If you have been reading about my summer adventures in France, you might remember that I received a message from one of my old friends stating that she and her husband were in Marseilles.
Wait. We were in Marseille at the same time and didn’t know it?
Well, we connected and ended up spending this wonderfully, delightful and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious day in Villefranche! And without going into detail, my friend Joanie was a bridesmaid in my first wedding. We had a wonderful friendship but over the years, and with life changes, we lost touch.
You have no idea how much fun it was to receive that message and it was even more delightful to meet up with Joanie and her husband Greg! It was such a case of “Small Worldness” of the greatest!
But I ran into my friend Joanie–and that was better!
So anyway on Thursday, July 7th, we drove to Villefranche to meet them and, here’s the funny thing—we couldn’t find the train station. Actually, we did find it but we didn’t realize we found it. What ensued was Vincent parking the car and us walking down seemingly a million steps only to find a parking lot at the bottom.
I swear to God, we were driving in circles for a good amount of time–we passed this place at least four times..
We could have parked here…
We finally met J and G, headed back up the steps, which made me realize just how out of shape I am from sitting in front of two computer monitors at work for ten hours a day, but also gave me some welcomed and well-needed exercise.
Tee hee. We walked steps from here to up there!
….luckily I managed to take a photo of where we were parked. Besides–The Frenchman needed to get some sort of medication for a sun sore he had on his lip and a pharmacie was nearby!
So off we headed to Villa Euphrisse de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat! It’s hard to put into words just how great it is to reconnect with a friend you’ve lost touch with. It was astounding to realize we had children all the same age, each had a pregnant daughter…and, well, it was just magical to be together after all these ….decades!
Nobody changed over the years! We still look the same and I’m having this pic framed!!
We took a leisurely stroll around the grounds, Vincent and Greg getting to know each other and overall—the visit was terrific. But it didn’t stop there.
I never tire of this Villa. It’s a pink palace that is filled with the coolest furniture and stuff!
I didn’t take pics of the interior because we were having too much of a good time but these flowers..
…and speaking of which–these flowers, seemingly a million, were all being prepared for a wedding that night!
This Banyan tree was quite magnificent!
Lots of greenery too. The flowers were too bee-inhabited and I’m alergic.
We headed back to Villefranche to enjoy a fun-filled luncheon! We met British friends of theirs and spent a few hours at a dock-side restaurant with food, drink and animated conversation.
We enjoyed lunch at La Baleine Joyeuse. What a great place to spend an afternoon with old friends and meeting new friends!
Again, I was having such a grand time that I didn’t take pics but I’ll tell you that the Calamari with Aoli sauce was excellent! The Frenchman said later on that he would have loved to spend dinner with Joanie, Greg and their British friends!
And at the end of the visit toward late afternoon, we vowed to see each other again. Presently, I am going over our weekends and, hopefully, we will be headed to visit them for a New England weekend in early October!
Back at the apartment it hit us. The next day would be our last day here. How did the time fly by so quickly? For two weeks, I didn’t have hypochondria. Or in PC terms—health anxiety. For two weeks I was relaxed and moving. I was happy and comfortable. The Frenchman and I were like two young adults. It was wonderful.
Friday, July8th was our last day. We took it very easy and just hung out at the pool, made our last dinner at home and packed for our return home.
A last day just admiring this view from the terrace..
Then heading back to the pool and glancing over the fence at the little marina–it’s so mignon!
Our last breakfast on the terrace because tomorrow it is up to a very early rise!
I realize this is going to sound crazy but one of the highlights of staying at this apartment is that I can do laundry and dry it outdoors. OMG–it’s so fresh and clean!
The hours spent on this terrace over the years are countless. Seriously. In 11 years we ate indoors once–and that was the night this summer that it rained!
I will miss these remarkable desserts that are not overloaded with sugar!
Not gonna lie. If I won that billion-dollar lottery, I would have purchased an apartment at La Galere and gone shopping for these tomatoes and crevettes every day. Those tomatoes!
…and due to the shortage of mustard–in FRANCE, I discovered the best mayo ever. I regret not buying this to take home!
I did manage to sneak these home-and in mustard yet!
Saturday, July 9th… It was early to rise and head to the airport to drop the car off and get situated for our flight. Some last-minute shopping at duty free.
Goodbye to our apartment for 2022. Keys returned..
Passports at the ready..
Getting rid of the last of the euros..
..by purchasing some Guerlain and..
…recipe magazines. This is the best way to learn the language!
Allow me to add that the experience of flying to and from Nice was excellent. I was able to piggy-back on my husband’s French passport so I didn’t have to wait on any customs lines! In addition, the experience of flying United Airlines was an absolute pleasure!
This guy boarded the plane before we did and I got a kick out of the fact he had UT merch on him–same school my son Jake graduated from! Small world it is!
Ready to head home….
Bye bye Nice..
Au revoir Cote d’Azur
…until next time..
I shall remain with my head in the clouds and a ton of great memories of the return!
So once we landed back in Newark Airport, it was a love/hate relationship. I despised the fact that there was minimal staff AND those people-movers were all shut off. Really? We were lugging heavy carry-on luggage and the people-movers weren’t working–at an International Airport?
Then …we waited almost an hour for our luggage. This was no fault of United–it was an airport thing. The luggage wasn’t even at the baggage claim conveyer it was supposed to be at.
The redeeming quality was Global Entry. Literally. We never waited on a customs line. We just went to the kiosk and exited the airport. That was it!
And, as all good things come to an end, it was good go be home and enjoying being back in my own bed. There is something so peaceful when you come home to that first night in your bed. The pillows welcome you. The mattress is happy to feel your body shape. The sheets and coverings are happy to wrap themselves upon you. It’s nice.
Ahhhhh. waking up the next morning in our bed and coffee The Frenchman made for me. Life is spectacular!
And, it’s a joy to return home to your family. Even if the miles separate you, you know they are not that far away.
Presently, looking forward to every weekend, the birth of grandson number two, and the holidays with family visiting—the trip back to the Côte d’Azur is now a fond memory—but there’s always next time!
Along with my Rondini sandals and the stuff we brought home for Owen, I did pick up some girly skincare products. It’s always fun to apply the creams and spray the scents that’ll bring you back to France!
I hope you enjoyed this post—and wherever you traveled or spent vacation or staycation, I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing time!
I so love hearing about your travels. We have been to Paris many times, need to go south!
Hi Elaine and thank you! I’m so happy you have enjoyed my summer travels! Yeah. TBH, I love Paris but in the summer, I definitely prefer the South! XOXOX
You write so well, it’s a joy to read your blogs and I look forward to them each time. You take great photos too. Thank you for sharing your travels and thoughts. Greetings from a Breton-Irish reader living in Brittany.
Slainte Brigitte! OMG you are soooooooooo lucky to be living in Brittany! And I thank you so much for complimenting my writing! XOXOXOXO
Your vacation was my vacation – and I loved every minute of it! Plus, I can relive it whenever I want . . .
Thank you Marsha!!!!!!!! XOXOXOXO
I so enjoyed reading about your vacation. The picture are beautiful and makes me want to Nice. I do love your visual writing style, Cathe.
Hi Toni, glad you enjoyed the posts regarding the vacation–but I’m even happier that you enjoy my writing style! XOXOXO
Thank you, Cathe, for another amazing vacation post! I’ve been following your blog for years and always love sharing your trips to France – it’s the next best thing to tagging along! Will you/”we” be returning at Thanksgiving for the soldes this year? Also, I’ve missed City Pharma the last few trips…
Hi Kewl, This Thanksgiving will be slightly different. I’m hosting Thanksgiving dinner! Oona and Sam have a wedding nearby and will be visiting whilst The Frenchman and I will be babysiting for the grandsons! It’s the first time in over two decades I’ll be hosting. I also have to decide what to make for my husband as he despises turkey-LOL! XOXOXO
This was a fun read Cathering. I love the wedding flowers, so pretty – and that beautiful terrace would probably have be glued lol 🤗
Hi Cherryl! Thank you. OMG those wedding flowers were incredible. Wish I was invited to that wedding! XOXOXO
Scuse the miss-spelling Catherine, Slip of the finger 🙃
This was terrific from beginning to end!
Thank you so much! I’m happy that you enjoyed my adventures! XOXOXOXO
Dear Catherine, I really love all your posts, you enjoy life so much it’s a pleasure to read them. Your French trip sounded delightful ,we live in Brighton U K but also have a small ,rather dilapidated ,house in France. Not in the south where you were but near Cahors in the Lot region .Beautiful scenery and historic little old villages. We go there in the spring and autumn ,not summer as it’s too hot. I,m sure you are happy to be home again. As Frank Sinatra says “ It’s oh so nice to come home” Thank you for your lovely funny blog. Very best wishes from Judy in Brighton x
Hi Judy and thank you! LOl. I would take a small rather dilapidated house in France any day!! Cahors sounds lovely with all those villages and you are smart to head there when it isn’t too hot. This summer has been a doozey! XOXOXOXO
Having lived in France for 13 years (in Normandy), I love your holiday blogs. I have been to Province many times tho not to the Cote d’Azur butit bringsit back. And it is specialwhen you make a connect with old friends and it works. Keep on writing Catherine. Christine
Loved your blogs. Did you go to Gaston Gastounette this time? We’ve just been and took my husband’s cousin. Very disappointing. New tacky theme, ostensibly the same menu, but some things good some not. Attitude towards us changed once they realised we were not all English and one of our party was very knowledgeable about food and was not to be fobbed off with anything other than politeness and good service. Oh so much has changed here in three years.
Currently sitting on my balcony looking out at the Porte de la Napoule- it’s very hot!!
Thanks again for all your hard work in keeping us entertained and informed.
Susan D xxx