For me, this adventure began in France, where for the first time, more than one family member came to our new little pied-á-terre in Eze. It was nice to have a housewarming toast with most of the family and to enjoy the view through rosé colored glasses.
Prior to this Mr. Splendid and I have been taking separate trips over to feather our new little nest. While we were there for Mademoiselle’s spring break it was exciting to see the Côte d’azur opening up for “the season”.
Plage Passable is a favorite club because is has a lovely view of the colorful Quai l’Amiral Courbet of Villafranche~sur~Mer and because it gets the latest afternoon sun, so you can linger on the beach just a little longer.
They also have excellent food, with more of an Italian accent. Since I had this delectable Sicilian style grilled fish I’ve been creating dishes with tomatoes, olives, capers, garlic, herbs and olive oil with reckless abandon!
After lunch we strolled around the Cap, the trail will lead you out to the edge of the raging ocean
and back past many of the beautiful villas and gardens of Cap Ferrat.
Conveniently, the Monte-Carlo Rolex Open tennis tournament was starting during our stay, an event Mr. Splendid has been hoping to attend for years.
So we took the train to Monte Carlo.
They had opened a special stop for the Monte Carlo Country Club where the tournament was held. The views from the stands really demonstrate the naturally dramatic appeal of this area. On one side we looked out to the sea over the Monte Carlo Beach club (that’s Karl Lagerfield’s villa up on the hill to left);
and in the other direction, we stared at the rugged base of the Alps.
Both sides beckon.
Of course, along the way I dutifully continued to study variations of one of my all time favorite summer staples, Le Salade Niçoise. In this version I loved the addition of crunchy, peppery slices of breakfast radishes tossed into the greens, they were like refreshing croutons;
and this version was especially flavorful due to the addition of a scoop of pesto to be mixed into the salad.
While enjoying all that the South of France had to offer, I was always reminded of my upcoming trip to Africa with nervous anticipation of the challenges ahead.
To continue honing my riding skills I contacted Denis Longfellow who leads randonnées through The Alps on his handsome, sure footed Meren horses. He leads 2 – 5 day tours through France and Italy, stopping at lodges along the way for rustic lunches and dinners.
Madamoiselle S and I drove a bit over an hour north, above Menton, beyond the small mountain village of Sainte-Agnés to meet up with his son Scott and other riders for a day ride along the ancient Roman Trails in the mountains where we saw the signs of Spring awakening in The Alps.
All too soon, Mr. Splendid and Mademoiselle S had to split back to Seattle. I was left on my own to try to finish up some of the projects on the apartment, living off of the melon and jambon that was left in the larder.
And to do a final edit on what to bring to Botswana.
Animal print & drab.