Paris May Be A Good Idea, But the Cote d’Azur is Always a Better One!

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!

Cote d'Azur. Almost there.

Peek-a-boo! I see you!

Cote d'Azur in full view ready for landing in Nice!

Getting closer…..

Cote' D'Azure. plane getting lower!

….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!

Nice. Leaving the airport. This was the only cloudy moment. a sprinkle of rain for a minute!

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!

Theoule. Vincents Squab topped with Foie Gras entree. He wins!

Pidgeon and fois gras to start! This isn’t even the meal!

Theoule. Clubhouse. My shrimp entree

Fresh shrimp in a broth for me to start!

Theoule. clubhouse Vincents main plate surprise. Steak!

Bonaparte’s typical order of steak–but this time he went a bit wild with pureed potatoes!

Theoule. Clubhouse. My main plat. Lamb, potatoes what a great last dinner in Theoule!

I went wild too! With lamb instead of my usual fish!  I’m glad I did.

Theoule. Clubhouse. Vincents dessert. Sorbet!

For dessert, Bonaparte went with a light sorbet..

Theoule. Clubhouse. My last dessert Chocolate bomb with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

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.

Theoule. Morning view from the terrace

View from the terrace in the morning. Always beautiful to wake up to this.

Ttheoule. Me. Incredibly happy to be here!

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!

Ttheoule. View of terrace from inside the apartment

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!

Theoule. Familiar 2015 View from the Terrace of the Sea!

Another view of the sea from the terrace! Another beautiful day!

Theoule. Bubble House View Three

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.

Theoule. Outside the front of the apartment.

The little garden below the entrance to the apartment!

Theoule. Number 10. Our Apartment Door!

Home!! Well, at least for a few days each year it’s home!

Theoule. La Galiere  View of the Living Room from the Terrace

Welcome to the salon!

Theoule. La Galiere. Living Room looking out at the terrace.

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!

Theoule. Stairway to the apartment

The stairway from the apartment leading down to the ….

Ttheoule. Jasmine outside our apartment beautiful and fragrant.

..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!

Ttheoule. Cheese and saucisson on the terrace

Cheese and saucisson started off most evening meals…

Theoule. Dinner Still life.

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.

Ttheoule. Last night. The full moon is illuminating and giving us a sign!

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.

Les Inconnus

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!

Cannes. Beach in the morning. Nobody there!

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!

Cannes. Beach water empty so relaxing.

The calm before the masses of people. See those little waves breaking? That was the extent of the waves!

Cannes. Crowded beaches at Palm beach just keep growing!

Crowds in the late afternoon! The Palm Beach area of Cannes.

L'Aiguille. My feets at the beach.

My pedicured feetsies enjoying the first steps into the water at L’Aiguille beach!

L'Aiguille. Morning at the 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!

L'Aiguille. View of nice boat

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!

L'Aiguille Seiche. Cuttlefish. My main plat at L'Aiguille. Best. Seafood Meal I've EVER had!

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!

L'Aiguille. Vincents Steak Frites. Loved them!

Bonaparte, as usual–his usual dish. He couldn’t stop raving about the frites!

L'Aiguille. Vincents entree of the greatest mix ever

Bonaparte’s entrée before the main plat. A tartine with a tomato confit, jambon, shaved parm and a little mesclun salade!

L'Aiguille. My Entree. Saumon Tartare! Heavenly!

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!

L'Aiguille. Another view from our restaurant table

View from our table at the restaurant. It was perfect!

L'Aiguille. Another beautiful evening view

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!

Theoule. Me. Slightly tanned on the terrace!

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!

Theoule. La Galere. Pool Pic 7

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!

Theoule. Pool another view of my reading

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,

Antibes. Cute little alcove with fishing boats docked.

Charming little alcove in Antibes with wooden fishing boats!

Antibes. The house I want

Antibes. One reason I play the lottery. When I remember to.

Antibes. View of house that should belong to me.

Antibes. Another reason I play the lottery. The homes in Antibes are pretty damn impressive!

Antibes. The fugliest yacht on earth..but so many stopped to take a pic.

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,

Cabris. Tennis courts where Vincent used to play

Tennis courts where Bonaparte Federer used to play many, many moons ago!

Cabris. Panoramic View

A view from atop Cabris

Cabris. Building view

Oops. This is either the back of a church or a restaurant. Either way, it’s nice!

Cabris. Saint Rita. My annual trip 2015

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

Cap Jean Ferrat. Water fountain at Rothschild Mansion

Gardens on the Villa. The water was synced with classical music. It was very, very nice!

Cap Ferrat View of back of Rothschild maison.

Ms. Rothschild would have made an epic Mary Kay Cosmetics salesperson with all that pink!

Cap Ferrat. View of beautiful homes and yachts that should be rightfully mine.

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 from the highway but closer

L’Esterel.  Nature porn!

St. Trop. On the way. Effing L'Esterel is beautiful

Another view

L'Esterel Looking at Theoule from the way to St. Trop

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,

Theoule. En Route to Italy. Italia sign.

Entering Italy..

Theoule. En Route to Italy. One of the many gazillion tunnels

It seemed like we drove through about 50 tunnels on the way…

Theoule. En Route to Italy. Up in the clouds in the mountains.

…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.

St. Tropez. La Maison des Papillons Musee Dany Lartigue sign!

Dany’s Musee. If you are in St. Tropez, this is a great attraction!

St. Tropez. La Maison Des Papillion. Father and son enjoying each other!

Father and son reunion 2015! They are so happy to be with each other!

St. Tropez. La Maison des Papillions. The Three Musketeers of St. Trop!

The three musketeers of St. Trop!

St. Tropez. La Maison des papillions. Butterflies in front of painting.

A sampling of the butterflies–placed atop a painting by Dany…

St. Tropez. Dany's Room..and a beautiful painting.

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!

St. Tropez. Resto La Ramade. Such a cute restaurant the outdoor seating is so cute!

How cute is this garden restaurant?  La Ramade–it had tons of charm and great food!

St. Tropez. Resto La Ramade. Outdoor Menus!

Even the menus are adorable!

St. Tropez. Resto La Ramade. La Table!

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!

St. Tropez. Boats in the harbor.

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!

Theoule. Geant. Sunday afternoon.

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!

Theoule. Geant. Cicada and other provencial goodies!

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!

Theoule. Geant. 2euro Cheese = 10.00 in the USA!

Fugettabout Trader Joe’s “Two Buck Chuck” wine. Geant has 2 euro cheese…and it’s unbelievable great!!!

Theoule. Geant. Cheese Heaven!

And more cheese. My thighs now resemble the inside of the buffalo mozzarella.

Theoule. Geant. Poisson. Fresh and not smelly.

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?

Theoule. Geant. Mojito sampling at the hyper marche!

The friendliest Mojito maker in France! I went back for seconds! Hey. I was on vacation!

Theoule. Geant. The wine just goes on and on and on.

Lookit!!! Wine at the marche!!!

Theoule. Geant. Booze at the hypermarche

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!

A Paris cab parks during a blockade by taxi drivers in Paris, Thursday, June 25, 2015 in Paris. French taxis are on strike around the country, snarling traffic in major cities and slowing access to Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport after weeks of rising and sometimes violent tensions over Uber. (AP Photo/Bertrand Combaldieu)

A Paris cab parks during a blockade by taxi drivers in Paris, Thursday, June 25, 2015 in Paris. French taxis are on strike around the country, snarling traffic in major cities and slowing access to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport after weeks of rising and sometimes violent tensions over Uber. (AP Photo)

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!

Theoule. My feetsies enjoying the pool!

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!

Theoule. Me on the terrace ready for dinner. Diggin. the side braid.

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!!!!

About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
This entry was posted in Antibes. Cabris. Casino Geant Hypermarche. Ephrussi de Rothschild Maison, Cannes, Cap Jean Ferrat, Cote d'Azur, L'Aiguille, L'Esterel, La Galere, Les Inconnus, Mediterrean Sea. St. Tropez, Theoule-sur-Mer. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Paris May Be A Good Idea, But the Cote d’Azur is Always a Better One!

  1. Julie says:

    Welcome back, Looks like you had a great time. I’m sure that your unemployment problems will work out. Some times we get so stressed out, and in thee end it always works out.

    • Catherine says:

      Julie. Thanks! We had a fantastic time. Bonaparte concluded that it was the best visit to Theoule yet. We had absolutely nothing planned, but we managed to get a lot of activity in. I’m no longer worrying about the unemployment. I think I’ll temp instead–it’ll give me more freedom. LOL!

  2. Leslie Preston says:

    Wow! Loved the second installment of your trip! Thanks for the links, too! (like I’m ever going anywhere…) But, still…
    The food! Yay! Loved everything. Thank you very much!!! I really feel like I was there!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Leslie, I’m glad you liked and looked at the links. Hey…keep that info for the future. Traveling before high season, which we always do is tons less expensive than traveling during high season, and you beat the crowds! I’m so glad you felt as though you were there too. I am to give that feeling! XOXO!

  3. Irene Albert says:

    I really enjoy your blogs, reading them gives me a sense of actually being there.

  4. Catherine says:

    Thank you so much Irene! It really makes me happy to know I’m giving my friends a sense of being there. Right now, I’m working on a post about shopping the sales in France. I hope you like it!! XOXOXOXO!

  5. nathalie says:

    so sorry for the bad image we show with cab strikes …it was only in some big cities…and not lead by very philosopher taxis drivers!!!you are just a-do-ra-ble on the pictures !!

  6. Catherine says:

    OMG. Nathalie. Don’t worry about a bad image with the cab strike! I was just happy it ended before we flew back to Paris-plus it was some fun drama! I’m so glad you like the pics! XOXOXOXO!

  7. gk says:

    Wow, looks like an amazing holiday! How many years have you being going? What a wonderful trip!

    • Catherine says:

      It wasan amazing holiday. Actually any holiday is amazing–right?? I’ve been going to France for ten years now. Bonaparte was born and raised there–so I was fortunate to be able to accompany him back from our early days until now. It’s a very comfortable place to visit. I feel right at home there! XOXOXOXOXO!

  8. Miss Bougie says:

    Hi Catherine, I’m new to this blog. I always love to read articles concerning France seen from the outside. Gives a fresh perspective. I’m sure you’re aware of some of its quirks as your other half is French. Makes your take on things even more interesting. Will definitely follow your blog.
    Bonne journée. 😉

    • Catherine says:

      Bonjour Miss Bougie!
      Welcome to the Atypical60 Chateau! I think you will like it here! Oh..having a French better half is like the gallic version of I Love Lucy. “J’Adore Bonaparte” is what my life is like at times! Hope you continue to read and enjoy!! XOXOXOXOXO!

  9. Gerry C. says:

    Wow! A breath taking bikini shot. Puts a big smile on my face for sure. Thank you again for sharing your glorious adventures. Always appreciated. 🙂

  10. Judy says:

    Hi Catherine! I discovered your blog a few days ago (maybe from Une Femme? not sure) and enjoying it! I am also a Francophile (and a New Yorker) and I go to Paris almost every year, but so far have not yet had the pleasure of going to the south of France! It is so cool that Bonaparte is the grandson of the great photographer Lartigue! I went to an exposition of his in Paris in 2003 (I think) and loved it! Such great photos. … Will be going to Paris again in 4 weeks. Packing is always a problem so I am reading your posts! Hope you see this because it is now August, but I did want to comment on the Lartigue thing!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Judy! I’m so happy that you’ve discovered the blog. I’m hoping you continue to read and enjoy my other posts about our travels in France–and my other normal ramblings! Bonaparte was thrilled that you are a J.H. Lartigue fan! It’s too bad you would not be in Paris sooner. The Maison Europienne de la Photographie in Paris’s exhibition featuring Bonaparte’s grandfather runs through the 23rd of this month! Enjoy Paris and definitely try to visit the Cote d’ Azur at some point. It’s soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo amazing! Happy travels! XOXOXOXO

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