Always a sucker for a Splurge vs. Save challenge, I will gladly save on a trip somewhere fabulous in the off season, and splurge on shoes to wear there. The math still works in favor of my wallet. The South of France in February turns out to be a stellar time to go regardless of 5 star hotels on a 3 star budget: hardly a tourist in sight, no reservations needed, and sunshine without being hot. Despite fewer places being open (but fewer choices = more relaxing trip, who's with me?), you can actually find STREET PARKING (which is good until you hit the car behind you which we did) and there's no traffic.

We took a break from pain au chocolate and fender benders to shoot a bit of Spring with Frances in her adopted country which was convenient for knowing the most charming alleys in Villefranche and *that* famous Riviera diving board. Scroll for spring looks and scenes from this charming part of France in the most serene time of year. Travel tip easter eggs throughout, so read till the end!

xx Katie

Hit Le Palais d'Osier basket shop in Nice for the Frenchiest of souvenirs, and fill it with natural wine from Le Pêche a la Vigne.

Saint Paul de Vence is cute for a quick look, but over touristed. The legendary la Colombe d'or, however, lives up to its reputation. Step back in time and enjoy a 3 hour rosé-filled lunch in the garden or by the fireplace, and hit your head on the Picassos and Matisses above you. You'll feel the joie de vivre down to your bones.

The view is great from Eze, but you'll be on the tourist train the whole time. Better to take the small roads along the coast and discover your own gems. I like the stretch between St. Tropez and Marseilles.

April 15, 2024