castle view cannes abbeyWhat do you think of when I say Cannes? Naturally the Cannes Film Festival comes to mind, but there is so much more to this sleepy little village than meets the eye. People are usually surprised when I tell them that Cannes is quiet for the majority of the year and that only 70,000 people live there year round. I discovered this while attending the 2013 International Luxury Travel Market last December as part of the press corps. What amazed me the most is there are serious winemakers on Saint-Honorat off the coast of Cannes, France.  Award winning wines and liqueurs are being produced by some savvy Cistercian Monks on the pristine island of Saint-Honorat.

20140411_160441 Killer pair of leather gloves found on my outing

by Contributor Margo Waite

One of my and my husband Rob's favorite Sunday morning outings in Paris, when so many shops and markets are closed, is going to the Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th.  A center of attraction in this 60 acre expanse, the second largest park in Paris, is the large pond ringed by Parisian families enjoying their day of rest.  The radio controlled sailboats are great fun to watch and chairs are provided for just relaxing.   From there, it’s a pleasant stroll to the Marche Biologique Raspail at 116 Boulevard Raspail also in the 6th.

Wall of Copperby Contributor Margo Waite: When my friend Michael Kathens, architectural and interior design historian and author of the book American Splendor, told me about Museum Nissim de Camondo several years ago I should have dropped everything and gone there. Finally last December I did visit the Musée Nissim de Camondo. And even then I had to make two trips because I neglected to note that this museum is closed on both Monday AND Tuesday. Now that I’ve visited this incredible home I’ll return to it again and again. The vast array of exquisite art, furnishings and architecture makes it difficult to absorb in one visit.

One of the gardens Hemingway traversed One of the gardens Hemingway traversed Walking in Hemingway's footsteps in Paris is a daunting task. I contacted Context Travel to take their Paris Hemingway Tour because I was a huge fan of his work, but also because I was curious how a man so talented in his writing could be such a bad character in his personal life. I've known many men and women alike who adore the man they envision from his travels as a war correspondent and admire the sense of joie d'vivre that comes across in his works. I was one of those folks until I got to "know" him a bit better.

Marais Marais, Paris Childhood memories of running towards a merry-go-round to try to be the first to select a favorite horse to ride upon come flooding back whenever I am in France. It seems that every city I visit has at least one of these nostalgic rides. You need not look far in Paris for one of the brightly colored carousels. Most are strategically located in high tourist traffic areas, others are smaller and tucked away in petit pocket parks in residential neighborhoods. No matter where you come across one of these gems, finding a carousel in France is always fun.

Lid Sid hanging out with us. Lid Sid hanging out with us. While some may consider it cliché to take French cooking classes in Paris, I beg to differ. There is nothing commonplace about the Discover Walks “Ooh La La Fun Cooking Class” where hands-on learning is the key to its success. Our education began with a culinary shopping spree at the widespread St Mandé farmers market, and ended with a sophisticated meal prepared by yours truly and fellow guests under the instruction of the popular native Parisian and local celebrity chef Philippe Cazenave.

Paris Haircut 1I have to do it. We stay in Paris too long for my short hair not to need cutting. It’s something I do every trip. I’ve been to the name salons, Jacques Dessange and Franck Provst, big and busy. I wanted something a little more personalized this time for my Parisian haircut. I decided to try a salon in the neighborhood, Jean Claude Biguine, on Rue Grennelle in the 7th, a short walk from our apartment and the Rue Cler Market. (I discovered only back in the US that there are hundreds of Claude Biguine salons spread around the world.)

Cernuschi guardJust when I think I’ve got Paris mastered, I’m foiled. This time it was by a museum. I know that most Paris museums are closed on Monday. After a trip across town on Tuesday, I was surprised to learn that our destination, the Musée Nissim de Camondo at 63 Rue de Monceau in the 8th, is closed Monday and Tuesday. To make the best of our trek, we discovered that little more than a block away at 7 Avenue Velasquez is the Musée Cernuschi (Museum Cernuschi) and that, as a City of Paris museum, it is open on Tuesday. We were delighted to tour this mansion, commissioned by Henri Cernuschi to hold his extensive collection of Asian art.

  Thibault of @38SAINTLOUIS Thibault of @38SAINTLOUIS The 4th Annual Paris Tweet Up is now history! Last month we gathered at the adorable cheese shop at 38 Saint Louis at 38 rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Isle. Entrepeneurs Thibault Lhirondelle and Didier Grosjean are the young kings of frommage behind the innovative idea of serving fresh cheeses at the peak of their perfection. The shop also sells everything you will need to complete your evening meal or make a picnic out of their goods to take to a local park. Wine cheese pairings were a huge hit, a great time was had by all!

Princess Grace's tiara Princess Grace's tiara If diamonds are a girl's best friend, the Cartier Exhibit at the Grand Palais has become the BFF (Best Friend Forever) of thousands of visitors. The exhibition covers two centuries of history in the world of jewels and the famous women who adorned them. Everyone from Marie Bonaparte to Queen Elizabeth, and beloved Princess Grace wore tiaras made by Cartier that lucky museum visitors can view until February 16, 2014. Stephane Bern, television presenter, was at the opening of the exhibit and was quoted as saying, "Cartier is the king of jewelers, and jeweler to the kings." He is too right!