Friday, July 1, 2016
Wow. I can’t believe July is here already. I also cannot believe that this is our last day in France for the summer of 2016. Bonaparte surprised me by telling me we are having dinner in Cannes tonight. I’ll need to take my new Rondini sandals out of my suitcase.
A last morning view of the sea from the terrace. I’m starting to get all misty-eyed now..
Bonaparte also reminded me that I should be as ‘eppy as he is that we will be returning to our little pup, Chippy. Um. I’m not in that place yet so leave me alone. Monsieur B was incredibly upset that I didn’t have the same feelings as he did. I’m a regular Marie Antoinette!
OK. I’ll admit it. Chippy was not on my mind while I was away. But now that I’m home, my little buddyroo is by my side. I love this little guy!
I want to stay here for the rest of the summer. But reality is calling and so is my angst. And so we will spend our last day at the pool. Bonaparte sunbathing. And me under the umbrella.
One of the best things about our little apartment is the washing machine. During our stay here I did a few loads of laundry. Because there is no dryer, the clothes dry on a rack on the terrace and there is nothing like air-dried clothing.
That’s right! I’ll never stop enjoying watching our clothing dry on the terrace either!
The one casualty was two burned fingers after I ironed. What can I say? My laziness makes me productive. When I unpack after we arrive home, all the clothes will be cleaned so I won’t have to spend time doing more and more laundry.
Our flight tomorrow from Nice to Paris is 7:30AM. Ugh. I don’t want to think about it.
I’m going to the pool.
I’ll just drown my sorrows here. It’s much more fun!
You know how good things can randomly happen? Well, instead of my last pool day being one of self-pity because we are leaving, it turned out to be a great fun day.
A few years back I met an American woman at the pool; Brenda. She has children and her husband is French. They live in Boston but also have a home in this community of La Galère. I never saw her again until today! That feeling of knowing just one person in a place far away from home gives you a sense of familiarity. It gives you comfort. That was how I felt when I spotted her.
We reacquainted ourselves, had great conversation and spent a bit of time together talking about everything from food to politics. Luckily we are on the same page!
Honestly, I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful that made my last day. It made me feel that La Galère is truly my second home. Kind of like “Oh yeah, I got friends here.” “I know people!”
The pool’s salted water isn’t as cold as it was when we first arrived. The air’s warmth has been a solar heater of sorts and the water is cold but not freezing. Bonaparte is in swimmer’s delight!
Virginia remains busy selling swimsuits and her tan is now bronze mixed with that envious caramel. She has no idea how lucky she is. She will never need a spray tan! She also tells me that I need to apply more sunscreen. Now I really feel at home knowing that she is watching out for me!
More children are playing in the pool and it’s nice to hear those happy voices laughing and splashing. Not one is up on the diving board shaking with fear!
The lifeguard has begun his summer job and he disciplines the children that are running around the pool. They listen to him while ignoring their parents.
Helicopters and private planes are flying at a short distance over the coast. It’s the wealthy on their way to Nice airport. I will never be one of them and I don’t care. Right now, I feel like a princess.
I’ll miss the happy feeling I have at this very moment of soaking this visual mural into my mind. This is the memory that’ll get me through the winter months.
Back from the pool, I realize now is not the time to wax sentimental. Instead, it is time to get ready to head into Cannes.
Bonaparte told me we would be having dinner at a restaurant overlooking the port at Cannes. Au Mal Assis. He knows of my love for seafood and wanted me to enjoy our last meal.
Somebody forgot to make reservations. It was not me! (I did not take this photo. I got it from TripadvisorUK)
Our plan was to drive into Cannes, walk around the port and then sit down at 7:00 PM for an early dinner since we had to wake up incredibly early to get to the airport.
We parked the car and we walked around the port.
Boats resting in the Port du Cannes..
..another view with the Ferris Bueller Wheel in the background..
I like the smaller boats–they have more character.
And I love the old boats. I want a ride on this one!
My new Rondini Bikini sandals are so happy walking around Cannes!
A nice vista of the port!
And when we arrived to the restaurant, we were not able to be seated. Bonaparte didn’t realize he needed to call for reservations. In Bonaparte’s world, he grew up with people to make reservations for him. In my world, growing up, my family went to restaurants where reservations were never needed!
He could not get a table overlooking the port so we moved on. I took this news with a laissez faire train of thought because I wasn’t hungry yet. Had I been famished, my personality would have taken on a total petty bitch and monstrous one!
Our little walk up quai Saint-Pierre had us stopping in front of the iconic Gaston et Gastounette restaurant.
I snapped this pic after our dinner. See the little table in the center that is empty? That was our table. Best table ever!
Bonaparte had enjoyed many wonderful meals here with his cousin, Xavier Gelin, in years past and always spoke highly about this restaurant. It holds a special place for him because Xavier and Bonaparte were extremely close.
Bonaparte’s cousin Xavier Gelin. They were more like brothers and enjoyed many meals together.
The funny thing is, in the years we’ve been staying here, we’ve never ventured into Cannes for dinner! Our dinners at The Club at La Galère, along with our willingness to laze in hedonistic pleasure enjoying meals on our terrace were enough to stop us from venturing out of our little box!
Tonight would end our little routine.
As we stood outside reading the menu, the maître d’hôtel approached Bonaparte. Both men started speaking in French while I nodded my head up and down quite seriously. You know, so that it appeared like I actually knew what the two men were talking about. I’m as phony as my tan.
The next thing I knew, we were being led to the best table in the house. Table 80. We were seated at a table overlooking the port and being in a position to see and be seen. Screw the Cannes Film Festival—I was enjoying my very own festival!
Table 80. Remember this table if you are in Cannes and go to Gaston et Gastounette!
Bonaparte told me that we were lucky because we arrived a bit early as serious diners would be arriving later on. He also told me that we were dressed appropriately—he in a Lacoste shirt, khaki pants, and loafers; and me, in a Lilly Pulitzer shift, my hair still holding strong in my French “brushing” and my Rondini Bikini sandals.
Personally, I think Daniele’s spirit was just simply watching over us!
View from the table (with zoom lens). Across the port…
Two young ladies strolling along..
..and another sample of French chic right in front of me. I LOVE her metallic basket and her ensemble and her cute little dog!
Our meal was freakin’ fantastic!
We started off with Kirs, naturally. For starters, Bonaparte had the Moules and I had the Crab Wasabi.
Bonaparte’s starter of Moules was excellent…
Crabmeat and Wasabi. And the wasabi wasn’t “in your face”. It was a subtle blend and it was delicious and delightfully presented.
Our main plats—Bonaparte, once again went with his usual Entrecôte of beef (steak) and I decided on the St. Pierre fish with ravioli and a cream sauce. I later found out that St. Pierre is also known as John Dory—a fish I had been dying to try for many years. I can say that it is outstanding!
Entrecôte of beef au poivre. I’m getting hungry just looking at this..
Oh..and the veg that accompanied Bonaparte’s steak was great also. I know this. I ate most of it.
My St. Pierre fish (John Dory) with Ravioli, Asparagus and the best damned sauce I’ve ever tasted!
We drank a bottle of great wine. I have no idea what it was but it was really, really good!
I have no idea what the name of our dessert was because the amount of wine I consumed blocked my memory. I do know it was one of the tastiest desserts I’ve ever had!
Whatever this was, it was incredible….
…and every. single. last. morsel. was consumed.
I also cannot say enough about the great service we received. Our glasses of wine were constantly refilled, we were so well attended to and were treated incredibly well. I LOVE this restaurant!
Wait staff is hard at work both indoors and outdoors
..and the staff is efficient…
..and knowledgeable and attentive.
We had an epiphany after dinner. We would end all our future trips to Theoule with a dinner at Gaston et Gastounette from now on!
We ended our last supper with a drive around Cannes. Sorry for the fuzzy pic but I was a bit fuzzy myself!
The Carlton at night–ain’t nuthin’ like a couple of photos taken after too much wine!
Um..OK. This is a bit better!
Time to get back to the apartment and get a few hours’ worth of sleep. I set the alarm for 3:30 AM but I know sleep will be restless for me.
I felt like Daddy Cool during dinner. To prove it, here’s Boney M with Daddy Cool. This was a huge hit in Europe years ago and reminds me of the Cote d’Azur! Get a load of Boney M’s dance moves!
Whee…what a wonderful trip!
Hi Jeanne. Oh. It was and I’m about to write about our trip home. (My new mantra is “11 more months to go”)! XOXOXOXO!
Oh what a great restaurant that looks like, Daniele definitely made that happen for you and Bonaparte! How nice that you now have a “new” restaurant to celebrate your last day on future trips. I have to say again, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your trip and the way you described every experience with such passion, humor and truth. You have a very relatable way of writing that makes the reader feel like we’re sitting right next to you, no matter where you are. And every photo looks like a postcard, even your Rondini sandals! Thank you and thanks to Bonaparte also, for sharing this wonderful trip with all of us!!!
Hey there Margaret! Right? I know that Daniele was watching over us. That dinner was superb! You know–I’m really glad to read your comment because that’s how I want to reach everybody. I WANT everyone who reads the posts to feel like they are sitting right next to me. Thank you for a great compliment. I appreciate that! XOXOXO!!!
what Margaret said! It is so easy to be there with you 🙂
Hi Maggie! Thank you! XOXOXOXO!!!
Oh I am so sad your (our) trip has ended, it was brilliant from start to finish. This has been such a lovely read and I have enjoyed every minute – thank you Catherine, you are one fabulous blogger
Hi Juliet. Oh man. You really flatter me–and make me feel great!! I’m truly glad that you’ve enjoyed. But wait! I’m working on the departure–at the airports…blah, blah, blah. I’m slowly getting back to my cranky self–lol! XOXOXOXO!!!
I can’t bear that your trip is over but it’s SO good to have you home! What a wonderful place to eat, everything looks sublime.
Hi Judy. I can’t bear the trip being over either–Bonaparte just read the post and is now missing our trip as well. It’s time to move on and I’ve got a lot to write about! XOXOXOXO!!! Stay tuned………………
Oh, Catherine, you’re leaving France – I will so miss these posts! I’ve read the comments above as well and I agree, your travel writing is superb and I also feel it’s all so relatable as though you’re right next to me and I’m listening to you chatting about it. Photos are great as well. Yours is just about the best blog on the planet as far as I’m concerned as, sister, you also relate the difficulties we all have with fashion and our bodies! Anyway back to reality – how’s the job????
Actually I’m looking forward to hearing about your life in the States again. xxxxxxxxxxx
Hot Damn Penny! LOL- I wish that magazine editors would feel the same way that you do. My submissions go unnoticed! But your thoughts make me keep on keepin’ on! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m working on a post about the return..and I’ve got a ton of stuff to write about now that I’m home. I have a surprise about work! XOXOXOXO!!!!
When I came back to France after a 35 years absence I ate at a fine restaurant in Paris and my god I remembered the food taste good here. I am glad that you had the chance to eat some great restaurant. Even the deserts are awesome. I am glad you had a great time.
Thanks Dude! Isn’t it wonderful when you can remember every nuance about a great meal? I’ve had some amazing meals throughout France and this one is in the top three! XOXOXOXO!!!
Welcome back! And thank you for all the lovely posts about France and Cote d’Azur. Not to mention all your little escapades in the surroundings.
One can really feel how much you love being there! I’m sorry if I’m being snoopy, but I have to ask if you ever thought about moving there permanently? From what I can tell you would fit in perfectly 🌹
I wish I could have the same affection for the country I live in for the moment as you have for France! Unfortunately I have mostly encountered the bad sides so far, not even my husband who are born here likes it anymore.
We were thinking of moving to the Uk, but thanks to the Brexit that is out now of the game which I feel a bit sad about, I lived in London many years ago and absolutely loved it.
So now we are thinking about Germany instead, but my hubby is not so fond of the idea learning German so perhaps it would be easier for us to move to an English speaking country as both of us speak somewhat decent English.
Hi Maleandro! Thanks for the welcome! Oh. I would love to live in France–but the move would cost Bonaparte his job and for now–we need to be here. None of us live in a perfect world nor do we live in a perfect place. Look what’s going on here in the States with the presidential campaign. Look at the mass shootings we have here. No place is safe anymore. We just have to continue on but having a good time while doing it! I’m glad to hear from you my dear! XOXOXOXO!!!
Whoooo those food pics are to die for. I’m licking my screen again!
Hahaha! Cynthia. I’m presently on Weight Watchers getting ready to prepare my 6-point dinner. I’m missing that food. A lot! XOXOXO!!