Random Happenings on the Cote d’Azur and News We Knew Was Coming

Wednesday, June 28th

The summer “soldes” (sales) begin today throughout the Cote d’Azur. Our plan was to do some shopping but since it’s so nice out—we ditched the idea and will hit the pool.  We’ll see what the rest of the day brings.

Another hot day at the pool.  

I’m at the pool now beginning book number four—The Paris Architect.  I just can’t get into it. I dunno if I’m all read out or what.   Perhaps I just need to write instead.

The heat was, as usual intense and clouds rolled in around noon.  We took it as an omen to leave and decided to head up to Cabris and do a bit more shopping at Fragonard.

Just as we were getting into the car, the phone rang.  It was Bonaparte’s brother, Martin.

Dany passed away a few moments ago.  The attendants were getting ready to clean and change him and he stopped breathing.

He let go.  He could leave in peace because his sons were with him during his last days. Just shy of 97 years old, he led one of the most interesting lives I’ve ever heard about.  Some of his stories were fascinating—especially the ones of his growing up rather privileged and his adventures during WWII.  I’ll write about them sometime.

Looking on the bright side, Dany waited until Bonaparte crossed the Atlantic.  The timing was a gift.  If this had happened after we arrived Stateside, Bonaparte would have had to turn back around and….

Martin told us that Francois was on his way down from Paris to make arrangements for the funeral—because we were leaving in five days, the funeral would be held as soon as possible.  There was very little time to plan. But for now, things were at a standstill.

This was probably one of the oddest vacations I’ve ever been on—and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all. It’s just that Dany couldn’t have picked a better time to leave—and I know that sounds twisted but it’s just one of those things that we happened to be there when this happened.  Do you know what I mean?  I hope so.

And after seeing how Dany’s health took a turn for the worst, the news of his passing was a relief.  He was out of any pain and suffering and our last vision of him was the one from the documentary.  It was one of dignity and life.

Bonaparte talked about Dany while we were driving—we decided to go ahead with our plans and we headed up to Cabris to walk around.  We wanted to stop at Atelier Lulu—a lively and fun art studio. The focus is the artist’s cat—Lulu!  It was our plan to make a purchase but the studio was closed.

Our favorite little studio was closed!! I should have called first!

Cabris never gets boring. The buildings come to life in the sun. I swear if Cabris was closer to the sea, I would want to stay here.

Winding streets.

A little square by the 

…..by the auberge.

A view from above.

And below

A house with a stone bench

A charming DIY planter.

Blue shutters

Another view.

So, we walked around. As usual, my clumsiness got the best of me and I walked into a small wall and cut both legs.  Some things never change!

The wounded wanderer!

The visit to Cabris ended with my annual visit to St. Rita.  I lit a candle, prayed for Dany and a few of my friends, and mentioned to St. Rita that I saw her in Marseille last week!!

Saint Rita always leaves the door opened for me!  Merci Ste Rita.

And the Chapelle is dated….

We made a second stop at Fragonard.  Oona needs a summer scent.  Her signature scent is Mademoiselle by Chanel.  But, like the meddling mom that I am, I decided she should have a parfum for the summer. One that is lighter.

I LOVE this tile picture of Louis XIV–Fragonard is a great place to spend a few hours just smelling stuff!

She can’t do many florals, though, because she gets headaches.

I enlisted Bonaparte in the mission and we focused for about an hour on different scents—fruity, floral, woodsy, airy.

We sniffed the contents of every bottle…

And then some more

But we kept going back to “Figue”–It Figuers!

We picked up a Fragonard tote for her too. I picked one up for me–these make great beach totes. Aren’t they colorful?

And ended up with “Figue”—it’s a light but fruity number and I know she’ll love it!  We also picked up a Fragonard shopping tote for her.

Back to Cannes for wine and dessert and more Socca Chips and we headed off back home to have a peaceful and quiet dinner.  And Bonaparte entertained me with more stories of his dad.

More guilty pleasures..

In hindsight, I’m glad these are not sold in the States because I would be eating them every day.  At least two bagsful!

Bonne Nuit.

Thursday, June 29th

OMG. The wind was fierce last night.  I swear I slept straight through thunderstorms and never woke up once during my epic slumbers—but I woke up from the wind.

The sky is clear and the air is hot—but there is still a strong wind.  Bonaparte says it is the Mistral.  Bonaparte says this with every breeze that blows by.  But I think he may be right.  The Mistral can last from one day to six. I sure hope this is a mini-mistral!  I’ll have to make sure my wig is on tight!

Dany’s funeral is tomorrow but today we’ll celebrate his life!

We’re going back to L’Estagnol and tonight we are going to celebrate Dany with dinner at Gaston Gastounette. After all, this is a vacation!

McDonald’s IS my kind of place–for a decent cuppa cawfee!

We stopped at McDonalds for some nice hot cawfee—and I received news from the States.  My oldest son is moving to L.A. in an opportunity we can only dream of.  I can’t say anything more for now—but stay tuned.  And yes. I did break down crying.  But I was also happy for him.  Never a dull moment in France!

Ya know.  I really really should have not had cawfee at the apartment knowing full-well that I would be wolfing down more on the way to the beach.  Once again, we took a wrong turn. Only this time the turn wasn’t in the usual spot.  I had to go to the bathroom.  My usually incredible strong bladder was feeling serious effects.

I had to break my sweet demeanor and insist that Bonaparte drive off the road and find a nice lush “spot” for me.  Oh—and yes, I did.  I managed to meander down into a deep gully without falling.  I was one with nature as I “made”.  But then I realized that my leg was wet and so was one of my Rondinis.

As I turned to leave I heard a splash.  The cicadas in the nearby trees were jumping down into the lake that I created.  I heard them thank me.  I turned around, smiled at them and made my way back to the car.

Meet my little friends.  These guys are the greeters outside of L’Estagnol!

L’Estagnol was extra fun today. The “Mistral” gave the sea a fresh look—complete with small waves. The water was great.  Bonaparte refused to go in due to the fact it was too cold for him. It was perfect for me!

These were the huge waves at L’Estagnol. Notice. Nobody is in the water. It’s too wavy!!!

That woman had the greatest bathing suit. I’ll bet she paid a lot more than 11 euros!

Everyone’s having fun!

After an enjoyable drive back,

We drove back on the Bord du Mer

I need to watch it or I’ll walk into another wall.

we drove into Cannes to a wonderful dinner at Gaston Gastounette at our favorite table—Number 80, overlooking the port and the many people who were walking by.

I wore my ten dollar dress from Old Navy and did NOT go barefoot!

At Gaston Gastounette

I was guarding that Rose like a pit bull.  I had quite the buzz on..

I started off with crab meat and wasabi.  It was beyond delicious..

Bonaparte started with moules.

I had Loup de Mer (Sea Bass) with Asparagus and Ravioli in a sauce that I should have just applied to my hips. This was one great dinner!

Bonaparte went with his usual filet mignon–which was served with the most tarragon-flavored, thick Bearnaise sauce. I wish I could dupe that sauce!

People-watching never gets old here..

Nor does admiring the boats..


..and as the sun goes down, I say goodnight!  

Tomorrow will be a more serious day.

© 2017 Atypical60.com

We got a Mistral. There is a song about this.  Mistral Gagnant by the very talented Renaud.


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.

34 Responses to Random Happenings on the Cote d’Azur and News We Knew Was Coming

  1. altogirl2 says:

    So sorry to hear about Dany. He led such an adventurous life!

  2. Momcat says:

    Catherine, Please accept my condolences on the loss of your beloved Dany. What fantastic memories you will have of him. I completely understand what you mean that by his leaving the earth while you and Bonaparte were visiting as being a gift. He had seen his sons and you, he was content and knew it was a good time to go. His sons could be there to support each other and celebrate his life together…a wonderful and very loving gift to his family. His life sounds like it would need to be celebrated with great joy! That is the best kind of life to have lived.

  3. Carolyn says:

    Condolences on the death of Dany. I hope you will write more of his story soon.
    As usual when you are writing about your visits to France, you make me feel as though I am there on the Riviera having wonderful experiences, too.

  4. Judy says:

    Sending love to you both with happy memories of Dany. I felt yesterday that your next post would be this one and I was, sadly, right, but I am so glad he went when he did, knowing you were there. And what a wonderful life he had!

  5. Fiona says:

    Have been expecting this news Cathe, so sorry to hear of Dany’s loss, he sounded quite a character. I’m so glad he hung on until his family were there and hope it gives you some comfort.
    Was thinking of you earlier when I heard that your least favourite person told Brigitte Macron that she was in good shape! Patronising twat!

    • Catherine says:

      Thank you Fiona. I think it was a gift that he hung on until his sons were all with him. OTOH I can’t even with that man in the white house–debasing women worldwide is his craft…….XXOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  6. Susan D says:

    We knew it was coming, but so sorry. Condolences and long life to Bonaparte. It is amazing how so many people manage to defy the odds and hang on for some special event or, like Dany, wait until his son who lives so many thousands of miles away is there and he can see him one last time. At his age one expects it, but it’s still very hard to lose a parent.

    I just love your blogs, but the videos really bring them to life – brilliant. Your South of France postings are so special because we go every year and you post about lots of places we go, although we now no longer hire a car so are more limited as to our wanderings. Last year we had lunch in Cannes at a lovely restaurant which turned out to be your Gaston Gastounette. I agree with everything you say about it.

    I look forward to your next posting, although I feel it will be a sad one.


    • Catherine says:

      Hi Susan! Thank you so much for your wonderful words. Oh..that restaurant is wonderful and I don’t think it gets the love it should!! The ambiance–the food–the setting–the view–all perfection!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!

  7. junedesilva says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Dany, although I too felt it was imminent, from your previous posts. How amazing that you & B were there. It really is as if was Dany’s decision to go then. Doesn’t make it any less painful, of course. What an incredible life Dany lived… Thinking of you & B. Xoxo

  8. hipchick66 says:

    I felt it coming, but still…. Cathe, my deepest condolences to you, Vincent and all the family. Thank you for sharing Dany with us. What an amazing and talented man! I agree, he waited for you to be there, then he could go peacefully and dignified. Sending hugs and love to you xoxo

  9. Q.D says:

    I think that meal is also the perfect way to see out Dany!

    Growing up on the Australian beaches (seriously, and i had my first skin cancer removed at 33 to prove it despite always being slathered in the highest spf available) those “waves” make me giggle, a lot. And I am jealous as it is snowing here, but not good snow, just sleety slush.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Q. Oh…I keep forgetting that your seasons are the opposite of ours!! You just gave me a good chuckle. I’ve been to Bondi Beach and can say that the Bondi waves are just slightly (teehee) larger than the ones I photographed in France!!! Those little waves are so funny!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    So sorry for your loss, and yet how lucky you were to have had him in your life – and for so long. Thank you for sharing his wonderful story with us.

  11. Bridget says:

    I am glad that you and Bonaparte had the chance to see Dany before he passed. And even if he was not fully aware, it was clear that he somehow knew it was OK to let go. God bless him. I’ll say a prayer for his soul, and for Bonaparte and family as well.

  12. Sandra says:

    My condolences to Bonaparte and his brothers on Dany’s passing. I echo the other posters who felt that he waited to see Bonaparte before letting go. I am familiar with the photos of Bonaparte’s grandfather and I’m certain I passed a rue Lartigue in Paris. Am I right? Perhaps France will honor Dany in the same way.

    Also, a few months ago I heard Renaud being interviewed on France 2 news and, interestingly, he said the “Mistral Gagnant” refers to some candy bar he used to eat as a child. Can you confirm this with Bonaparte?

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Sandra. Thank you very much for your condolences. And yes, rue Lartigue in Paris is, in fact, named after Bonaparte’s grandfather, Jacques-Henri Lartigue. It’s a nice testament!

      Mistral Gagnant is candy–but not a bar–it’s more along the lines of very fine pop rocks or pixie sticks that go pop in your mouth. Not made anymore!!!! Renaud is great–isn’t he??XOXOXOXOXO!!!

  13. manntheresa says:

    So very sorry to hear about Dany. I loved reading about him in your blog…so interesting, talented and debonaire!! I know you will miss him, but how special to be able to see him and be there for him at the end of his amazing life. ((Hugs))

  14. Jeanne says:

    Beautifully written and a lovely tribute to Dany…love your photos and films…so sorry for your loss but so glad you were there.

  15. Juliet says:

    I am so sorry for your loss – to you and Bonaparte and his wider family, it is lovely to celebrate as well as mourn, we had a waiata (celebration) and a tangi (mourning) for Simon when he died, the celebration helps – I think you feel the love people had for someone more – ti just flows better, I am sure it helped his friends. Maybe Dany is now busy making new pals up in heaven – if so, he may run into my dad who loved butterflies and grew swan plant to feed his monarch friends every year, so I am hoping Simon and Dad are looking out for him – they’d get on great.

    On a more shallow note I am loving the videos again – seriously you have created a monster, I am going to expect videos on everything from now on, don’t care what it is about as I am enthralled and loving them. I was also really excited to see what you chose for your girl, I think fig perfumes are really under rated, about the only floral perfume I like much is a Miller Harris one called coeur de jardin, can’t wear it every day but now and then it is quite lovely (and if you ever get the chance check out their rose silence – even the name is beautiful), you have excellent taste, Oona should be thrilled. I love perfume so have taken notes! (and hinted to the hubster that a holiday around Nice / Grasse might be a thing one year)

    And finally congrats to your son and his big move – but gulp, it is hard for us mums when they go off on their big new adventures isnt it (hugs)

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Juliet. I hope Simon and your dad are not getting tired of Dany’s butterfly talk. Trust me, he’s probably up there in search of those who loved butterflies AND he’s searching for every butterfly that ever left earth!!! I”ll have to check out that perfume. I swear once you find a scent that works—it’s worth sticking to. I’m still a bit sad about my son but it is the greatest opportunity anyone could wish for!!! Thank you again!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  16. 3C Style says:

    Mes sincères condoléances Catherine, à toi et ton conjoint.

  17. mareymercy says:

    Oh so sorry for your loss, but happy that you got to see him before he passed. My condolences to your family.

Leave a Reply