gassin), where we sipped cocktails at Le Quai Joseph while watching passersby stroll along the harbor loaded with yachts of all sizes, yet all fabulous. Afterwards, we were escorted to the bustling and unpretentious Chez Les Garcons where we dined al fresco under the stars watching natives and tourists on parade. Peter remarked that the village is so small which became quite apparent as he and Michel greeted so many with the double kiss and a heartfelt Bonjour. Fitting right in, I started kissing everybody, too!
I cannot tell you everything about my adventures because I am afraid it will begin to bore you. But I will say that we made stops in Cannes where the international film festival takes place each year. I learned that Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills is actually modeled after this blissfully chic region. So you know it oozes fabulosity! We also visited Monte Carlo/Monaco where the town was readying for the Tour de France. We paid a visit to the royal palace which stands high on a hill and we took pictures with the guard in the background. Lunch along the coast was awesome and picturesque. And we also stayed in Nice for a few days where, thanks to the guys, we could blend in like the locals. At least I felt like I was blending in. It struck me funny when I visited the Lanvin boutique in Monte Carlo and was greeted at the door by perfectly spoken English, "Good Afternoon, gentlemen. How are you doing today?" When I commented aloud to Peter about how strange I thought it was, the reply by the really lovely saleswoman was, "Did you want me to greet you as ladies instead of gentlemen?" I could tell we were going to be fast friends! "You greeted me in English, instead of French," I explained. She quickly recovered by saying that I had obvious American style. After she learned that I was a designer, she packed up lookbooks of the runway photos for women's spring & resort as well as men's spring and autumn. Leaving with the heavy powder blue shopping bag loaded with stunning fashion images was a moment that left me swooning. And it was indicative of my entire experience on the French Riviera. I loved it.

Peace & Fashion!