The Apartment. Dinner With Family. I’m Feeling Rather Local Today.

Sunday, June 26th 2016

Oops!  I was so tired last night that I forgot to write more stuff.

On our way back from Menton, we decided to visit the Musée Matisse in Nice.  As luck would have it, we arrived way too late to snag a parking spot.  Parking is limited.  There was no street parking due to a wedding at a nearby church.  Whoever got married was pretty darn popular because guests were parked in every available space within a half mile!

Musee_Matisse_2 from wiki

Musée Matisse. This pic is from Wiki because I forgot to take a photo.  We will visit NEXT time and will make sure to arrive early in the morning!

We decided to try our luck revisiting the Musée Marc Chagall.  The parking situation was worse.  It’s like being in Manhattan with the street parking.  Rather than drive around wasting precious time, we drove home.  Proof that timing is everything when touring.  We need to arrive early.

Chagall musee exterior

I had to go into my photo archives on my Shutterfly account to get this photo I took a few years back. This is the exterior of the Musee Marc Chagall.

chagall musee interior

Another shot I took.  We’ll revisit next time around!

It also proves that you take the good with the bad. We love having a car here because we can be in control—but, we can’t always be in control of parking.

I was in dreamland by 9:00 PM.   I’m a regular barrel of fun on vacation.

We’re meeting Bonaparte’s niece, Nathalie, and her daughter, Elodie, for dinner this evening. They spent a couple of days in St. Tropez with Bonaparte’s dad, Dany, and are now on their way back to Paris via train.

We’ll meet them in St. Raphael.

Another beautiful morning here on the terrace overlooking the Mediterranean and we are witnessing some strange goings on.  A yacht is anchored not too far from the shore.  From Bonaparte’s binoculars, we can see the guests and crew standing on one of the decks looking down at the sea.

People on jet skis are circling the yacht. First close to the boat and with each lap, the jet skis move a bit farther away.

A helicopter is hovering over the large yacht.  It circles closely at first then moves into larger circles.

Is someone lost?  Is this a British Yacht seeking asylum from the Brexit?  We both hope all is well.

Because we had such an active day yesterday, today we are bumming it back at the pool.  And it is noticeably more crowded.   The vacationers have arrived.  I detect other accents among the French; German, Dutch, Russian, Australian, British, Italian, Spanish—but no American ones.

I stand alone. Or rather I laze alone. Under the umbrella.

Theoule. Pool 2016 foot shot.

My usual spot. Under the umbrella!

So I write instead. And today I’m writing about our apartment.

Bonaparte “found” this apartment through an extensive online search back in 2010.  Previously, we stayed at his mother’s little home in Ensues.  After her death, the house was sold.

What was Bonaparte looking for?

He wanted an apartment close to the sea.  He also wanted a place in a convenient location. One that would lend itself well to our day trips and touring.

realy cool sailboat

Bonaparte couldn’t have found an apartment with a better view.  This beauty has been a regular sight for a couple of years now..

In addition, we needed parking since we would have a car.


Parking was great. As you can see from this Rolls that Bonaparte is obsessed with, nobody is too concerned with anyone breaking into their vehicles.

He found it all in the gated community of “Port la Galère” in Theoule-sur-Mer.

The apartment is perfect for us.  It is a gated community; and in order to get into the community, a pass is needed.

Theoule.  Port la galere. Pass to enter the community.

Yes, my friends, I am THAT weirdo who collects our entrance passes from each year. 

Steps to apt

Steps leading up to “our” apartment (I love to say that because it sounds so pretentious. I can dream, can’t I?)


Our little keys to…

Theoule. Front Door of our apartment

…the front door that leads to….

living room

…the living space. Notice the little round table in the left-rear. In all the years we’ve been here, we have never eaten a meal’s always…


…out on the terrace. Breakfast and dinner….

flowers on the terrace

…and besides the sea view, we have lovely flowers to admire while enjoying the terrace…


..which leads to the bedroom on the opposite side of the living space.  (I took this photo last year).  Notice the doors are opened.  In the years we’ve been staying here, this year was the only time we closed the doors while sleeping. It was one night and Bonaparte closed the doors because of  noise from a party.  

my little kitchen window

The little kitchen window.  There are always plants to greet me while I’m cooking!

basketball court

The community even has a basketball court and playground for the kiddies! Oh..and tennis courts too.

Port la Galère also houses a small club, complete with great hotel rooms and an excellent restaurant. (I sound like a commercial. Trust me, I’m not sponsored, but we just love this place so much and have been staying here for years!)


..a view of the club from our table at the restaurant…

hotel key

During our stays, we have spent a couple of nights at the hotel. I’m telling you, the rooms are fantastic!

view from the room at hotel

View of the restaurant area from the hotel room. I think this was taken the year before last.

view from our table

View of the club’s pool from our table at the restaurant..

menu at club

The club’s menu is brought to your table. I’m telling you, we’ve had some of our best meals at this restaurant over the years. The food is consistently excellent!

After a few hours at the pool we went back to the apartment to get ready for our dinner with Bonaparte’s niece.

A nice drive along the coastline brought us to our destination in St. Raphael.

We enjoyed a nice private dinner at La Factory. For me, it was fun to see Bonaparte leaving English behind and getting into the groove of his native tongue. It was also enjoyable to people watch while Bonaparte and Nathalie spoke of family matters.

St. Raphael. LA Factory Restaurant exterior.

Silly me. At first I thought the name of this place was “L.A.” Factory! I forgot we were in France–oh la La Factory!

Food. St. Raphael. LA factory. Steak Tartare. Frites. Salad. Yum.

My steak tartare and frites. I couldn’t finish because the portion was so huge.  The tartare was excellent.  The frites were very good but the dressing on that little salad was the best I’ve ever had. It was a light creamy lemon dressing. I didn’t get the recipe.

Bonaparte’s surprise was the many photos and photo albums that his niece, Nathalie gave him.

St. Tropez circa 1950 Isabelle

One of Bonaparte’s favorite photos is this one of his sister Isabelle (RIP).  Is she praying for a great meal of seafood?

Bonaparte and isabelle as babies la ponche

I”m kinda fond of THIS pic of Bonaparte and Isabelle taken at La Ponche. The hats. I love them!

Travel tip: Try not to be all “food snobby” when on vacation.  We weren’t looking to have dinner at a fancy place. Nathalie and Elodie were in transit from St. Tropez back to Paris and were limited in time.  We ended up at La Factory in a random moment and ended up having a really good and inexpensive meal.

Hugs, kisses on the cheeks, a wave goodbye and they were back on their way to Paris.

St. Raphael. Ferris beuller wheel.

And we left St. Raphael by driving along the coast.

We drove along the coastline back to the apartment.

France 2016 Random bay shot. On the way back from St. Raphael

..stopping to snap a photo of boats on the bay..

And while driving, we both decided that tomorrow, we will return to L’Estagnol!

A nice, sweet great driving song for you on this Sunday.  Le Métèque by Georges Moustaki. Thank you FreeNeverSaid for a great video!


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!
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22 Responses to The Apartment. Dinner With Family. I’m Feeling Rather Local Today.

  1. Judy says:

    I can see why you love your visits there – that apartment is adorable! Those soft red terrace floor tiles are so French, aren’t they? And I can smell the geraniums…. And those views are magical. .Wonderful writing, as always, Catherine. I am so glad you had a good time and so glad to be there with you!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Judy. Thank you so much. That apartment has become our second home. It’s a comfortable place too. I’m very happy that you are enjoying coming along with me! XOXOXO!!!

  2. Sharon Daly says:

    Loved the photos of your apartment and of Bonaparte and Isabelle. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Sharon! Hey. Hope you are enjoying the summer so far! Glad you enjoyed the pics–OMG–we had the greatest time. It was a joy! Thank youXOXOXO!!!

  3. Miss Bougie says:

    Sigh! Leaving Saint Raphael by coast, you passed right infront of where we stayed! You should have let me know. I was on my mother in law’s terrace, reading, on Monday afternoon. Next time, I hope!

  4. theturtle says:

    Perfect 🙂 including Georges 😉
    Turtle Hugs

    • Catherine says:

      Turtle. Is Georges not the greatest? He is amazing and he puts me at ease! XOXOXOXO!!!

      • theturtle says:

        My husband had this album , and even though he is the worst singer he knew all the lyrics and he was the one who introduced me to Moustaki (and a whole lot other things) 🙂
        I’ll ask him tomorrow (the “baby” is sleeping now , he goes in with the chickens 😉 ) if he remembers this one 🙂

      • Catherine says:

        Oh Turtle. Moustaki is up there with Delpech, Voulzy and Polnareff. I also love him because his songs remind me a bit of the musical poetry of Georges Brassens. I love him!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  5. Irene Albert says:

    I love Moustaki, I have a few of his cd’s. I also love reading about your trip.

    • Catherine says:

      Irene. I just ordered one of his CD’s on Amazon. I never realized what a talented man he was. Little treasures are the best gems and he’s one! XOXOXO!!!

  6. iolacontessa says:


  7. The good life. Yes indeed!

  8. calensariel says:

    You know what? I think I’m getting wanderlust! Loved the flowers on the balcony. So pretty.

  9. Wow, what a beautiful place to stay! Lovely photos and I adore the sister and brother childhood photo. So sweet!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lisa. Oh, it is such a wonderful place. I’m missing it already! Isn’t that pic of Bonaparte and his sister precious? I love old family photos. Glad you are enjoying! XOXOXO!

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