Hey! Don’t Rain On My St. Tro-Parade!–Just Another Day In St. Tropez!

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!

Ste Maxime. the boat in the background.

A gloriously sunny day with clear blue skies.  Check out how clean this port at Ste. Maxime is..

Ste. Maxime. Les Bateau Vert in the water.

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.

Ste. Maxime. French chic is ageless BLOG GOLD

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. 

Ste. Maxime. Best dressed woman in France.BLOG GOLD

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..

STe. Maxime girlcrush closer

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!

Ste Maxime. More french chic.

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.

St. Trop. A Sunny morning to visit Dany

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 Evie and Bonaparte

Dany with Evie and Bonaparte.  Every year he always professes his love for her–and her sisters–and his other wives..

dany and bonaparte

Dany also amused me with tales of Baby Bonaparte at La Ponche. Bonaparte looks like he wants to crawl away. Such independence!

Dany and bonaparte in hats

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.

edie6

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.

Reanctment of my parade in St. Trop

..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!

Marianne

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.

Louis de funes gendarme de Saint Tropez

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.

St. Tropez. Danny holding court. Actually he's chiling from my parade.

Dany looking serious upon our arrival at the restaurant. I think he had second thoughts about me leading the parade!

St. Tropez. La Ramade. Jean-Pierre taking orders. What a head of hair.

Jean-Pierre of the fabulous hair taking lunch orders from the locals.

St. Tropez. La Ramade table under the trees.

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.

St. Tropez. La Ramade. Hats in the trees.

Well–you can find books on the ceiling in Cabris AND hats in the trees at La Ramade!

St. Tropez. La Ramade. I canot get enough of this resto.

The tables all set for the lunch crowd..

St. Tropez. La Ramade. Menu

What could be better in a garden restaurant than tapenade, bread and a menu brought to the table?

Food. St. Tropez. La Ramade. Rognon with pommes gallette and veg.

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..

Food.  St. Tropez. La Ramade.  Frogs legs.

Bonaparte and Dany each had frog’s legs. Had I been about forty pounds lighter, I would have ordered this WITH my kidneys..

Food. St. Tropez. La Ramade Strawberry and cream dessert.

..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!

St. Tropez. La Ramade. Dany. 95 and puffing on a cigar.

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.

St. tropez. Colorful Dany sketch.

A recent sketch that he did using markers…

St. Tropez. Dany sketch 3

…and another one..

St. Tropez. Danys sketch from earlier this year.

…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!

St. Trop. Danys a happy man.

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.

St. Tropez. Musee Dany Lartigue sign.

The little sign on the door leading to the La Maison des Papillons

St. Trop. Maison des Papillions. Butterflies

Even though I’m not into bugs, these butterflies are incredibly interesting..

St. Tropez. Danys film on butterflies GOLD

Dany explains it all in this little film in the studio..

St. Trop. Maison des Papillions. More butterflies in glass and painting

Another cool thing is that his paintings are used for backdrops for the displays of butterflies..

St. Trop. Maison des papillions. More butterflies and dany

which add more interest..

St. Trop. Maison des Papillions. Butterflies in front of Dany's painting

Isn’t it nice?

St. Trop. Maison des Papillions. Musee Dany Lartigue. Dany's Studio

Up in his studio we have his paintings on display..

St. Tropez. Danys Bar de la Ponche 2 BETTER PIC

This painting “Bar de la Ponche” is my favorite. I love the colors and you can spot Juliette Greco, Daniel Gelin, and Daniele among the crowd!

St. Trop. Maison des Papillions.  Courtyard view. can't get rid of those dates

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.

St. Trop. Bonaparte's ship has come in

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 school water taxi

..old boats like this. Personally, I like the run down boats better!

St. Tropez. I think we're leaving.

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!

 

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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39 Responses to Hey! Don’t Rain On My St. Tro-Parade!–Just Another Day In St. Tropez!

  1. Leaving is always sad, but that is compounded by Dany’s age, and the hope of that tomorrow will come. Love the piece, the photos, Dany?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Maribeth. Dany is amazing. And Bonaparte does wish at times that we lived close to him..but, as you said-jobs keep us here!! Glad you enjoyed the read! XOXOXO!!!

      Like

  2. angelin2014 says:

    I just found your blog and will certainly return, loved your story and the photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jeanne says:

    Catherine: St. Tropez looks lovely but oh boy, the Lady in Green. You are spot on about her entire look – the dress is fabulous, looks like silk satin, with the suede pumps and the clutch and even green polish but there is nothing matchy/matchy about her. Quite the class act…I’m going to take a lesson.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Julia Poulos says:

    Wonderful photos, old and new! The sketch of you is fab!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hahaha! Thanks Julia! The sketch–I only wish I could have captured that march in a photo. Aren’t the photos of Dany and Bonaparte great though? I can’t say enough about how much I am in love with those old photos! XOXOXOXO!!

      Like

  5. doodletllc says:

    Catherine: St. Tropez is lovely. But Wow..the Lady in Green..You are Spot O…that silk satin dress with suede pumps, clutch, glasses and even nails…in Shimmery Green..with not an Ounce of Matchy/Matchy about her. I have taken notes and hope to learn the lesson. 🙂 Love the sketch of you…a keeper.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Doodlt. The Lady in Green. She was incredible. I’ll tell you I would love to live in St. Tropez just to see what she wears every day. I’ve never seen a woman so stunning!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  6. Jean says:

    The lady in green? Even her nail polish is green! She’s something. In person what would you guess her age to be? And I, too, love your sketch

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Jean–I’m gonna take a guess and say The Lady in Green is in her early 70’s. Damned if we all cannot look like her. You can have your Paris chic but this woman is the real deal. That dress! I swear it must be custom made! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  7. JulietC says:

    Wow the green goddess is gorgeous, she is just fabulous (but I am sure she was looking at you from behind her sunnies thinking – I wish I was as glorious and carefree as that very pretty American), I think she is cool enough to recognise class and glamous in others. Dany sounds hilarious – can we all officially adopt you and Bonaparte? Just loved this post

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Juliet. Next summer I’m going to search high and low for the lady in green and try to give her the pics I took. She’ll probably call the gerndarmerie on me though for stalking. LOL–she probably took one look at me and thought “Eef only I cud ‘elp zuh American dress bettur…”
      Oh. Dany IS hilarious. I’m thinking of doing a post just on his stories alone. He is the unofficial mayor of St. Trop! Yes. You can adopt us! XOXOXO!!!

      Like

  8. Judy says:

    A fabulous lady in green, fabulous lady in red, a fabulous lady in a cute Breton top stopping traffic, all those glorious and so very French pics – so much to enjoy! I have a girl crush on the green lady too- she holds herself so beautifully, love those green heels. And as for Dany’s butterflies and paintings! You manage to pack such a lot in to your posts Catherine, thank you so much xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Judy. And the best thing about our girl crush is that she didn’t even look like she would melt in that heat. She was a cool as a little green cucumber! Amazing!! I’m glad that you enjoyed this post. In all honesty, this was my favorite post to write about our trip! It truly was the best day ever! XOXOXO!!!

      Like

  9. Charlotte Peck says:

    Loved the lady in green but I completely LOVED the part of you marching to the restaurant. Another great exerpt from your life in France. And yes I wish I can enjoy cigars and wine at 97!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Charlotte. Yeah. That march to the restaurant had Bonaparte laughing out loud on the way back to the apartment. He said that I was just marching as though I hadn’t a care in the world and I wasn’t paying attention to Dany and didn’t follow instructions! I need a cigar! XOXOXO!!!

      Like

  10. Sharon Daly says:

    My favorite post ever! Hilarious! You really should write a book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      HI Sharon. I have to be honest. This is my favorite post too! You should have witnessed my parade! In hindsight, it WAS hilarious! I’m thinking of chapters….XOXOXO!!!

      Like

  11. calensariel says:

    You know, I’M going to be a little sad when you’re done with these posts… Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Rognons de Veau I had some not long ago. Some day I will go back to St. Tropez. Nice pictures. Have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Dude! And I must add that I make a fantastic Rognons de Veau with a creamy mustard sauce. I’ve been eating these since I was a child! Glad you are liking the pics! XOXOXO!!!

      Like

  13. Jackie says:

    Sounds like a wonderful visit. Wish Bonaparte had had a video camera with him! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Jackie! I wish Bonaparte had a video camera with him too. He left his phone home! Yes! WHO DOES THAT???? He left his phone in the States and could have filmed me with his phone! Hahahah! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

      • Jackie says:

        Well, we just moved end of June, and were 3 weeks without tv- didn’t miss it too much. I guess we CAN manage without all the gadgets, but… oh the video would have been priceless!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Karen in Bucks County says:

    Once again, you had me laughing out loud to the point of tears about your “parade” – I thought that I was the only one who found herself in situations like that! oh, the things we do for those we love. Thank you for the best giggle of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Karen. I’m so glad that you were laughing about this little parade. To tell you the truth, I thought it was hysterical! Instead of “You want me to WHAT??” I was a great sport. A day from our trip that I’ll never forget! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

  15. Cindy F says:

    I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed reading about your wonderful trip. You have a gift for storytelling that is a joy to read. I only discovered you fairly recently but I really look forward to your posts. You manage to keep everything very real but at the same time amuse. Thanks a bunch.
    Cindy F
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Cindy. Thanks!!! LOL–I do try to keep it real. And that’s what travel should be. Real and honest! And fun!!! Glad you are enjoying–but don’t stop reading after the trip is over! XOXOXO!!!

      Like

  16. Jenny says:

    What an incredibly talented and charismatic family Bonaparte has. I love your stories and they make me want to be French and not just anyone French but someone from St Tropez. I have always thought St Tropez was very false and unreal but your posts make me see things differently. I would have loved to see the marching Catherine, followed by the famous Dany and his son, shouting to “slow down”. You are so natural and extrovert it must have been quite a sight.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Oh. Jenny! Oh!! I am SOOOOOOO happy that I was able to prove to you that St. Tropez is not very false and unreal. It isn’t at all. I get really pissed off and angry when I see all those fake TV reality shows and such showing St. Tropez as a glitz and glittery home of the jet set. Yes. Those types ARE in St. Tropez but they are only there for a short time. The real St. Trop is so different and charming and a laid-back artist’s delight!
      Bonaparte is always saying that it was so much better when it was just a little fishing village and I’m glad that I have his stories and now, photos to prove that.
      I’m jumping up and down for joy that you really have been able to see a more real part of a great place in France! XOXOXOXO!! Thank you!!

      Like

  17. Yvonne Gray says:

    I have just started following your blog and I love it. Why? because you manage to string together such eclectic and fascinating cultural bits and bobs, topped off with a musical item. I loved the Edie Beale video. As I did not recognise the name I looked her up on Wikipedia and remembered when the film The Beales of Grey Gardens was released although I have not seen it. I loved the marching drawing, and am curious who is the artist, either yourself, Bonaparte or Dany? I look forward to reading your blog and learning lots.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Yvonne! I’m really glad that you are enjoying my blog and am equally happy that you are enjoying the music I add as well. You HAVE to watch both The Beales of Grey Gardens and the original Grey Gardens. I have a strange obsession with Edie. (I even wrote a post about her) LOL. I’m the “artist” who drew me marching down the streets of St. Tropez! I hope to continue to make you happy! XOXOXOXO!!!

      Like

      • Yvonne Gray says:

        Oh, your drawing is terrific. You know you could turn the adventure into a children’s book with illustrations. It has great motifs, story line and heroine. Obviously the swinging ass will need to be omitted. I have just moved to Washington from Sydney – been to New York twice and joined the Met, Guggenheim and MoMA. I have more than paid for my memberships in visits. I think I have actually properly subscribed to you now as I did not receive notice of your posts and I just started linking to your post from other blogs I follow about a week or so ago. Cheers Y

        Like

      • Catherine says:

        Thanks Yvonne. Oh wow! Thanks for the great idea. Unfortunately, I’ve sent previous work out to publishers, agents, editors, etc. and they think my writing is crappy because they never even got back in touch with me..LOL! I appreciate your kind comments. Hmmmmmm…did you click the follow by email button? I sure hope you will be a regular part of my circle of friends here! Oh..I can’t begin to tell you how much I loved going to the MET when I lived in NYC. MOMA has had Bonaparte’s grandfather’s photos on exhibit in the past–it was cool seeing them too! BTW–Sydney is such a great city. I loved it there–and the people are so incredibly nice! Best of luck to you! XOXOXOXO!!!

        Like

  18. mareymercy says:

    Ha ha ha, loved the Edie Beale marching story! And Dany’s drawing were really lovely! And yeah, my husband had an uncle who lived well into his nineties and was hitting on the ladies until the day he died. i believe Doug’s statement about him was, ‘once a horndog, always a horndog.’ LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Catherine says:

      Oh god. I love Edie. I swear that was one of my favorite days on the trip. I love Dany. And I wish we lived nearby to him so I could bring him lunch. I’m really missing our trip! XOXOXOXO!

      Like

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