Wednesday, June 29th, 2016
Today is the day we return to St. Tropez to see Bonaparte’s dad, Dany. I’m really excited about this because Dany is a man who loves a well-rounded ass. Hopefully, he’ll not be disappointed in this ass on our latest visit.
I was going to dress up for the occasion but Bonaparte told me that since Dany’s assistant was having the day off, we would be helping him to get around in his wheelchair. I would be his “ass-istant”!
Ever the giver, I changed up my dress code to white shorts, a striped shirt and my Rondini Tropezienne sandals. The same getup I sported when we went to St. Trop last week.
We left the apartment at 7:30 in the morning and drove to Ste. Maxime. We would take the Bateaux Verts water taxi from there to St. Tropez. I love taking the boat because as the port of St. Trop becomes closer, the view is always one that makes me so damned happy!
A gloriously sunny day with clear blue skies. Check out how clean this port at Ste. Maxime is..
The little Bateaux Verts. It’s part of the summer fun!
The dock at St. Maxime is always bustling early in the morning. People on their way to their jobs at shops, restaurants and other places in St. Tropez are lucky to commute via these small ferries. And the people-watching is epic! Locals and tourists provide a fine blend of humanity.
I need a moment here. These women all work in St. Tropez. They epitomize summer chic at the most casual. But…check out my new girl crush on the right. The lady in green. OMFG–never in my life have I seen an older woman look so well-put together.
The dress. The shoes. The sunnies. The bag. And she still managed to come across as incredibly chic and not overly matchy-matchy. I just about stalked her..
Seriously. And she worked at a fancy restaurant in St. Trop. I know this. I followed her. If anyone knows this woman, please hunt her down and make her get in touch with me. I need lessons in how to be as chic as her!
And another version of French chic. So simple yet so elegant.
Due to Dany’s health situation, he lives in a residence for seniors. His body may be slower these days, but his wit and mind are stronger than ever.
Dany’s window on the top floor is second from the right. I think.
He was just as thrilled to see us as we were to see him. And for almost two hours he intrigued me with episodes of his life from childhood to his acquaintance with Picasso and friendship with aged artist Pierre Bonnard. He held my interest telling me about his father, Jacques Henri Lartigue. He kept me on edge as he told about his adventures during WWII and escaping a labor camp after being arrested by the Gestapo. And he kept me mesmerized when he told of his never-ending love for Bonaparte’s mother, Evie.
Dany with Evie and Bonaparte. Every year he always professes his love for her–and her sisters–and his other wives..
Dany also amused me with tales of Baby Bonaparte at La Ponche. Bonaparte looks like he wants to crawl away. Such independence!
I have to say that this is my favorite pic of Dany and Petit Bonaparte. The hat. I swear I almost died laughing at Dany’s hat. And now I know why Frenchmen are in touch with their feminine sides–check out Bonaparte’s girl shoes and his ruffled hat! This photo deserves an award!
As he winded down his tales, he ordered me to look to my right and grab the flag of St. Tropez that was resting against the wall. Then he pointed to a straw hat that was adorned with a red ribbon. He told me that I should wear it.
There was a method to Dany’s madness. We were going to have lunch about three blocks from Dany’s residence. Since he is confined to a wheelchair, Bonaparte would wheel Dany to the restaurant.
Here’s where the flag and hat came in. The sidewalks are incredibly narrow. Too narrow for the wheelchair. Thus, Dany told me that I would need to walk slowly in front of his wheelchair, being pushed by Bonaparte, through the streets leading to the restaurant.
Are you following? Pay attention.
Dany’s intention was for me to wear the hat and wave the flag of St. Tropez as a warning to the vehicles motoring down the three-block stretch of road in order to protect him.
Before hitting the street, Dany had Bonaparte stop the wheelchair in front of a statue of The Blessed Mother. He asked for protection for his family—but I secretly think he made a deal with Mary to protect him first. From me.
It is hard to explain what happened as we approached the road. But it has something to do with me channeling my inner Edie Beale performing her infamous flag dance. The moment I hit the street, I forgot Dany’s instruction to walk slowly.
Yeah. Edie was dancing and marching with the American flag while I was…
I started to march. And as I marched, I held that flag high above my head. I felt the slight breeze hitting my French blow out as my hair moved to and fro.
..literally marching down the streets of St. Tropez like this! I’m SURE there is a photo of me floating around France with the caption “Crazy American Lunatic Woman Thinks She Is Marianne leading the French Revolution of 2016!”
The hat made me look like a French majorette and I felt like Marianne leading the revolution. Albeit this revolutionary group was on their way to eat plenty of bread!
Believe me, had the weather gotten any hotter and there was the possibility I would have been parading in the Streets of St. Tropez without my shirt!
Cars beeped. Trucks honked. Drivers slowed down to observe this special parade of one.
I marched with such a cadence that my ass swayed from side to side. I stood proud and bold. I never heard Dany and Bonaparte yelling out to me to slow down. Instead, it took a truck driver to roll down his window and scream out to me “REGARDE”, while pointing back to Dany and Bonaparte far behind.
And then, a Gendarme came running out into the street next to me. He started speaking in French at a fast pace and saying “Non! Non! Non” while ending each sentence. As my motto is “Ignorance is Bliss”, I kept marching and smiling and pointed to the wheelchair about twenty feet behind me.
Yes. Basically, the gendarme was yelling at me the way Louis De Funes did in the Gendarme movies. Actually, the scene with me and the Gendarme WAS like a scene straight out of the Gendarme movies!
The gendarme, who was about to arrest me, recognized Dany and graciously escorted us to the restaurant, which was now in plain sight.
Our lunch at LaRamade was delightful! I can’t say enough about this very local restaurant. It is far from the “see and be seen” crowd in St. Trop. It is like going to someone’s patio. Jean-Pierre, the owner, he of the Robert Preston head of hair, is always pleasant and is quite friendly with Dany. Jean-Pierre, like Bonaparte, spent his summers at La Ponche—actually he grew up on La Ponche.
Dany looking serious upon our arrival at the restaurant. I think he had second thoughts about me leading the parade!
Jean-Pierre of the fabulous hair taking lunch orders from the locals.
How cute and charming is this restaurant? It was such a pleasure to return this year. I do believe that La Ramade is one of my favorite restaurants of all time.
Well–you can find books on the ceiling in Cabris AND hats in the trees at La Ramade!
The tables all set for the lunch crowd..
What could be better in a garden restaurant than tapenade, bread and a menu brought to the table?
I’ll tell you what could be better. These kidneys. I was in heaven when I saw “Rognons de Veau” on the menu. And the creamy potatoes were the perfect lunch..
Bonaparte and Dany each had frog’s legs. Had I been about forty pounds lighter, I would have ordered this WITH my kidneys..
..and YES. Adding to my deadly sin of gluttony, really, REALLY good strawberries and fresh whipped cream finished off lunch. Don’t judge. I’m paying for this now as I count points!
I think Dany had a few extra glasses of wine because he was dreading the march back home!
After a few glasses of wine and a cigar, Dany was ready to hit the street again–with me in the lead. 97 and enjoying a cigar. We should all be able to enjoy that!
Our march back to Dany’s residence fared much better. I walked slowly in front of them.
And when we arrived back, Dany showed us some recent sketches.
A recent sketch that he did using markers…
…and another one..
…and another. Dany sure loves the ladies!!
A short time later, he was becoming tired and needed to rest so we gave our goodbyes and I jumped in his bed to give him a farewell kiss. Any misgivings about my parade were forgotten!
Fun with Dany! He forgot about my inability to follow directions. It was so hot I had to put my hair up!
The remainder of our time in St. Trop was spent making a visit to Maison des Papillons-Musee Dany Lartigue. This is the butterfly museum Dany created and is home to the thousands of colorful flutterers that he’s collected and received over the years. It is also home to many of Dany’s paintings.
The little sign on the door leading to the La Maison des Papillons
Even though I’m not into bugs, these butterflies are incredibly interesting..
Dany explains it all in this little film in the studio..
Another cool thing is that his paintings are used for backdrops for the displays of butterflies..
…which add more interest..
Isn’t it nice?
Up in his studio we have his paintings on display..
In the courtyard we were able to see more of Dany’s work and the work of Martin, Bonaparte’s artist brother.
A return trip to Ste. Maxime on our little green boat was bittersweet as we looked back at the port of St. Tropez shrinking into the distance and disappearing from sight until next year.
As we left St. Tropez, we got a good look at how it changed from Bonaparte’s youth. Large Yachts took the place of..
..old boats like this. Personally, I like the run down boats better!
Bye till next year!!
We had an enjoyable dinner of leftovers and eggs; and when Bonaparte reminded me that we would be leaving for home in a few days, I was overcome with such a feeling of sadness that tears, as salty as the sea below us, flowed uncontrollably down my face.
Today was the best day ever!
Like Pink Floyd? Here’s their happiest song ever “San Tropez”. The song really gives a vibe of how it really is on St. Tropez!