I’m Back From Summer France 2017. Let’s Start At The Beginning. Shall We?

Hi Everybody!!!  And greetings from….HOME!!!  I’m back in my “office” of the dining room table.

Back in my “office”.  Luckily Bonaparte is busy with his work because when he sees this mess he’ll be back speaking in French.  And not telling me how much he loves me either!

The skies are sunny for now and I’m listening to one of the CD’s I picked up on the trip. Daniel Balavoine. One of my favorite French singers (I’ll be writing about the goodies I bought in a separate post!).

Balavoine. R.I.P. He was great–and I have lots of new music!!! I’ll be writing about it!

We arrived back in PA at about 9:30 last night. No traffic on the NJ Turnpike, the Belt Parkway was, with the exception, near JFK airport, empty, which is rare.  Most of the unpacking was completed upon our return but our bodies conked out after a short while and we ended up with a solid night’s sleep.  I think my favorite part of returning from any trip is sleeping in your own bed.

I look like an unmade bed today. It’s because I just wanted to finish unpacking, upload a ton of photos and start writing. No makeup–actually makeup left over from yesterday morning before we left for home.  Look at my roots–what a disgrace. I’ll look better tomorrow!

But-I don’t want to tell too much about our return home because I’m just gonna start this post off at the beginning of the trip. OK?

I will say that the vacation had a major twist.  We didn’t get to see everything we had planned on due to a Lartigue family event.   I also had the news of one of my son’s moving at month’s end to L.A.

And, as usual the trip proved to be great and bittersweet at the same time.

Aww—let me just copy my Journal entries. OK?  Hope you enjoy. I’ll tell you, I’m thrilled to be back at this laptop that I curse because I’m just so happy to be writing.  Here goes it:

June 16, 2017

Another June. Another trip to France.

Earlier this month, Vincent’s (I’m writing Bonaparte’s given name, Vincent, in these posts-sorry for the confusion, but that’s how I journaled) dad, Dany, suffered a broken hip from a fall.  He had surgery and, at 96 years, his recovery has been slow and not going to well.  He’s out of the hospital and back into his residence—and even though he is ailing, we’ll be able to visit him in St. Tropez!

Someone doesn’t want us to go. Out of hiding Chippy. You’ll be on vacation from us!

Chippy is with the vet.  Bags are packed in the car and we are off to JFK.

On our way to J.F.K.!

My sister will be picking our car up at JFK tomorrow and bringing it back to her home for the time we’re away.  Timing proves to be everything as she and her family return from their vacation in the Caribbean tomorrow to the same airport and same terminal. Rather than an Uber, they’ll pick our car up!

This is how my sister and I communicate.  Instead of calling her and explaining where the car was, I sent photos and text messages. Not a bad idea–huh? We left the keys in the car and the door unlocked.  It’s safe. Read about the security at JFK in the post and have a laugh at the irony!

Yeah. We hit no traffic as we drove to the airport. We drove early because traffic is just so unpredictable—especially on the Belt Parkway!

JFK is crazy crowded.  Compared to our trip to Paris last November when the airport was virtually empty, it is now a zoo of New Yorkers and Tri-State residents (like you-know-who), who are stepping hurriedly and lively while the tourists from other walks of the USA and world-wide are inching by at a snail’s pace looking totally confused and like deer in the headlights.

The lines to get to the TSA are ridiculously long and a woman standing behind Vincent and me strikes up a conversation.  She has an accent and I find out she is going back to Austria to visit her family, who she hasn’t seen in 5 years.  We talk and find out that we both live in the Philadelphia area.  She, like us, refuse to take flights to Europe from Philly.  The price airlines charge from Philly is sinful.  The price to fly out of JFK is half of what it costs from where we live.  And trust me, the way the airlines treat people these days, we should be getting discounts!

My travel ensemble.  I’m very surprised the jeans still fit–albiet a little tighter around the ass, thighs and belly.  The diet starts tomorrow! BTW, I was ready to take most of these items off for the folks at the TSA but everything stayed on.

There is no security here at JFK.  I’m not kidding.  I always jump at the opportunity to disrobe for the TSA no matter what airport I’m in. Perhaps I was a stripper or burlesque queen in a past life! Just as I was ready to take my sneakers off, I heard a loud voice yelling. “KEEP THE SNEAKERS ON!!!”.

So, then I decided to take my scarf, actually, my lady bib off and heard the same voice—but this time with even more of a demanding loudness “KEEP EVERYTHING ON.  ON!!!!!!”

The watch, bracelet, earrings and wig all stayed put. Cell phone in purse as I walked through the arbor of security.  Nothing beeped.

I must admit, I was now feeling both pissed off and mighty confused and concerned.  I had shit in my bag that should have been confiscated. Hair stuff that I forgot to pack in my suitcase that was checked in and randomly stuffed into my purse. OK?

There were no trays for change or little items.  I later spotted the trays in a huge bile. A Tower of Babel of security trays if you will at the exit of the security lines.

WTF?  I was no convinced that our plane would be lost somewhere over the Atlantic and the sharks would feed well off the grilled human remains that would drop into ocean like manna from heaven!

Everyone looked suspicious to me. I caught a glance of myself in a mirror and even I looked suspicious!

Something else needs to be clarified here.  I’ve been reading and watching on the news about so many Americans being afraid to travel overseas and remaining in the States for “staycations”.  Really? If that’s the case then why is it that this International terminal, with surrounding gates having flights to Italy, Paris and other parts of Europe are jammed packed with mostly Americans? Americans who are traveling out of the country?  It’s a great sight to see because it proves that we aren’t afraid to travel!  Yay US!!!

At 5:15 PM, the skies are still bright and sunny and surprisingly, contrary to the rain always delaying any flight I am on, there is no change of precipitation.  So why then are we not getting ready to board our plane—which isn’t even at the gate yet?

There is a lull in the terminal.  Two other flights to Paris have left.  The flight to Italy is gone. And a flight to China has just taken off.

Our flight has been delayed.  There is no explanation for this.  We should have been airborne at 6:40 PM.  It’s now after seven thirty.  I’m getting a bit cranky.  Perhaps we will be boarding the plane some time before Air France decides to go on another strike.

A family of four adults is standing about five feet in front of us.  They are bitching and complaining that their water bottles are leaking.  From the looks of it, these are water bottles they took from home. I can tell.  And I’m shaking my head that the lack of security here should have taken those bottles away.  What if the bottles are holding liquid bomb stuff?

Vincent is giving me “that look” because he knows what I’m thinking. He also knows that I’m hungry and cranky.  I just wanna get on the damned plane that still has not arrived.

It’s 8:30 PM.  I’m thinking how many birds would it take if they formed a flying carpet of sorts and flew me to France. I could explain to the little flying rodents that they would be able to scavenge better crumbs in the land of snails and frog’s legs.

The only people in the terminal are the more than 500 who will be on our flight. Seating is limited. There is no place to charge my phone.  I am realizing that when the plane does arrive, it’ll take forever to embark due to the number of travelers.

I HAD to take this photo because of the man bun. I’m telling you this much. France is the man bun capital of the world.  I regret not taking photos of all the man buns I saw.  

You know what?  I like my flights empty and my wine glass full.  Just sayin’.

Our plane finally arrived.  Our two-hour delay has turned into a four-hour one.

Finally. Our plane arrived.  The only people not cranky were the guys loading the luggage. They were thrilled thinking about the OT they would be receiving on payday!

The flight, thankfully, was uneventful.  The only thing on my mind at this point was if we would be further delayed and miss our flight from Paris to Nice.

Saturday, June 17th

Well—we arrived in Paris only to spend an hour on the tarmac while our terminal location was changed.

My guess is that we’ll miss our connection flight. The one Vincent assured me we would never miss because we had plenty of time in between flights.

People are freaking out because they’ve missed connecting flights to other parts and there is no explanation nor offers of assistance for them.  I’m a bit put off by this because the flight attendants on Air France are some of the most congenial, most pleasant and efficient attendants I’ve ever had the pleasure of assisting me.  I’m guessing they haven’t received any information from the powers-that-be.

It is now almost noon.  Paris time.  Our flight to Nice is 2:30 PM.

But—we still must go through customs.  Get our baggage. Recheck our baggage and get back through security.  I am convinced we will miss our flight.

As we approach the customs line it dawns on both of us that we will be spending at least an hour-and-a half on this never-ending snake of humanity.  There are two—two—border police in booths.  Vincent, being adept at the “French Line Cut” grabbed me and motioned for me to follow him.  We scurried over to the European customs line—the one for those with European passports.  Then when we were at a good close distance, he whispered to me to “look surprised that I got on the wrong line”. I did. And was able to cut ahead without people being angry at me.

The wait was cut down to an hour.  We had an hour-and a half until our flight to Nice.

Luckily,because of the time spent at Customs our luggage arrived at baggage claim before we did.

We lugged our stuff onto the tram to bring us to the terminal where the flights to Nice arrive and depart.

I do believe that St. Christopher was watching over us at this point—either that or he took pity on Vincent, who had to deal with my mini-meltdown in the middle of CDG airport.

You’re still my travel saint, Christopher.  Doesn’t matter to me about the Church taking your status away. You’re a saint to me!

Surprisingly, check in was a chinch and the lines at Security were non-existent.  Then I realized it was lunch time in France!

At 1:30 PM, we were at the gate with an hour to spend before our flight.  I found a seat to charge my phone, there was plenty of room to sit and relax, and we received news that the flight to Nice would be delayed!  But only by a half hour.

Time to relax a bit before leaving for Nice!

Our seats were great. Plenty of room because we were by the emergency exit.  Just my luck a man with gross feet had to end up sitting next to me.  I spent the one-hour flight making sure his filthy manfeet didn’t come anywhere near me!

You know me. You know that I have a thing about feet. Especially manfeet.  Look at his big toenail.  I spent the entire flight focusing on this guy’s feet!

As we did make the descent,  Bonaparte was kind enough to snap some photos for me!

And while I was focusing on manfeet, Bonaparte was concerned about “all the clouds in the sky”. Yeah. He thought THIS was too cloudy!

OK. Ready to get the Alps-Maritime out of sight…

…and the first sight of the Cote d’Azur!

..and a second view!

Landed and baggage collected it was time to get the car.  And as we were in the car, air conditioning on, my favorite radio station Nostalgie on full blast, we were ready to exit the airport and begin our vacation 2017!

But—just as we were making our exit, Vincent needed to check something.  He wanted to make sure the car was diesel rather than petrol.  Diesel is far less expensive.  Guess what?  Back to the Hertz car rental to change the car!

This time the exit from the airport is for reals!

Baggage out. Baggage in.  Again, we were ready to make our exit from the airport!

On Route A-8, we finally had a good laugh about our misadventure to finally make it to France. Stress magically disappeared as we arrived at the apartment.

It’s funny how trivial things make a lasting impression and can give you a sense of “home”.  I always know that I’m close to our place in Theoule when I see the “Pepinieres Jacky Rubino” sign.  It’s crazy but I almost feel as though I know Jacky Rubino.

I didn’t take a photo of the sign in Theoule, but Jacky Rubino’s name is always such a welcoming sight to me. It reminds me we are really on vacation!

To some familiarity may breed contempt but to me it breeds a feeling of belonging and comfort!

The apartment looked the same with one change.  Where a huge palm tree grew on a neighboring terrace, blocking the view of the sea, the view was now in full swing.  The tree was cut down making the vista more spectacular and larger than ever.

Turning the key to enter into our familiar place always brings a smile…

…the view from the terrace never fails to bring a smile to our faces…

..and the view got better with the cutting of the overgrown palm tree…

Someone was freaking out because of the cloudy sky. Are you kidding me?

The plants on the terrace have been well-maintained..

and add a pretty touch.

With no time to waste, we dropped the luggage off and headed to our happy place, Geant Hypermarche!

OK. Back out of the apartment and on the way to do some grocery shopping!

It didn’t matter that the market was jammed packed with shoppers.  We were drooling over the produce and French groceries.  And our dinner consisted of a roti chicken. Smaller than the ones sold here but packed with flavor.  Cheese. Olives.  Other staples we would need for our stay added up to $128 euros—which is a great price for quite a lot of stuff!

I swear to you, if we lived here, every single staff member of Geant would know me by name as would I theirs!  I am obsessed with this hypermarche!

…and this isn’t even the GOOD cheese the marche sells!!!

This is the deli section folks. The DELI section. Look at the sausage and pates and good stuff.  It’s no wonder I gained weight!

Our first dinner was spent overlooking the sea. It was as smooth as glass and was just the medication I needed to bring calm and comfort to me and to destress.

The view during dinner. Luckily the clouds disappeared!

It was even more comforting to go to sleep with the doors to the terrace opened and listening to the concert given by the cicadas, frogs, owls and doves.  They were welcoming us back!

To be continued….

© 2017 Atypical60.com

Here’s one of my favorite Daniel Balavoine songs for you to listen to:  “L’Aziza”

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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49 Responses to I’m Back From Summer France 2017. Let’s Start At The Beginning. Shall We?

  1. Judy says:

    Oh welcome home, Catherine, welcome home!! You have been very much missed!
    What a nightmare to find that security at JFK wasn’t all it ought to be. It just doesn’t seem possible that it’s not tighter than ever. And those delays…..nothing worse, but at least you got there, despite those man feet! Honestly, it’s great to have you back. I am sitting at my kitchen table looking into the garden on a lovely sunny evening, it’s gloriously full of hydrangeas and roses, and I am drinking a glass of rose I can ALMOST think I was in the South of France. So looking forward to reading the rest of your trip. I hope Danni is well.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Judy. Oh boy, have I got a Rose story for you. I got completely wasted on rose because I am not much of a drinker. After two glasses I’m out. I drank a lot more. I also have some news on Dany. But–in due time. I’m just happy to be back and writing. I am having an issue on FB with trying to post blog entries. Ugh. I’m sure I’m blocked because of some political comment I may have made!!! Thanks–it’s great to be back writing!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  2. hipchick66 says:

    Welcome Home! I was having an anxiety attack just reading about your airport experience! Much looking forward to reading the rest of the story! Xoxo

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lori! Thanks. Can you believe it??? I’m still scratching my head over the lack of security at JFK. It’s one of the largest and busiest airports and the TSA is basically–get through and leave us alone!! I’m working on my next post!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  3. Donna in Charleston says:

    Adding my “welcome home” as well! I can’t wait to read all about your trip…I’m wishing we had a trip to France in our near future, but our next trip is a year or so out. I’ve missed your regular, FUNNY and thought-provoking posts! XO!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Donna! Thank you! I do have some very funny moments to write about. One in particular where I take a pit-stop in nature!!! I’m working on more posts now!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  4. eveange33 says:

    Ah you’re back home! I do hope you enjoyed your trip and journey and had plenty of good times. Sorry for the delay, it happens. Last winter my flight to Brazil from Spain was delayed 11 hours (yes) and it was hell, alone and with no wifi available (we had to pay, I don’t like spanish airports…). Wasn’t it too hot while you were in Nice as the first heat wawe (thanks to Global Warming and our fault and selfishness) was in full bloom. Daniel Balavoine was a great singer, a man of conviction typical of the 80’s. Did you try to listen to his participation in Starmania? Ask your partner about it. In a way, I am glad that you say that security at JFK is not that harsh as it was one of the reason why i totally refused to set foot in America. Maybe one day I’ll try to fly then when things will be settled and we won’t be at risk anymore to be maintained in limbo while some people check on my identity.
    Welcome home.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Eve. OMG. We had a great time. And just as I’m writing another post, I just wrote about the arrival of the Canicule–and I was thrilled!!!! The weather was hot but so dry that it never got uncomfortable. I am familiar with Starmania and have seen him perform in it–he was ridiculously talented and died too soon.
      Yeah. Both of us were shocked at the lack of security at JFK. I don’t think the NY powers that be will stand for anyone being held in limbo to check the identity. It was far more strict at CGD. Police officers at the airport were pulling random people aside to check everything. Bags and such–and I noticed that most of the people being pulled aside were very scruffy looking. It was surprising.
      Bonaparte mentioned that on the way home, the majority of our flight was Americans. He was a bit sad that not as many French were on the flight. Then I reminded him that many foreigners don’t want to come to America because of the idiot in the white house.
      Please rethink coming here. America is a beautiful country–we have great cities and in those cities are wonderful people. Even though that imbecile was elected and the vile congress is a disgusting group who don’t care about the American people, you must remember this. Our voting system is an archaic one –the electoral college needs to be eliminated. Clinton won the popular vote. The Russians hacked America because Trump colluded with them. Our country is suffering now but her people, for the most part are welcoming. Sorry to ramble but I love my country so very much and will do everything to get her back to where she belongs.
      Whew–I’m glad to be “talking” to you again!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

      • eveange33 says:

        Thank you so much for your message and answer Catherine. Thank you also for your passion and I am glad that you are so proud of your country: you have many reasons to be after all as, honestly, the USA is a great country, perfectly imperfect like others can be as well. To be honest, like a lot of people, I would like to go to the USA, a kind of schizophrenia, a love-hate affair with this place that ensnare so many of us. But, for my part, no american dream which no longer exist. A real and genuine desire to know more and to meet people and admire landscapes before it is too late. But to make things worse, I do not drive a car, can’t and I know that in the USA you can’t be without a car. Well I am a biker, I mean a motorbiker and also have a love-hate affair with cars and drivers. But I wish one day (not too far away) I will come to visit a little part of the USA (because I would need months or years to see/go everything. As for security at the airport, well I do not have a lot of experience so now I need to see by myself, don’t I?
        I hope going back to work wasn’t too difficult for you?

  5. JulietC says:

    So glad you had a wonderful time – but so glad (selfishly) that you are now safely home and blogging young lady, really missed you and those photos are gorgeous. Seriously – you NEED to be a tour guide for all your blog readers, you can take us around both sides of the Atlantic!!! Chippys little face would melt stone

    • Catherine says:

      Hahaha! Juliet. I would LOVE to be a tour guide!!! OMG. Bonaparte is thrilled to be getting our Chippy back tomorrow!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO!!!!!

  6. Carolyn says:

    Welcome home! Look forward to the rest of your story.

  7. Nancy says:

    Welcome home…missed your fun posts. Cannot wait to read about your adventures on this trip as well as the purchases.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Nancy!!! And we went to Aix too!! My purchases were nothing outlandish. We had a wonderful time with a bit of a switch up which you will find out about later on!!! XOXOXOxOxO!!!!

  8. Jenny says:

    Welcome back Catherine. You have been missed. I really enjoyed your first post, so informative and funny, and we are only on Day 1!
    I could almost see your body relax and hear you exhale as you sat on your balcony for your first night in your beautiful apartment. What a shame you had such a hassle to get there. Looking forward to Day 2. xx

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Jenny!!! I’m glad that you have enjoyed the first post. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get the second one done before going to bed this evening!!!!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  9. 3C Style says:

    Bon retour chez toi Catherine! Nice to have you back.

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Welcome home! Clearly we’ve all missed you! As someone who tends to stay close to home during the summer months, I appreciate each detail of your trip. It’s as if I’ve gone along with you, and I can’t wait to hear about what happened to “us” next.

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Elizabeth. “We” are going on an adventure for sure!!! A lot has been going on with “us” n the trip!!!! Stay tuned!!!!! XOXOXOXOXOxO!!!!!

  11. Momcat says:

    Welcome back! So missed your columns and hilarious stories. You tell it like it is, no phoney baloney:) That terrace is to die for, and the hypermarché…I have to get over there soon!

    • Catherine says:

      Momcat. We just finished dinner on our deck. And both of us were laughing because the view from here is just so much different than the one overlooking the Mediterranean Sea!!! XOXXOXOXOXOXOXO!!!!!

  12. Renee in Northern California says:

    Welcome home and Happy 4th of July!! I’m looking forward to another post….and another!! love the photos!!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Renee! I have a ton of stuff that I took notes on and will be writing about the entire trip!! LOL!! I want to return already!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  13. KEWLM0M says:

    Welcome back home Cathe! Missed your posts so much, had to make do with Insta! Can’t wait to read your journal entries from each day of your trip – it’s like a vacation for me too!

    • Catherine says:

      Hiya Kewl!! How pathetic am I that I couldn’t wait to get to the pool in the morning so that I could post on IG?? It was my wi-fi time!! I’m glad you are enjoying!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  14. Cathe says:

    I’ve been to that grocery store, in fact it was the first one I had ever been to in France! Long story, when I drove by it the first time I thought it was a casino or gambling establishment. I was desperate to find a grocery store and stopped there only because I saw grocery carts in the parking lot. I figured a store must be nearby and sure enough I was right. It was a comical experience from the get go! Who knew you had to pay a euro for a cart and weigh and mark your produce. Even though we didn’t speak the same language all the staff there were so helpful. Though I’m sure it must have been pretty comical watching 2 American women figure it out 🙂 Eventually we did figure it out and became frequent customers during our stay in Theoule. Yummy chicken. Glad you’re home and look forward to hearing more. Sorry for your loss.

    • Catherine says:

      Cathe. You had me belly laughing at your Geant Casino experience! You know what? One of the first things we do upon arrival in France is to place ONE EURO in the front tray of the car. That is our grocery cart euro!! I’m pleased as Planter’s Punch that you’ve been to that same market. Isn’t it the greatest? I could spend hours in that place–I’m sure I have!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!

  15. Q.D says:

    I always carry a water bottle from home, that I fill AFTER going through security before boarding. There are a couple of airports I fly through somewhat frequently (Hong Kong, Bangkok, sometimes Singapore) that have a nasty habit of searching everyone’s bags as you embark the plane and taking liquids, including the ones you have just filled/bought after going through security. And when i say embark, I mean it, after you have had your ticket checked at the gate and before you actually walk through the aeroplane door, they have search counters set up, Arrarahahgghhhh!

    And don’t get me started about Brisbane and their habit of confiscating your duty free when you transit because it is over the 100ml limit, I just bought that perfume, and it is sealed in the duty free bag, I am transiting!!!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Q.D! Wow. The Asian airports are pretty strict–huh? Forget Brisbane! The TSA in Boston confiscated a CLOSED DUTY FREE bag of creme de cassis a few years back. The return home was a nightmare. We flew Aer Lingus. The plane was delayed and we missed our connection and had to be rerouted on a flight to Boston then back to NYC. I was so freakin’ pissed at the TSA guy that I demanded to have the bottles because I told him I would rather drink the stuff then let him have it. It ended up with Bonaparte literally dragging a screaming me-me. He was sure I would get arrested!
      Airports. Just another word for stress!!!! XOXOXOXOXOXO!!!

  16. Q.D says:

    Oh, and my favourite Charles de Gaulle airport experience, after having the full grope “pat down” (there was no patting, and I didn’t realise that fingers could go to some of those places through clothing”), they TOTALLY missed the full bottle of water that was in my jacket pocket! One LITRE of water! Poking out my jacket pocket, went through the XRay machine and everything!

  17. fiona says:

    I missed your humour Catherine…so good to have you back. Those man buns are ridiculous and only you would take a photo of a fellow passenger’s minging feet! I was over in Vendée while you were down south and we had great weather too. x

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Fiona! I’m so happy that you had great weather too. LOL. I had to photograph those feet. I’m a very serious journalist you know–Hahahahah!!! The man buns. I’m telling you France is ManBun capital!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  18. Susan D says:

    So glad to have you back. Blog reading has been so dull!! I’m very impressed that you are so organised to be blogging so quickly.
    Dreadful delay for you, but so know that feeling when you arrive – like coming home. We go back in September, but since last year our hotel has been sold and renovated – will we still like it? Will we still have that feeling of arriving home?
    Looking forward to the rest of your adventures.
    Susan D

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Susan!! I unpack right away and hit the writing “write” away!!!! Ugh. The delays seem to be more and more frequent these days. It’s annoying–especially when so much money is spent on airline tickets!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!!

  19. Angela says:

    I am trying to convince Mr that we should take a trip to Nice next month!! can’t wait to read the rest of your trip xo

  20. Yvonne Gray says:

    Welcome back and you are so disciplined to blog on Independence Day. I have been in the US just over a year and following you now for around a year because you had just come back from Nice when I found your posts. So happy anniversary. The view from your apartment in Nice is magnifique and cheers to the demise of the palm tree.

    • Catherine says:

      Happy Anniversary Yvonne! That’s so touching that it’s been a year. I love that so much. Thank you for sticking with me! Yeah–the blog is about the only thing I’m disciplined with-LOL!! But the fact is, I love writing this baby!!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!

  21. Welcome back!
    The lack of airport security sounds… wrong. And scary! Everyone was lucky that day. Just to think that a potential evil-doer… I don’t want to think about it!

    Glad to hear you enjoys Daniel Balavoine’s music too. This man was so talented. And he had a heart of gold. You need to hear him sing SOS d’un terrien en detresse. This song… It’s beautiful. But it might haunt you. You need to youtube it! There are also at least two good quality live versions.
    You also need to youtube Starmania (the 1978 studio and 1979 live + 20 or so additional songs). I have both versions on CD – yes, CD!
    Starmania is a rock opera (une opéra rock!) and Daniel used to be in it. He was Johnny Rockfort! The songs of Starmania are wonderful, and I know you’ll love them all. I still know all the lyrics! 😀

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Strawberry! Oh–I’m still flummoxed about the lack of security at JFK. It is absolutely uncalled for! I’ll have to check out the Sos D’um terrien en detresse. One of the most beautiful songs of all time (in my opinion) is La vie ne m’apprend rien and it’s been covered by so many people. My favorite version is Liane Foley’s–it’s beautiful squared! I’ve seen bits and pieces of Starmania and I’ll have to watch it’s entire on Youtube. Thanks for the heads up. He’s one of my faves!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  22. mareymercy says:

    I love reading about your travels! Off to read part 2…

  23. mareymercy says:

    Oh and I love your travel outfit! You look so cute!

  24. doodletllc says:

    Travel is not for the faint of heart…always an adventure with great stories to tell…but crazy going through it all. Love the market. Love the apartment view. So glad to be traveling along.

  25. LA CONTESSA says:

    I KNOW YOUR BACK AND I KNOW I AM WAY BEHIND BUT I SAVE YOUR BLOG AS I DONOT HAVE THE TIME TO READ THEM SLOWLY…………….it is now 2 in the afternoon I just got dressed and need to go to THE GRANDMARCHE…………but I want to sit here and play CATCH UP!

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