Observation…I’m the palest person in the South of France, or at least I was when I got here. It’s hard to believe I’ve been here for five days already and at the same time, I’ve easily slipped into the casual holiday lifestyle of this part of the country. And somehow in my wanderings acquired a slight tan glow.
There’s a reason this is called the Côtes d’Azur—Gold Coast—aside from the glorious sunshine which has inspired painters for centuries. Everyone here is bronze, apparently the dire warnings against tanning we get in the States don’t make an impression on this Mediterranean coast. And yet there’s an undeniable elegance to the place with its private beaches and chic cafes, shops full of white linen and colorful cotton clothes, and the ever-present exotic sports cars.
The first few days here I was on my own in a charming chambre d’hote near Nice. Driving along the coastal road, I passed beaches (pebbled rather than sandy), boats of all sizes from tiny sailboats to multimillion dollar motor yachts to the most enormous cruise ship I’ve ever seen. My destination, the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, is a stunning estate on a point on the top of a hill overlooking a bay on one side and the sea on the other. It wasn’t difficult to understand why in 1907 one of the richest women in Europe chose the site for her extravagant residence.
On Saturday the rest of the party arrived. The house we rented Plan de la Tour near St. Tropez is everything one could wish for with its pool, outdoor kitchen and dining, and spacious living space decorated in the Provençal style. We’re within walking distance to the village and stroll in each morning for baguettes and pain aux raisins. As I finish this up, Cheryl and Jules have returned from the boulangerie and its time to have breakfast and start another beautiful day.