A photo story by Maureen Cain
A sexy Dutchman named Paul invited me to his villa in Cannes to watch the total lunar eclipse over the Mediterranean Sea. This is a date worth traveling for.
Cannes is about 25 km (11 miles) away from the village of St Paul de Vence, so I take the train.
I bring homemade brownies and chocolate chip cookies because the direct route from stomach to heart is a universal phenomenon that I'm happy to exploit with my American treats.
The train goes right along the coast. In some places the tracks are just a few meters from the water.
I'm on the train for a short 20 minutes enjoying views like this
with a big goofy grin on my face like this.
I get off the train at a small station on the far side of Cannes
and cross under the tracks to walk along the water.
This is an old concrete French mile marker letting us know that decades ago Cannes was 4 km away. Cannes has since grown outward to meet this post. There are modern and more precise street signs too, but this old one remains.
Paul's house is around the corner.
A few years ago Paul left his big career and busy life in Amsterdam. Now he owns and manages this Bed & Breakfast and swims in the sea every day.
All that smiling on the train has left me exhausted and hungry. Paul pours us some rose and we take the cookies out to the terrace
where we sit for hours
staring at the water.
Then I get a tour of the yard. There's a grapevine, of course. In French the word for grapevine is vigne, which means simply "vine" because what other kind of vine could there possibly be?
French succulents look a lot like American succulents.
This is a Bougainvillea and behind are big shutters that protect the windows in winter.
I also get a tour of the interior.
Here's a bedroom and terrace with a gorgeous view of the sea.
But the best view in the house is from this bathroom.
When Paul isn't looking I sneak back and snoop around the villa to take pictures of the details.
Mostly I got pictures of the bathrooms.
Because look at this toilet. It's pink! And round! What could be better?
Oh geez. It just got better. An LP collection. Ramones! We listen to a little music and then walk to the sandy beach.
We splash around in the clear cool water. But this is a lot of work for us and we soon realize we need more wine. Fortunately, there's a federal law in France requiring wine to be within arms reach at all times so we order a glass from the beachside wine stand.
I thought we were taking a selfie together, but when I turn around I find Paul on the phone with a client. Dude. Tell them you're on a date.
The sun is setting, which means the moon is rising. We finish our wine and head back to the house to watch the eclipse.
The eclipse looked a lot like this picture that I found on the internet.
In the morning there was sunlight and bread
and tea on the terrace.