While Darlene and Deb explored Nice just off the Promenade des Anglais, I assigned myself an experiment of composing a photo of complementary shapes and colors from a scene that no normal tourist would choose to illustrate how much prettier it is here in France compared with all the ho-hum sights of home. Nice today was a fine place for the challenge, because the downtown is littered with construction sites and associated debris. Looking for artful shots in homely places greatly improved my appreciation of the city.

In the morning, we had visited the stunningly beautiful and overwhelmingly pink Ephrussi de Rothschild Villa and Gardens in St.-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Darlene has wanted to visit this site ever since Andre Letullier described it as a creation of a woman’s world in gardens and architecture. I confess I was thinking “chick chateau,” but I agreed to make the drive hoping I might find a decent place to read and write. Sure enough, the high-ceilinged corral tea room with swirling mosaic floor tiles had a free table by a window overlooking the sea. There I entertained myself for two hours with Lord Jim, Edward Said’s Humanism and Democratic Criticism, and my journal. Darlene and Deb ecstatically toured every room and all seven gardens, including the one with a fountain which sprayed water perfectly synchronized with classical music. We might call this experience “Two Ways of Looking at a Pink Castle.” But the fact is, we all had a great time, each in a singular way.

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