Amazon Gives Startups A Fighting Chance

One of the first things I want to do when I get back to the States, is learn more about the new program Amazon just launched for start-ups. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read that Amazon is going to help start-ups launch, market and distribute their products to the hundreds of millions of Amazon customers across the globe.

Never in my life did I ever imagine that a new company could have such an advantage. Amazon is appropriately calling their new program Launchpad. Startups now avoid many of the challenges a new company usually experiences. They can now rely on Amazon’s retail experience and infrastructure to help them be successful. 

What an amazing world we live in. Read more about it in Retailing Today.

And then, we want to share our day in Nice with you.

Welcome to Nice

Getting an early start on the weekend.


Looks like the Flatiron building in Manhattan.


Strolling the streets.


Waiting for a wedding to start .


The Mediterrean.waters are so blue.


No sand, just large rocks.




We had lunch on the beach.


Nice has a style of its own.


Congratulations To Me 

Monaco Today

32,000 people. No unemployment and one police officer for every 60 people. 

Jimmy Kimmel

Over five million people watched Jimmy Kimmel’s reaction to Cecil, a male African lion,  being shot to death by an American big-game hunter, Walter James Palmer. I didn’t want you to miss it. 

Monte Carlo Glitz

I have been searching for an ex-client of mine, Stan Weston, for years now. He just disappeared . He lived in Cap Ferrat for decades. The last two times I was here, we visited with him. He invented G.I. Joe, even though the toy company he gave the idea to, Hasbro, never gave him credit for it. 

They gave him a check for $100,000 50 years ago and they went on to make billions. Read all about it here. Stan grew up in NY but fell in love with the French Riviera. I never thought he would leave the area. He must be close to 80. I have been searching the Internet and social media. Zip. Where are you Stan? 

Photos by Eliot Hess 



 Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Good friends on Facebook strongly recommended that Eliot and I visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild today which is located in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera. Our hotel in Cap d’ Ail is about 20 minutes away. 

The villa was built between 1905 and 1912 by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild (1864–1934) . She was a member of the Rothschild banking family and the wife of the banker Baron Maurice de Ephrussi, 

The mansion is filled with antique furniture, Old Master paintings, sculptures, objets d’art, and assembled an extensive collection of rare porcelain. The gardens are classified by the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Notable Gardens of France.             Both videos (above and below) were taped in a regular format, but sometimes they playback in”Slo Mo.”  Strange, very strange. 

 This is what telephones looked like at the time. 


This type of audio guide is so more civilized than the ones with ear pieces. All I had to do was put the device to my ear. Nice and easy

Over looking the Mediterranean Sea .


A closeup


Side view


Formerly the kitchen, now. a restaurant. Yes, we had lunch there.


Second floor balcony .




Sitting room


Ceiling mural


Beatrice’s bed


One of a thousand dresses.


Love chapel


One of many garden walkways.


Meditation point


Practicing our selfie


The Most Expensive Cupcake

 Ellyn Traub and her husband Kenney Green.

I can’t quite remember how the topic came up, but a gal I met on the River Cruise last week, Ellyn Traub, of Carmel, Indiana, told me she once drove a cupcake car. “A what?” “A cupcake car,” she said.  She showed me a video of her joy ride.  Click below. 

How awesome is that? 

Ellyn said that she saw the cupcake car in a Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog and always wanted to go for a ride. We all know that particular catalog has the most unusual gifts anyone has ever seen. Ellyn’s wish came true on her last birthday.

She and her husband Kenn went out to Berkeley, CA, where the designer of the cupcake car, Lisa Pongrace, allowed Ellyn to take a drive. 

The cupcake car is powered by the same engine used in electric/battery driven wheel chairs. The top speed is seven miles-per-hour. However, the price tag is very high, $25,000. You just can’t put a price on a good cupcake.

Read a story about the cupcake car in Forbes

Ellyn is an executive coach and a cyclist. Her husband rides bikes too. They were two, of a number of guests, who opted to do a few of the River Boat tours on bikes. 

Go Ellyn go!!!



Beaulieu-sur-Mer and St. Jean Cap Ferrat 

We went to Beaulieu-sur-Mer today to see our Miami neighbors, Ruth and Henry, who also have a home here. We had a very special day because we learned a lot about the two areas that are right next to each other and we also discussed all of the technology that you need to know about in order to be inexpensively connected if you live in the south of France. 

Eliot and I found it fascinating because, between apps and gadgets, you can watch all of your favorite TV shows, get strong Internet connections, and make all of the calls you want, for very little cost. Gone are the days when you have to spend a fortune for all of your communication needs.

We are forever grateful to Ruth and Henry for spending so much time with us. The four of us walked 12,400 steps to Cap Ferrat, visited many of the landmarks, dined out, people watched, and said hello to other Dachshunds along the way so Holly (their dog) could sniff and kiss. 

The best part was sitting in their living room overlooking the panoramic view of the Mediterranean and their town. Breathtaking.

It’s always so much fun meeting up with people you know in far away places. All of a sudden you are no longer on the outside looking in.  

Paul Allen’s home in Cap Farrat, dubbed the Pink Palace. Allen co-founded Microsoft.


Actor David Niven lived here

  Ruth and Henry  

 The Corniche. We have been driving every level: upper, middle, and lower. They are all nerve-racking. Everyone drives fast and you are basically squeezing into tight lanes that are next to steep cliffs. 


This is not exactly digital but it is certainly innovative. Right at the busiest intersection of Marseille’s Vieux Port, is a relatively new sculpture that serves as a stunning piece of art plus canopy to protect people from sun. 

The pavilion was designed by world famous foster + partners to reflect the wharf.More cities with wide open air spaces should have this type protective covering. It is made of highly polished stainless steel that reflects the inverted pedestrian area and harbor at the water’s edge.  Awesome, isn’t it? 
Scenes I captured in Marseille

With my iPhone 6 Plus 


Videos Of Your Life

   We just arrived in Marseille. One of the first things I wanted to do when we got to our hotel room was make notations in my large, printed, calendar book about what we did each day during our Riverboat cruise. If I don’t write it down now, I will never remember. I love opening my calendar and seeing what I did each day, week after week, month after month.

I may not have to be so accurate in the future.  Based on its Maps software programs, Google is now patenting a technology that indexes videos of your real life experiences. You will be able to search for things you have done in the past and places you have been.

That’s pretty awesome. It’s almost like reliving your life. I understand it’s the next step in Google Glass technology. All you have to do is record video through a wearable computer and store it for searching purposes. 

The wearable device sends the video to your smartphone so it could be stored in the cloud. You just have to be disciplined to properly tag your videos. Google may tag them as well with a time and place.

Don’t get all upset about Big Brother watching you all the time. You can control the on/off switch.  Want to reach more about this? Click here for Huffington Post’s report. 

My Day In The South Of France 

When we stopped at a service station on the highway from Lyon to Marseille, we noticed a whole new concept in a McDonald’s. Everything is automated. Instead of waiting on line to give your order, you just tap it in on your own personal screen. Do we have this in the United States?  I haven’t frequent a McDonalds in years. I could be behind the times. Do let me know. 

Day and Night in Marseille from our hotel window






The Beaujolais Wine Region

Today we went to the Beaujolais wine region. On our riverboat, we cruised the Rhone and then the Saone Rivers, to get there. Beaujolais is one of the oldest French wine regions. The first vines were planted by the Romans.  The vineyards are breathtaking.


  This vineyard is over 400 years old.   The owner 

  The town of Oingt

This town had the most gorgeous looking  doors.

While strolling around Oingt we came across a movie being made.   
  The actors were on a break.    


 Then the action started. We think it was a Bollywood movie.