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Thread: May visit 2019

  1. #61
    Rosita is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2003 st-barthelemy Posts: 1,805

    Re: May visit 2019

    Lol....Missy
    rosita
    ..........
    villa la baleine | villa les jardins d'Emmanuel | villa les basses

  2. #62
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,213

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Rosita View Post
    Lol....Missy
    By the way...do you have any new rhum for July?
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  3. #63
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 20,370

    Re: May visit 2019

    Just think of them as natural mosquito control.

  4. #64
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 352

    Re: May visit 2019

    Sprinkles, rain and a deluge.

    Villa faces the east, so was awoken by an amazing sunrise at 5:30am. Still too early to be up, so back to bed for a couple of hours. With maid set to arrive, we pack up and head to Gouverneurs, which now involves that crazy curve up to Lurin. A bit cloudy driving down the hill with lot's of apparent sargassum. As we trudge toward the entrance, the beach is roped off and a single backhoe is gathering up large amounts of seaweed. The operator notices us and all but said the beach is closed. When I asked about Saline, he said it's just as bad and recommended St Jean. Haven't been so make a couple of stops along the way (drop off a Carte Postale, etc...) before setting up on the "pelican" side. Cloudy, but fairly quiet with a few families splashing in the calm water. Not too much into the party vibe, so have avoided Nikki Beach all these years, but this has been a trip of "firsts", so why not. Beachside dining is always wonderful and the service was good as was the food. Had a beef thai salade and the "Trendy" sushi platter. Nice assortment, although not Uchi (for my Texas friends). About the time our café gourmand arrives, the sprinkles start, which forces the day bed crowd off the beach.

    With no sunshine likely, we stop by the airport to check on the extra luggage situation with Tradewind. Turns out flight have been booked, so we have been liberated of the 100 lbs limit on our departure. Thus we can go shopping and fill up a single suitcase for a solo trip on Friday, while the remaining two bags come with us on Saturday. Hallelujah! Immediately stop by the liquor store across road for some Reimonenq Rhum (for ti puches) and Havana Club 3 anos (daiquiris and mojitos). A short rest at the villa and a change of clothes for some Gustavia shopping and our Jicky cruise. As we head out, the rain picks up and the cruise appears likely to be more champagne than sunset. La Gloriette rhums are purchased "pour voyager" and the wife got her coral heart sculpture at Teck. Drop everything off in the Jicky and scurry off to the catamaran.

    Meet our companions, including our friends with whom we have done this for the past five years, as well as another couple from Houston and couple of second-timers and a newlywed couple also from Texas. With a sunset obviously out of the question and rain still falling, all elect to venture forth, shades of Gilligan's Island. About hallway out of the harbor, the rain gets more steady and we hurry to the back of the boat for cover and then the skies just open up. With rain coming in sideways and diluting our champagne, the decision is made to abandon the trip and head back the port. The Jicky people were wonderful and offered either rebooking for another day, or for those of us who couldn't, a full refund. Class organization. With restaurants still closed, most of us head over the Victoria for an hour or so of conversation and cocktails.

    About 8, we stroll over to QG with our friends for our regular post-cruise dinner. Never been. Beautiful restaurant, especially as the dining area reveals itself walking up the ramp. Lively crowd with almost the entire left side one big table of locals celebrating a birthday. Service was excellent and the food was quite good. Wife had the lobster tagliatelles (not quite La Langouste standard) and I the duck breast. First I've had since Maya's several years ago, so I can't really make a comparison. Desert was shared "Champagne Gourmands". A carafe of rhum vanille was left on the table, which led to another hour of conversation and catching up.

    Some Photos:

    2019-072.jpg2019-073.jpg2019-074.jpg2019-076.jpg2019-077.jpg

  5. #65
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,213

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
    Just think of them as natural mosquito control.
    I tried, but when they are whizzing by my head at midnight, it's tough to think anything else but "WTF was THAT?" and "How in the heck to I make it go away!" The next couple of nights I thought of them as mosquito control from INSIDE the large sliding glass door.
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  6. #66
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 352

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by GramChop View Post
    I tried, but when they are whizzing by my head at midnight, it's tough to think anything else but "WTF was THAT?" and "How in the heck to I make it go away!" The next couple of nights I thought of them as mosquito control from INSIDE the large sliding glass door.
    Exactly. Buzzed by one last night as we returned from dinner. Unfortunately mosquitoes still around this morning.

  7. #67
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,213

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterLynn View Post
    Exactly. Buzzed by one last night as we returned from dinner. Unfortunately mosquitoes still around this morning.
    I have never seen them anywhere else on the island; just diving and sipping from the pool at Villa Bikini. Have you?
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  8. #68
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,694

    Re: May visit 2019

    QG’s duck is among very best on the island . . . glad that you liked it!

  9. #69
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 2,124

    Re: May visit 2019

    In all the years, I have not had any bat experiences. Maybe they hang out during the day at the Autour Du Rocher ruins.

  10. #70
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 9,175

    Re: May visit 2019

    Hawke we agree. Your photos Peter Lynn are excellent!

  11. #71
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 352

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by dadto6 View Post
    Maybe they hang out during the day at the Autour Du Rocher ruins.
    I was thinking the same thing. As a matter of fact we just returned from wandering around the ruins.

  12. #72
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 352

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by GramChop View Post
    I have never seen them anywhere else on the island; just diving and sipping from the pool at Villa Bikini. Have you?
    No, but most of our visits have been spent on Flamands. Doesn't sound like you hang out by the south congress bridge much.

  13. #73
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,213

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterLynn View Post
    No, but most of our visits have been spent on Flamands. Doesn't sound like you hang out by the south congress bridge much.
    I've kayaked from the Texas Rowing Center on LBL at sunset once to see the bats and one other time I organized a corporate group on a sunset "party boat". Both times gave me the eebie jeebies. Not much of a bat fan....especially at night...alone... while swimming...sans suit. EEEK!
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  14. #74
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 352

    Re: May visit 2019

    Autour Lorient

    Cloudy Ascension day in Lorient. No maid, but alas, no sun either. Invited our friends over for a dinner at "our place", so crept down the driveway to the L'Oasis for a couple of extra steaks and additional vegetables. Being the only "big" store open, it was a bit crowded and a little chaotic. Some reading and touching base with the office and it's lunch time. Down the hill and through the construction zones to the JoJo burger. Fish sandwich was as good as I remember, although a little light on the fish, and the premium cheeseburger was excellent as well. Restaurant also quite crowded with both locals and Americans. Finished, we went for a stroll. First, we paid our respects to Johnny and then crossed over to the beach, passing by the surf shack, which is looking good after having found itself in the cemetery during Irma.

    A few "sun"bathers and the right side of the beach and a number of villas in various states of repair. Heading back toward the other side, there are a few surfers idling in the waves and teenagers running and squealing in and out of the water. Quite a few open areas on this side, including the old Eden Rock pop-up bar. Get to the end, and look up at Autour de Roche. No gate or fence or sign, so step up on the road and wander on up. Few minutes later and we are at the top, silently singing the Jimmy Buffett tune. Surprised to find such a small footprint, so it's hard to image what the place must have been like. Kind of creepy, made all the more so with the wind and overcast skies.

    Back at the villa, some more reading and napping, before we straighten up and being prepping dinner. Friends arrive around six under an interesting pink sky. Much conversation follows as steaks are put on the grill, potatoes roasted and haricot verts sautéed. A nice bordeaux purchased from Baccus across the road makes a great paring. After dinner drinks keep the conversation going, until close to midnight, then it's time to part ways for another year.

    Some Photos:

    2019-078.jpg2019-079.jpg2019-080.jpg2019-081.jpg2019-082.jpg2019-083.jpg2019-084.jpg

  15. #75
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,329

    Re: May visit 2019

    A pleasure meeting you and Lynn. Your adventures were interesting to read I and these reports took me places I have yet to visit.

    Safe travels. Take good care of each other.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  16. #76
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 352

    Re: May visit 2019

    Not done just yet. Dodging raindrops today, Maya's tonight and home tomorrow.

  17. #77
    Hawke is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2011 Posts: 919

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterLynn View Post
    I was thinking the same thing. As a matter of fact we just returned from wandering around the ruins.
    Bats live in many small spaces. They have an undeserved bad reputation. Bats eat an amazing amount of mosquitoes each night. The best bat scene was Woody Allen attempting to kill one.

  18. #78
    KevinS is offline
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 20,370

    Re: May visit 2019

    That Jimmy Buffett tune, Autour du Rocher, was originally written by an island band, Alerte 2B. The band consisted of the Ledee twins Henri and Leon (then of Le Grain de Sel), Jean-Jaques Kraif, and Marcello Limodin (former chef at the old K'fe Massai). Buffett's version is a bit different. Buffett and the Alerte 2B band members share the songwriting credit on Buffett's version.

  19. #79
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,329

    Re: May visit 2019

    Hawke-how about the bat scene in THE BIG CHILL?
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  20. #80
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 352

    Re: May visit 2019

    Final day

    A bit of a slow start after finishing off the remaining wine last night. Made my way down the driveway and across the street for a baguette and veinnoiserie. Arms full, much slower crawl back up to the villa. Still warm, they make for a delicious breakfast with coffee and Malo yoghurt. Real trick to leave the island with an empty refrigerator. Think it might happen this year. About eleven, pack up the extra suitcase with the beach items, Rhum and Rum and head up to airport to hand it off to the Tradewind folks for an early flight to San Juan. Fingers crossed it is waiting for us tomorrow.

    More refrigerator cleaning at lunch and then an afternoon alternating between outdoor reading and indoor organizing, depending on the weather. Books finished, we turn on Canel+ and catch the final episode of "4 Marriages pour une miel de lune". Merveille and Francois won, so we are happy for them. Quick shower and a change of clothes and we are off for the final dinner of the trip at Maya's. After a pretty dreary day, the sunset had some pretty interesting colors and textures, so stop to take some pictures.

    Real obstacle course getting to the restaurant with even the side streets getting rebuilt. Great to see Dora's smiling face as we are seating along the rail. Really missed them this time last year, so it's wonderful to see the restaurant back to its old self. Instead of the usual Tartare and tomato salad, opened with Langouste gratin and pho soup. Both were good, but thinking we should have stuck with our original appetizers. I had the Scallops (San Jaques) which were beautifully cooked and the wife has a fairly large grilled veal chop, which was also great. Haricot vertes were very tender and the black rice never fails. Desert were the fabulous, an famous, Gateau aux chocolate and Gateau de L'orange. In between we had visits by Randy and then Maya, who thanked us for coming back to both the island and their restaurant. Alas, no Wilbert, but was told he is doing well and liking daytime work at Maya's To Go. A nice vanille, orange and café flavored rhum hit the spot. We bid a farewell, complete with bisous.

    Long day tomorrow, so time for bed.

    Some Photos:

    2019-085.jpg2019-086.jpg2019-087.jpg





  21. #81
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 2,124

    Re: May visit 2019

    Wishing you safe travels and thank you for allowing us into your VACA. It was very magical to read about from State side.

  22. #82
    amyb is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 26,329

    Re: May visit 2019

    Wishing you a smooth and safe trip home. So nice to meet you in person. Your posts have been a treat.

    Until the next time, take good care of each other.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  23. #83
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,694

    Re: May visit 2019

    Atmospheric conditions seem to have produced remarkable sunsets in many parts of the world in recent weeks, as I’ve seen images from various areas. Enjoyed yours very much.

    Of course, all of your writing & photography have been fun & exciting to read & view. Great job of taking us along on your active & much enjoyed trip.

  24. #84
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,213

    Re: May visit 2019

    What a way to end the trip. Bon voyage, y'all!
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  25. #85
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 352

    Re: May visit 2019

    Thanks all for your wonderful comments. Wrote the diary as much to remember the trip, but thoroughly enjoyed sharing it with you. Tradewind flight at 12:45, so about to power down and head to the airport. Maybe Maya's to go for a quick bite. Hoping Wilfred is working today.

  26. #86
    NancySC is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2017 Posts: 1,015

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterLynn View Post
    Holy ****! That's what all that commotion was in front of me last night while sitting on the deck! I thought it was the Ti punch going to my head!
    I think the bat thing is kind of universal, didn't see any in Lurin. Your pictures are wonderful as well as the narrative. Would have loved to have met up with you two & all the others on island during time overlaps, we did have dinner on our next to last nite at Maya's with Amy & Phil, fun nite, turns out Randy spent part of his growing up years in the same area of the Main Line of Phila as where we lived before moving to SC.

  27. #87
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 352

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by NancySC View Post
    Would have loved to have met up with you two & all the others on island during time overlaps,
    Been nice as well to meet. As I recall you mentioned seeing us last year. Maybe third time's the charm?

  28. #88
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 352

    Re: May visit 2019

    Au Revoir St Barth, à l'année prochaine...

    Noon-ish flight, so the morning was spent getting ready. First up was filling the Jimny with gas (not "Gazole" as I almost tried to - Nozzle doesn't fit, which was the first sign. The screaming clerk was the other). Next were croissants and pan au chocolate for breakfast from Choissy, then navigating through the construction maze. The traffic lights work really well (I like the timers), except when one enters in between where you can't see either. Quite the strategy trying figure who is stopped and who is not and then get going before your lane catches up to you. With the Oasis and Choissy here, we witnessed several miscalculations and fortunately no accidents.

    Back in the villa, we finish the viennoiserie and remaining jar of "Bonne Maman Fraises" before the serious packing begins. Even with a third suitcase (awaiting us in San Juan), it is still a struggle getting everything in. Sixth visit and we still bring too many clothes (and too little money). RSB announces "Il est onze heures" and it's time to leave. Chat with Odile for a bit as she checks in the Jimny and then to the Tradewind counter with the bags. Have about an hour to kill, so we walk around the shopping areas by the Marché (love being at a real keyboard again so I can add the French "ALT+xxx" characters easily) before stopping at Maya's to go for a quick bite. No Wilfred, but our server from the previous night was behind the counter. Sandwiches pretty well cleared out, so we share the last chicken and peppers on ciabatta bread outside while watching the planes come and go as well as the fire truck periodically racing up and down the runway. Back at the terminal, can't resist the last opportunity for a Pati St Barth shirt, before seating ourselves in the departure area.

    The takeoff is where I really notice the difference between Tradewind and SBC. The Pilatus is so much smoother and really climbs quickly. None of this leisurely sightseeing of all the places we visited the previous couple of weeks. Full flight and a little banter back and forth about our experiences before everyone settles in for the one hour-ish flight. We deplane on the tarmac and are bused to what feels like the back door of the customs area. Global Entry makes quick work of the process and we are soon off in search of our third bag. A bit confusing, as we and our bags were supposed to be reunited in the carrousel area, but as it turns out, the bag had passed through customs the previous day and was waiting for us in Tradewinds office. Probably stick to two bags of <50 lbs each next time. A final quirk of going through San Juan is that bags have to be cleared by the USDA before they can be checked, kind of like leaving Hawaii. Land in Houston around eight and are back in our own bed by eleven.

    Overall a great trip. Two weeks just flew by (woke up this morning feeling like I dreamed it all up). The first couple of years, we focused on hitting all the major beaches and restaurants. The next couple of visits, we settled into a lunch-dinner rotation and other than a stop for more rosé, water and another t-shirt or two, spent the rest of the time in the villa. This time we did a bit of everything. Beaches (old and new), restaurants (old and new), hanging out in the villa, cooking in the villa, entertaining in the villa, wandering day and night in Gustavia, meeting old friends and making new ones. Curious what next year will be like....

    Only one photo:

    2019-LastDay-01.jpg

  29. #89
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,694

    Re: May visit 2019

    Very nice close!

  30. #90
    Tiffany is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2014 Virginia Beach, VA Posts: 723

    Re: May visit 2019

    Glad you had such a wonderful trip. Thank you for sharing.

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