NOTICE: At Vincent’s request, I shall go back to referring to him as “Bonaparte”. He likes it better!
Sunday, June 18th
Bonaparte woke me up this morning at 9AM! I was in such a deep slumber that I had a bit of vertigo upon waking.
My last memory was of getting into bed but I don’t remember anything else. Sleep deprivation from travel works in strange ways. Honestly. It does. I never heard him wake up, shower, dress or leave to get his morning Croissant. I had to stop and catch my bearings because for a second because I didn’t quite realize I was in France!
The sky is cloudless today. And, it’ll be a hot “Fete de Pere”—Father’s Day. Vincent is obsessed with the weather. He fears that either the Mistral will hit us or the skies will suddenly turn cloudy and rain will start pouring down.
He is thinking this because of the “moutons” on the sea. Little whitecaps aptly named because they resemble little mouton (sheep). And whereas yesterday’s sea was as smooth as glassine, today’s is a bit choppy.
We are off to St. Tropez to visit Dany. Bonaparte’s brother Francois is also here from Paris for a few days to check in on their dad as well. Francois will leave knowing Vincent is here.
I took a nice relaxing bath, shaved my legs, applied minimal makeup, my Storm wig, my $10 dress from Old Navy and my Rondini Tropezienne sandals.
Here I am! Finally looking human again. It’s funny because I always take way too many cosmetics with me and never use them. A touch of eye makeup and gloss is all I need. The fake tan has faded into a more acceptable on and I’m ready to go!
We drove to Ste. Maxime and picked up the Bateaux Verts over to St. Trop. Boy did we have a fun ride! The water was so choppy that the small boat was rocking around like crazy. It was like being on an aquatic roller coaster and both of us were loving it!
The water was choppy but we didn’t care! We were comfy inside the boat’s small cabin area!
It may look calm in the Port at St. Tropez, but the water was otherwise!
Oops! Hey big boat. Don’t hit us!!
Time was, finally, on our side and we arrived 45 minutes before meeting Francois at our favorite restaurant, La Ramade. What else is there to do except to hop into Rondini to see if I could make my annual purchase.
Some women shop at Chanel. Rondini is MY choice!
The shop, on this Sunday, was crowded. Across from where I was sitting was a family. Parents making what looked like the first Rondini purchase for their two small daughters. They looked so adorable in their little sundresses and trying on tiny Tropezienne sandals. A group of young women was mulling over which sandals to get while a woman, with her husband and their dog, who was relaxing next to her was trying to decide on a couple of pairs.
I wanted red sandals this year and ended up trying on the Pouce Tressé (which translates into “Thumb Braid”—that’s thumb thing else!) sandal. I loved the look due to the simple strap across the big toe and the simple strap across my foot. But—the fit was off. A smaller size had the straps fitting perfectly but the sole was too short. The larger size had a sole that fit perfectly but the straps were too wide for my narrow foot.
The Rondini Pouce Tressé sandals which became another addition to my collection!
This is Rondini, ladies! And therefore, was no problem. The sandals would be custom made for me at no extra charge. Narrow straps would be put into place on a larger sole. It would take five days for the sandals to be ready. No problem because we would be coming back to see Dany again.
I can’t tell you how much I love this shop. The business is family run and the sales help is remarkably knowledgeable. We left Rondini empty handed but with the promise of another great pair of sandals toward week’s end.
On the way to the restaurant, we stopped at the little square in the center of town and watched a group of men celebrating Fete de Pere by playing Boule. It was hot but the dry air made it very comfortable.
Bonaparte snapped this one of me sitting on a bench at the square. The time on the camera is weird.
I’m ready for my close-up Mr. Demille!
Fountain in the square
On our way to the restaurant
We arrived at the restaurant to meet Francois waiting at our table. It’s great to see him again and even better to see Bonaparte enjoying time with his brother. They spoke about Dany and other subjects and it was fun to see Bonaparte speaking so carefree and natural in his native tongue.
Back at the eternally casual and charming La Ramade!
It was also great to be back at La Ramade. I love this charming little restaurant. The Provençal offerings are one of the most important reasons that make this place my favorite. I settled on my usual, Rognons de Veau (veal kidneys) while B’parte had Frog’s Legs and Francois ordered “Lamb Pieds and Paquets”—and when I was offered a taste I was amazed at how tender the meat was. It was delicious!
Bonaparte in deep thought about what to have for dinner that evening!
La Ramade never changes–and that’s a good thing!
The owner is a very, very hard working guy. And he knows how much I love my kidneys!
I ended up taking one of these great red menus home with me. Bonaparte will frame it and we can hang it up in the kitchen area. This is a true souvenir!
From sitting down on arrival through the endless cups of strong coffee at meal’s end, this little restaurant is consistently great!
This is what the Pieds & Paquets look like–but I got the image from Wiki because I didn’t take a photo of them. They were quite delicious!
When we finished lunch, we headed to the residence (assisted living) where Dany lives. I knew he wasn’t well but wasn’t prepared for the sight. His mouth was opened as if struggling either for air or to speak. His eyes were alert and alive. His legs distorted and discolored. The machines pumped in a rhythm that seemed to be pushing him to get well—almost like the huffing of The Little Engine That Could.
Bonaparte and Francois at Dany’s bedside. I cut Dany out of this photo because I couldn’t bring myself to show you how ill he looks.
On this Fete de Pere, it made me miss my own dad terribly.
He had moments of lucidity and was talkative despite the struggle to get the words out. At one point, he motioned for me to go over to him. He grabbed both my hands—and I could feel the remaining strength he had. He put my hands up to his lips, kissed them and he told me he loved me.
To give the nurse a break, I fed him his custard and gelatin. He didn’t take much but at lease it was something.
This look at life in St. Tropez was painted by Dany some years ago. It is a magnificent painting and one of my favorites.
We left him at 4:30 with the promise of coming back to see him during the week.
This stack of Dany’s beloved hats was in his room. I HAD to snap a pic. I am going to print and frame this photo because–to tell you the truth, I think its a good one!
Our walk back to the boat was slow and somewhat quiet. We passed another group of older men playing Boule and figured that many of them probably knew Dany from back when St. Tropez was a fishing village.
On the way back to the apartment we stopped at a boulangerie in Saint-Raphael who is opened on Sundays. We picked up bread, and for Bonaparte to celebrate Fete de Pere, a Tarte Tropezienne.
OK. So if you are ever in the area in and around St. Raphael, this is one boulangerie that is opened on Sunday into the evening.
We went back with not one loaf but two loaves. Where are the fishes?
Peanut M & M’s with different personality descriptions printed across the bag. A Blagueur is a joker.
Dinner was light—our lunch was filling. Salad and Kir Royals.
I could not get enough of these ridiculously flavorful tomatoes. I had at least one a day! And the mayo–don’t get me started. The store-brand mayos are out of this world. All other mayo can go to Hellmans!
We did have olives and saucisson too!
After a busy day, we retired early to another deep sleep-enabled with the help of clean sea air!!
Monday, June 19th
Despite Bonaparte’s warning last night that it could rain this morning (he is paranoid) we woke up to another day of bright sunny and cloudless skies.
Another sunny and bright day greets us!
Mother Nature’s birthday gift to Bonaparte!
It is his birthday today and all he wants to do is relax! That’s fine with me. We have plenty of time here and with the craziness of our travel woes to get here and seeing his dad yesterday, I would say Vincent deserves to spend this day anyway he wants to spend it!
It is off to the pool!
Another year and the pool is looking mighty cool!
View from the little bistro area
The pool never changes. Most of the staff is back and the pool girl from a few years ago has returned for a while. She gives us a very warm welcome and remembers us. She will be back in July though and won’t be here for a few weeks.
A view of the port from the pool
I have no idea where Bonaparte wandered off to take this pic but it’s a nice one!
The same regular group of swimmers is here.
The skinny lady with the tanned leatheresque hide is still walking the perimeter of the pool. Skinny as ever. Looking straight ahead. Still puffing on the cigs.
It is extremely hot but comfortable. Word on the street—or rather word from the news on French TV is that the Canicule has arrived. And I couldn’t be happier!
Sitting under the parasol, with plenty of sunscreen slathered over me, pen in hand, I’m thrilled to be doing what I love.
Bonaparte oversees the day and decided that we should drive into Cannes to see what’s happening! We walked over to FNAC and I picked up some CD’s to add to my collection.
The bay on the way to Cannes
Bonaparte was obsessed with the boat to the far right. Up close, it really was very impressive
Here’s a better view. I wish we knew some of the owners of these dinghies-I could have had a birthday party for Bonaparte!
Window display in Cannes
Cannes you believe it? What a naughty sign. I love it!!
A fresco homage to the actor Gerard Philipe. He was Daniele’s first boyfriend!
This year’s CD purchases proved to be among the best. All of these are winners!
We walked some more and stopped for a refreshing Citron Presse—with the return of the Canicule, this delightful lemony beverage hit the spot.
From the table on a lazy and very hot Monday afternoon in Cannes…
…perfect for enjoying a refreshing Citron Presse!
A stop at our hypermarche for a birthday dessert came in the form of a Tarte Tropezienne. Back “home” to enjoy, yet another dinner on the terrace and a birthday celebration.
Another trip to the local hangout!
Quite possibly the greatest supermarket display of all time. A Senorita, in France, standing atop sausages. Is there a hidden message here?
Where else can you go to be stumped by an overwhelming amount of honey?
Have patience with me dear friends because I’m literally obsessed with French hypermarches.
You have no idea how hungry I am getting right now..
Why can’t Wegmans sell olives like this?
This is just a portion of the deli area
Here’s the good stuff
What does Bonaparte want for his Birthday dessert?
He wants a small Tarte Tropezienne!
Back home to start dinner
And as the sun makes the way to set
We pinch ourselves because this is paradise!
Tomorrow we wake early and head to L’Estagnol!
© 2017 Atypical60.com
Here’s a tune from the Alain Souchon & Laurent Voulzy CD. OMG. I’m enjoying this so much! La Baie Des Fourmis. I can’t stop listening to this song!