1 We flew to Nice on a private plane arranged by Ernst and Young. My traveling companions were Jen, Lucinda, and Daisy.
2 The jet was spacious and very comfortable. Alan Luchs, my longtime friend and advisor from Ernst and Young, accompanied us on this trip.
3 After landing in Nice, we hit the lively scene at La Petite Maison, a Niçoise institution.
4 This waiter was a great dancer.
5 La Petite Maison was a really fun place to be on our very first night.
6 And the food was delicious! The bone marrow was served with slow roasted tomatoes and toasted baguette.
7 White truffles were finely shaved on creamy pasta.
8 Shaved truffles were also served on creamy risotto.
9 We all loved the adorable waiters.
10 This serving of delicate Dover sole was simply superb.
11 It's fraises des bois season and these tiny wild French strawberries were served with caramel swirl ice cream - delish!
12 With live entertainment, what a fun night!
13 Our next stop was in Monaco the Hôtel de Paris, where we stayed. This stunning building was all lit up at night.
14 This is the grand entrance to Hôtel de Paris, a 187 room luxury hotel that opened in 1863. This fabulous building was designed by Gobineau de la Bretonnerie.
15 Around the same time, Gobineau de la Bretonnerie also designed The Monte Carlo Casino.
16 After a comfortable night of rest, breakfast at Hôtel de Paris was quite extensive. I enjoyed a little pot of yogurt, stewed prunes, and the pastries were yummy.
17 After breakfast, we went for a brisk walk. The harbor in Monte Carlo has no shortage of beautiful yachts.
18 After our walk, I wanted to drive into Italy to enjoy some good Italian coffee. Monaco is bordered by France on three sides and one side borders the Mediterranean Sea.
19 The signs pointed to great destinations.
20 We traveled through this tunnel.
21 The beaches in Italy were lovely and inviting.
22 In Italy, we went to an amazing market. My eyes were drawn to these fresh and fragrant herb bouquets.
23 These are white mulberries, which some claim to be a healthful superfood.
24 My favorite - beautiful fresh lemons
25 We loved these cellophane bags of vibrantly colored dried pastas!
26 I thought Truman would love one of these wooden trains.
27 We came upon this street performance artist and couldn't quite figure out how he hung like this.
28 Fresh green figs
29 After the big market, we strolled through some shops. This one was selling such artfully crafted marzipan fruits.
30 These are colorful flavored jellies.
31 These pan del marinaio were seen in all the local pastry shops. They are a type of fruit cake, also called Sailor's Bread.
32 These cream puffs were so pretty with different flavored fillings and coordinating colored glazes.
33 After our shopping experience, we drove through the scenic coastline, on our way to Saint Paul de Vence.
34 Saint Paul de Vence is one of the oldest medieval towns on the French Riviera. It is a charming hilltop fortified village, filled with art galleries, boutiques, and sidewalk cafes.
35 Here I am within the medieval fortress walls surrounding the village. The weather was glorious!
36 Saint Paul de Vence is one of the most intact medieval examples of the region.
37 There was so much fragrant jasmine blooming everywhere.
38 We really enjoyed this artful display at a jam and honey shop in Saint Paul de Vence.
39 I loved the hue of this geranium flour honey.
40 There were so many different types of jam to choose from.
41 There are so many narrow alleys in this quaint village.
42 Another alley
43 Jennifer really enjoyed this visit to Saint Paul de Vence.
44 The views from the walking streets were breathtaking.
45 Saint Paul de Vence is a real feast for the eyes.
46 We stopped for lunch at Le Tilleul, a lovely little restaurant in the heart of Saint Paul de Vence.
47 Jennifer's beautiful white and green salad was full of cauliflower, asparagus, snow peas, broccoli, baby spinach, and shaved fennel.
48 I enjoyed a creamy pasta dish with sun dried tomatoes, shrimp, and black sesame seeds.
49 Lucinda ordered quiche made with greens and goat cheese.
50 Later that night, back at the Hôtel de Paris, I was so happy to see Muhammed Yunus in the lobby. He is, of course, a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, banker, economist, and civil society leader who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding the Grameen Bank and pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance.
51 And here I am in the exquisite lobby with Alan Luchs.
52 We entered the opulent dining room at Le Louis XV–Alain Ducasse restaurant in Hôtel de Paris.
53 This stunning floral arrangement was the centerpiece in Le Louis XV.
54 These crispy crackers in Le Louis XV were embedded with slivers of vegetables and a puree of olives.
55 Our meal started with a glass of Perrier-Jouet rose champagne.
56 I loved this dinner roll - it looked just like an open book!
57 This was a tiny Niçoise type of salad served on a bread base.
58 This was a Mediterranean sea bass in a minestrone broth.
59 And this was very tender and perfectly cooked lamb with roasted eggplant and tomato.
60 Another kind of poached fish in a pool of pureed spinach with spring vegetables
61 The pastry kitchen in Le Louis XV was very busy making lots and lots of tiny desserts.
62 They were also assembling an amazing sugar sculpture!
63 Meanwhile, the cooks in the main kitchen were busy cleaning up after a night of service. The room was sparkling clean! I loved all the hanging copper pots.
64 This was the first of many dessert offerings at Le Louis XV.
65 These fraises des bois were paired with a great homemade ice cream.
66 This chocolate dessert was so decadent. The truffle center had a bit of crunch and was topped with ganache, gold leaf, and a chocolate fan.