Just a few photos from a relaxing vacation, right between Bucket Regatta Week and Easter. The island was quieter than our prior visit early January just after New Years, which just happened to fall over the Russian New Year...quite a scene.
"Toes in the sand" morning as my wife & I walked down from the villa to the calm turquoise sea along plage Flamands.
Our first day, a leisurely Sunday Brunch at Hotel LeToiny-- just a good as last trip.
We visited our regular beaches, too: Gouverneur, Shell, Saline and Colombier.
Note: her beach coverup is one we saw in the window last trip at the Spice shop in St Jean.
New owner/manager Alain is doing an excellent job here. We had pizza and fish and though the menu and pricing is about the same as by the former owners, it has a nicer vibe with better service than before.
We've hiked over most of the island, including a guided one by Helene Bernier out to the "cliff jumping pool" (we passed on that), but the natural ones off Grand Fond are a place not to be missed.
Caroline about 1/2 way out past the flat rocks on the beach, up and down the goat path, just past her on her left is the most treacherous spot where the going gets narrow.
It's a quite steep drop off here along the path and long way down to the boulders, one wrong step and.....
We soaked in the pools and hiked the rock formations---good water shoes are a must over the loose stones and in the pools where there are urchins.
The sound of the sea and water colors are so very beautiful.
Little details creep in when you have a place...one midday after lunch I found a little time to do a scrub the dining chairs and let them dry in the sun while we went to the plage.
Since we rent our villa most weeks it's imperative to have good staff. As a maintenance guy I enjoy observing and interacting with trade and service people who make things go smoothly. Our conscientious gardener on the right is showing his vacation replacement the exact procedure for cleaning the filters so the drip watering system works perfectly.
Jicky Marine: husband & wife Caroline and Emmaunel run their marine service business in a friendly and efficient manner, we recommend them to all our friends and villa Guests. They provide water transfers from St Marten, charters, boat rentals and several weekly scheduled trips on their large, brand new Catamarran. The crew was very good and they took us to a place where we and we snorkeled right over the starfish.
Afterward we swam up the beach and were handed ice cold Rose' for the return...an afternoon does not get too much better than this.
Always a favorite for us....a beautiful long lunch at Hotel Manapany.
Afterward my wife swam laps in the pool while I chatted with local music celebrity PapaGuyo (far right sunning himself) who is an afternoon regular.
Fellow rental villa owner Libby Troyer (Villa Kercliff & Haute Maison) invited us to join the St Barth International Villa Owners Association and listen this evening to a very informative talk by internationally known Ocean Scientist Deborah Brosnan, who was instrumental in helping plan and establish the Marine Parks about the island. Dr. Brosnan explained the dune project she supervised at Gouverneur Beach and reef restoration efforts elsewhere.
In the photo: Deborah Brosnan, President Melanie Smith and Secretary Ellen Lampert-Greaux.
We learned this group supports many worthwhile projects on St Barth.
You know it's a good "vacance" when your afternoon is fully taken up by swimming, skipping rocks on the plage at Shell Beach and hanging out at your favorite place to watch the sunset. Manager David (formerly of Nikki Beach) is a gracious host at Do Brazil and we've gotten excellent feedback and enjoyed very nice dining there ourselves.
Even though the fare, company and the ambiance were superb, it was bittersweet dining at Wall House hosted by good friend and Co-Proprietor Julian Tatian. We'd had lunch there earlier in the week he filled us in on details of the pending sale, discussed healing from his scooter accident last December and he made time for us as we took him to dinner at LaLangooste. Over the five years he and his father Bernard have run this fine restaurant I've gotten to know them well by sending our Guests on a regular basis. For this special occasion my wife wore a vintage (let's just say it was purchased in a St Barth shop in French Francs) silk dress.
I know many of us here wish he and his father Bernard the best in their future endeavors ----this pair of class guys will be missed.
One of our favorite St Barts couples we always look forward to spending time with, Diana and Didier. Earlier in the week the four of us were at Eddy's, but here our last evening the preferred LeSantoise pizza on the villa terrace with salad and cold Caribs.
Last morning a pre-departure stroll down from Flamands Blue to the beach where a passer by at Isle de France snapped this happy couple and asked,
"your first time here?"