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Thread: Part 5 - the longest one yet!

  1. #1
    lvbookworm is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Feb 2019 Las Vegas, NV Posts: 152

    Part 5 - the longest one yet!

    This post could easily be written with five simple words: Croissants, shopping, lunch, nap, dinner. But why use five when 1500 would do?

    We woke early, and after our daily croissants (and chouquettes) we loaded the car with necessities for a morning at the beach and a 12:30 lunch reservation at Nikki. While pulling out of the driveway we heard the return of construction noise and patted ourselves on the back for having such exquisite timing. As we approached the round-about we realized we hadn't yet spent any of our hard earned money in the shops of Gustavia. Knowing that it would be oh-so-wrong if we didn't spread the love around, back down the hill we went.

    In December, right after we found out we were going on this vacation, my husband asked what I wanted for Christmas. I told him that all I wanted was a day shopping for purses in St. Barth's! Well, my shopping day was here and I had my sights set on a few goodies.

    We took our time browsing through touristy souvenir shops and high-end stores alike. I'm always on the lookout for t-shirts whenever I travel, and I was disappointed that I hadn't yet found one. Don't get me wrong - I saw some I liked. But I get so frustrated at the super-skinny styles and lightweight/see-through materials that seem to be all the rage. be 16 again!

    Eventually we made our way to Longchamp. I'm a big fan, and I still give sentimental preference to the bags I purchased on previous trips. They didn't have the two particular styles I was currently looking for, and there was nothing else that screamed "take me home!" No presents from Santa here.

    We wandered into the Louis Vuitton store just to "see what's new." Everything was looking a bit 'same old same old' but, lo and behold, one of the salespeople brought out from the stockroom a bag I'd never seen before. It was absolutely adorable and it stole my heart. For about 10 seconds I debated whether or not to spend the money, then gleefully proclaimed "Wrap it up!" As we were leaving the store my husband chastised me for making such a quick, impulsive decision. This caught me off guard because A) it normally takes me forever to make up my mind, and B) he is very much a go-with-the-flow kinda guy and would never, ever comment on a purchase even if he hated whatever it was I bought. I immediately started having second thoughts and, for a fleeting moment, a wee bit of post-purchase remorse. When he saw the look on my face he couldn't help but burst out laughing. It seems the staff were offering champagne to tempt those who couldn't make up their minds. If I had only taken five minutes more he'd be enjoying a glass of bubbles!

    Next stop - Laurent Effel. The previous night (prior to our cardio workout walking up to Bonito) we passed by their window where more than a few items caught my eye. So many pretty things here! My husband took his time looking around the men's section while I examined and tried on what must have been a dozen or so purses. (For all you men scratching your head right about now: Yes, trying on a purse is definitely a "thing.") After a good amount of time mentally constructing a pro/con list for each bag, my decision was made and out the store I went with another present in hand. Perhaps we could call this one a stocking stuffer?

    Realizing that it was noon we made our way back to the car and were on our way to Nikki. We parked, strategically placed the loot under an extra beach towel in the back, and said a silent prayer that it would all be there when we returned.

    We were greeted with a warm welcome from the hostess, a cool breeze coming off the water and a million dollar view! With a smile on our face we looked at each other and wondered why had we waited so long to come here? There were only a few tables occupied, and we were given a table right along the edge of the sand.

    We started with a bottle of Minuty Rosé and - being our first time dining at Nikki - began the task of trying to decide what to order. Maybe I was just hungry after all the mental anguish of shopping, but everything looked SO good.

    Before we had a chance to order, the house photographer came by our table and asked if he could take our photo. I usually poo-pooh this sort of thing, but when it's just the two of us on vacation we never seem to have pictures with both of us in the same shot. We agreed, feeling a little self-conscious as he posed us this way and that. After a bit he moved along to the next table, and we finally placed our order.

    For me: Tahitian Mahi Mahi Tartare and Thai Beef Salad.
    The tartare was finely diced pieces of fish mixed with coconut milk, kaffir lime, tomatoes, onions, carrots and cucumber. This is one of those dishes that, while very good, ended up being completely different than what I had expected. The flavors were quite mild, and the texture reminded me of a picnic potato salad.

    The Thai beef didn't resemble what you would consider a typical salad, but rather more of an appetizer. Thinly sliced grilled beef was fanned out on layers of sliced vegetables, papaya, and roasted peanuts. Of all the Thai-inspired dishes I ordered during the week, the dressing on this salad had the most impressive flavors. I would definitely order it again - but not as a main course.

    For my husband: Tuna Tataki and Risotto St Jacques.
    This is a meal my husband would never forget! The tataki was diced raw tuna mixed with kimchee, masago and sesame oil. While satisfying, the best was yet to come. From the first bite of risotto he could not stop raving about how good it was. Three perfectly plump, caramelized scallops were served atop a bed of creamy risotto with a drizzle of some sort of intoxicating truffle magic. I was lucky enough to grab a bite before it disappeared, and I immediately agreed with his assessment.

    It was at this point during the meal that we both made the same executive decision: book another Nikki reservation for the next day. Going to the same restaurant two days in a row is something we never do! The hostess confirmed availability, and when we mentioned to our waiter how much we loved our table he gave her a wink and some sort of secret-looking hand signal that we hoped translated into "give them the same spot tomorrow."

    After our plates were cleared the photographer returned with an ipad containing samples of our photos. When I glanced at the first one I was sure he had opened up the wrong folder and given us someone else's file. But upon closer inspection I realized that it was me. This man is a genius! He managed to capture an essence of the two of us separately and together in a way not seen since our wedding. These pictures didn't come cheap, but we easily chose three we liked, handed over our credit card and decided it was the best money we spent all day - possibly all week!

    Our stomachs were full, our wallet was empty, but we left with the promise of another Nikki adventure the next day. We returned to the villa to find the construction workers long gone, and we enjoyed the remaining afternoon hours dozing on our deck.

    After our nap we decided to search out more pizza. We frequented Le Bouchon on previous visits, and it had been on our list to try again. When we arrived it was not very busy, and I was thankful because this meant that there wasn't very much smoke. (A side note on smoke - we have experienced far less in the restaurants compared to our last visit in 2010. Perhaps this is once again a result of the new generation being more health conscious? Whatever the reason - I'm all for it!)

    We had no difficulties deciding what to order. It was a shared meal of a simple Salade du Bouchon, and pizza Reine Blanche with crème fraîche, mozzerella, lardon and mushrooms. The pizza was just as I had remembered, but it wasn't as good as the version at Les Bananiers. We passed on dessert knowing that, although we ate today's allotment of chouquettes, we had plenty of fixins' for Dame Blanche at the villa.

    On our way back we had a moment of sadness as we realized we only had one more full day in St. Barth's. We chased that feeling away by rolling down the windows, turning the radio up full blast and singing along with Elton John at the top of our lungs. The sadness quickly gave way to the anticipation of another day in paradise.

  2. #2
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,713

    Re: Part 5 - the longest one yet!

    What. Delightful read this morning. You rock! Keep soaking up the joys you are finding and thanks again for taking the writing time and sharing hyour adventures with your growing fan base.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  3. #3
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,923

    Re: Part 5 - the longest one yet!

    A really fabulous report! So glad to read every line! (I’m with your husband in regret over missing the “bubbles!”). I have no worry about your last day . . . you’re clearly on a roll & will thrill in everything you do.

  4. #4
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 2,183

    Re: Part 5 - the longest one yet!

    You are certainly setting a high standard. Lots following and enjoying your writings. Thank you!

  5. #5
    marybeth is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2004 Pittsburgh, PA Posts: 3,395

    Re: Part 5 - the longest one yet!

    Great reports, love them all. You guys sound like a blast.

  6. #6
    Tiffany is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2014 Virginia Beach, VA Posts: 746

    Re: Part 5 - the longest one yet!

    You do St. Barts my way!

  7. #7
    lvbookworm is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Feb 2019 Las Vegas, NV Posts: 152

    Re: Part 5 - the longest one yet!

    Thanks for the continued encouragement! I think my posts keep getting longer each day because, once complete, it will be like the trip coming to an end all over again. If I just keep writing I can stay there forever!

  8. #8
    NancySC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 1,064

    Re: Part 5 - the longest one yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by lvbookworm View Post
    Thanks for the continued encouragement! I think my posts keep getting longer each day because, once complete, it will be like the trip coming to an end all over again. If I just keep writing I can stay there forever!
    Await the final installment ! wonderful time you had, but sad for you two to leave, hopefully not for snowy place !

  9. #9
    lvbookworm is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Feb 2019 Las Vegas, NV Posts: 152

    Re: Part 5 - the longest one yet!

    Quote Originally Posted by NancySC View Post
    Await the final installment ! wonderful time you had, but sad for you two to leave, hopefully not for snowy place !
    Funny that you should say that. Normally I would chuckle and say not a chance! But we live in Las Vegas and, as you may have seen on the news, we had snow a couple of weeks ago. My daughter actually got to experience her first official "snow day," although technically more for ice than snow. It was pretty while it lasted and didn't stick around long. Today we're back up to sunny and 70 - so life is good!

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