Oy. I can’t believe it’s Thursday already. I also cannot believe that with all the sunscreen slathered upon my body, and sitting under the parasol, I still managed to get a burn. *OUCH*!!!
We will head back to St. Trop to visit B’s dad, Dany. His progress isn’t happening. When we last saw him, it seemed that he was on the road to improvement but from what we’ve heard, the progress isn’t there.
The sun is shining down during this wonderful Canicule but the sky is lined with big fluffy clouds. Clouds that look as though Honoré Fragonard painted them himself.
I was admiring the laundry hanging outside. Washing clothes is a pleasure. I don’t know what it is but our clothing gets much cleaner and brighter here—there is something in the detergent that really really gets all the dirt and grime out. Listen to me!! Can you believe it??? Here I am, in France, on vacation and I’m getting excited over laundry!!!
I know. I know. Some of you may think I’m strange due to the fact this is vacation time. But laundry–especially doing laundry and letting it air dry is such a complete pleasure for me..
This sight of this fills me with joy and happiness! Especially since I abhor fabric softener and love my cloths crispy! Paradise!
Coffee on the terrace, the scent of Jasmine fills the air and we discuss our plans for today.
We’ll head to the pool in the morning and to see Dany in the afternoon.
Bonaparte deep thinking the jump into the deep, cool pool. My feet are firmly placed underneath the parasol!
The water in the pool is cool—not freezing. The heat of the sun works like a solar panel to raise the water’s temperature. The parasol gives me shade enough to finish book number two and I head into the cool of the pool.
Book number two placed into my tote and away we go!
Back to the apartment to change and we are off to see Dany.
Today’s look–white shorts, a checkered, off-the-shoulder shirt (no bra either. its such a pleasure), a new bobbed wig–Millie by Bobbi Boss. I dig this bob. And we are ready to head off to St. Trop. I did not venture out barefoot!
The drive along the Bord du Mer and 559 is a relaxing and picturesque one. The summer residents, their privileged six weeks of vacation, haven’t arrived yet and the homes are boarded up. Gardeners tend to the lush flora and crews are out prepping the villas and homes for the return of the inhabitants.
An aquaduct along the route..
..of the Bord du Mer..
Each village brings a new little out-of-the-way beach!
..and the sights offer more than the sea!
Campgrounds are not yet full—which, when it comes to traffic, is a pleasant surprise as the campers can make traffic awful and slow.
We head into Ste. Maxime to park the car and get on the bateau to ferry us to the port at St. Tropez. We missed the 3:00 ferry by minutes and have time to wait—but the activity of people watching makes this time fly by.
Port at Ste. Maxime–it’s such a clean place!
Hmmm, can I hitch a ride on one of these boats?
The line convines as people begin to wait to get to St. Tropez
A group of older Brits is waiting ahead of us. All the women have the same blunt bob hairstyle. They look very proper in their pragmatic attire of sun dresses and heavily-soled sandals. One of the women loudly announces that she has to “go to the loo”. The group laughs and one of the men yell after her to “not get lost”. They all laugh. It’s nice to see people enjoying themselves!
Our boat arrives and we take a seat inside the cabin to get shade from the beating sun. A woman sits in front of me. From the back, I’m obsessed with her perfectly coiffed bob. Her hair is thick. I’m jealous because I once had a thick head of hair like hers. I touch my wig—it’ll do!
We get closer to the port and I never tire of the site. The lighting is perfect. The view spectacular!
The port remains the same year after year but still stays beautiful in all its yellow splendor!
The yellow buildings change hue with the position of the sun. Today it is a soft, buttery yellow that is making me hungry.
We disembark to empty streets. The tar is hot and bubbly and the heat has made the wealthy owners and renters of the yachts lining the port to hide in the comfort of the cabins rather than to sit outside on display—as if to say, “Look at me”. “Don’t hate me because I’m wealthy and you’re not”!
The streets are pretty empty, which is a rarity at this time of year..
An officer makes watch…
It’s even too hot for the inhabitants of the yachts to be outside!
We head off to see Dany
We make it to Dany’s residence. The air-conditioning isn’t as strong as in the States, but does offer a coolness that is appreciated. The hallway has an odor—I can’t quite place it. It isn’t pleasant but isn’t unpleasant either. It is what it is.
Dany’s door is opened and today he is wearing a bright red and white striped Breton shirt. His arms are discolored and spindly. He stares at nothing. His mind is sharp—you can tell, but he’s in and out of some sort of ethereal animation.
The staff comes in to check on him. They are pleasant and helpful.
Visitors arrive. A couple who collects his paintings are here to check in on him. Maurice and Hélène. We exchange introductions in French and Bonaparte and I leave the three friends alone.
It is around 5:30 PM. We must leave because the staff is getting ready to change and feed Dany. I feel bad leaving. He’s not doing well.
As we make our exit, I wish that Fragonard would supply the residence with a ton of fragrance to rid of the unusual odor in the hallway.
NOTE: I’m sorry but I stopped writing for the day because I was just a bit bummed. But I did get to enjoy my Breton Cidre while Bonaparte had some hearty red wine!
Red wine for Bonaparte and Cidre for me was a well-needed aperitif!
Friday, June 23rd
We woke up to clouds on the horizon. I was thinking that today would be a momentous day to head into Marseille and before I could suggest this to Bonaparte, he announced what I was thinking.
Our little road trip will consist of visiting Bonaparte’s mother’s tiny home in Ensues, a visit to Marseille and finished with a stop in Aix.
We will be doing a lot of walking today, so I’ll opt for pragmatic sneakers, shorts and a white tee–and bobbed hair, of course!
Ensues is a small town just outside of Marseille. B’s mother had a tiny and charming home there when she worked in Marseille—just before she became ill. Her behavior was beginning to change at this point and nobody was aware of what was to come. We stayed in the house for a few days back in 2007. I immediately fell in love with it.
This is the house that Bonaparte’s mother lived in during her time working in Marseille. I have very nice memories of this place!
Another view. Look at the terrace above. It covered an enormous area.
The front of the house overlooked the other homes on the way down to the calanque.
Lots of flowers and fig trees surrounded the property.
Evie’s little house is now Villa Isis–and you can rent it. It’s charming but I wish it was still in Bonaparte’s family.
We leave the little street and head down to the calanque.
It overlooks a calanque complete with a small port for housing fishing boats.
The port at the calanque across from the house Bonaparte’s mother owned.
The house was sold when Evie became very ill. Now it is a B & B of sorts.
We walked down to the calanque and Bonaparte told me about the times he and his relatives would spend swimming and enjoying a bite to eat at the small restaurant that is no longer there.
Some views from the calanque…
Rocks, crystal clear water and a rickety little footbridge. What could be more rustic?
Succulents growing randomly within the crevices of the rocks…
Hidden little pools….
What’s going on here? A commercial? TV show? Movie. My curiosity is aroused but the land is too rocky for me to advance any further!
So back to the port we go!
We bid farewell…
…and pass a fairy-tale cottage with my favorite number, 16, as its address!
Not one to linger in the past, Bonaparte bid adieu and we headed off to Marseille.
Marseille is a cool city—the Port is ridiculously large. I’ve never EVER seen a port so huge!! We drove around, parked the car and enjoyed walking and people watching.
The port at Marseille is crazy-huge…
..with lots of action..
..and what seems like millions of boats..
Bonaparte’s mother, Evie, was in charge of public relations for this theatre before she became ill and still had her mind…
Street style is pretty much the same world-wide with young people!
The buildings are beautiful.
The Ferris Wheel at the end of the port.
And more boats!
Proof that not all French women can wear heels all day! Let me tell you, the ground was hot–I don’t know how she did it!
Don’t think for one minute that we didn’t stop to do some serious people watching. As you can see, the dress vibe is casual. Look at the older couple in the middle–they were so adorable!
There’s my girl again–carrying her shoes!!
Back in the car we drive down a shaded street as we make our exit..
Notre-Dame de la Garde bids us a safe trip!
Next stop: Aix!
An upcoming fete prevented us from having access to quite a few streets…
It was getting a bit late and a couple of the streets were closed due to an upcoming Fete. So, we walked around a bit. You don’t have to be in Paris to perfect the art of being a Flâneur or Flâneuse!
It was the second night of the festival. Aix marks the spot!
These guys were keeping watch!
Alas, we were able to wander around..
Detail from the photo above. I love the praying saint!
I almost died when I saw this elf shop! The prices are so much higher. I do believe in Aix, elf cosmetics are treated more high-end then at home. I’ll stick to purchasing this brand at Target and Walmart!
We stopped at a church so that I could give a few prayers of thanks…
And who should I see but my bestie, Saint Rita!! I immediately lit a candle!
An “Aix-cellent” visit to church!
A cute little girly soap shop….
More wandering the streets!
A bit of shade
Another beautiful French building…
Au Revior to Aix.
By the time we arrived home, we were more than ready for a refreshing aperitif and dinner.
A delicious and healthy salad. My diet really DOES start tomorrow!!
We shall see what tomorrow brings!
In the meantime, here’s a song that was playing on Nostalgie radio quite often. “Lola” by Renaud. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!