Our most exciting July 4th celebrations occurred in one of our favorite vacation spots in the world, St. Tropez on the French Riviera. Believe it or not, the French celebrate our holiday as exuberantly as we do at home! And, since we all know that the best place to be is always where your friends are, for over 20 years we met up with a large group of pals from all over the world in this ultra chic “fishing village” to celebrate Independence Day.
After our first trip there in the early ’90’s, we were completely hooked. I finally got to see for myself the inspiration that has existed there for decades for artists and writers. You will never see “light” like this anywhere else in the world. It bathes everything it touches in the warmest glow and could make a 90 year-old woman look like a wood nymph. It’s such a magical place that one can never imagine any illness or unhappiness occurring there.
We traveled with a great group of friends from all over the world, Italy, Spain, Great Britain, Brazil and more. Sadly, we’ve lost a few of our friends which makes these memories rather bittersweet, but nonetheless, the parties we had there were the best and we will never forget those friends and the great times we had.
The July 4th celebration in St. Tropez was actually sort of a week long party that always began at Club 55, one of the most elegant beach clubs in the world, and ended at La Voile Rouge (“The Red Sail”), the wildest of them all. Considered the birth place of the beach club, La Voile Rouge, sadly, no longer exists since the neighbors complained about the noise. I think this is surprising since it’s never been anything different since it was brought to life in 1966 by the late Paul Tomaselli. (This club was also the first to have topless guests. Woo Hoo!).
In any case, we were thrilled to be there when it was still going strong and the tables, chairs, bars, walls, everything was covered in shades of red, white and blue for this festive occasion. Even the waitstaff were all dressed patriotically…. skimpily, but patriotically! The party started around noon and lasted until the sun was a burnt cinder and/or you ran out of energy, whichever came first.
As always on this day, American specialties were served and included hamburgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob. Even though we yearned for authentic French food, it was always fabulous fun by the sea.
We now celebrate this patriotic holiday stateside, but my spirit will always be dancing on the tables at La Voile Rouge draped in an American flag and drinking copious amounts of le vin du pays with my friends.
Have a wonderful July 4th weekend and I hope your celebrations will be memorable, too!