It's taken a little while to post this from last fall, but job changes, our complicated first home purchase and family issues took priority. We'd like to share just a few pictures (of several hundred) and story of the amazing trip we had this time around.
After four wonderful years of marriage we could not think of a better present to each other than a return trip to St Barts! It was a little sweeter this time since we felt a little more like regulars than just casual visitors on our little French Island. We're still paying off the final student loans. So, thanks to 80K of ff miles from USAir Master Cards, a job bonus and off season discount with a free night thrown in, we were able to pull it off with everything else going on in our lives. It was incredible last time and were so happy we stayed a full 10 days instead of 8 the previous year---like long-timers we read about here who keep adding to their trips. There is something so special about seeing Gustavia harbor come in to view on the flight in.
Jeff's attention to detail at Flamands Blue was even better than we remembered.
Starting off with tradition, we shared bottle of good Rose' which was waiting for us in the frig before unpacking and heading out to Flamands Beach for a first swim.
Then, hiking down the steeper path to Colombier, a favorite beach and getting in some exercise for a pair of athletic types before indulging in rich French cuisine!
There we were excited to jump out as far as we could into the crystal-clear waters near the former Rockefeller Estate.
Spa time in our own tropical paradise, always nice to soak in the Jacuzzi after a long afternoon in the sun.
We've been all over the island now and the natural pools remain our favorite hangout, since we love the beauty and rugged seclusion of this place. One afternoon we were joined by another couple for a dip who lived in France and we spent time with them later in the trip.
Good to see Devin in a relaxed moment (his days are go-go-go at the office...looking to make partner at his firm) viewing yachts in the harbor just after watching a beautiful sunset before walking the Quay to dinner.
We arranged to share a nice brunch and spend the afternoon on Jeff's recommendation at Hotel Manapany with our new French friends, Julien and Samia. When we told them about plans to go cliff jumping the next day they said they were in, too!
One of the highlights this time was hiking out to the "Leap of Faith" (named from WIMCO contest) and jump off the cliffs ourselves! Here with friends led by our private guide Helene Bernier of Easy Time tours to this place we tried to find last year on our own. It's not easy to locate and you pass through areas known to her and locals past abandoned construction and what looked like an old unauthorized dump climbing over fences. Jeff arranged and paid for this as a gift to us, we totally recommend her!
We took so many jumping pictures, it was hard to choose which ones to post. I was terrified the entire time but made it about halfway up! This place is truly awesome with the sound of the sea rushing in and out between the rocks and beautiful colors of the natural pool. Our camera did not record so I'm posting this clip from youtube locals made to give you an idea.
Devin was the only who climbed all the way up to the top and lept from the tallest ledge. SO daring!
Rare for us to get a picture together! Enjoying the beautiful turquoise waters at Gouverneur.
We really looked forward to this dining and indulged in a bottle of excellent Crystal Champagne for our anniversary dinner. The Wall House does not disappoint when it comes to beef and this was the best we both have ever had, period.
Our annual photo with Proprietor Julian Tatin who treated us like old friends. Our favorite restaurant in the world!
Other restaurants we tried were good, too---among them Hotel Manapany, Eddy's and LeBouchon.
We didn't spend much time at this beach, but after a late afternoon swim down near the end, Devin had the idea to make Eden Roc fit in the palm of my hand. So cool!
Our last night at our villa (10 days flew by), a little visitor came to see us. Fortunately, he had a collar and we were able to phone and return him to his owner. His name was Kenza, so cute and friendly. Local people up the hillside had been searching for him and were grateful to be re-united, we met them in the restaurant parking area by the bakery.
Needless to say, we had a wonderful time and can't wait to return sooner rather than later!
We're fortunate like all of you to have found this island and enjoy these trips together.
Showing these photos to friends there might be a future couples visit.
Thanks to Jeff for taking such good care of us again!!
Jessie & Devin