Princess Juliana: we overlapped with honeymooners at Flamands Blue who came to see us at the departure gate. Nice kids from Maryland who married last May but waited for these dates.
USAir/Winair early so after Marche we went over to Shell Beach for a sunset swim in the calm ocean & afterward LeRepaire for dinner.
First morning in PJs admiring views---sea was A-typically flat during the week---"Christmas Winds" were yet to arrive.
Holiday tradition is to get a case of good wine to distribute to workers and friends. Lucian Mgr at the Marine Store has assisted me SO often over the years with just the right screw, nut, sealant and wisdom. Servicing the yachts...he's become an expert on any type of corrosion---every time I thank him he says the same: "Jeff, it's just my job."
I know for a fact he appreciates a nice dry Bordeaux.
What's with these villa Guests of ours?
Got Rhum for example (Lynette & David) gave Caroline a spa treatment on our arrival and another friend on the island I did a favor for had Vincent of Premium IV deliver a box of good wine to us. Days are short but little traffic---nice time to be here.
Routine is a Flamands plage walk down from the villa pre-dinner one of the things that over a decade of doing this really makes it feel like 2nd home.
Plain folks in contast to some of those who will be this beach in just a couple of weeks, I'm told.
We'd did the pretty hike to Colombier more than once. Due to the fall rains there were some washouts on the trail causing loose stones.
We swam Colombier early and one day saw the biggest tub ever coming in very close to the plage---I assumed this was no-anchor zone but he dropped them both kicking up the sand?
We treated ourselves to the spa/lunch, now under new management.
Sorbet after massage---which is pretty decadent.
Beautiful lunch and wine were served in the same nice but other than us, vacant dining room---awesome views, though.
Wife taking: "you're going to be Grandparents" call...Doc Caroline of course concered about the fine points of pre-natal care..
Want a "locals only" SB vibe? This is it---we love this place. No English---our opinion the best pizza on the island.
We'd wanted to try lunch at the newly renovated Christopher...still under construction (saws in the background), but the fare and ambiance were very good.
Hotel Director Christian came over chat with us---our former Villa Mgr Aurelian is now in his employ.
In this setting, I was compelled to try a glam shot.
We noticed that one of our favorite local groups was playing at one of our favorite dining establishments---Kifi Massai.
PapaGuyo with Nungan was an excellent show.
Every few months or so someone accidently walks into this large doorwall screen (fix 80E+ hassle)... Solution?
My SBHonline friend Ron Herman (Pirate 40) tells me his customers in Florida use these and graciously sent me a few from his shop.
One afternoon we noticed the beautifully restored former racing yacht Silver Fox calmly anchored off our front terrace---apparently on a charter for guests at Taiwana.
The island was just starting to get busy...Mini Coopers being lined up at Isle de France.
Sophisticated traffic control has come to St.Barth.
This was the first day of the new project to direct vehicles at Anse de Cayes, with proper alignment & sight distance----very well done at this quirky intersection with LED lighting as well.
Miss my old Buddy Bertrand at Marine Service, however, new owners, Jicky Marine took just us on a sunset cruise in their gorgeous Catamaran.
Our skipper Mickael is a very knowledgeable nature & bird lover like my wife.
He and Caroline discussing ornithology.
A favorite take-out lunch place---LeJardin---great for picnic fare, excellent value.
We stopped in for lunch at Cantina to see former Wall House co-proprietor Frank Mathevet. He explained to Caroline his son is now in a pre-medical program in Quebec. It's owned by Matthews/Eden Roc and the lunch dishes are prepared in the ER kitchen and re-heated on site.
In Gustavia there were Christmas concerts on the Quay. This particular band was pretty good...it even featured a jamming St Barth Collectivite President Magras himself on the bass guitar---far right.
Chatted with Bruno once about his playing--he laughed, "your Clinton had the Sax".
We spent time at our other favorite beach, Gouvanier, too.
Stopped by afterward to pick up slipcovers from Anabelle. Seems we've known her since she was a little girl---she and her sister both help run their mother's boutique. On one occasion I asked how I could repay a favor for something she'd done quickly for me pre-villa Guests---she said "you can remember to send a nice envelope for my wedding". Loved that!
Our last evening we took a beach stroll with a full moon rising over Baie Flamands. As we walked by Hotel Taiwana it looked like a large party and the place was much more full than we'd seen before---note the Martha Stewart Postcard.
Last night dining with friend Terrie at Harbor Saladerie---Caroline really liked her Thai salad--wife is happy = I'm happy.
Departing morning the maintence guy was touching up for a crisp look---Guests coming that afternoon.
Last trip, one of my workers commented on the hat---isn't that a NASCAR team?
Bye St.Barts 'till next trip---we loved the Orange/Teak/Grey of the airport renovation.
See you next spring.