Trip Bits and Travel Tips. And Astute Observations

Now that I’m back from our trip to France, I can tell you what I did wrong and what I did right.

In all my years of traveling to the Cote d’Azur, you would think I had mastered the art of packing light.

I didn’t.

As usual, I overpacked.  I know, I know.  I am constantly reading about “capsule” wardrobes and it just isn’t my thing.  But I did make note of what I did wear. And I wore on repeat.  I packed five wigs and only wore two. One only two days. Do the math! I’m telling you, I really “wronged” on the packing. Big time!

Here’s what I did end up wearing and all but the navy dotted shorts were worn on repeat.

First of all, this getup was my “hanging at home” go-to.  Most dinners on the terrace were eaten wearing this tee and knit pj shorts. YES!! PJ shorts! Once a slob–always a slob!

cleaned up well for our visits to St. Tropez. I wore this dress for every visit except on to St. Trop.  I even wore it to the funeral.  This ten-dollar dress was worn at least 7 times during the stay. Luckily I was able to wash it! 

The 11 euro bikinis.  Who cares about the soft body.  I wore these practically every day.  I ended up buying two of the paisly suit!

Another dress on repeat. And this was a whopping $16. at Primark!  I was super comfortable because I didn’t have to wear a bra with this dress! Notice the Rondini Tropezienne sandals. I wore these almost every day!

I knew we would be doing a lot of walking in Ensues and Marseille so I wore sneakers. I wore shorts and a bobbed wig too. 

This was the only other day I wore short hair. It’s Millie by Bobbi Boss and I love her!  Another braless day with this off-the-shoulder shirt and white shorts. I did wear sandals!

Same white shorts, black Rondini sandals for a dressier look!

Date night in my other ten dollar Old Navy special! I ordered two more the other day.  These swing dresses are so flattering!  

My Rondini Bikini sandals were also worn a lot!

Honestly, all the outfits I wore in the above photos were all I needed.  I wore an old Gap shift to the beach and pool as a bathing suit coverup.  And underwear. All my clothes could have fit in a carryon!

Due to circumstances beyond my control, there wasn’t a lot of time to do shopping.  But it really didn’t matter much because my goal was to purchase another pair of Rondini Sandals.

The red sandals are just as comfortable as my other Rondini sandals and ..they’re RED!!!  RED!!!!!  Shopping Goal completed!

Other shopping goals were small—more Fleur d’Oranger from Fragonard and more French music CD’s.

I stocked up on my Fleur d’Oranger Eau de Toilette at Fragonard, but also treated myself to the Fleur d’Oranger Intense. Pure Orange Blossom is my favorite scent!

Another goal was to find a great summer scent for my daughter, Oona.  She gets very bad headaches from many scents—like mother, like daughter. She’s very particular.  After over an hour of sniffing, spraying, and repeating, we decided on the Figue.  And guess what?  She loves it!!

We sent a package to Oona with the Figue eau de toilette, some samples, another scent from Adopt parfum and a Fragonard tote that she can use while grocery shopping!

I picked up another one of these totes as well. You can never have enough!

With a bit of time before our flight home, I went into the Duty-Free Longchamp shop at CDG.  I hadn’t planned on it, but ended up with an expandable travel bag.  The price at the airport was 130 euros. In USD that comes to $149.80.  The same bag retails for $255 here.  It was a great price!

This expandable travel bag is remarkably roomy and it was purchased at a great price!

Other little doo-dads included a gift for my neighbor, candy for my co-workers, my fabulous bikinis, and odds and ends.  Cosmetics was not to play into this trip.

I know it’s kitchy and tacky but I love pushing the button in the back to hear the cicadas!

Stickers for the cars,  Expandable wine totes from Nicolas..

These are great to load up on and give as a little something extra with wine bottles.

I did manage to pick up a couple of lip balms. This brand is great!

Treats for co-workers..

Think outside the box.  A menu from my favorite restaurant will be framed and hung in the kitchen!

La Ponche is the area of St. Tropez where Bonaparte spent his summers…and we purchased this inexpensive sign at the marche in St. Tropez..

Dany’s hat now hangs on the wall…to the left is one of his prints!

What I did learn was that the Tuesday Market in St. Tropez is freaking unbelievable.  My goal for next time is to purchase one of those vintage LV bags—I want one with a history!

Oops! I forgot. I picked this graphic tee up at the marche. I’ll be dressing it up with jeans and a blazer in the cooler weather!

But my goal for next year is to pick up one of these for a fraction of the cost. And they are genuine because France has very strict laws..

My shopping advice to the traveler who isn’t wealthy, but likes pleasant things (the category that I fall into). Save a few bucks each payday.  Open a small bank account and use that money for one great item that’ll give you years and years of memories.  Honestly, I look forward to my annual Rondini purchase because I now have a little collection of summer sandals—and I wear those sandals in rotation practically every day during the summer heat.  And they are unique because nobody else around these parts has them!!

WRITE. Get a journal and pens and write, write about ANYTHING that pops into your head.  Maybe you see something that brings old memories to mind.  Journal your trip because you can also use those entries as references for the future.  Take a half hour or an hour every day—it’s also a fantastic way to unwind after a busy day of touring and sightseeing.

I’ve got journals dating back ten years of trips to France!!  Writing is a great reference!

Oh, I forgot about this too!  Magazines. Gossip magazines are fun to try to decipher what is being written and a great practice is translating recipes from French into English!!  There are some gems of recipes in here!

Don’t listen to others when it comes to safety. France is incredibly safe.  Yes. France has had its share of a few attacks—but that’s nothing compared to the random murders and homicides in the USA.  Every wacko here owns a gun. The like to pontificate that it is their right to bear arms. Well, it’s my right to life and I don’t want any moron going bang-bang when I’m around!  Every day innocent Americans are the victims of murder—I call that domestic terrorism.

Not once did I feel even the slightest fear or anxiety.  And the same goes for when I’m in Paris.  It’s safe. So, don’t you let anyone tell you that it’s dangerous!  Those are the people who live their lives in fear.

The food—what can I say?  I’m paying for my sin of gluttony.  My body is saying that I gained a good eight pounds. And it is not easy to take off. So, I shall be returning to writing about weight loss.  I wronged on my diet but it felt so right!!!  Vacation is the time to indulge—and I did!

Although I tried to stick to healthy choices..

I drank too much–empty calories that went straight to my belly!

This went directly to my thighs and was so tasty that I don’t care!

Observations—the French are a race onto their own. The French tan so naturally and well.  They worship the sun. They bake like little roasted chickens on a spit.  Their skin achieves various stages of caramel.  From a light fleur de sel caramel to a more burnt caramel.  I’m jealous.  Not even a spray tan could make my skin as perfectly browned as the French.  Bonaparte is living proof.

The French Tan–is to be compared to various colors of caramels..

Perhaps I could have just used this as fake tan!!!

In fact, he told me that I don’t know how to tan correctly. I need equal time on my stomach and my back.  My answer to that is, I’ll just continue to sit under the parasol with sunscreen and fake it because I don’t want any more skin cancer!

France is also the capital of the Man Bun.  Oh, if only I had taken photos of every man bun I saw—I would have no space either in my phone or camera.  Not even iCloud could keep up with those delightful tufts of messy bun man hair! Man buns must never, ever go out of style.  I asked my sons to grow their hair long again and wear man buns.  They laughed at me.

 

Man bun..

Ohhh. Soccer Manbun!

YSL Man Bun.  Best Man Hair ever!

When you take pictures, don’t take them all of yourself. Take pics of the scenery and items of interest.  If you notice, there aren’t many photos of me at all—only what I wore.  I don’t like taking photos of me when I’m traveling. I like to take photos of where I am.    Make videos fun.  Even if you are a newbie. Trust, me, this was a learning experience for my videos and now I’m hooked!

An old boat makes for an interesting photo

A lazy street

A ceiling at a restaurant made of tree branches and hats hanging down

A wedding you stumble upon–two brides, one groom?

Art work on a building.

And you don’t have to be a great photographer either. Just snap away!

That’s about it.  It’s a wrap!!!

The song I’m showing you tonight is one of the reasons that I love buying French music.  I’ve been listening to the Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy CD non-stop since my return and this song “Consuelo” is one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 

© 2017 Atypical60.com

 

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Au Revoir Theoule—Until Next Time. J’Adore!

Monday July 3, 2017

3:52 AM. Eight minutes shy of my alarm going off and I’m too afraid to close my eyes in fear that I’ll fall back into a deep slumber.  This is the beginning of our farewell to France. Summer. 2017.

With my clothing at the ready, white denim shorts that miraculously still fit, a striped shirt and sneakers, the clothes mean only one thing—comfort. I’m not dressing for a fashion post.  Plus, my wig will cover my dirty hair!

All was quiet and still as we made our exit.

Leaving in the early morning darkness seems like the best way to leave. Silently.

An illuminated roundabout. The trees in the French Flag motif bid us farewell!

As we drove away the flickering of the lights across the bay, in Cannes, were clearly visible and sparkling.  They seemed to be waving good bye to us.

It’s still dark but dawn is breaking and the lights across the bay in Cannes are flickering and waving to us!

There was nobody on the road—we were tout seul, all alone.  Well, not all alone, we had the cicadas who were sleeping in the trees.

I swear to you, I’m posting this photo and thinking about how I would love to be back there right now!

Early in the morning, before dawn is the best time to be at the airport. We dropped the car off and headed to the terminal.  Check in was easy and we had time to relax.  The flight to CDG was quick.  As the plane ascended, it was difficult to see where sea and sky divided.  The buildings and mountains become smaller and finally disappear as we head into the clouds. A simple breakfast and we were descending into Paris.

The sun is rising and the airport shops are opening.

 

It’s still a bit odd to both of us that we no longer spend time in Paris before and after our stay in Theoule.  When Daniéle was alive it was an important part of our trip.  I still miss our trips to see her.

Ahhh. Daniele (pictured at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in 2015)–I miss my little nugget of fun!

We land at CDG and it is a zoo.  Even early in the morning. On a Monday. It is a zoo.  This is not my favorite airport by any means but it could be worse.

Luckily, we didn’t wait long for the baggage, but when we checked the baggage back in for the flight back to New York, my filthy suitcase had a bit of an issue with the automatic check-in.  One of the Air France assistants had to take over—my God I hope this isn’t a red flag and my suitcase lands at JFK when I do!

 

Take a good look at that filth.  I snapped this when we arrived home.  Filthy as a piggy in the mud. But I love it because it would disgust even the most discerning of criminals. And all my good stuff is in there!

We discover that the flight home will be delayed by an hour.  And the lines for customs are crazy long—but it’s summer and to be expected. At least the line is moving and all the customs agent’s booths are occupied!

I was a bit tickled because when I greeted the border officer in French he mentioned he liked my accent.  I guess he’s not used to NewYawkeezeFrench!

A bit of airport shopping, the delay ended up being less than an hour and we were off in the wild blue yonder!

I’m telling you CDG airport is like a motel–so many delays its a good thing they installed sofas and recliners. Travelers gotta sleep!

I have great memories of this trip.  Bonaparte’s dad may have passed but it brought Bonaparte and his brothers closer.  Our 2017 visit had twists and turns and it was one of the most memorable.

From magnificent vistas..

To cute little benches..

to a quiet morning at the pool

…slummin’ on the beach..

picking out ripe melons..

buying more scents..

Enjoying easy,lazy long lunches in St. Tropez..

..and celebrating the long life of a loved one.  It was a great trip!

France is a beautiful country and with each return, it becomes more difficult to leave her.  But it  was fun and enjoyable to share my trip with you.  Thank you for allowing me to share these memories!

I can’t believe we’re home again.  And regardless of where you travel, visit or roam, it’s always a comfy, cozy, fuzzy-feeling time when you get to sleep in your own bed. Don’t you think?

Isn’t it good to sleep in your own bed?

 

I realize that a French song could be more appropriate, but I just couldn’t get “Two of Us” by The Beatles out of my head while writing this!!

I have one more travel post to write and then after that, I’ll be returning to topics like, hair loss, makeup, clothes, rants, raves, dieting and anything else that strikes my fancy!  Honestly, I’m thrilled to be home and writing again and I hope to keep you entertained!! XOXOXOXOX!!!

© 2017 Atypical60.com

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Where Did The Time Go? Our Trip to France is Just About Ending!

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Where has the time gone?  I mean—just two weeks ago we were giddy and happy because a year had passed since last time we were in Theoule.  Now the time just flew by.

We won’t see this view again for another year.

We were supposed to go to Eze and Monaco and just never got around to it because we had other more important things to do.

Our future trips here will be slightly different because we won’t get to have lunch with Dany anymore—but we will be able to visit him through the Musee and by having lunch at LaRamade while talking about our great memories of him!

It’s another spectacular morning here. Cloudless sky.  The wind has picked up but it is still warm.  All is well as we make our way through the apartment to pick up and pack.

My favorite video from this series.  We are closing up shop!

Sadness always takes over whenever we leave this little but lovely living space for two weeks each summer.  I feel as though it is my second home.  Over the years I’ve become so familiar with the surrounding areas and I’ve almost turned into a local.

We are spending the next two nights at “Le Club”—the clubhouse at La Galere.   Le Club has a separate pool, rooms and one of the best restaurants and bars I’ve ever been to.  Because the apartment must be prepared for the next rental, we’ve started a tradition of spending our last two nights at Le Club.  It’s fun! And it breaks up the sorrowful emotions of having to leave.

Our room. Just for you and only for you!

Because the pool at the club is surrounded by shade trees, we’ll head off to the pool we normally laze at.

The pool at le club. Way different than the other pool! But still very nice!

Bonaparte suggested driving back to Cabris, but I didn’t want to chance it because today is the official first day of high season. Traffic will be an absolute bitch!

Instead, we drove into Cannes and one of my favorite towns—Antibes, along with the beautiful Cap d’Antibes!  We also had the idea, since we are having our last dinner tomorrow at the club’s restaurant, to pick up sandwich makings and have a picnic in our room!

One of the many spectacular homes along the Bord du Mer in Antibes–and nobody is around yet!

My favorite home in Antibes.  I can’t afford a home like this but I can dream. Can’t I?

The drive to Antibes along the Bord du Mer is one of my most treasured rides.  The homes are spectacular and always just makes me cheerful.  We wanted to spend more time here but due to circumstances just didn’t have the time.

Check this little alcove out. Year after year, I feel the need to return to this little nugget of an inlet because it is just so charming and old school. It never changes!

Oy. Am I in Miami?  No!!! I’m in Antibes!

And drive we did.  Because of this first day of high season, parking was literally impossible.

Another view from the car.

The bay with Antibes in the background.

We missed our annual walk around the ramparts because parking was just unbearable.

Cannes was no better.  A fete of circus events was slated for the evening and the port was literally a make-shift circus construction area. Add to that traffic, traffic and more traffic and …well, it was what it was.

Dammit!  I never got to shop at Dior!!……………and never will!

Our indoor picnic ended up being a lot of fun.  For Bonaparte, it was a trip outside the box for him. For me, it was nothing unusual.

Some baked goods that we thought about purchasing for our indoor picnic!

We did get bread…

The look the baker gives you when you start licking the glass on the display cases because everything looks so delicious!

Chef Bonaparte at work..

Jambon!

We were both exhausted and I do believe it was more of an emotional thing rather than physical given the events from yesterday.

Good night!

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

Whew. Is it really our last day here?  That “Sunday” feeling is beginning to take over my being.  You know what I mean, don’t you?  That feeling of gloom because the work/school week will resume. Any form of pleasure from the weekend will be thrown into your past memory bank.

Bonaparte practically had to drag me out of bed this morning. I don’t want to get up.  I want to stay in this big comfy bed and pretend that we just re-started our vacation—life on replay!

Another sunny day. Gloriously bright and hot.  No humidity at all!

Our last sunny morning. Is this not glorious?

We went downstairs to a very American-style Petit Dejeuner.  The scrambled eggs were perfect—moist and on the wet side cheese and a mini-baguette finished the plate off.  The coffee was just the medicine I needed to make me awake, aware and alert!

A hearty French breakfast…

I swear I should have just popped these sugar cubes into my mouth–after all, I ate everything else!

I dare not step on the scale when I get home—at least for a month because that is how long it’ll take me to get back to slightly normal!

We are now at the pool for the last time of France 2017! Sunscreen applied, under the parasol, reading and writing materials close by and I’m even happier because…

The last morning at the pool–early and before the crowds arrive

Bathing Suit Lady has arrived!!  I suppose that her schedule was changed because it was more beneficial for her to be here during high season only.

This photo is from last year, but bathing suit lady sells a ton of swimwear from this little booth!

Her wares are wonderful but nuthin’ beats my 11-euro bikinis!

On this last day, I decided to take a few photos of the port at LaGalere

It’s such a cute and small port. I wish I could have just gotten on one of those boats and taken off.

I truly love this community and feel like a local.

I went back to my phone to check if Chateau la Napoule is opened. It’s not.  Next year!

 

Soon we’ll go to fill the car with gas, get ready for dinner and officially end our time here.

Bonaparte keeps apologizing to me about the fact that Dany’s situation took up so much of our time. I don’t care!!!!  It’s OK!!!!  It was more important for him to be at his dad’s side and it was more important for him to see his family.

This trip was just as great as the others—if not one with more meaning!

Back in the car, back at the club to change and get the car gassed up.  Bonaparte spotted a DIY car wash.  You know what that meant…

We gassed up the car and Lord knows, Bonaparte would never return a car with so much as a spot of dirt on it.  I enjoyed the view!

We went into Geant and I couldn’t help it. I got a second paisley bikini. At 11 euros, I just could not help myself. I also purchased an adorable scarf for 5 euros and a Francis Cabrel CD.

When we returned to the clubhouse, we started to unload and…the fire alarm went off.  Damned if I wasn’t going to take all my stuff with me!!  But we were told to keep everything in the room.  Ultimately, the issue was some numbskull lighting up a cigarette in the Sauna.  Really????

Ignorance is global!

After the drama of the Sauna, we headed back to the room, relaxed a bit then got changed for dinner.

The most makeup I wore on this trip–and this dress certainly got a TON of wear.  Took me no time to do my hair–teehee!!

We sat in our usual little alcove with a view of the club’s pool and other diners.

Our table.

Tchin. Tchin!  Aperitif!

My appetizer was Coquilles St. Jacques tartare. WOW. A complete flavor explosion!

Bonaparte started off with crab and it didn’t make anyone crabby either. It was wonderful!

Bonaparte’s usual. Steak frites!

I went with a seafood trio.  I look forward to my dinners in Theoule because I always have the best seafood!

Bonaparte went with a very healthy berry dessert..

While I chose a more unhealthy Zabaione–well, it did have a bit of fruit!

And what a dinner it was!!  There isn’t much of a turnover here.  We’ve seen a few staff members here for eight years—so my thinking is that LaGalere must be a wonderful place to work. I wish I could work here!

A toast to you for reading my post!   I hope you are not disappointed!

We must get to bed early because the alarm is set for 4:00 AM!

I won’t get any sleep tonight!

© 2017 Atypical60.com

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The Tropezienne Funeral—Or, Don’t Rain On My St. TroParade Part Deux!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Today is Dany’s funeral.

News of Dany’s passing was made very public.

I’m sorry that I’ve been dismissive in writing, but it’s been a bit weird the past few days. Vacations are to be enjoyed to the fullest and funerals usually are not in the plan.

So then, how do I begin?

A bit of a backstory.  Dany’s sons, Francois and Martin are from his second marriage.  They have been a more visible part of Dany’s life simply because Bonaparte was raised by his stepfather and in his twenties, moved to the States.

Dany’s third wife was a force to be reckoned with.  I’ll be as kind as I can by saying that this woman basically cut Dany off from Bonaparte and Dany’s other sons.

It wasn’t until about four years ago that I had had enough.  Dany’s third wife had passed and I felt that Bonaparte and Dany needed, as father and son, to make peace.  I knew Bonaparte wanted to but he was too stubborn.

I took my chances.  Perhaps my pilgrimages to St. Rita had paid off.  But on one of our visits to St. Tropez, I sauntered into Dany’s Musée. I had a hunch he would be there. Call it women’s intuition.  I explained, in my broken French, to the woman at the front desk who I was. I also explained that Bonaparte was outside at the end of the passage and was too stubborn to enter.

She knew Bonaparte and the family and Dany was upstairs in his studio. She took it upon her to go outside with me and wave Bonaparte in.

The rest is a very wonderful father/son reunion. This reunion took place when Danièle was still alive; and when we returned to Paris to explain what happened, she cried.  She cried because she was thrilled that it happened.

And in the past four years, Dany and Bonaparte continued their relationship as though nothing ever happened.  They spoke regularly.  We visited him every year and enjoyed our time with him.

This photo was taken when father and son reunited. It was also before the remodeling of the museum.  Cool wooden boats were suspended from the ceiling–this is Dany’s studio at the Musee.

If they hadn’t made peace, Bonaparte would have regretted it for his lifetime.

And so, we move forward…

We drove to St. Tropez early in the morning.  Our plan was to meet Bonaparte’s family and head to the funeral. The funeral service wasn’t to be held until later in the afternoon and I certainly was not prepared for the type of funeral that was to come.

Traffic was on our side and so was parking—we were to park the car at Dany’s residence. But—since we arrived early, Bonaparte wanted to take the time to hang at the port and take a few photos.

Arriving early, we were able to take a few “vacation” photos.

Look what I spotted in the parking lot.  A poster of museums in St. Tropez and Dany’s Musee is one of them.  If you are ever in St.Tropez…..

On to the port.  It’s too bad that the large boats now hide the view of the other side of the port.

it is still an iconic sight..

Bonaparte explained that as much as Dany loved St. Tropez, he wasn’t fond of the fact that huge, magnificent yachts and charter vessels had taken over the port that was once home to small fishing boats and pirogues. And intimate little bistros and cafés were replaced with fancy and expensive establishments. In fact, during high season, Dany, in his younger older days, would often retreat to the back country and mountains when St. Trop became too full of the “beautiful people”.

This boat made me think of how St. Tropez used to be. Bonaparte said that it was so different when he was young. St. Tropez hadn’t yet been “discovered”

The good thing is that this boat is being restored to it’s original beauty. I hope we get to see it as it was when we return next summer.

It may be large but this was a beautiful old-school yacht.

More boats.

This view never gets boring..

An interesting sculputre..

I dig these.  A lot!

He never cared for Paris and St. Tropez was his escape. His safe place and the place he loved.  He eschewed the privileged life he was born into and was, a bohemian at heart.

We met up with Bonaparte’s family at the hotel where they were all staying. Bonaparte’s brother Martin’s first wife was there. Yolanda.  We hit it off immediately and had an enjoyable conversation.  Her English was remarkable and I later learned she worked as a flight attendant back in her younger days.

We arrived en masse at Dany’s residence and could say our goodbyes.  He was suited in traditional St. Tropez clothing.  A black suit, red scarf, white shirt and his hat lay on top of him.

We made our way outside and the simple casket was placed into a simple white van.  Here’s where things got interesting.

Bonaparte told me that we would be parading around the city of St. Tropez to the Hotel de Ville—the town hall where the Mayor of St. Tropez would give a speech.  From there we would walk over to the church for the service and from there walk up to the cemetery.

My eyes grew wide with surprise—and then I started to laugh.  I laughed because the memory of last year’s infamous parade through the streets of St. Tropez with me leading Dany in a chair wheeled by Bonaparte was brought back to the theater of my mind!  (If you are not familiar with that post—here it is:  Hey. Don’t Rain on My St. Tro-Parade). Remarkably, that parade took place almost exactly to the day of this parade.

The van pulled out and the family and a few friends followed at a snail’s pace.  All I could think of was the funeral in The Godfather.  As we entered the village, shopkeepers who knew Dany joined in the parade.  Restaurant owners also joined in.  More friends entered the parade and before you knew it, there was a parade of people that I’m sure made Dany’s spirit smile.

Family and friends followed the van throughout St. Tropez. BTW, look at Mona’s shoes. They are fabulous!!

More and more people joined the procession.

 

Men we passed by respectfully took their hats off and placed them across their chests while bowing their heads.   I forgot to mention. The procession was led by the police.

The policeman making sure the path is cleared. We had to wait a few moments for a wedding to end at the Hotel de Ville before making our way up.

OK. Am I THAT bad for wanting to enter into this shop to look at the dresses?  I wanted to so badly but knew it would be inappropriate.

But then again, I could have confessed to this very, very handsome priest–which I should have done. Oh this priest could have been a hipster girl’s dream man…

And he wore Tropezienne sandals!!!!  And his manfeet were beautiful!

I must say, Father Tropezienne was Catholic Eye Candy!

We arrived at the Hotel de Ville and the Mayor gave a very beautiful tribute. I was able to understand much of what he was saying and it was touching.

People gathering at the Hotel de Ville

Bonaparte was touched by the number of people who showed up to pay their respects

Dany was brought out to attend his tribute!

And the mayor gave a beautiful speech (I didn’t take this photo–someone from the St. Tropez paper took it)

He ended with a moment of silence

Next stop was the church.  Father Tropezienne led a beautiful ceremony and my favorite part was when the Frankincense was spread throughout the altar and the rest of the church. I love that scent.  It reminds me of old-school Catholic services from when I was younger.

The Church of Our Lady of The Assumption in St. Tropez was where the service was held

Family and friends gathered then entered…

The service was a beautiful send-off and I was honored to receive Communion here

With the service ending, we exited the church and the procession made its way to the cemetery.  Dany was buried with his mother, Muse.  Father Tropezienne said a few more prayers and Dany was laid to eternal rest.

This is so awful but I couldn’t help but feel bad for the Altar Boy–he really looked like he wanted to be somewhere else. He was such a trooper!

This is NOT a bad place to…

 

…rest in peace now–is it?

Francois handed Dany’s hat to Bonaparte-it was a very moving and emotional moment for him. For many reasons.  And that was it…

Francois’ wife came up to me and told me that I could say I attended my first Tropezienne funeral.  You know, Bonaparte is lucky because his family is a group of very kind, generous and gifted people.  They are also incredibly welcoming to me. As the lone American, I feel honored to be welcomed and accepted by them.

We were to meet at Café des Arts, one of Dany’s hangouts, for drinks and then onto La Ramade for dinner.

Bonaparte and I took a quiet walk and by the time we arrived at the café, I was both thirsty and hungry—not to mention hungover from last night’s dinner.

OK. So, it’s a bit small, but the fact that Bonaparte has his dad’s hat is very special…

Friends and family enjoyed themselves with lots of wine..

Martin and Father Tropezienne

Bonaparte. The Hat. And one of Dany’s Artist friends.

At LaRamade, I didn’t even have to order Rognons because the owner brought them right to me—I felt like such a local.  I also drank way too much rose!

Gone–but not forgotten!

The wood-burning hearth at LaRamade.  The sight of many of Dany’s meals…

Martin and Bonaparte. You can tell from the focus of this pic that I was basically two sheets to the wind at this point!

This was unlike any funeral I had ever been to because it truly was a celebration.  There was nothing sad. Nobody wore black except the priest.  Everyone was in great spirits.

It was a total celebration of a life and a man who loved every day of his almost 97 years.

Here’s to you Dany, I know you are with Evie now…

…and thank you for allowing me to be a part of your life!

Saint Tropez is watching over us as you are…

Dany requested that Mozart’s “Requiem” be played at his funeral—so I give this to you.

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Random Happenings on the Cote d’Azur and News We Knew Was Coming

Wednesday, June 28th

The summer “soldes” (sales) begin today throughout the Cote d’Azur. Our plan was to do some shopping but since it’s so nice out—we ditched the idea and will hit the pool.  We’ll see what the rest of the day brings.

Another hot day at the pool.  

I’m at the pool now beginning book number four—The Paris Architect.  I just can’t get into it. I dunno if I’m all read out or what.   Perhaps I just need to write instead.

The heat was, as usual intense and clouds rolled in around noon.  We took it as an omen to leave and decided to head up to Cabris and do a bit more shopping at Fragonard.

Just as we were getting into the car, the phone rang.  It was Bonaparte’s brother, Martin.

Dany passed away a few moments ago.  The attendants were getting ready to clean and change him and he stopped breathing.

He let go.  He could leave in peace because his sons were with him during his last days. Just shy of 97 years old, he led one of the most interesting lives I’ve ever heard about.  Some of his stories were fascinating—especially the ones of his growing up rather privileged and his adventures during WWII.  I’ll write about them sometime.

Looking on the bright side, Dany waited until Bonaparte crossed the Atlantic.  The timing was a gift.  If this had happened after we arrived Stateside, Bonaparte would have had to turn back around and….

Martin told us that Francois was on his way down from Paris to make arrangements for the funeral—because we were leaving in five days, the funeral would be held as soon as possible.  There was very little time to plan. But for now, things were at a standstill.

This was probably one of the oddest vacations I’ve ever been on—and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. It’s just that Dany couldn’t have picked a better time to leave—and I know that sounds twisted but it’s just one of those things that we happened to be there when this happened.  Do you know what I mean?  I hope so.

And after seeing how Dany’s health took a turn for the worst, the news of his passing was a relief.  He was out of any pain and suffering and our last vision of him was the one from the documentary.  It was one of dignity and life.

Bonaparte talked about Dany while we were driving—we decided to go ahead with our plans and we headed up to Cabris to walk around.  We wanted to stop at Atelier Lulu—a lively and fun art studio. The focus is the artist’s cat—Lulu!  It was our plan to make a purchase but the studio was closed.

Our favorite little studio was closed!! I should have called first!

Cabris never gets boring. The buildings come to life in the sun. I swear if Cabris was closer to the sea, I would want to stay here.

Winding streets.

A little square by the 

…..by the auberge.

A view from above.

And below

A house with a stone bench

A charming DIY planter.

Blue shutters

Another view.

So, we walked around. As usual, my clumsiness got the best of me and I walked into a small wall and cut both legs.  Some things never change!

The wounded wanderer!

The visit to Cabris ended with my annual visit to St. Rita.  I lit a candle, prayed for Dany and a few of my friends, and mentioned to St. Rita that I saw her in Marseille last week!!

Saint Rita always leaves the door opened for me!  Merci Ste Rita.

And the Chapelle is dated….

We made a second stop at Fragonard.  Oona needs a summer scent.  Her signature scent is Mademoiselle by Chanel.  But, like the meddling mom that I am, I decided she should have a parfum for the summer. One that is lighter.

I LOVE this tile picture of Louis XIV–Fragonard is a great place to spend a few hours just smelling stuff!

She can’t do many florals, though, because she gets headaches.

I enlisted Bonaparte in the mission and we focused for about an hour on different scents—fruity, floral, woodsy, airy.

We sniffed the contents of every bottle…

And then some more

But we kept going back to “Figue”–It Figuers!

We picked up a Fragonard tote for her too. I picked one up for me–these make great beach totes. Aren’t they colorful?

And ended up with “Figue”—it’s a light but fruity number and I know she’ll love it!  We also picked up a Fragonard shopping tote for her.

Back to Cannes for wine and dessert and more Socca Chips and we headed off back home to have a peaceful and quiet dinner.  And Bonaparte entertained me with more stories of his dad.

More guilty pleasures..

In hindsight, I’m glad these are not sold in the States because I would be eating them every day.  At least two bagsful!

Bonne Nuit.

Thursday, June 29th

OMG. The wind was fierce last night.  I swear I slept straight through thunderstorms and never woke up once during my epic slumbers—but I woke up from the wind.

The sky is clear and the air is hot—but there is still a strong wind.  Bonaparte says it is the Mistral.  Bonaparte says this with every breeze that blows by.  But I think he may be right.  The Mistral can last from one day to six. I sure hope this is a mini-mistral!  I’ll have to make sure my wig is on tight!

Dany’s funeral is tomorrow but today we’ll celebrate his life!

We’re going back to L’Estagnol and tonight we are going to celebrate Dany with dinner at Gaston Gastounette. After all, this is a vacation!

McDonald’s IS my kind of place–for a decent cuppa cawfee!

We stopped at McDonalds for some nice hot cawfee—and I received news from the States.  My oldest son is moving to L.A. in an opportunity we can only dream of.  I can’t say anything more for now—but stay tuned.  And yes. I did break down crying.  But I was also happy for him.  Never a dull moment in France!

Ya know.  I really really should have not had cawfee at the apartment knowing full-well that I would be wolfing down more on the way to the beach.  Once again, we took a wrong turn. Only this time the turn wasn’t in the usual spot.  I had to go to the bathroom.  My usually incredible strong bladder was feeling serious effects.

I had to break my sweet demeanor and insist that Bonaparte drive off the road and find a nice lush “spot” for me.  Oh—and yes, I did.  I managed to meander down into a deep gully without falling.  I was one with nature as I “made”.  But then I realized that my leg was wet and so was one of my Rondinis.

As I turned to leave I heard a splash.  The cicadas in the nearby trees were jumping down into the lake that I created.  I heard them thank me.  I turned around, smiled at them and made my way back to the car.

Meet my little friends.  These guys are the greeters outside of L’Estagnol!

L’Estagnol was extra fun today. The “Mistral” gave the sea a fresh look—complete with small waves. The water was great.  Bonaparte refused to go in due to the fact it was too cold for him. It was perfect for me!

These were the huge waves at L’Estagnol. Notice. Nobody is in the water. It’s too wavy!!!

That woman had the greatest bathing suit. I’ll bet she paid a lot more than 11 euros!

Everyone’s having fun!

After an enjoyable drive back,

We drove back on the Bord du Mer

I need to watch it or I’ll walk into another wall.

we drove into Cannes to a wonderful dinner at Gaston Gastounette at our favorite table—Number 80, overlooking the port and the many people who were walking by.

I wore my ten dollar dress from Old Navy and did NOT go barefoot!

At Gaston Gastounette

I was guarding that Rose like a pit bull.  I had quite the buzz on..

I started off with crab meat and wasabi.  It was beyond delicious..

Bonaparte started with moules.

I had Loup de Mer (Sea Bass) with Asparagus and Ravioli in a sauce that I should have just applied to my hips. This was one great dinner!

Bonaparte went with his usual filet mignon–which was served with the most tarragon-flavored, thick Bearnaise sauce. I wish I could dupe that sauce!

People-watching never gets old here..

Nor does admiring the boats..

 

..and as the sun goes down, I say goodnight!  

Tomorrow will be a more serious day.

© 2017 Atypical60.com

We got a Mistral. There is a song about this.  Mistral Gagnant by the very talented Renaud.

 

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A Turn-Down Day and Back to St. Tropez!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Wow. I really slept like a baby last night.  When I woke up this morning, I noticed that the doors leading to the terrace were closed.  Bonaparte informed me that there was a huge storm last night. Thunder. Lightning.

I heard nothing.  The deep nights of sleep that I’m having here are the best in a long time. I do believe it is a winning combination of clean, healthy, non-polluted air and no stress!

Today also ended up being a “turn down” day. Just one of those days where you’re not doing much of anything.

Bonaparte likes those turn down days–he gets to spot the big cruise ships with his binoculars and complain about them–that’s very French you know!

We went to the pool in the morning and clouds rolled in.  We planned on taking a drive to Cabris, but with the clouds, we figured it wasn’t worth it.

We decided, instead to visit the Chateau la Napoule. We’ve been meaning to visit this lovely chateau and artist’s gallery for eight years and never got around to it.  It is less than five minutes from the apartment.

Behind the aquaduct is the Chateau. I got this pic from the website.  Eight years and we finally decided to visit and never made it inside!

We arrived and I was excited about finally visiting.  It was closed for an event.  *sigh* Next year.

So we went to Geant and purchased beverages instead!

Tchin Tchin!!!!

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

We are headed back to St. Tropez today.  Bonaparte’s brother Francois is back in Paris and his brother Martin has arrived.  Martin will be here a few days before returning to Les Landes to set up for his latest art exhibit.  I’m excited because his partner, Mona, will be with him and we haven’t met her.  Dany has taken a turn for the worse so we will have to wear robes and rubber gloves to ward off any possible infection.

I thought it was Wednesday when i woke up and filmed this. It wasn’t. Do you ever lose track of the days when you are traveling?  Here’s an in-depth look at the apartment!

We will leave for St. Trop very early because the summer traffic has arrived and it’ll be an enjoyable time to stop at Rondini to pick up the sandals I purchased last week.  The custom fit is everything!

Here’s the Rondini sandals that had to be custom fit for my narrow foot. At least ONE part of my body is narrow!!

We’ll all have lunch before spending the remainder of the afternoon with Dany.  I hope he isn’t in too bad shape. He needs to get better!

Traffic was fine until we got to Ste. Maxime—from then on in it was a crawl. No big deal because the people watching was fun.

I finally wore makeup on my face!  And that green dress from Old Navy certainly had its share of wear!  It took seconds to do my “hair” because it’s fake!! Just like my tan!

We arrived in St. Tropez only to find that all three public parking lots were completely full!!  But—we did manage to find one of the last remaining spaces at Parking des Lices—just across the street from Dany’s residence.

 

How cool is this wine bottle sculpture?  It’s at a vineyard on the way to St. Tropez! See how much fun driving is?

The reason, we later discovered, that parking was so atrocious was that Tuesday is Market Day!  And people love the Place des Lices market.  I was shocked at just how momentous this market is.  Everything from food to furniture is sold.

And early we did arrive.  I picked up my sandals and we headed over to the market. Oh. My. God!  My only regret was the Bonaparte was with me. If he hadn’t, at least two more suitcases would have had to be purchased for all the stuff I would have bought.  (Note to self:  Make sure Bonaparte is off playing Boule or reading a book next time)

 

See the baskets?  Notice how inexpensive they are?  I should have replaced the one I have!

Vintage Louis. GENUINE!  I can’t even–I should have bought one. Next year!

The market was a buzzin’..

I dig these bowls…

and these signs. We purchased the one that reads “La Ponche”–that’s where Bonaparte spent his summers!

Pom Poms galore!

And more white shirts–one can never have too many white shirts. I know this.

Some Jimi

And some tres cool posters! It all makes for a fun time at the market!

We met Martin and Mona at what is now officially our local restaurant.  La Ramade!

Mona. Is. Fantastic!!  She is so cool and artsy and creative and I want to be her best friend forever.  Her hair is as black as coal and curly and she has the most genuine smile. We got along so well! She has a home in Morocco. And guess who was invited to stay there!!

The entry way to our favorite local hangout!

Isn’t this swan bench adorable?

The one–the only–the fabulous Mona!!!!! (PS–the lady behind her is sporting an Hermes bracelet. I couldn’t help staring!)

Again–I had my favorite Provencal dish–Rognons (kidneys)!

Morocco is on my bucket list. Big time.  I need to make the trip.  And it would be a spectacular time with Mona.

As we finished lunch and headed back to see Dany, we were warned that he was in extremely bad health.  When we arrived at his room, just outside the door, was a case with robes and gloves.  This wasn’t going to be a good thing.

Cute house on our walk back to see Dany.

When we entered the room, the scent from the other day still lingered. Only this time it was stronger.  On the floor was a machine that was systematically pumping air to a rhythm.  Air in. Air out. Wheeze.  Air in. Air out. Wheeze.

Dany wasn’t coherent.  He wasn’t speaking. His eyes were glazed over but I know he saw us. He had to.  At this point, his blanket wasn’t even covering the legs that were now useless. He was wearing a diaper.  I had never witnessed a sight like that in my life.

I kissed him and told Bonaparte, Martin, and Mona that I would be outside. Shortly after the head nurse stopped by to tell us that he would not get better. He stopped eating.  His body was giving out.

Mona stayed behind with Dany while Martin, Bonaparte and I went over to Dany’s museum, La Maison des Papillions, Musee Dany Lartigue.

I love this photograph of Martin and Bonaparte. I’m having a print made to send to him–we were on our way to Dany’s Musee..

It’s a lovely way to spend some time if you are in St. Tropez!

It was a well-needed visit to see the beauty that Dany has given to St. Tropez.  He’s collected butterflies his entire life—the collection, along with his paintings, is a sight to behold and is remarkably interesting!

Some butterflies–Dany curated everything!!

The musee used to be Bonaparte’s grandmother’s home.

Dany as a young boy..

And as a not-so-young boy!

Some of his paintings!

And a sketch from last year.

This time the visit had more meaning

By the time we left St. Tropez, Bonaparte was pretty much emotionally spent. Who could blame him?

My video tour of leaving St. Tropez

We sat down to a late dinner on the terrace and afterward watched a bit of TV.

Bonaparte—ever the channel surfer when it comes to French TV, stopped at a documentary about—St. Tropez!!!  Even more surprising was one of the main subjects of the show was none other than Dany!!!!!

Dany on the French TV–the documentary about St. Tropez was very educational and visually delightful!

Wow!  After seeing him in the worst of health earlier, it was a pleasure to see him the way we really see him. Scarf tied around his neck, looking charming and alert!

I’m glad B. got to see his dad in a better light—and I’m sure he’ll sleep well!

© 2017 Atypical60.com

Remember how I wrote about Monday being a “Turn Down” day?  Well, it made me think of the song from The Cyrkle. Remember them?  Here’s the song: “Turn Down Day”!

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Chagall and Marché-ing to the Beat of My Own Drum! I Made Videos For You!!!

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Has it really been a week since we arrived?  Oh yes. It has.  Time goes way, way, way too fast when we are here.  I kind of wish it was the film “Groundhog Day” where each day repeats itself.

Uh oh. Today is cloudy. And—surprisingly humid. The humid days are few and far between but it happens.

We decided to spend this Saturday with an early trip to the Marché Forville to search for some fresh fruit and olive products.

No bathing suit for me today. I’m dressed for serious errand running and touring with my five buck shirt from Old Navy, white shorts and black Rondinis. I still have that pesky pimple on my chin!

We are also heading off to the Musée Marc Chagall.

No pool today.   No sireé!  Our plan is to get to Forville early, do some shopping, drop the goodies off at home then get back in the car and head to Nice.

Our drive to Forville early proved to be a smart move—the beaches along the Bord du Mer aren’t crowded before 11 AM. It isn’t the peak of the season yet, but the crowds will be here even with the clouds!

I don’t quite know what it is, but this market makes me really excited!  Believe me, the local farmer’s markets at home are fine—but not spectacular.  This market is spectacular in every essence of the word.  The colors of the product—vibrant and alive.  Everything is ripe—and sold as it should be.  Strawberries aren’t white in the middle. Melons aren’t watery when you cut into them.

If I did this correctly, you’ll be able to see little videos I did!

My Olive Man!  Every year we stop at this vendor to load up on the best tapenade of all time. All time! 

When I’m here, I want to make salad. Does that ever happen to you?  I mean, I’m not that crazy about making salads at home in the States, it’s such a chore.  But here, the produce is just so perfect that I could be very content living on salads.

Please don’t be upset with me for all these food pics but I couldn’t help it. Instead of eating healthy, I just snap pics of veg!

And everything is displayed so nicely!!!!

We bought a ton of fruit from this guy. The apricots were the best I’ve ever had!

Olive these guys!

I wish I was a mermaid so I could eat all this and float away instead of sinking to the bottom of the ocean!

I could have shucked these oysters with my fake nails!!

Pate and foie gras. Yum!

I almost motorboated this nougat!

Peonies!!!!!!!  My favorite flower!

A bouquet for you my friend!

Free parking for the first hour–what’s not to love about this place?

And after the marche, we decided to walk across the street to Ernest–a great caterer who also makes wonderful desserts!

This place gets mobbed!

Look at those delights!  Those little birds were calling for me to eat them!

Proof that good things come in small packages!

Not so much for Bonaparte though.

We dropped our goods off at the apartment and headed to Nice to the Chagall museum.  Funny thing. We got lost in Nice!  The good thing is that we got to drive around and admire some very Belle Époque architecture.

This video is epic. Move over Sophia Coppola. You’ve met your match! My commentary is epic–but this was filmed on the way BACK from the museum!

The dreadful thing is that time is of the essence when it comes to parking spaces.  Luckily, I ran into a hotel to ask for directions and a very nice, very handsome and very French older man offered to drive me to the Chagall museum.   When I told him I was with my very own Frenchman, he took in in stride, told me my man was very lucky and proceeded to write down specifics.

Some beautiful entrances to buildings.

Socca Chips–I got hooked on these chickpea snacks to the point where I HAD to have bags of them.  Many bags of them! They are on my hips now!

And in no time, we were at the museum!

Chagall is one of the few modern artists I adore–his paintings make me very happy. Have a look….

 

I love his use of color too.

Some sculpture.

 

A film about Chagall.

And we were off..

And after a nice dinner on the terrace, we retired, turned the TV on and had the immense pleasure of watching “Les Vielles Canailles” translated into “The Old Rascals”.  This was a televised concert that Johnny Hallyday, Eddy Mitchell and Jacques Dutronc are currently on tour with.

And might I add, these “rascals” are still full of energy!

These three old rascals still sound mighty fine! And the stadium was filled to capacity. Old and young together singing along.  Man, I would have loved to have been there—but it was just as good to see it from the setting we were in—a cozy bed, doors to the terrace opened and the night air hitting our faces.

It was a fantastic way to fall into a dreamy slumber.

Sunday, June 25th

6:15 AM. There are some clouds dotting the sky, but they will be gone within the hour.  It’s going to be a lazy day today.

We’ll head to the pool, I’ll get some reading and writing done and sit under the parasol. Yesterday was a busy one and this Sunday will be our day of rest!

Vincent is a regular Le Marc Spitz!

We arrived at the pool at 9AM and it was the first time I’ve ever witnessed the place not quite ready.  The crews were working like racing Greyhounds to clean up after the big wedding reception that was held here.  It must have been some bash!

My knowledge of the French language must be improving because I pointed out to one of the cleaners that there was a bit of broken glass at one end. We both exchanged a few drôle remarks about the wild party and I received our matelas and parasol without asking!

It’s funny because the weather report called for clouds but here on the coast the sun wasshining and it was hot!!!

While Bonapart swam, and after my film making, I needed a rest!

The lady selling bathing suits at the pool hasn’t been here. I miss her. I miss her sashaying around the pool in the swim apparel.  I miss her tan.  I miss her little booth. I’m sad because I hope she comes back!  I planned to buy a suit from her this year—then I discovered the 11-euro bikinis at the hypermarche instead!

See how quiet it is on a Sunday morning?

The wind picked up during the afternoon. A lot!!  To the point that someone got hurt by a flying parasol and we had to close them.

Never fear.  I’ve had enough shade for the day anyway!

Guess what store is now opened on Sunday?  Yeah –we went back!!

And yes. I did buy the little ceramic cicada. Bonaparte still needs to hang it on the wall.

 

© 2017 Atypical60.com

 

No music video today.  I figured you would all be very overwhelmed emotionally with my videos!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh, Marseille Can You See That Aix Marks the Spot!

Oy. I can’t believe it’s Thursday already.  I also cannot believe that with all the sunscreen slathered upon my body, and sitting under the parasol, I still managed to get a burn. *OUCH*!!!

We will head back to St. Trop to visit B’s dad, Dany.  His progress isn’t happening.  When we last saw him, it seemed that he was on the road to improvement but from what we’ve heard, the progress isn’t there.

The sun is shining down during this wonderful Canicule but the sky is lined with big fluffy clouds. Clouds that look as though Honoré Fragonard painted them himself.

I was admiring the laundry hanging outside. Washing clothes is a pleasure.  I don’t know what it is but our clothing gets much cleaner and brighter here—there is something in the detergent that really really gets all the dirt and grime out.  Listen to me!!  Can you believe it??? Here I am, in France, on vacation and I’m getting excited over laundry!!!

I know. I know. Some of you may think I’m strange due to the fact this is vacation time. But laundry–especially doing laundry and letting it air dry is such a complete pleasure for me..

This sight of this fills me with joy and happiness! Especially since I abhor fabric softener and love my cloths crispy!  Paradise!

Coffee on the terrace, the scent of Jasmine fills the air and we discuss our plans for today.

We’ll head to the pool in the morning and to see Dany in the afternoon.

Bonaparte deep thinking the jump into the deep, cool pool. My feet are firmly placed underneath the parasol!

The water in the pool is cool—not freezing.  The heat of the sun works like a solar panel to raise the water’s temperature.  The parasol gives me shade enough to finish book number two and I head into the cool of the pool.

Book number two placed into my tote and away we go!

Back to the apartment to change and we are off to see Dany.

Today’s look–white shorts, a checkered, off-the-shoulder shirt (no bra either. its such a pleasure), a new bobbed wig–Millie by Bobbi Boss. I dig this bob. And we are ready to head off to St. Trop. I did not venture out barefoot!

The drive along the Bord du Mer and 559 is a relaxing and picturesque one.  The summer residents, their privileged six weeks of vacation, haven’t arrived yet and the homes are boarded up.  Gardeners tend to the lush flora and crews are out prepping the villas and homes for the return of the inhabitants.

An aquaduct along the route..

..of the Bord du Mer..

Each village brings a new little out-of-the-way beach!

..and the sights offer more than the sea!

Campgrounds are not yet full—which, when it comes to traffic, is a pleasant surprise as the campers can make traffic awful and slow.

We head into Ste. Maxime to park the car and get on the bateau to ferry us to the port at St. Tropez. We missed the 3:00 ferry by minutes and have time to wait—but the activity of people watching makes this time fly by.

Port at Ste. Maxime–it’s such a clean place!

Hmmm, can I hitch a ride on one of these boats?

The line convines as people begin to wait to get to St. Tropez

A group of older Brits is waiting ahead of us. All the women have the same blunt bob hairstyle.  They look very proper in their pragmatic attire of sun dresses and heavily-soled sandals.  One of the women loudly announces that she has to “go to the loo”.  The group laughs and one of the men yell after her to “not get lost”.   They all laugh.  It’s nice to see people enjoying themselves!

Our boat arrives and we take a seat inside the cabin to get shade from the beating sun. A woman sits in front of me. From the back, I’m obsessed with her perfectly coiffed bob. Her hair is thick. I’m jealous because I once had a thick head of hair like hers. I touch my wig—it’ll do!

We get closer to the port and I never tire of the site.  The lighting is perfect.  The view spectacular!

The port remains the same year after year but still stays beautiful in all its yellow splendor!

The yellow buildings change hue with the position of the sun. Today it is a soft, buttery yellow that is making me hungry.

We disembark to empty streets. The tar is hot and bubbly and the heat has made the wealthy owners and renters of the yachts lining the port to hide in the comfort of the cabins rather than to sit outside on display—as if to say, “Look at me”.  “Don’t hate me because I’m wealthy and you’re not”!

The streets are pretty empty, which is a rarity at this time of year..

An officer makes watch…

It’s even too hot for the inhabitants of the yachts to be outside!

We head off to see Dany

We make it to Dany’s residence.  The air-conditioning isn’t as strong as in the States, but does offer a coolness that is appreciated.  The hallway has an odor—I can’t quite place it. It isn’t pleasant but isn’t unpleasant either. It is what it is.

Dany’s door is opened and today he is wearing a bright red and white striped Breton shirt. His arms are discolored and spindly. He stares at nothing.  His mind is sharp—you can tell, but he’s in and out of some sort of ethereal animation.

The staff comes in to check on him. They are pleasant and helpful.

Visitors arrive. A couple who collects his paintings are here to check in on him. Maurice and Hélène.  We exchange introductions in French and Bonaparte and I leave the three friends alone.

It is around 5:30 PM. We must leave because the staff is getting ready to change and feed Dany. I feel bad leaving. He’s not doing well.

As we make our exit, I wish that Fragonard would supply the residence with a ton of fragrance to rid of the unusual odor in the hallway.

NOTE: I’m sorry but I stopped writing for the day because I was just a bit bummed. But I did get to enjoy my Breton Cidre while Bonaparte had some hearty red wine!

Red wine for Bonaparte and Cidre for me was a well-needed aperitif!

Friday, June 23rd

We woke up to clouds on the horizon.  I was thinking that today would be a momentous day to head into Marseille and before I could suggest this to Bonaparte, he announced what I was thinking.

Our little road trip will consist of visiting Bonaparte’s mother’s tiny home in Ensues, a visit to Marseille and finished with a stop in Aix.

We will be doing a lot of walking today, so I’ll opt for pragmatic sneakers, shorts and a white tee–and bobbed hair, of course!

Ensues is a small town just outside of Marseille.  B’s mother had a tiny and charming home there when she worked in Marseille—just before she became ill. Her behavior was beginning to change at this point and nobody was aware of what was to come.  We stayed in the house for a few days back in 2007. I immediately fell in love with it.

This is the house that Bonaparte’s mother lived in during her time working in Marseille.  I have very nice memories of this place!

Another view. Look at the terrace above. It covered an enormous area.

The front of the house overlooked the other homes on the way down to the calanque.

Lots of flowers and fig trees surrounded the property.

Evie’s little house is now Villa Isis–and you can rent it.  It’s charming but I wish it was still in Bonaparte’s family.

We leave the little street and head down to the calanque.

It overlooks a calanque complete with a small port for housing fishing boats.

The port at the calanque across from the house Bonaparte’s mother owned.

The house was sold when Evie became very ill. Now it is a B & B of sorts.

We walked down to the calanque and Bonaparte told me about the times he and his relatives would spend swimming and enjoying a bite to eat at the small restaurant that is no longer there.

Some views from the calanque…

Rocks, crystal clear water and a rickety little footbridge. What could be more rustic?

Succulents growing randomly within the crevices of the rocks…

Hidden little pools….

What’s going on here?  A commercial?  TV show? Movie. My curiosity is aroused but the land is too rocky for me to advance any further!

So back to the port we go!

We bid farewell…

…and pass a fairy-tale cottage with my favorite number, 16, as its address!

Not one to linger in the past, Bonaparte bid adieu and we headed off to Marseille.

Marseille is a cool city—the Port is ridiculously large. I’ve never EVER seen a port so huge!!  We drove around, parked the car and enjoyed walking and people watching.

The port at Marseille is crazy-huge…

..with lots of action..

..and what seems like millions of boats..

Bonaparte’s mother, Evie, was in charge of public relations for this theatre before she became ill and still had her mind…

Street style is pretty much the same world-wide with young people!

The buildings are beautiful.

The Ferris Wheel at the end of the port.

Boats

Boats.

And more boats!

Proof that not all French women can wear heels all day!  Let me tell you, the ground was hot–I don’t know how she did it!

Don’t think for one minute that we didn’t stop to do some serious people watching. As you can see, the dress vibe is casual. Look at the older couple in the middle–they were so adorable!

There’s my girl again–carrying her shoes!!

Back in the car we drive down a shaded street as we make our exit..

Notre-Dame de la Garde bids us a safe trip!

Next stop:  Aix!

An upcoming fete prevented us from having access to quite a few streets…

It was getting a bit late and a couple of the streets were closed due to an upcoming Fete.  So, we walked around a bit.  You don’t have to be in Paris to perfect the art of being a Flâneur or Flâneuse!

It was the second night of the festival.  Aix marks the spot!

These guys were keeping watch!

Alas, we were able to wander around..

Detail from the photo above.  I love the praying saint!

I almost died when I saw this elf shop!  The prices are so much higher. I do believe in Aix, elf cosmetics are treated more high-end then at home. I’ll stick to purchasing this brand at Target and Walmart!

We stopped at a church so that I could give a few prayers of thanks…

And who should I see but my bestie, Saint Rita!!  I immediately lit a candle!

An “Aix-cellent” visit to church!

A cute little girly soap shop….

 

More wandering the streets!

A bit of shade

Another beautiful French building…

Au Revior to Aix.  

By the time we arrived home, we were more than ready for a refreshing aperitif and dinner.

A delicious and healthy salad. My diet really DOES start tomorrow!!

We shall see what tomorrow brings!

In the meantime, here’s a song that was playing on Nostalgie radio quite often. “Lola” by Renaud. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 

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L’Estagnol – the Return to The Greatest Little Beach And a Bit About The Longest Day!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Yet another bright and sunny day. It’s almost overwhelming to me because I’m just not used to this much sunshine in the Northeast of the USA!  The Canicule is hanging around for a few days so today’s beach day will be quite welcomed!

L’Estagnol. The grooviest plage I know!

Our plan is to head off to L’Estagnol as early as possible.  Bonaparte always gets very sentimental when we visit this beach—it’s where he spent many happy summers of his childhood and youth.

The beach itself is a small inlet of the Mediterranean—almost a bay. And the water is calm and you can walk out into the water for what seems like forever and still not reach the “deep” end.

Early in the morning the beach gets some good shade!

The beach is narrow and the trees behind the sand make for good morning shade.

Not a cloud in the sky. Not a drop of humidity and we are off!

Me in my “pricey” Target bikini!  My hair is piled atop my head in a messy top knot and..away..we…go!

Our routine stays the same each year.  We stop at McDonald’s for coffee. OK. I have coffee while Bonaparte has coffee and croissant.  I take the free Wi-Fi with my coffee instead of the morning pastry.

Breakfast at McDo!  Look at those goodies. For me, this is a McDon’t!

The virgin drive for the year is also quite routine. We make the same wrong turn at precisely the same corner. Every year. We end up in the same spot—a small yacht club. Never fails!

It all ends well, though, as we correct our route and end up at the entrance to the beach’s park within minutes of our error.

L’Estagnol early in the AM is my favorite time to be there. The beach isn’t yet crowded and the sound of the cicadas isn’t drowned by the din of human voices.  The water is peaceful and cool.

See how far the people are?  And the boats are so close!

Let me just go to sleep right now. Look how calm the water is!

Out of sequence, but here’s our arrival.

There is a sense of freedom as my bathing suit top comes off so that Bonaparte can put sunscreen on my back without missing any spots.  But I haven’t had a good skin check yet so the top goes back on.

Bonaparte wanders off into the trees to take pictures but I’m too clumsy to climb on the rocks.  I can barely balance with two feet on flat ground.

Some of the Lartigue photography talent going on here..

..and here

..and here…

..and here!

Uh oh!  A group of schoolchildren just arrived. Good thing Bonaparte isn’t here or he’ll get his French on and start complaining to kingdom come.  I move our stuff, hoping he doesn’t notice when he returns.

I’m so annoyed. Not at the children but at the fact I took videos with my phone and can’t post them. This damned laptop! Anyway, that adorable group of enfants almost gave Bonaparte a stroke!

The ice cream man.  I wanted to but didn’t!

I lie down for a while and it feels heavenly to close my eyes and feel the warmth of the sun.  Le Soleil Donne!  The Sun Gives! With my eyes closed, I drift off into another place. The sound of the sea gently breaking at the shoreline. The cicadas are still chanting away.  The sailboats in the near distance rocking from side to side.  This is what makes life beautiful.

My little corner of the world over here

That spray tan didn’t last very long on my feet, I’ll tell ya!  

My feeble attempt at an artsy photo.

I turn on my stomach and open the book I’ve been reading. I’m almost finished. It’s a funny book by Clinton Kelly and I plan on leaving it at the apartment for others who may enjoy it as much as I have.

Bonaparte returns. He isn’t too thrilled because of the large group of children who have been here.  I told him I moved our stuff but he wants to move it even farther away.  I shrug and sigh.  The beach is crowding where are we gonna go?

A family of four sits down in front of us. Bonaparte starts mumbling in French something about them purposely sitting too close to us.  The mother is tall, blonde and attractive and not of the pencil-thin body. She’s normal. I want to be her best friend! Her husband looks strong and is not of the slight French man.  I’ll bet he’s a chef. He looks well-fed. Their two young sons are not only adorable, but they are incredibly polite.

This family was great. They really were enjoying their time well spent!

One son throws a huge rubber ball and it hits my feet. Hey, I’ve had three kids. It doesn’t bother me. But the young boy apologizes profusely. He must have heard Bonaparte complaining.  I smile and tell him, in my best French that it’s ok.

I go into the water and boy; does it feel great!!  The waves are so tiny and small and I walk out what feels like half a mile and I’m enjoying this time of cooling off.

Let’s get in that water!

Look where the boats are and look where the people are!  Is this not heaven on earth?

More beach fun!

As I make my way back to shore, the family in front of us is eating lunch. For a moment, I had a feeling of emptiness. I was brought back in time when my children were that age and they are grown up now. All I have are memories—but good ones.  My empty feeling leaves when Bonaparte comes over to me and sits next to me.  I feel comfortable now.

The remainder of our day at L’Estagnol was spent swimming, sunning, applying sunscreen on moi and people watching.

 

You know, everyone has this mental image of the French beaches filled with Bardot look-alikes and men who could pass for Alain Delon’s twin.  Not true.  Most peeps are pretty normal looking.  All sizes and shapes. And that’s a good thing!

We pass a vineyard on the way out.

We stopped at a produce stand on the way home. The stand is in Collobrières and has the greatest strawberries of all time. YES. Of. All. Time!  They were great last year, when we discovered this stand and are even more incredible this year.  I swear I cried when I bit into one of the tomatoes—it was that fresh and flavorful.

Look at all this wonderful fruit!

Bonaparte was grabbing those melons with the wonder of a teenaged boy going after a different kind of melon!

I cannot tell a lie. These were the best strawberries I’ve ever had. No white insides at all. Pure strawberry!

Bonaparte gave the woman running the stand carte-blanche to pick the produce for us and boy did she pick winners.  I need to stop because I’m getting hungry.

We stopped in St. Raphael to pay our respect to the fallen Americans during WWII at a Memorial.  It always feels good to thank the many troops who gave up their lives for us.

At the memorial in St. Raphael. This is in honor of Henry Kent Hewitt, from New Jersey

It’s hard these days to be a proud American–given who was elected. But memorials such as this give me faith that one day our country will return to her greatness when a different president is elected.

We enjoyed a picturesque drive back along the Bord du Mer, the seaside road.

The l’esterel in the background

We never tire of this drive

Before going back to the apartment, we made our daily stop at Geant for Cidre.

But before going to the Cidre, I spotted a wall of bathing suits.  Bikinis. Mix and match.  Oh yes. I ended up making a purchase of a great bikini for ….11 euros!!!!

 

Eleven euros and the best bathing suit I’ve ever purchased. Bonaparte loves this!

I’m going back for another.

Time just flies by so quickly here.

We sat down at 8:30 for our well-deserved aperitifs and dinner.

The phone rang. It was the vet’s office. Chippy has an ear infection. But they took care of it early on!

Bonne Nuit!

Wednesday, June 21st

Hmmm. I woke up at 8AM. That’s a bit late. I don’t want to miss any of the sun!  It’s Wednesday already. Time is fleeting for sure.

Today is the first day of summer and in my doomed way, the worst day of the year because after today, the days get shorter.  Yeah. I’m that person.  The first day of winter is, in a twist, one of my favorite days of the year because the days get longer!

Our plan today is to hit the pool then go into St. Trop to visit Dany again.

Bonaparte dropped me off at the pool and headed off to the clubhouse to check his email.  When he came back to join me, he announced that our rented car had a flat tire.

The car rental company, Hertz, had to be notified, and someone was sent over to the pool to take the flat tire off and replace it with a donut.  After which Bonaparte would drive the car back to Nice airport and get another car.

You following?

Our plans to head into St. Tropez were not going to happen.

By the time Bonaparte took care of the car debacle it was well into the afternoon.  I finished another book.

Keeping it casual for our drive into Grasse. As you can probably tell, once again, I’ve overpacked.  I’ve been wearing a bathing suit most of the time. I clean up nicely though! Thanks to my wig!

We decided to drive into Grasse—I needed to pick up some more Fleur d’Oranger; my favorite summer scent.

I’m very brand loyal with my scents. In the winter Guerlain. In summer, Fragonard! I love this place!

And even though it can be a bit touristy, so what!  The parfum and other items that Fragonard sells are lovely!

We stopped in Cannes to pick up some wine and then off to Geant (which is making a major appearance in my journal) for a few groceries.

I ended up purchasing another bathing suit!  Black with little pineapples!

My other 11 euro bathing suit.  And in a supermarket no less!

A dinner on the terrace and I spent the remainder of the evening doing laundry. And I love drying the clothing in the fresh air!!!

Shortly before midnight , e heard a large “Boom” coming from the water. It was a Fireworks show!!  I’m guessing for celebrating the first day of summer. It was spectacular. We headed to the terrace and enjoyed a front row, private viewing. It was a great way to end the longest day of the year!

What a show!!  We felt it was just for us and only for us and a great way to end the first day of summer!

PS.  My sons are visiting this weekend so I will have another post on Sunday.  I have to tell you–my oldest son is moving to L.A. at the end of the month. I’ll give more deets then but it is an amazing opportunity.

© 2017 Atypical60.com

I’m listening to Frero Delavega now.  The song is “Un petit peu de toi” and it is charming—here you go!

 

 

 

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Onto St. Tropez to See Dany and a Quiet Birthday for Bonaparte!

NOTICE:  At Vincent’s request, I shall go back to referring to him as “Bonaparte”.  He likes it better!

Sunday, June 18th

Bonaparte woke me up this morning at 9AM!  I was in such a deep slumber that I had a bit of vertigo upon waking.

My last memory was of getting into bed but I don’t remember anything else. Sleep deprivation from travel works in strange ways.  Honestly. It does. I never heard him wake up, shower, dress or leave to get his morning Croissant. I had to stop and catch my bearings because for a second because I didn’t quite realize I was in France!

The sky is cloudless today.  And, it’ll be a hot “Fete de Pere”—Father’s Day.  Vincent is obsessed with the weather.  He fears that either the Mistral will hit us or the skies will suddenly turn cloudy and rain will start pouring down.

He is thinking this because of the “moutons” on the sea. Little whitecaps aptly named because they resemble little mouton (sheep).  And whereas yesterday’s sea was as smooth as glassine, today’s is a bit choppy.

We are off to St. Tropez to visit Dany.  Bonaparte’s brother Francois is also here from Paris for a few days to check in on their dad as well. Francois will leave knowing Vincent is here.

I took a nice relaxing bath, shaved my legs, applied minimal makeup, my Storm wig, my $10 dress from Old Navy and my Rondini Tropezienne sandals.

Here I am!  Finally looking human again.  It’s funny because I always take way too many cosmetics with me and never use them.  A touch of eye makeup and gloss is all I need.  The fake tan has faded into a more acceptable on and I’m ready to go!

We drove to Ste. Maxime and picked up the Bateaux Verts over to St. Trop.  Boy did we have a fun ride!  The water was so choppy that the small boat was rocking around like crazy.  It was like being on an aquatic roller coaster and both of us were loving it!

The water was choppy but we didn’t care!  We were comfy inside the boat’s small cabin area!

It may look calm in the Port at St. Tropez, but the water was otherwise!

Getting closer!

Oops!  Hey big boat. Don’t hit us!!

Time was, finally, on our side and we arrived 45 minutes before meeting Francois at our favorite restaurant, La Ramade.  What else is there to do except to hop into Rondini to see if I could make my annual purchase.

Some women shop at Chanel.  Rondini is MY choice!

The shop, on this Sunday, was crowded.  Across from where I was sitting was a family. Parents making what looked like the first Rondini purchase for their two small daughters.  They looked so adorable in their little sundresses and trying on tiny Tropezienne sandals.  A group of young women was mulling over which sandals to get while a woman, with her husband and their dog, who was relaxing next to her was trying to decide on a couple of pairs.

I wanted red sandals this year and ended up trying on the Pouce Tressé (which translates into “Thumb Braid”—that’s thumb thing else!) sandal.  I loved the look due to the simple strap across the big toe and the simple strap across my foot.  But—the fit was off.  A smaller size had the straps fitting perfectly but the sole was too short.  The larger size had a sole that fit perfectly but the straps were too wide for my narrow foot.

The Rondini Pouce Tressé sandals which became another addition to my collection!

This is Rondini, ladies!  And therefore, was no problem.  The sandals would be custom made for me at no extra charge.  Narrow straps would be put into place on a larger sole.  It would take five days for the sandals to be ready. No problem because we would be coming back to see Dany again.

I can’t tell you how much I love this shop. The business is family run and the sales help is remarkably knowledgeable.  We left Rondini empty handed but with the promise of another great pair of sandals toward week’s end.

On the way to the restaurant, we stopped at the little square in the center of town and watched a group of men celebrating Fete de Pere by playing Boule.  It was hot but the dry air made it very comfortable.

Bonaparte snapped this one of me sitting on a bench at the square.  The time on the camera is weird.

I’m ready for my close-up Mr. Demille!

Fountain in the square

On our way to the restaurant

We arrived at the restaurant to meet Francois waiting at our table.  It’s great to see him again and even better to see Bonaparte enjoying time with his brother.  They spoke about Dany and other subjects and it was fun to see Bonaparte speaking so carefree and natural in his native tongue.

Back at the eternally casual and charming La Ramade!

It was also great to be back at La Ramade. I love this charming little restaurant.  The Provençal offerings are one of the most important reasons that make this place my favorite.  I settled on my usual, Rognons de Veau (veal kidneys) while B’parte had Frog’s Legs and Francois ordered “Lamb Pieds and Paquets”—and when I was offered a taste I was amazed at how tender the meat was. It was delicious!

Bonaparte in deep thought about what to have for dinner that evening!

La Ramade never changes–and that’s a good thing!

The owner is a very, very hard working guy.  And he knows how much I love my kidneys!

I ended up taking one of these great red menus home with me.  Bonaparte will frame it and we can hang it up in the kitchen area. This is a true souvenir!

From sitting down on arrival through the endless cups of strong coffee at meal’s end, this little restaurant is consistently great!

This is what the Pieds & Paquets look like–but I got the image from Wiki because I didn’t take a photo of them.  They were quite delicious!

When we finished lunch, we headed to the residence (assisted living) where Dany lives.  I knew he wasn’t well but wasn’t prepared for the sight.  His mouth was opened as if struggling either for air or to speak.  His eyes were alert and alive.  His legs distorted and discolored.  The machines pumped in a rhythm that seemed to be pushing him to get well—almost like the huffing of The Little Engine That Could.

Bonaparte and Francois at Dany’s bedside.  I cut Dany out of this photo because I couldn’t bring myself to show you how ill he looks.

On this Fete de Pere, it made me miss my own dad terribly.

He had moments of lucidity and was talkative despite the struggle to get the words out. At one point, he motioned for me to go over to him.  He grabbed both my hands—and I could feel the remaining strength he had.  He put my hands up to his lips, kissed them and he told me he loved me.

To give the nurse a break, I fed him his custard and gelatin. He didn’t take much but at lease it was something.

This look at life in St. Tropez was painted by Dany some years ago.  It is a magnificent painting and one of my favorites.

We left him at 4:30 with the promise of coming back to see him during the week.

This stack of Dany’s beloved hats was in his room. I HAD to snap a pic. I am going to print and frame this photo because–to tell you the truth, I think its a good one!

Our walk back to the boat was slow and somewhat quiet.  We passed another group of older men playing Boule and figured that many of them probably knew Dany from back when St. Tropez was a fishing village.

On the way back to the apartment we stopped at a boulangerie in Saint-Raphael who is opened on Sundays. We picked up bread, and for Bonaparte to celebrate Fete de Pere, a Tarte Tropezienne.

 

OK. So if you are ever in the area in and around St. Raphael, this is one boulangerie that is opened on Sunday into the evening.

We went back with not one loaf but two loaves.  Where are the fishes?

Peanut M & M’s with different personality descriptions printed across the bag. A Blagueur is a joker.  

Dinner was light—our lunch was filling.  Salad and Kir Royals.

 

I could not get enough of these ridiculously flavorful tomatoes.  I had at least one a day! And the mayo–don’t get me started. The store-brand mayos are out of this world.  All other mayo can go to Hellmans!

We did have olives and saucisson too!

After a busy day, we retired early to another deep sleep-enabled with the help of clean sea air!!

Monday, June 19th

Despite Bonaparte’s warning last night that it could rain this morning (he is paranoid) we woke up to another day of bright sunny and cloudless skies.

Another sunny and bright day greets us!

Mother Nature’s birthday gift to Bonaparte!

It is his birthday today and all he wants to do is relax!  That’s fine with me. We have plenty of time here and with the craziness of our travel woes to get here and seeing his dad yesterday, I would say Vincent deserves to spend this day anyway he wants to spend it!

It is off to the pool!

Another year and the pool is looking mighty cool!

View from the little bistro area

Another view.

The pool never changes.  Most of the staff is back and the pool girl from a few years ago has returned for a while.  She gives us a very warm welcome and remembers us.  She will be back in July though and won’t be here for a few weeks.

A view of the port from the pool

I have no idea where Bonaparte wandered off to take this pic but it’s a nice one!

The same regular group of swimmers is here.

The skinny lady with the tanned leatheresque hide is still walking the perimeter of the pool. Skinny as ever. Looking straight ahead. Still puffing on the cigs.

It is extremely hot but comfortable. Word on the street—or rather word from the news on French TV is that the Canicule has arrived.  And I couldn’t be happier!

Sitting under the parasol, with plenty of sunscreen slathered over me, pen in hand, I’m thrilled to be doing what I love.

Bonaparte oversees the day and decided that we should drive into Cannes to see what’s happening! We walked over to FNAC and I picked up some CD’s to add to my collection.

The bay on the way to Cannes

Bonaparte was obsessed with the boat to the far right. Up close, it really was very impressive

Here’s a better view.  I wish we knew some of the owners of these dinghies-I could have had a birthday party for Bonaparte!

Window display in Cannes

Cannes you believe it?  What a naughty sign.  I love it!!

A fresco homage to the actor Gerard Philipe. He was Daniele’s first boyfriend!

This year’s CD purchases proved to be among the best. All of these are winners!

We walked some more and stopped for a refreshing Citron Presse—with the return of the Canicule, this delightful lemony beverage hit the spot.

From the table on a lazy and very hot Monday afternoon in Cannes…

…perfect for enjoying a refreshing Citron Presse!

A stop at our hypermarche for a birthday dessert came in the form of a Tarte Tropezienne.  Back “home” to enjoy, yet another dinner on the terrace and a birthday celebration.

Another trip to the local hangout!

Quite possibly the greatest supermarket display of all time.  A Senorita, in France, standing atop sausages.  Is there a hidden message here?

Where else can you go to be stumped by an overwhelming amount of honey?  

Have patience with me dear friends because I’m literally obsessed with French hypermarches.  

You have no idea how hungry I am getting right now..

Why can’t Wegmans sell olives like this?

This is just a portion of the deli area

Here’s the good stuff

What does Bonaparte want for his Birthday dessert?

He wants a small Tarte Tropezienne!

Back home to start dinner

And as the sun makes the way to set

We pinch ourselves because this is paradise!

Tomorrow we wake early and head to L’Estagnol!

© 2017 Atypical60.com

Here’s a tune from the Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy CD. OMG. I’m enjoying this so much! La Baie Des Fourmis. I can’t stop listening to this song!

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