Guest Post from Megan Mulry + Giveaway: A Perfect Day on the French Riviera…circa 1984

Guest Post from Megan Mulry + Giveaway: A Perfect Day on the French Riviera…circa 1984

In honor of the release of her new novel, Roulette, Megan Mulry is here to share her perfect day in the South of France. Do you love this cover? I love it, I have to say! And I also love this Perfect Day. What would your own Perfect Day be? And where would it be?

roulette-cover-amz

 

The summer of 1984 was the first time I visited the South of France. I was 17, staying in youth hostels, and getting by on $25 a day (hard to believe that was actually possible at one time in the not-so-distant past). Yet, no matter how slim my money belt (filled as it was with those very precious few American Express travelers checks), I always had a lust for grandeur. Even though I had my proverbial nose pressed against the glass, I saw a whole different world, and I wanted to know more.

In my newest book, Roulette, the heroine, Miki Durand, has a very glamorous pedigree: her father is a Russian business tycoon and her mother is a French model/actress. As far as Miki is concerned, they represent everything she doesn’t want out of life—she thinks Mikhail Voyanovski and Simone Durand were nothing but reckless fools when they were gallivanting around the Côte d’Azur during that fateful summer of 1984. (There’s more to their story than meets the eye, of course, but I let Miki think ill of them for a while, because I’m mean like that).

Here is a brief imaginary glimpse of how Mikhail and Simone spent their first day together—after meeting over the roulette table at the Casino de Monte Carlo the night before.

Wake up at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Cap d’Antibes

Back in the 80s this hotel was cash only. (I wonder why!) I later heard stories about people arriving with large suitcases full of unmarked bills. The views of the Mediterranean are stunning; the rocky shore is lined with craggy cypress pines that make you feel like you are living inside a Cézanne painting. First order of business, get a little morning sun and steal a kiss by the cliffside pool, shown here in this 1976 photograph by Slim Aarons:

Visit the Musée Picasso, Juan-les-Pins

Drive about fifteen minutes up the coast and visit the Musée Picasso, formerly the Château Grimaldi. This is where Picasso lived for several months in 1946. I adore house museums because I think they never lose the spirit of the artist. Kiss on this sunny rooftop:

picasso museum

Lunch at La Colombe d’Or, St.-Paul-de-Vence

About a half hour inland from the coast is the charming medieval town of St.-Paul-de-Vence. For most of the mid-Twentieth-century, La Colombe d’Or was a hangout for movie stars and artists, many of whom were commissioned to create works that still hang in the restaurant and the adjacent inn. I imagine it like it was in the 1950’s, when it was a regular haunt of stars like Yves Montand and Simone Signoret. Grab your partner’s thigh beneath the table while sipping a Côtes du Rhone:

montanddefaut

Stroll around the Maeght Foundation, Saint-Paul-de-Vence

After a long lunch, a leisurely stroll through the gardens at the Fondation Maeght is the perfect way to relax. Outdoor sculptures by Miró, Braque, and Giacometti are scattered beneath the Provencal sun. Kiss here in the sculpture garden:

St Paul (166)-net

Stop by Rosaire Chapel, Vence

On the way back to Antibes, make a quick stop at this tiny chapel, also known as the Matisse Chapel. Created at the end of his life, Matisse considered it his masterpiece. Kiss beneath the stained glass windows:

wsj

After a dramatic drive back to the hotel, have a sunset drink overlooking the coast…and order room service!

hotel

Laura, thanks so much for having me over to your blog. I’d love to hear from your readers about what constitutes their perfect day. And to help spread our shared love of France, I will also give away an autographed copy of Roulette to two random commenters.

 

 

21 Comments
  • I love those photos and that virtual tour! And I’d love to enter the giveaway – but I live in the UK, and I’ll understand if this is North America-only.

    December 10, 2014 at 2:34 pm
      • I’d be happy to do international shipping of a signed book. I’ll pick a winner at the end of the week. Thanks so much for commenting, Stephanie, and thanks again for having me, Laura.

        December 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm
  • Shannon O'Shea Schmieg
    Reply

    Lovely pictures of paradise. My perfect day includes very basic things: sunshine, a nice long walk, a great cup of coffee, quiet time to read a bit, music, lots of giggles from from my 7 year old daughter and family dinner.

    December 10, 2014 at 4:01 pm
    • Shannon, that sounds like an utterly perfect day. Part of the reason I moved to Florida was the realization that sunshine is not just a “treat” but something I need on a consistent basis so I don’t drift into depression. And when my 8 year old son giggles, it is the best sound in the world! Thanks for stopping by.

      December 11, 2014 at 4:12 pm
  • Jennifer Huelsebusch
    Reply

    I was just able to spend one day in Paris when I visited last year! Will add these stops to my list for my next trip.

    December 10, 2014 at 4:06 pm
    • Hi Jennifer, thanks for commenting. I’ll take one-day-in-Paris over many days in lots of other places 🙂

      December 11, 2014 at 4:13 pm
  • LynnL
    Reply

    Having just been there this past spring, it was fun to see some of my favorite spots.

    December 10, 2014 at 4:24 pm
    • Lucky you! I hope I’ll get back at some point, but no plans at the moment.

      December 11, 2014 at 4:14 pm
  • Maryjane Turbett
    Reply

    What wonderful photos!
    My perfect day would include special time with my husband, no work responsibilities, lovely meals and a beach nearby.

    December 10, 2014 at 4:25 pm
  • Christine Maria Rose
    Reply

    What a lovely day those pictures and story describe! I think my perfect day would be one that involves warm sunshine and family (with no squabbling!)

    December 10, 2014 at 9:25 pm
    • Hi Christine Maria, Ah the squabbling–or should I say the absence of the squabbling–the stuff of dreams. Thanks for stopping by!

      December 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm
  • Caroline Keeler
    Reply

    I think I just spent it? Slept in, coffee on my porch in 35 degrees with a great cup of coffee, my kindle, my puppy and a GREAT blanket, the sun shining. Followed by being picked up by my amazing daughter who just finished her second to last semester having met her goal of finishing with the feeling that she did her absolute best. Being that this is a concept I have tried to instill for so long, that your best is what matters most, it met my goal too. We had a wonderful brunch at a little restaurant in Wilmington called Our Crepes and More, styled in French décor and owned/run by a French family. Service was wonderful, food was lovely, and we both enjoyed listening to that accent more than we should have! And enjoyed listening to each other for FOUR HOURS. When they are little, four hours AWAY from them feels like such a gift. Now four hours WITH her is priceless!! Came home to a little gift of a story from Laura Florand that reminded me of the best day when my daughter was born. And then to see that one of my favorite new authors (I LOVE that my library had both Megan’s and Laura’s books out where I could see them!!) has a new book out. Which I may just have to order on Kindle so I can read it tomorrow! The sun is still shining, (ENTIRELY understand what you say about the sun Megan!) so its still a perfect day. I may finish it off with a trip to my favorite bakery for some macarons and then go eat them on the beach and celebrate that my mom came through surgery wonderfully yesterday. So. As may be obvious, so much of what makes perfect for me is my daughter’s happiness. I am slowly learning to wish for my own. But for now, I don’t imagine or dream about perfect days. I appreciate the perfection in the day that I have. Some days, like today, it’s easy. Thank you for the reminder to dream even bigger!

    December 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm
    • Oh Caroline! We have things in common. My mom went into the hospital unexpectedly this weekend. Turned out to be something not-too-major and she’s back home and happy as of this afternoon. I have all gratitude for the perfection in this day. Thank you for such a wonderful comment.

      December 15, 2014 at 10:30 pm
    • Caroline Keeler
      Reply

      Hahaha wow, FIVE?!?!? We could barely make it through “one good thing today” before we both fell asleep when she was little. Treasure the days.

      December 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm

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