First Stop Monaco

vanityfaircover.jpgI grew up on a farm in south Georgia. I had no appreciation for the fact that we grew our own crops; I never once had a meal from a can. Everything we ate came straight from the farm to the table. We even had a pond and stocked fresh trout and other fish. Who knew that would become the hip and trendy way to eat?

I remember being a little bit embarrassed that I grew up on a farm. My Mom subscribed to magazines such as Vanity Fair and Town and County. I loved the photos, especially the 'society' photos of all the pretty women dressed in colorful frocks in high heeled shoes. I could relate because my Mom got the Sears catalog and I dreamt of the day that I was old enough to order those high heeled Espadrilles in all sorts of colors. I remember seeing a piece in Town and Country of Jackie-O on a yacht in Monaco, wearing those shoes. 

freddys.jpgI grew up with this big fantasy that someday I would go to the south of France and wear high heeled shoes. After I got hired by a major airline in my 20's, it was the first place I went with my Mom, enjoying our free flight benefits. We went to Nice and Monaco. I was in heaven. We stumbled upon this tiny restaurant called 'Fredy's. It's steps away from the St. Nicholas Cathedral where Princess Grace was married and buried. I'm not sure if it was the food, the setting, or just being in Monaco.

I was on 'reserve,' meaning they could call me to go anywhere, anytime for the 1st 7 years of my career and lucky enough to hold "International Reserve." My airline used to fly non-stop to Nice in the summer. The schedulers knew I loved Nice and I probably got sent there every week of the summer for about 5 years. I would always take Bus #12 to the train station and make my way to Monaco, a 10 minute train ride that hugged the French Riviera and eat at Fredy's every single week. I got to know the waiters and became friends with them and they used to take me and my crew mates out to fancy bars.

freddysfish.jpgIt had been 15 years or so since I had been to my favorite restaurant, "Fredy's.' My best friend Missy and I went on a Mediterranean cruise several months ago. We had a full day in Nice and we took the bus, the same bus #12 and went up to Monaco. Fredy's was still there. We had a 4 hour lunch. Just simple grilled fish and vegetables, just like we have on the farm.  Our bill was absurd and really no better than what we could have had on the farm but we were in Monaco and I got to wear some fancy shoes.

I can't wait to go back. Just to be in Monaco and wear fancy shoes.

Fredy's: 6, rue de l' Eglise, 98000, Monaco-Ville, Monaco


Laura grew up in a small southern town in Georgia on a cotton and pecan farm where life centered around family, friends and good food. She has lived in Atlanta for 20 years and has been a Flight Attendant for a major airline for 18 years, traveling the world in search for the next best meal.