A weekend in Cannes

Published on Mon, Jun 7, 2010 by Tim and JoAnn Howe

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From the moment we were picked up at our house by the limo at 1:30 Friday
afternoon until we were dropped off on Monday at 4:30 PM, we did not have to
think about a thing. We flew business class from Vancouver, BC to Frankfurt and
from there to Nice. We arrived in Nice at 2:30 p.m. and we were greeted by Nadia,
our chaperon for the weekend, the two-man film crew, and Guy, our chauffeur.
We didn’t have a chance to snap any photos as we were being photographed in
route to our hotel in Cannes. The Citron attracted attention and then the fact
that we were being filmed attracted attention, so people thought they should get
pictures of us as well. Very bizarre!

Once at the Ritz Carlton, we had our “Stella Artois moment,” opening a bottle,
pouring the luscious beer into the Stella Artois glass with Jacuqes D’Azur’s
insignia (we brought four home with us) and toasting to our VIP weekend
adventure.

The next hour was spent getting ready for the red carpet. Tim had his final
tuxedo fitting and a barber shave. I had my make up and hair done in the '60s
style.

We were ready to walk the red carpet. Guy aptly drove through the traffic to get
us to the Palais de Festival where we saw the screening of Wood Allen’s “You
Will Met a Tall Dark Stranger.” Jean Claude Van Dame was on the red carpet
when we arrived; we walked the carpet and up the stairs right behind him – the
heel of my shoe made every effort to catch the hem of my gown as I reached the
top of the stairs. Thank goodness it didn’t. That was not have been the photo
opportunity I wanted to give the paparazzi.

We saw Woody Allen, Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, Diane Lane and other stars in
the movie from a distance. That was as close as we got to any stars all weekend.
I understand why, the paparazzi mob anyone they think is someone. We were a
prime example. Our guys were filming us as we walked from the Palais to the Le
Fouquet’s for dinner, so the paparazzi did the same. Lights bulbs going off in our
face every few steps-it was ridiculous. All we could do was laugh.

I’m sure you are asking what they were filming us for—we asked the same thing.
No one knew exactly how the photos and video were going to be used, but that is
why we were there. Hopefully we should get some copies and perhaps one day
you’ll see us in a Stella Artois commercial.

After our late dinner, we headed back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Although a VIP Party was on the schedule, it did not happen. Just as well.
Guy picked us up at 10 a.m. Sunday morning and we headed to Cannes Port to
take the helicopter to Port Grimaud. This was nothing new for Tim since he
frequently travels to the various jobs in Western Canada by helicopter. But for
the rest of us; myself, Nadia and camera crew it was a first.

Our first stop in St. Tropez was at Senequier where all the jet setters go to see and
be seen. We sat and people watched, enjoying an Irish Coffee.
Then we headed to Pampelonne Beach for lunch at Club 55 – another place
where the rich and famous gather for lunch with friends and family.
Club 55 originated in 1955, when Bridget Bardot was making a film here. She
lived just around the corner, or hill. There were no restaurants for the cast and
crew to get meals, so this house was rented and served as a very upscale “mess
hall”. The food was great – word traveled – food continued to be served after the
film was completed and thus Club 55 was born.

We did go to a VIP party after dinner, but it was rather boring. People were
there to network, seal deals for future films, etc.

We decided to gather the troops and have our own party at the bar in the
Carlton.

Nadia called the film crew to join us, without cameras, and Guy parked the car so
that he too could join the fun.

Guy was there with Nadia the next morning (Monday) at 7:30 to collect us for the
drive to Nice where we caught our flight to Frankfurt and then home.

A limo was waiting at the Vancouver International Airport to bring us home.
That evening as we sat at the kitchen counter having dinner, we looked at each
other and said “We were just in Cannes for the weekend.” Unbelievable!