Audrey Hepburn, the most chic woman of all time, said, in the film “Sabrina”, “Paris is always a good idea”.
She’s got a point..but…
I, the most unchic woman of all time, said, on the way to the Cote d’Azur this past June, “Hot Damn! Paris may be a good idea, But the Cote d’Azur is always a better one!!”
Yup! The second leg of our vacation started on June 19th when we flew from Paris to Nice to enjoy twelve days of relaxation at the apartment on the Cote d’Azur. I have to tell you, the second that the coast of the French Riviera comes into view, I can feel all the tension, and stress and anxiety just leave my body!
Peek-a-boo! I see you!
….and closer! Vacation begins!
This year, the only anxiety I had was from the unemployment funds due me that never made it to my bank account—and most of that anxiety left. For a few days, but I’ll get to that later!
Flight landed, baggage received in moments, car rental handled in a short time and we were off to Theoule!
Leaving Nice airport. I swear to god, this was the only moment of cloudiness and a two-minute sprinkle! Bonaparte damn near had a heart attack. It was just Maman Nature playing a little joke on us!
Anyway, since 2011, we’ve rented an apartment in Theoule-sur-Mer. The apartment is in a community called Port la Galere.
la galere website Here’s a link to their website. It’s really cool!
Club Port la Galere’s site Here’s a link to the cool pool and the restaurant that we love!
Pidgeon and fois gras to start! This isn’t even the meal!
Fresh shrimp in a broth for me to start!
Bonaparte’s typical order of steak–but this time he went a bit wild with pureed potatoes!
I went wild too! With lamb instead of my usual fish! I’m glad I did.
For dessert, Bonaparte went with a light sorbet..
…Um. I went with a very caloric Chocolate lava and ice cream, with a caramel sauce dessert. And I wonder why I’m not losing weight!
It’s affordable and the location is amazingly convenient! The central location lends itself well to our travels throughout the area.
The view from the terrace puts me at ease the moment we arrive.
View from the terrace in the morning. Always beautiful to wake up to this.
PLUS–the natural lighting is GREAT for applying make up! I loved putting my make up on every day! Trust me, my makeup application hasn’t looked this natural in a long time. Also–the dryness in the air makes for great hair days!
View from master bedroom. Check out the far left-hand side of the terrace. It’s the laundry rack. It took me an hour to figure out how to assemble it too! The doors were never closed!
Another view of the sea from the terrace! Another beautiful day!
Zoomed view of the elusive bubble house across from the apartment. I feel like a voyeur but there’s never anyone at this house!!!!!
It expands the width of the apartment, French doors leading from both the master bedroom and the living space. For the entire stay, those doors never close.
The little garden below the entrance to the apartment!
Home!! Well, at least for a few days each year it’s home!
Welcome to the salon!
View of the terrace from the living area. Air conditioning in it’s natural state. The cross ventilation was amazing–always cool, no matter how hot the outside temps were!
The best part. A washing machine, an iron (and a GREAT one at that!), and being able to dry my laundry on the terrace made me so incredibly happy. There is nothing like dry, crispy clothing that has been air dried! I rest my case!
The jasmine flowers filled the air with such a pleasant fragrance that I had to stop by Fragonard in Grasse to pick up a small bottle of Jasmine eau de toilette. I wanted the memories!
The stairway from the apartment leading down to the ….
..many Jasmine plants scented the air so sweetly!
We had most of our meals on that terrace! Mornings of coffee and croissant. Evenings of wine, cheese, pate—for me seafood, for Bonaparte, meat!
Cheese and saucisson started off most evening meals…
This is why I didn’t lose any weight. Bonaparte went meatless one night and I cooked eggs. Check out the color of those yolks!
We literally continued to spend hours watching the boats of all types and sizes gliding, floating and racing on the Mediterranean Sea!
The sounds of the sea, smoothly crashing against the huge rock formations, in its timely cadence, calms me down like a natural medication. The symphony of the cicadas, bellowing of the frogs and the coos of the doves send me off into a deep slumber.
Goodnight Moon! Thank you for the light while I dream of more great times here!
The window of clubbing and staying out all night has closed some time ago. When we retire, we watch French TV. Shows like “Amour Est Dans le Pre”, a reality show showcasing farmers who are looking for love. It sates my appetite for reality!
Might I add, some of the farmers looking for love on this show, may not have the looks of Alain Delon, but they sure do own some valuable real estate–and cows!
“Les Inconnus” reruns whet my appetite for truly politically incorrect comedy—and even though my knowledge of the French language is far from fluent, you don’t have to be an expert in the language to watch this hysterical show.
This hysterical trio left no satirical stone unturned! It was Political Incorrectness at its best!!! EVER!
Les Inconnus sketches. If you dare! Click on the link for some fun from France2–you don’t need to speak the language to get a good laugh!
Lazy mornings were spent at one of the many beaches in Cannes or over at the small beach L’Aiguille. Swimming in the Mediterranean is a blast. There are no waves so to speak of, just little teeny ones—and the sea is so salty that even I, the worst swimmer in the world, can be transformed into an Olympian because of the float factor! You just cannot sink!
One of the many beaches along the Cannes coast. We arrived early in the morning to enjoy the beach to ourselves before the crowds showed up–and they did!
The calm before the masses of people. See those little waves breaking? That was the extent of the waves!
Crowds in the late afternoon! The Palm Beach area of Cannes.
My pedicured feetsies enjoying the first steps into the water at L’Aiguille beach!
L’Aiguille in the morning. It’s more of a beach on the bay and you can swim up to the boats–it’s such a quiet beach during the week, but we would not even attempt the weekends!
Hey! Mr. Boat! Can I come aboard?
NOTE: L’Aiguille is home to the most adorable restaurant–named after the beach. Restaurant L’Aiguille. I had the best seafood dish of my life there! BEST ever! It was “Seiche”. Have you ever heard of it? I thought it was squid only it was better. Seiche is cuddlefish and unfortunately I cannot get it here in the States! It was served with a pesto sauce and a garlic aioli that was to-die-for. Please don’t be annoyed at me but I have to post pics of this dinner. I know I’m rambling but I can’t help it!
Seiche, aka, Cuddlefish. Hands down THE best seafood meal I’ve ever had in my life! I was thinking about this every day since I’ve had it. I do not lie when I say that I cannot wait till next summer to go back to Restaurant L’Aiguille to have this again!
Bonaparte, as usual–his usual dish. He couldn’t stop raving about the frites!
Bonaparte’s entrée before the main plat. A tartine with a tomato confit, jambon, shaved parm and a little mesclun salade!
Sticking to my obsession with seafood, I started our meal off with a salmon tartare that was so wonderful and fresh..and a little mesclun salade!
Dessert. Panna Cotta for me. Strawberry tart for Bonaparte! I will have to drop 25 pounds before returning next summer!
View from our table at the restaurant. It was perfect!
Another view as the sun was setting. Where else can you have dinner at a beach and look over and see the snow-capped alps? It was magical!
However, my frolicking in the water was cut short by the “medusé”—jellyfish. What if I got stung so bad that I died? Forget it. Back to the pool—but at least these pesky sea creatures waited to appear two days before we returned to Paris!
NOTE: Speaking of beaches, I have to say that I admire French and European women because when it comes to sunbathing and swimming, they have absolutely zero body issues! Older women—and I’m talkin’ women way older than me—topless and letting those mature girls hang out! All shapes and sizes in bikinis and bikini bottoms. Nobody gives a shit if the belly or breasts are sagging. Cellulite? Who cares? It’s like looking at the human version of cheese—and the French love their cheese!
I was very comfortable in my bikinis frolicking in the sea and the sand. Although my weight gain body issue had me keeping my top on because it was too shameful for me to have a belly that stuck out more than my girls!
This year I kept my bikini top on. I envy the confidence and pride that French and European women have with their body image. Well, at least I got a bit of a tan–right??
If not at the beach, we were at the pool, where I sat comfortably under an umbrella reading a good book for the most part of the day!
We were the first ones at the pool. I think it comes with my being an ex-New Yorker and having the need to a “good space”. i.e. parking spaces and beach spaces!
Sun safety counts. I’m under that umbrella guarding my pasty skin..and I still got a bit of a tan!
Afternoons were spent sight-seeing. We drove around Antibes,
Charming little alcove in Antibes with wooden fishing boats!
Antibes. One reason I play the lottery. When I remember to.
Antibes. Another reason I play the lottery. The homes in Antibes are pretty damn impressive!
Fugliest yacht I have EVER seen in my life. It looks like a submarine. But–don’t mention that to Bonaparte or any other male person who passed by. There must have been at least 15 men who stopped to take a pic of this monstrosity–all oohing and aahing! To each his own!
spent a few hours in Cabris,
Tennis courts where Bonaparte Federer used to play many, many moons ago!
A view from atop Cabris
Oops. This is either the back of a church or a restaurant. Either way, it’s nice!
I may be a lapsed Catholic, but no visit to Cabris is complete for me until I stop by the little chapel to say hi to St. Rita. I always light a candle. This year the price went up to 2 euros and I only had 1 euro in change. Does that mean St. Rita will only listen to half of my requests??? I love this statue so much!
revisited the Villa Ephrussi De Rothschild
Gardens on the Villa. The water was synced with classical music. It was very, very nice!
Ms. Rothschild would have made an epic Mary Kay Cosmetics salesperson with all that pink!
View from the terrace at Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. Not a bad view to wake up to–eh?
and had a nice coastline drive passing L’Esterel while driving to St. Raphael!
L’Esterel. Nature porn!
A far shot of Theoule from the L’Esterel area.
We spent the good part of one day driving to Italy—just for the heck of it,
It seemed like we drove through about 50 tunnels on the way…
…because we drove so high up in the mountains!
and spent another day in St. Tropez enjoying a great visit with Bonaparte’s dad, Dany. We proudly watched a documentaire about Dany and his butterflies.
Dany’s Musee. If you are in St. Tropez, this is a great attraction!
Father and son reunion 2015! They are so happy to be with each other!
The three musketeers of St. Trop!
A sampling of the butterflies–placed atop a painting by Dany…
He’s also an accomplished artist and a popular presence in St. Tropez!
Then went for a delicious and relaxing lunch in a garden restaurant!
How cute is this garden restaurant? La Ramade–it had tons of charm and great food!
Even the menus are adorable!
The table ready, under a ceiling of intertwined tree branches and lush leaves. Another excuse to enjoy a couple of carafes of a light rose!
Enjoying a last look at the boats in the harbor!
(Oh..and I stopped at Rondini to have a sandal repaired and to purchase another pair. The Rondini visit needs its own post!)
Our routine also included almost-daily trips to our favorite hypermarche—Casino Geant! Some vacationers love spending money at Hermes, Chanel and other out-of-my-financial reach shops along La Croisette in Cannes. I’ll take the 2euro cheese, the inexpensive Rosés, and the incredibly fresh seafood of Geant!
Geant Hypermarche. Better than Wegman’s! YES! Better than Wegman’s. This photo was taken on the first Sunday of the season that Geant was opened. It was like having the store to ourselves. I felt like a Christmas Elf!
Look at all the provincial stuff. I regret not purchasing one of those tacky cicadas. You push a button and they make the cicada noise. Epic!
Fugettabout Trader Joe’s “Two Buck Chuck” wine. Geant has 2 euro cheese…and it’s unbelievable great!!!
And more cheese. My thighs now resemble the inside of the buffalo mozzarella.
The seafood was so fresh I could see it moving!
Besides, where else can you go shopping for groceries and get a sampling of a Mojito without being carded?
The friendliest Mojito maker in France! I went back for seconds! Hey. I was on vacation!
Lookit!!! Wine at the marche!!!
And booze! No wonder there’s so many young people on vacation here! This is certainly a nice change from the State-run liquor stores in Pennsylvania!
I love the Cote d’Azur!
All was not without the drama, however. Remember how I mentioned my unemployment funds were not to be had? Well—after having this “issue” fester for over a week, and breaking out in random moments of crying and whining, Bonaparte gently suggested firmly insisted that I call the unemployment office because I was practically ruining our vacation!
I did. And I was told to call the examiner’s office. I did. The examiner was extremely helpful but told me she needed to validation. It seems that the very people, who fired me for not being a good fit, told a different version to the unemployment people.
Without going into further detail, I contested. The examiner, who was incredibly understanding, told me not to worry that all would be processed. It was and the rest of my trip was an emotional pleasure.
Then I received the news that my baby, Oona, would, in fact be moving to Arkansas. It was definite! Bonaparte reminded firmly told me that I was being selfish by crying and that I should be proud and happy for my daughter. He’s right—and I know she’ll be back in a couple of years and I can visit her so it’s all good!
Then it was Bonaparte’s time to practically cry!
The cab drivers throughout France were on strike! They were pissed off at UberPop! It was a mess. Cabs blocking the airports. Some cab drivers were caught displaying very naughty actions of aggression. Signs on a couple of cabs were dissing America because Uber is an American company. I’m sure the French cab drivers had plenty to say when Americans referred to French Fries as “Freedom Fries” so I guess now it was their turn to retaliate!
Well, at least the signs were written in English so the tourists could understand the angst! (Due to offensive language, I opted to not post the naughtier signs–the signs didn’t offend me, but I have a gutter mouth and I respect my friends who are more lady-like. I’m a giver!)
Note to French Cab Drivers: Please don’t display signs dissing America because you hate Uber. If it were not for the American troops during WWII, you would be speaking German. I love France and I love the G7 Cabs, but you need to be nice and respectful when you strike!
It was a mess. A mess that had Bonaparte coming up with a plan B to return to Paris should the strike continue. We would drive back—much to his dismay at losing a day at the beach!
Fox News had a field day with this cab strike. The French news reported on Fox’s reporting (French news hates Fox News almost as much as I do!) Fox just about reported there was a revolution going on in France!
Revolution, Fox reports? Hmmmmm..all quiet on THIS front! I’m enjoying the peace and quiet!
Well, the cab strike ended and we both enjoyed the remainder of our time in Theoule without a care in the world!
Well, that’s about it from Theoule! I’ll be posting about Rondini, the return back to Paris, shopping hauls and travel tips over the weekend. Then I’ll FINALLY get back to my normal self! Do you like the side braid? My hair was starting to get filthy, but I was too lazy to wash it. Don’t judge. One can be a slob while vacationing!
For your pleasure—the very talented and naughty Serge Gainsbourg’s homage to the Riviera “Sea, Sex and Sun”!
XOXOXOXOXOXOXO! Have a great Friday!!!!