A Turn-Down Day and Back to St. Tropez!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Wow. I really slept like a baby last night.  When I woke up this morning, I noticed that the doors leading to the terrace were closed.  Bonaparte informed me that there was a huge storm last night. Thunder. Lightning.

I heard nothing.  The deep nights of sleep that I’m having here are the best in a long time. I do believe it is a winning combination of clean, healthy, non-polluted air and no stress!

Today also ended up being a “turn down” day. Just one of those days where you’re not doing much of anything.

Bonaparte likes those turn down days–he gets to spot the big cruise ships with his binoculars and complain about them–that’s very French you know!

We went to the pool in the morning and clouds rolled in.  We planned on taking a drive to Cabris, but with the clouds, we figured it wasn’t worth it.

We decided, instead to visit the Chateau la Napoule. We’ve been meaning to visit this lovely chateau and artist’s gallery for eight years and never got around to it.  It is less than five minutes from the apartment.

Behind the aquaduct is the Chateau. I got this pic from the website.  Eight years and we finally decided to visit and never made it inside!

We arrived and I was excited about finally visiting.  It was closed for an event.  *sigh* Next year.

So we went to Geant and purchased beverages instead!

Tchin Tchin!!!!

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

We are headed back to St. Tropez today.  Bonaparte’s brother Francois is back in Paris and his brother Martin has arrived.  Martin will be here a few days before returning to Les Landes to set up for his latest art exhibit.  I’m excited because his partner, Mona, will be with him and we haven’t met her.  Dany has taken a turn for the worse so we will have to wear robes and rubber gloves to ward off any possible infection.

I thought it was Wednesday when i woke up and filmed this. It wasn’t. Do you ever lose track of the days when you are traveling?  Here’s an in-depth look at the apartment!

We will leave for St. Trop very early because the summer traffic has arrived and it’ll be an enjoyable time to stop at Rondini to pick up the sandals I purchased last week.  The custom fit is everything!

Here’s the Rondini sandals that had to be custom fit for my narrow foot. At least ONE part of my body is narrow!!

We’ll all have lunch before spending the remainder of the afternoon with Dany.  I hope he isn’t in too bad shape. He needs to get better!

Traffic was fine until we got to Ste. Maxime—from then on in it was a crawl. No big deal because the people watching was fun.

I finally wore makeup on my face!  And that green dress from Old Navy certainly had its share of wear!  It took seconds to do my “hair” because it’s fake!! Just like my tan!

We arrived in St. Tropez only to find that all three public parking lots were completely full!!  But—we did manage to find one of the last remaining spaces at Parking des Lices—just across the street from Dany’s residence.


How cool is this wine bottle sculpture?  It’s at a vineyard on the way to St. Tropez! See how much fun driving is?

The reason, we later discovered, that parking was so atrocious was that Tuesday is Market Day!  And people love the Place des Lices market.  I was shocked at just how momentous this market is.  Everything from food to furniture is sold.

And early we did arrive.  I picked up my sandals and we headed over to the market. Oh. My. God!  My only regret was the Bonaparte was with me. If he hadn’t, at least two more suitcases would have had to be purchased for all the stuff I would have bought.  (Note to self:  Make sure Bonaparte is off playing Boule or reading a book next time)


See the baskets?  Notice how inexpensive they are?  I should have replaced the one I have!

Vintage Louis. GENUINE!  I can’t even–I should have bought one. Next year!

The market was a buzzin’..

I dig these bowls…

and these signs. We purchased the one that reads “La Ponche”–that’s where Bonaparte spent his summers!

Pom Poms galore!

And more white shirts–one can never have too many white shirts. I know this.

Some Jimi

And some tres cool posters! It all makes for a fun time at the market!

We met Martin and Mona at what is now officially our local restaurant.  La Ramade!

Mona. Is. Fantastic!!  She is so cool and artsy and creative and I want to be her best friend forever.  Her hair is as black as coal and curly and she has the most genuine smile. We got along so well! She has a home in Morocco. And guess who was invited to stay there!!

The entry way to our favorite local hangout!

Isn’t this swan bench adorable?

The one–the only–the fabulous Mona!!!!! (PS–the lady behind her is sporting an Hermes bracelet. I couldn’t help staring!)

Again–I had my favorite Provencal dish–Rognons (kidneys)!

Morocco is on my bucket list. Big time.  I need to make the trip.  And it would be a spectacular time with Mona.

As we finished lunch and headed back to see Dany, we were warned that he was in extremely bad health.  When we arrived at his room, just outside the door, was a case with robes and gloves.  This wasn’t going to be a good thing.

Cute house on our walk back to see Dany.

When we entered the room, the scent from the other day still lingered. Only this time it was stronger.  On the floor was a machine that was systematically pumping air to a rhythm.  Air in. Air out. Wheeze.  Air in. Air out. Wheeze.

Dany wasn’t coherent.  He wasn’t speaking. His eyes were glazed over but I know he saw us. He had to.  At this point, his blanket wasn’t even covering the legs that were now useless. He was wearing a diaper.  I had never witnessed a sight like that in my life.

I kissed him and told Bonaparte, Martin, and Mona that I would be outside. Shortly after the head nurse stopped by to tell us that he would not get better. He stopped eating.  His body was giving out.

Mona stayed behind with Dany while Martin, Bonaparte and I went over to Dany’s museum, La Maison des Papillions, Musee Dany Lartigue.

I love this photograph of Martin and Bonaparte. I’m having a print made to send to him–we were on our way to Dany’s Musee..

It’s a lovely way to spend some time if you are in St. Tropez!

It was a well-needed visit to see the beauty that Dany has given to St. Tropez.  He’s collected butterflies his entire life—the collection, along with his paintings, is a sight to behold and is remarkably interesting!

Some butterflies–Dany curated everything!!

The musee used to be Bonaparte’s grandmother’s home.

Dany as a young boy..

And as a not-so-young boy!

Some of his paintings!

And a sketch from last year.

This time the visit had more meaning

By the time we left St. Tropez, Bonaparte was pretty much emotionally spent. Who could blame him?

My video tour of leaving St. Tropez

We sat down to a late dinner on the terrace and afterward watched a bit of TV.

Bonaparte—ever the channel surfer when it comes to French TV, stopped at a documentary about—St. Tropez!!!  Even more surprising was one of the main subjects of the show was none other than Dany!!!!!

Dany on the French TV–the documentary about St. Tropez was very educational and visually delightful!

Wow!  After seeing him in the worst of health earlier, it was a pleasure to see him the way we really see him. Scarf tied around his neck, looking charming and alert!

I’m glad B. got to see his dad in a better light—and I’m sure he’ll sleep well!

© 2017 Atypical60.com

Remember how I wrote about Monday being a “Turn Down” day?  Well, it made me think of the song from The Cyrkle. Remember them?  Here’s the song: “Turn Down Day”!

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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27 Responses to A Turn-Down Day and Back to St. Tropez!

  1. O Catherine, my heart breaks for both of you. My father passed last Dec at 93 and the sight of his depleted body, wearing only a diaper was the WORST. So unlike the gregarious, fun loving, social butterfly that he had Been. At this point you pray they go quickly and no longer have to suffer. Hugs.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Nelson. I think the worst part is seeing our parents in such a vulnerable state! That’s how I felt when I saw my dad after one of his heart attacks. We were hoping that he would go fast. It’s awful–and my condolences to you as well. XOXOXOXO!!!

  2. WOw- looks like an incredible trip!!

  3. angelin2014 says:

    Aging and sickness is not a beautiful combination, but when spending time with my mother as she passed away in Alzheimer I always thought that horrible as it is, it is also part of the life we love, and a good time to say and think those things we never did because we were busy living. And in my case forgive and forget and let the old times go. Anyway, I loved the video of your apartment, and did I notice Nina George on the bookshelf? I loved that book! As I am going to Paris in late August I will definitely walk along Seine and look out for a bookstore on a boat!
    Always loving your travel-stories Catherine!

    • Catherine says:

      Angelin–my mom passed away from the same thing your mother did. I always thought it was a blessing in disguise because my mother had no idea she was sick. I tend to think that is better. But we all have our thoughts on that. I’m glad you enjoyed the video!!!!! Ohhhhhhhh…have fun in Paris–I wish I was joining you!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  4. Judy says:

    A beautiful and poignant post , Catherine. I am sure Dany knew you were all there. Timing is all, isn’t it? I am so glad he had such a great life. Xxx

  5. Q.D says:

    My heart is breaking for you, i know this is a record of past events now, but this is so vivid an raw. So many of us have been in this situation with family and i am thinking good vibes to you all.

    On a lighter note, those markets are to die for! I want all the pom pom bags!

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you Q!!! It’s all, thankfully, in the past–and we can go back with a different view of great memories!! Oh god–the market. I could go broke there!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  6. hipchick66 says:

    You know I love these posts, and all of the pictures, but my heart is so broken about Dany. All of you are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing Dany’s art with us, such talent! On a lighter note…..those LV’s, and did I spot some Chanel too? Thank you for sharing all of this with us. Much love to you!

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Lori. Thank you so very much!! He was incredibly talented–and he knew quite a few well-known painters too! Those LV’s. I really should have purchased one. Next time!! Yes. The vendors had vintage Chanel as well!!! Very, very nice–especially since the goods had a history–makes them more interesting!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  7. fiona says:

    It seems that Dany was waiting until you arrived in France. It is the most awful thing to see your parent, once vibrant, so vulnerable and dependant on others for care. Wasn’t he the most gorgeous little boy? How fantastic to have one of his prints in your apartment ….and to see him on telly.
    Enjoyed your videos. xx

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Fiona. He was..He really was waiting for all of his sons–and he passed happily. He was a cutie–and it’s funny because he was basically raised by British nannies so when he spoke English, it was with a British accent!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  8. Yvonne Gray says:

    You tell this very sad chapter of your and Bonaparte’s life so beautifully. You both must feel so comforted that you there when his last summer finished and that there is so many lasting memories of his wonderful life. His sketch from last year certainly has more than a touch of Chagall’s uniqueness and quality. The photo of you is absolutely beautiful. I think I will have to come to Philly and you can take me to Ulta and supervise a make over. Thinking of you.

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you Yvonne. Dany was quite the character–and charmer! I took a photo of that sketch last year before it was framed. He showed me a ton of stuff. My, being the bad girl I am, had thoughts of taking one–but I didn’t. It is somewhat channeling Chagall!! Come on over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  9. Jeanne says:

    Words escape me…losing someone you love is impossibly hard…Catherine, you present it all beautifully, with taste and charm and delight…Dany would be honored. So glad you and Bonaparte were there.

  10. maidsdayoff says:

    I’m so sorry about your father’s declining health. What a blessing that the two of you were able to spend time with him.
    I love the videos and enjoying your trip vicariously!

  11. The Lakewoman says:

    Catherine…wow…this post was packed (like your suitcases) with everything.

    Seeing our sweet parents helpless is gut wrenching, hugs and prayers. Love, love, love Dany’s art. He did know all of you were with him!

    OMG…OMG….I loved my aperitif…the scenery was beautiful…the company superb!!!
    Want to go to that market, you need to do PR for it!

    I reunited with a friend from years past…she’s a New Yawker, too….(I’m a western New Yorker)when I heard your voice on the first video of the series, I heard Kathleen’s voice.

    Can’t tell you how much I look forward to your posts…keep it up, Sista, you’re the best.

    • Catherine says:

      Hiya Lake!!! I’m thrilled that you enjoyed your aperitif. Stop by for more!!! LOL. Many cannot handle my accent–I thank you so much. You are with Bonaparte’s family in appreciating my New Yawkeeze!!! I’ll definitely keep it up!!! Thank you for your touching words on Dany XOXOXOXO!!!

  12. Juliet says:

    So, so sad thinking about Dany – I feel like we had all adopted him to some extent and so hard for Bonaparte and his brothers.

    And of course Mona adored you – she has to, we do

    • Catherine says:

      Juliet…We’re all family here–so it’s only natural that everyone feels as though Dany has been adopted–he would LOVE that!! Thank you so much!! Oh..I love Mona!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  13. Vivella says:

    Thank you for sharing all the delightful posts of your trip which I have enjoyed SO much (especially the food!). Was sorry to read on the latest post about Dany and his passing, but am glad it was peaceful in the end. Reading all your posts which I am catching up with has been some form of escapism for me during a stressful time. My mom is almost 96 and was in hospital this past week which was grueling for me, all the back and forth and the stress. She is back at the nursing home now and somehow ‘hanging in there’. I am too ill with bronchitis right now to visit her but will do so next week again. So painful to watch an aged parent fade and just be skin and bone. All one can do is show them you care, just as you have also done with Bonaparte’s dad. I send you both my condolences and my gratitude for the beautiful photos and writings you share with us, it has been real escapism and some smiles for me! X

  14. Mike says:

    If we make it down Nice / St. Tropez-way… I know what I want to go see! 🙂

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