Onto St. Tropez to See Dany and a Quiet Birthday for Bonaparte!

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!

Getting closer!

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

Another view.

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!

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!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to Onto St. Tropez to See Dany and a Quiet Birthday for Bonaparte!

  1. 3C Style says:

    Oh boy, I’m rediscovering “old” French music. Yes, Catherine, I said old. Sorry, but it dates from the 80s. Love it!

  2. hipchick66 says:

    Love the photos and your new sandals. You look fantastic! But my heart was breaking when reading about Dany. I was so hoping he would be improving and in better condition. 🙁

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Lori. My original reply was lost in cyberspace!! Thank you. Oh..there will be more about Dany coming up. Very bittersweet stuff. XOXOXOXOXO

  3. Leslie Haws says:

    Breathtaking photos! Love “the hat” photo! You look great,my dear. So sorry about Dany. Please keep your posts coming. They are so uplifting!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Leslie! So happy that you are enjoying the photos and the hat photo. That’s one of my faves!!! Oh..the posts are coming. I’m working on the next installment now!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  4. Cathe says:

    Oh I would love to go back to Saint Tropez, Cannes and San Raphael! You’re so lucky to go there with someone who speaks the language and knows the area well. Thanks for sharing, I’m sure the visit with your father in law was so bittersweet. BTW, you’ve probably already shared the story, but how did you meet Bonaparte? I tried to go back through your old post, but didn’t find anything. Hope you write more about his father in a future post.

  5. Momcat says:

    So sorry to read about Dany:( but so sweet how he kissed your hands and told you that he loved you….that will be a lovely memory. Isn’t it funny how elderly people are so free with saying “I love you”? My Mom and Dad never end a phone conversation without saying “I love you” to me..they are 91 and 92. Of course I always answer “I love you too”!
    Your photos are so beautiful and you are very pretty in your ON dress and the wig is awesome I love the style and am going to share the photo with my hair stylist…my bio hair should look so good!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Momcat. That memory is pretty special because Dany and Bonaparte had been estranged for quite some time until I stepped into the picture and took care of the two stubborn Frenchmen. Bonaparte said it is the best thing I ever did–and Dany was thrilled two. Oh…that wig is incredible. I only WISH my bio hair would look that good. The style is perfect. Not too short. Not too long. Just right!!! I’m glad you like it!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!

  6. Fiona says:

    Stunning photos Cathe, you have transported me to St. Trop. The red Rondinis are ace, what fabulous service that they can do made to measure. I see you got Frero Delavega and Cabrel in your CD stash, I looked for Boulevard Des Airs in Super U but no joy, will have to try a ‘record’ shop’

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Fiona. Do you have a FNAC near you? I’m sure you can find the group’s CD’s there! Oh..I swear, I cannot wear any other sandals. I’m very brand loyal!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  7. Judy says:

    You look SO great in that dress! What a perfect place to spend time in. I am so sorry to read about Dany, it must have been heartbreaking to see him like that, but what a superbly French gesture he made to you and something lovely to keep in your memory bank. I am loving these posts, thank you!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Judy. Thanks! You know, I originally passed on that dress because I didn’t think the color would look good but with a tan–whether fake or real, the dress looks very nice. I love that dress–and ten bucks!!!! I’ll tell you it was very heartbreaking to see Dany like that. I have a nice memory of that one moment!!! Thanks again Judy–you know I’m always thrilled to hear that you are enjoying the posts!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  8. Laurie says:

    Lovely to see your pictures and notes about your trip. I have also just returned from Paris and the Canicule was brutal there. I am impressed the heat does not bother you and you can wear your hair long. I am wondering what you wear swimming or by the pool on your head. Also a member of the thinning hair club( I have been wearing a topper and I have curly hair so have to curl it daily.) I ended up wearing my hair in a French twist ( which no longer seems to be in fashion as I noticed most women just clipped their hair up with plastic clips)

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Laurie. Oh. I was in Paris two years ago during the Canicule and literally slept with ice cubes on my body. I wrote about it: The Canicule
      Swimming. I just left the wig at home and put my hair up in a big messy bun. It covered the balding! I wish I could do a French twist–I think it’s such a chic do!!! XXOXOXOXO!!! PS. Other than the heat, how was Paris? Crowded? Did you enjoy?

      • Laurie says:

        It was only crowded in a few areas. Many areas it was not. It was exciting to see the Olympic area that was like a weekend popup. As also visiting friends and family so really enjoyed time in Rambouillet and Chartres. Rambouillet celebrates the fête de musique with 24 bands along one street on the Saturday night after the 21. No fireworks but lovely music.

  9. Q.D says:

    Oh i swear that the elderly know, they just know!

    And I love those Rondinis! I think they are my favourite of your pairs. I am starting to poke at a trip somewhere for my 40th next year, and the Rondinis you keep posting has put St Tropez on my list!

    Lastly, Vincent doesn’t work for me, thank you for going back to Bonaparte 😀

    • Q.D says:

      And I had a good chuckle at the priest in his Rondinis on your Instagram

      • Catherine says:

        Hi Q! OMG. I have to tell you, that priest was so good looking, I couldn’t believe he was really a priest. He was tall and very hip. And his manfeet were perfect!!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

    • Catherine says:

      LOL–Q, many of my friends agree that Bonaparte is much better. In fact one of my friends doesn’t even call him Vincent anymore–it’s Bonaparte!!! Oh….if you to St. Tropez you have to stop at Rondini. The sandals are the best souvenir!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  10. Juliet says:

    So much to think about and comment on – first off I am glad you didn’t post a photograph of Dany – just the photograph of Bonaparte and his brother is heartbreaking enough – you can see their hearts in the faces. That said I am so glad you gave us an update, I feel like we know Dany and Bonaparte and have an insight into who they are through your writing which is rather lovely (is that the painting by your dining room table? It is lovely – really joyful). The hat photo will be amazing framed and hung

    Ok, that’s off my chest, I have to admire the sandals – I love that sort of sandal, every bit of them there for a reason, no extra flim-flam, just good well made and honest, gorgeous. I also feel I may have put on some weight just reading about all the glorious food and the hypermarket – if I ever get to the south of France, I will not bother booking accommodation but hide out in there instead, it looks magnificent. And I repeat my suggestion that you should be our tour guide (please 🙂 )

    In the mean time, all it does in Glasgow at the moment is rain so I am getting a little vitamin d and a lot of enjoyment from your posts

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Juliet. Yeah. I mulled over the photo for a while. But–I couldn’t do it. It was just too intimate to post the photo with Dany and his condition was just critical. The painting is actually in the residence but it may be moved over to the Musee that he created–that’s another story. It may be Nationalized. It is one of the major attractions in St. Tropez! That hat photo is really one that I love! Thanks–I’m glad that you like it! Aren’t those sandals great…? And speaking of rain it rained here most of the day and I wore the sandals anyway. It’s incredible–the weather here in the Northeast of the USA is awful most of the time. Glasgow is twinning with us!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  11. mareymercy says:

    Ooooh that Sausage Senorita! What a find! LOL

  12. LA CONTESSA says:

    Love the HAT SHOT and SO SORRY about the FATHER IN LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I feel like I went with YOU!

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Elizabeth–I knew you would like the hat photo!! If you were there, you would have had a blast with Bonapartes family—they are a fun bunch!!💗💗😉💗💗💗

  13. doodletllc says:

    The food looks magnificent…the sandals even better…custom fit…wow.

  14. izabelcat says:

    Such a beautiful place! The deli counter looks amazing and objectively food is so much better in France and Italy than anywhere else. When I think of the olives that make it to our local deli here in Scotland I could just cry.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Nadia!! Oh…don’t get me started on olives. Here in the States if we want “good” olives we have to pay half a paycheck or just settle for the unflavored canned ones. It’s sad. Oh. So. Sad!! XOXOXOXOXOXO!!!!

Leave a Reply