Not Your Typical Travel Guide!

Travel Focus Cover

FORGET THE FLUFF – get concise and comprehensive information!

Announcing the new release of 

“Sun, Sea & Savoir-Faire”

Includes most everything but the kitchen sink!

A comprehensive, travel information E-book, focusing on the French Riviera. Includes concise transportation information, itinerary suggestion, website links, cultural tips, my personal recommendations, a recipe from my French family, and much more – even a visit to a village house.

Information at your fingertips, to easily access what you need to know and the savoir-faire for how to navigate the Côte d’Azur!


LOOK INSIDE at the Table of Contents:

Available as an E-book on Amazon &

Available for all E-reader formats on Smashwords

(Coming Soon in paperback)

“Merci beaucoup” to John Stephenson and Debra Fioritto for their valuable input and suggestions.

Resort/Restaurant/Hotel in La Gaude


I recently spent a “get out of town city” day at the Sunset Hotel and Resort, a four-star establishment in La Gaude, a town situated between the mountains and the sea – about 10 km (6 miles) from Nice. This historial town is a hiker’s paradise and was home to Marcel Pagnol, the French writer famous for the novels, Jean de Florette and Manon des Sources, later made into films.

The resort has several tennis and squash courts, a large outdoor pool, charming terraces, a bar area & restaurant, a playground and a rabbit pen to amuse children. It was a nice sunny day, as I enjoyed playing a little tennis and dining al fresco with a view overlooking the pool. A Nice quiet day outside of NICE!

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Restaurant in La Grande Motte

While I was visiting the Montpellier area, I ate at a boardwalk restaurant in La Grande Motte. What a great place to people watch, while remembering sitting at this place years ago, enjoying a Kir Royale aperitif (video below).

Kir Royale

I ordered one before lunch, as a toast to great memories during my summers in this town. The lunch was delicious, and the people watching equally entertaining – just as I had remembered!

Les aperos (Before dinner drink)

C’est toujours l’heure de l’apero en France !      (It’s always happy hour in France !)

Here are some popular aperitifs (in France)  that you may not be familiar with:

Monaco – beer, carbonated drink like 7-Up or Sprite, and grenadine syrup, which makes it red in color (the main country color of the principality of Monaco)

Panaché – beer mixed with a carbonated drink like 7-Up or Sprite

Tango – beer and grenadine syrup

Le Perrouquet (parrot) – pastis (licorice flavored liqueur), water, mint syrup

La Tomate (tomato) – pastis, water, grenadine syrup

Kir  – white wine and creme de cassis (black currant syrup) / Kir Royal is made with champagne rather than wine


Technically, happy hour is around 17h00 – 19h00, but that being said, you will often see the locals sitting at a cafe having a glass of wine or a beer in the morning, while catching up on the local gossip or playing a friendly game of cards – it’s all about comraderie!

My personal favorite apero is a glass of Champagne or a Kir- what’s yours?

Cros de Cagnes? Cagnes? Haut de Cagnes?

A friend of mine invited me to lunch, in Cros de Cagnes-sur-Mer (pronounced “crow de canya sir mare”), which is in fact, the more touristy, seaside-promenade area of Cagnes-sur-Mer – the larger area of town, with many neighborhoods. Then, there is Haut de Cagnes-sur-Mer (pronounced “oh de canya sir mare”), which is a fortified perched, mediéval village further back (about 2 miles) from the sea.

It was a sunny, yet windy day, and as I watched a plane coming in for a landing at the Nice airport, I also noticed that Cros de Cagnes is a fisherman’s village.

We ate at a restaurant along the Promenade, called San Marino, with its welcoming, brasserie-style atmosphere and entertaining waiters. We enjoyed a kir apero, ate, and chatted leisurely, for about 3 hours, never being rushed by the staff. I chose a “tajine aux légumes.” Served with potatoes, green beans, carrots, peas, artichokes, lima beans, and olives — it was absolutely delicious!!

It was a great day to catch up with each other’s latest news, relax over a wonderful meal, and just take time to smell the … um — well, not roses, as  I don’t know what these striking, unusual flowers are called!

All photos © 24/7 in France 2012 – all rights reserved.