CAVEAT! My apologies my cool-as-ever friends! It’s been three weeks since my last post but the summer weekends have been very busy!
Roman came to visit, we’ve been at the beach and yesterday I attended my best friend’s daughter’s bridal shower! And so, today, I’m back and delightfully remembering and sharing the continuing adventures of our trip back to the Côte d’Azur!
Yesterday I was at my gf Marybeth’s house for the Bridal Shower of her daughter. It was so much fun to spend an afternoon with friends..
Not to mention that every weekend since we arrived home from France, we’ve been at the Jersey Shore–Stone Harbor to be exact!
Sunday, July 3, 2022
Ahhh. Sunday. I don’t want to bore you and will spare you of Sunday morn’s details. But we went to the pool and I started another book.
Another book! My ex-boss gave this to me to read. It was a good easy read!
Exiting the apartment for a lazy but fun Sunday afternoon!
It was hot. Very hot and we decided, après poolside to take a nice drive to Nice! We drove the scenic route through Cannes and headed off for an afternoon of pure laziness!
Again, we drove along the Bord de Mer never tiring of the drive or the same views!
We parked the car—for joy because we found a great parking spot and took our time on a constitutional at the Promenade des Anglais. With the heat beating down on us, I couldn’t imagine how people at the turn of the century felt with all those clothes on their bodies. I wore a sundress and no bra and I was still sweating!
Perhaps Global Warming wasn’t a thing back then but I seriously do NOT know how people could have worn all that clothing . I barely survived without a bra!
Regardless of the heat index, it remained a pleasure to find a couple of seats and watch the boats and people playing in the water and parasailing!
I did not take this photo. It’s from the internet but I was so focused on conversation with my husband and watching the goings on at sea that I didn’t take photos.
We did, however, get to take photos of the Hotel Le Negresco–my friend Joe had a very good time there back when he was younger! The picture brought back fond memories for him!
The absolute worst thing that anyone can tell me is about a great night had at a hotel. My filthy mind just doesn’t stop the imagery!
Doesn’t matter though because this hotel sports one of the most beautiful facades I’ve ever seen. Ever!
It’s such a landmark..
A colorful modern sculpture in front of a historical building is always a pleasing sight!
And I got more Socca Chips!!!!!! (Note to every grocery store in these United States. GET SOCCA CHIPS IN YOUR STORES!!)
A stop at Geant for, yet, more crevettes and tomatoes and a very lazy and enjoyable dinner on the terrace ended our quite lazy day!
My “usual” dinner. It pains me to look at these beautiful tomatoes knowing that I can’t get any that look like this for the remainder of the summer!
Monday, July 4th, 2022
Happy Fourth of July! It’s so funny because for the past 11 years, The Frenchman and I have arrived back in the States on this national American Holiday. Today, we headed to Abbaye du Thoronet.
No hot dogs, burgers, corn-on-the-cob or fireworks this year–and no arriving back in the States to long lines at customs-we in France!
This was our third visit to this quiet sanctuary. We both love this place because of the history and the fascination (for me at least) of the Catholic symbolism. How did the monks deal with the heat? What about the bees? Trust me, this place has bees and I don’t know how the monks dealt with this as there were no epi-pens back then. My guess is they sacrificed their lives doing the work of The Holy Trinity.
One of my favorite places in the South of France, the grounds are beautiful and the Abbaye is just soaked in history!
Here’s a look-see:
Another nook of worship…
As hot as it was outside, it was comfortable within the confines of these thick stone walls.
Room with a view.
There was no escaping for those monks!
Behind the abbaye is a grove of olive trees–a GROVE!!!
In addition, wine and olive oil were made here. Those monks were busy bees.
Not a torture devise–it’s where wine and olive oil were made..
Incredible that the wine and olive oil production room is still standing.
received a nice complement from the guy at the shop. I asked a couple of questions and he answered in French. My husband was amused and stated that I was merely practicing my French and the guy was impressed with my accent. Je suis heureuse!
I highly recommend a visit here!
We took the scenic route home simply because we cannot get enough of the sea and next was something that I have wanted to do for years. Head up to Palais Bulles, that magnificent bubble palace last owned by Pierre Cardin. I’ve admired it from afar and it was my destiny to see it close up.
The closest I’ve ever come to the Palais Bulles was from our terrace with a zoom lens!
And since it’s located practically next door in Theoule, I had to see it up close and personal. Here’s the thing though—due to a ridiculous amount of security, I was not able to enter into this fantastical establishment.
I had to duck under the chained security fence just to take THIS picture. If I had been alone and not with The Frenchman, I would have been arrested for breaking and entering!
The absolute best I could do was to shimmy up to the wall, the way a barfly shimmies up to a bar and take any pics I could.
Why are there no bubble structures facing the back of the building?
Are the powers-that-be not aware that I needed to take photos?
How come the groundskeeper didn’t cut these branches..
..so that I could get..
…a better view?
I can guarantee that my fat ass is now included among the security videos as I did sneak under the security fence. The Frenchman was having a fit—he feared I would be arrested and we wouldn’t be able to return home. All I could think of is if I had been arrested, I would have probably eaten a nice dinner in my jail cell.
Back home to allow my husband a bit of rest after this harrowing adventure then onto shop for a non-traditional July 4th Dinner. Mussels. For Mussels Mariniere. And, as usual, the fish monger was soooooooooo incredibly helpful and friendly and listened with patience whilst I ordered my petite mollusks in French!
These mussels were everything! The photo is a little weird because I served them in a clear bowl! Oh well!
Tuesday, July 5th.
Our time here is winding down and last week. Today we are finally headed to L’Estagnol! We were planning to head here last week but The Frenchman opted to not head to this gem of a beach due to a weather report of rain—which, did, in fact occur. However, it occurred at 4:30 in the afternoon.
We woke up early. 5:30 AM to be exact—I liken that time to getting used to my waking time when we get back to the States. Headed to the car, we enjoyed a pleasant ride and arrived ten minutes prior to opening.
Headed out before the sun wakes up!
Didn’t matter though because being at L’Estagnol early when nobody is there, is akin to owning your private beach.
Here we are–the first to arrive!
Look. I was born in Rockaway Beach NYC and spent many summers at the beach in Rockaway. When we moved to Long Island, I spend many summers at Robert Moses and various Fire Island beaches. Moving to the NJ/Philly area summer weekends were, and continue to be spent at the Jersey Shore.
But…L’Estagnol is my favorite beach in the world. (I like it better than the beaches in Sydney—too many sharks). You can go out forever and the water doesn’t even hit your chin. The saltiness of the water in this Mediterranean alcove allows you to float with pleasure. The water is crystal-clear. The trees in the background offer shade.
Just us and the boats!
All is quiet and calm.
The Frenchman preparing our space while I’m in the water taking photos!
And the clarity of the water is a joy to look at!
It’s a family beach. A vacationer’s beach. A marvel. When my husband was growing up, nobody knew about it. Now—it’s become more popular but it isn’t a trip to the Côte d’Azur unless we head here. My only regret was we didn’t come here more than once!
Who wouldn’t love this little gem?
The restaurants behind the beach proper reminds us that it is always better to dine properly than to scarf food down at the blanket.
We arrived even before the restaurant was prepared for the day.
And might I add this restaurant has great frites and serves the best seiche ever!
After a day of swimming and sun bathing, along with reading, it was, again time to hit the road back to Theoule and this time, enjoy another relaxing meal at The Clubhouse.
The start of another devine meal at The Clubhouse!
Next up. A day with friends after decades!
This looks like a marvelous day. I’ve been to Nice and the area along the coast is just amazing Thanks for bring back memories to me too.
Hi Bonnie! I’m very happy to have brought some Nice memories back for you! XOXOXOXO
Wow you are a busy girl, even discounting the French holiday there is so much visual loveliness to look at in your posts, Marybeth has quite some phenomenal talent – lucky daughter having a mum who pulls out all the stops to make something so incredibly pretty (and best wishes to the young bride to be and her mum). Those French photos though…. I mean wow, those tomatoes, and wow that abbaye and wow that beach and wow to just all of it, which reminds me have you ever got to Fontfroide Abbaye – also heaven, there really is something sublime and otherwordly (please try and go there as I imagine your post would be epic) about those types of places, their serenity is palpable. I will get your books in the post once I get back up to Carlisle- I got your message just as we had set out for our holiday (a few days in London working, so no sightseeing and then EuroStar to Paris for a few days and on to Bologna… Every time GravelGuy is out for a run I am straight on the laptop exploring potential Paris treats I might just “accidentally” find – I seriously cannot wait, CANNOT WAIT!!!!!! that reminds me – when are you heading to Paris? But yeah – your books ARE coming… I’ll also tell everyone in Paris you are coming 😀 ). Honestly though, your blog posts are a total delight and I get so excited when a new one appears, they are like sunshine coming out of the laptop at me. xxx
P.s 3 weeks … tsk tsk, actually when you have such lovely posts as this it is ok to make us wait and lots of bloggers have gone quietly over time so I am so impressed how diligent you are despite being so busy.
Oh so thrilled to see this post, especially as we’re there now. We went into Cannes this morning to book lunch at Gaston Gastonette for tomorrow and horror of horrors it has been reinvented as some sort of beach hut but still purporting to be GG. The reviews are very mixed so we didn’t book and I said to my husband I wondered if you’d gone, but as you hadn’t done all your holiday posts I didn’t know. Did you go?
Abbaye du Thoronet ….. ah so peaceful and relaxing.
We were in Theoule yesterday but as I fell very badly on our first morning here and now have a fractured wrist and a very bad back we are restricted in what we can do. We were going to go to St Tropez next week by boat but I really can’t see that happening. Very hot here and all along the coast they are celebrating their liberation after the war. It’s Cannes today and it was full of American army jeeps, trucks and people dressed as soldiers. Very moving for the French.
Anyway looking forward to your next post and also to your new grandchild.