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Thread: We made our sixth and best trip to St Barth from November 26- December 5. Travelling on Thanksgiving day has proven to be pretty smooth over the past few years to SBH and other destinations. St Bart

  1. #1
    marybeth is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,291
    We made our sixth and best trip to St Barth from November 26- December 5. Travelling on Thanksgiving day has proven to be pretty smooth over the past few years to SBH and other destinations. St Barth Commuter continues to be reliable and efficient. A note to anyone new to using SBC…you need to keep your boarding pass from your inbound carrier to avoid paying the transit tax (also note to the people in front of us at the SBC luggage check- yelling at them does not change this fact! LOL)

    We have used Island Car every trip and find them great to work with. They also charge in dollars, allowing us to use our AMEX and enjoy the benefits of their great rental coverage. We got a suitably banged up Grand Vitara, which was helpful when we almost drove through the Villa Enfin gate! No need for said insurance… :laugh:

    We rented from Marla this trip and they were absolutely wonderful. I had lots of questions about the place and Nadine answered them all in great detail. The cleaners came the first day with extra hangers (yes, I overpacked…again….) and scheduled their future visits. They kept the place spotless and even came on Sunday (surprise!) This is a local business and we would definitely use them again.

    Our days are spent on the various beaches, snorkeling, reading and soaking up the sun. We had great days at Flammands, St Jean, Gouveneur, Saline and Colombier.




    One rainy day we checked out the Shell Museum (amazing place to document both shells and obsessive compulsive disorder ) Be sure to use bug spray before your visit.

    We also climbed up a set of stairs in Gustavia that took us to a look-out above Shell Beach.




    We enjoyed some of our old favorite restaurants for dinner: Eddy’s (twice), The Palace (favorite!), Le Repaire (just OK) and L’Enracte. I want make a point on that last one. We had a fabulous meal, causal with very good service. We shared a goat cheese salad, the clam special (in a butter garlic sauce YUM!), and calzone. Split a dessert and bottle of wine for just under €100. Our third time here and it’s a favorite. We tried Harbour Saladerie for the first time and thought it was great. Randy especially loved the duck.

    Lunches were at Nikki Beach, Santa Fe, Creperie, Grain de Sel and, of course, Le Select. All were good but Santa Fe is a favorite for the amazing view and great host. Also the Creperie is fantastic and such a bargain.




    We did could a few meals in, as I noted in another post. The butcher in St Jean has a great selection of steaks and sausages, all delicious. An early morning trip to the fish market yielded a beautiful piece of wahoo (yes, I did print out and bring the Miker Idiots Guide to Dead Whole Fish.) Thanks Mike and all who contributed advice and recipes.




    We packed green herbs in ziplock baggies and did not get stopped by customs, bought fish with sign language and really bad French, and cooked the whole mess up with some grilled veggies and coconut rice. Cooking on this island rocks! Next trip I’m getting one of those lobsters!!

    Speaking of next trip...we have been fortunate to visit SBH 6 times in about 4 years. We have a trip to Europe planned for June so won't make it back until next Thanksgiving. I'll have to live vicariously through forum trip reports until then.


    I began the post by saying this was the best trip ever. I think we are now in such a rhythm or pattern to our visits that we begin to relax from our otherwise stressful lives the minute we land on the island. In this case, familiarity breeds content! But another thing that made this trip so fun was all the great people we met. We had a wonderful time at Tomva and Katva’s party, then hooking up with some of that group the following night. Dennis and Wendy are lovely hosts and it was nice to see the Normandy and hear about the island’s history. The sbhonline get together was so fun and we enjoyed meeting/seeing everyone. We also met Mitch and Gretchen (honeymoon trip report below) and had fun talking, snorkeling and lunching with them.


    Thanks to the moderators and contributors on this site who allow me to feed my SBH addiction! Happy New Year all!
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  2. #2
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 52,003
    excelent..thanks for sharing....I love the picture of the Caribs, the Matouks, and the infamous numbah nine card from Select!
    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

  3. #3
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 51,673
    Nice report! Thanks for taking the time to put it together for us. No lost points for late submission :)
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

  4. #4
    Voosh is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2007 Detroit Posts: 13,136
    Thank you. Don't worry about carib time when posting. It's the memories and great pix that count.

    Guess I'll go out and clear some snow right now. Then I'll probably come back in and look at the pictures again. :)
    Yeah, Yeah - IMHO

  5. #5
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,024


    ...popular number!!!

    great report...thank you for reminding why i love that island so much!
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  6. #6
    cec1 is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,225
    As a chronicler of St. Barths travels, I want to tell you, MaryBeth, that I admire your memory of all that you saw, ate, did, and enjoyed and how you share it with us so fully. It was fun to come to know you and Randy a bit better . . . and I look forward to another occasion for spending time together on our favorite island!

  7. #7
    stbartslover is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2003 Ann Arbor, MI---Flamands Posts: 2,577
    Really nice shots Marybeth...esp. the plages. That one of Shell Beach from the top looks fake.
    Thanks for taking great care of "our" Gretchen and Mitch as well.
    Jeff
    Flamands Blue
    www.stbartsvilla.com

  8. #8
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,403
    Loved reading this just now. Perfect impetus to help me in my preparations. Marybeth, you are right. This forum allows us to indulge in our addiction when off island. Phil tells me all the time that I have a problem but I know it is not a problem, it is the fuel that feeds my engines!
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  9. #9
    Jeanette is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2005 Cambridge, MA Posts: 7,352
    A picture paints a thousand words... I loved your trip report. Those stairs above Shell beach were down the street from where I was stayed. Now I am intrigued to climb them next time given the fabulous view of Shell Beach!!
    Liberté, Égalité, Sororité

  10. #10
    andynap is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 Philadelphia Posts: 43,612
    Very nice Marybeth. So many restaurants- all good.


    Andy

  11. #11
    Voosh is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2007 Detroit Posts: 13,136
    Are those the stairs that have the warning sign about tree sap that can really irritate your skin? Or am I mixing up stairs at the southwest end of Gustavia?
    Yeah, Yeah - IMHO

  12. #12
    marybeth is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,291
    Voosh,
    Yes those are the steps. Here are a few more pics from up there...



    Also meant to ask, does anyone know what this is all about? Looks like a huge project.



    Here is one more shot from the way back down. I love Gustavia!

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  13. #13
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,403
    Just great, Marybeth.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  14. #14
    Voosh is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2007 Detroit Posts: 13,136
    Since I haven't been "on isle" since 2008, I can't comment on "projects." Great pics. I like how you got a plane cruising in with a north view of the "big town."






    We have always hit upon these views and I know Tim rolls his eyes when I post them. I hope our island hosts realize that it's only about 9 square miles that they are dealing with.
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    Yeah, Yeah - IMHO

  15. #15
    stbartslover is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2003 Ann Arbor, MI---Flamands Posts: 2,577
    Great photos.
    Large project seen near the hospital in Gustavia (3rd one, second set) a source informed me will be senior housing, separate apartments with the basic concept of US/Canadian style assited living.

    Toward the harbor in front of that are new apartmets..being built I was told by the owner of the BAZ bar.
    Jeff
    Flamands Blue
    www.stbartsvilla.com

  16. #16
    katva is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2009 Posts: 4,769
    Hi again! just a quick note to let you know that meeting you two and having such a wonderful time was a highlight of our trip as well! Love the trip report...hope we will see you on-island again, in the not-to-distant future...if not before! Cheers, Kathy & Tom
    If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room :)

  17. #17
    Eddie is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2004 virginia Posts: 6,890
    Nice job, Marybeth...

    I don't know whether I prefer trip reports from experienced visitors, and their ability to make comparisons from previous trips, or reports from newbies, and the way they convey the sense of awe we all feel/felt the first time. Both offer a lot...
    www.stbartsphotos.com
    Facebook EMH-Photography

  18. #18
    Voosh is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2007 Detroit Posts: 13,136
    Eddie,

    Every trip is a new trip. IMHO.
    Yeah, Yeah - IMHO

  19. #19
    julianne is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2003 CT Posts: 3,082
    What a great report, Marybeth. Thank you for sharing your trip. We, too, have used Island car rental for many years. Excellent service and prices.

  20. #20
    marybeth is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,291
    Thanks all for the nice comments. I know how much I love reading trip reports on here so I felt responsible for reciprocating. In fact, it should be a rule for all members to post trip reports/pics...with the exception of Amy, of course. Her job is to post while ON the island so we can vicariously enjoy all those amazing meals!

  21. #21
    JEK is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jan 2004 In the ether . . . Posts: 51,673
    By the powers vested in Tim and Dennis, I so DECREE!
    The Marius 100th Birthday Party -- June 5, 2023

  22. #22
    Cheri is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Oct 2002 St. Louis, Missouri Posts: 2,431
    Quote Originally Posted by marybeth
    In fact, it should be a rule for all members to post trip reports/pics...with the exception of Amy, of course. Her job is to post while ON the island so we can vicariously enjoy all those amazing meals!
    Since we are not going this year, I really like that rule. And it's a given that everyone is looking forward to the reports of Phil and Amy (not to put pressure on them or anything).

    Very nice report, Marybeth. Thanks for posting.

    Cheri

  23. #23
    MIke R is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2003 Stinson Lake - New Hampshire & Provincetown - Cape Cod Posts: 52,003
    I agree!!..and not only that....but my daily embedded cruise reports are making a comeback after a 3 year hiatus!!!!..how exciting it that??..NOT!!!!

    "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace" Jimi Hendrix

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