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Thread: May visit 2019

  1. #1
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 300

    May visit 2019

    Sixth visit to the island and the fifth on Flamands. After a mad dash, sub-hour connection, in ATL and the tent city in SXM last year, decided to give Tradewind a try. Wonderful experience. Fortunately we have a direct flight from IAH to SJU, which eliminated one connection. Arrived around 3:45 and after an hour-ish wait in the lounge, were escorted out to an otherwise empty plane. Turns out we had our own private charter! Flight was smooth and in an hour we were arcing over saline with what turned out to be our first over water landing. Captured some great video. As the last flight of the day, everyone from the gendarme to Odile seemed anxious get us on our way so that they could head home. Who could blame them! While we love the sun, surf and evenings at some great restaurants, we always find dusk a special time with the warm hues and the hustle and bustle as activities and routines shift from day to night.

    With the villa unavailable until Saturday, and no real reason to spend Friday in San Juan, we booked a single night in the Sunset in Gustavia. Nice place. Inexpensive and centrally located. Definitely consider them again when a single night is needed. Washed up and headed next door for a delicious meal of moules marinieres et frites at Le Repaire. Wonderful way to start the trip. Took a stroll along the quay to Le Select where a couple of hours were spent with a bottle of rose in the midst of what seemed like most of the island "millennials". Good fun.

    This morning, we headed over to Le Creperie, which didn't open until 10:30, so we strolled over to Choisy for petite dejuner. Back to the hotel, we checked out and loaded up the Jimny (none of them seem to have spare tires on the back anymore???) and dropped our luggage off at SiBarth to take on to the villa. With the freed up space, we stopped at Segeco for our annual case of VC. 225 euros for 6! Headed up to Lurin and Santa Fe to check on the rumors of their summer closing. Turns out they are open until June 15, so lunch for next week is back on. Dropped down to gouverneurs, because the drive never gets old. After several more stops, we ended up in St Jean for some "leche-vitrine" and a first-time lunch at Kiki-e-mo. Very low key, nice friendly service and delicious durade burger all while watching the stream of taxis dropping off Nikki newbies across the road. With the clock ticking toward the magic 3:00 hour, stopped at Pearl Beach for Apperol Spritzers. About mid-way through Bikini Saturday, the text finally arrived that announced the villa was ready! Quick detour to the Marche for supplies (Rose, ice, coffee, rose, water and more rose) and we are soon "Home".

    This evening we had our annual stroll down the beach to La Langouste for the official "First Meal". So looking forward to Benjamin, but alas, he left the island a week ago. While the service was every bit as good, his laugh and energy will be sorely missed. Based on forum recommendations, had the sole, which was absolutely wonderful. Can't believe I have never ordered it before! Wife had the delicious and incredibly rich Langouste Tagliatelles. With the restaurant filling up, we finished and made reservations for our "Last Meal". Shared Langouste Grilee??

    Some initial thoughts. Lot's of villa and infrastructure construction everywhere, but less frantic than last year. Sort of strange, but the
    Island seemed very quiet. Not as much traffic nor activity at the airport. Maybe it's just me. What is quite obvious though is how brown everything is. Odile said it's been five months without significant rainfall. Forecast shows rain on Sunday. Being a "villa day", I'd love sun, but won't be sad if it pours. The place desperately needs it.

    A few pictures:

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  2. #2
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,295

    Re: May visit 2019

    Welcome back. Everything seems fine and dandy. Your news of SF still being open for business for a while thrilled me. They have excellent Dover Sole there too. The chicken dish is also fantastic. Just sayin', did not mean to hijack your post.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  3. #3
    dadto6 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Aug 2013 Northern Virginia Posts: 1,707

    Re: May visit 2019

    Thank you for the great reporting. Pictures are fabulous. Wish you both a wonderful time in paradise! Enjoy the VC

  4. #4
    GMP62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2015 Martinsville, NJ Posts: 1,372

    Re: May visit 2019

    Great first post on your arrival “home”! Loved the detail and your pictures. Will look forward to your daily VC photos and postings to come!

    Gayle

  5. #5
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 300

    Re: May visit 2019

    Villa Day.

    Stocked up yesterday, but apparently nobody cooks at the VDD as there isn't even salt and pepper here. Thus, a morning run is in order. Stopped at Petite Columbe for baguettes before heading to the Marche, which isn't open yet. Guess the vacation has begun as the days are starting to blur (two days in!) Time to kill, we drove around St Jean and the hills above, taking in some spectacular views. Could have kept exploring but we can hear Flamand's waves calling, so back to a now crowded Marche (the locals sure have their timing down) and a handful of essentials. Free from the chaos, we had back and spend the rest of the morning and afternoon on floats with a Kindle in one hand and glass of chilled Clos Beylesse in the other. Clouds start to fill in close to (our) dinner time, so a quick shower and it's time to fire up the grill for entrecotes, leftover langouste tagliatelles and a nice Bourgogne.

    A few pictures:

    2019-007.jpg2019-008.jpg2019-009.jpg

  6. #6
    KevinS is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 19,560

    Re: May visit 2019

    For future reference, Epicerie de Corossol, the small grocery near Au Regal, opens at 06:30 Mon-Sat and 07:00 on Sundays and holidays. El Bravo Mini Market, near Chez Yvon in Anse des Cayes opens at 06:00 Mon-Sat, and 08:00 on Sundays and Holidays. They're both small, but they're the earliest opening grocery stores.

    I've found the receipt for my case of Saint-Barth Veuve Clicquot Arrows. It was higher than the €225 which you paid for the regular case, €275 for 6 bottles. That's probably the last case of Arrows which I'll buy. I've got enough for any conceivable personal use, so it's either stop buying them or start selling them.

  7. #7
    Jim Kelly-Evans is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Nov 2010 Philadelphia and Fire Island, NY Posts: 861

    Re: May visit 2019

    beautiful photos!
    "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy." - Dorothy Parker

  8. #8
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 300

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinS View Post
    I've found the receipt for my case of Saint-Barth Veuve Clicquot Arrows.
    I got a single arrow last year and I thought I'd won the lottery. Not sure what I'd do with six more.

  9. #9

    Re: May visit 2019

    Where in the bowels of the website are the instructions for turning a tiny thumbnail photo into the nice large photos shown here? Thanks to the
    technologically enlightened! signed: J. Luddite

  10. #10
    KevinS is online now
    Senior Insider Joined: Jul 2003 Boston Posts: 19,560

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by 24loar View Post
    Where in the bowels of the website are the instructions for turning a tiny thumbnail photo into the nice large photos shown here? Thanks to the
    technologically enlightened! signed: J. Luddite
    Try here. The post is pinned at the top of the main forum.
    https://www.sbhonline.com/forums/sho...oid-PC-Mac-too

  11. #11
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,011

    Re: May visit 2019

    Ahhhh....St Barth! Your photos and recaps are lowering my blood pressure as I type. Thank you for sharing and keep 'em coming!!
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  12. #12
    Toni is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jan 2004 Louisville,KY Posts: 1,004

    Re: May visit 2019

    As I count the days until our departure, I'm delighted to read your musings... and I'm especially happy to hear that the Santa Fe closing isn't until June 15th.
    Thanks, Peter and Lynn!
    Keep enjoying!

  13. #13
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 300

    Re: May visit 2019

    Gouverneurs and Santa Fe

    After a quick breakfast of toasted baguettes and Malo yoghurt, we pack up the Jimny and head to Gouverneur. Love sitting in the sun looking out over the amazing blues, but have always struggled getting an umbrella to stay anchored with the always strong breezes. Few months back read a post or two about a beach umbrella that breaks down to fit in a suitcase. Bought it and bingo! Works like a charm. Has small bags to fill with sand and ties to the umbrella. Probably 5-10 minutes to set up and even has a small table. Wife is very happy now. Better than roses on valentines day.

    As the noon hour approaches, we pack up and head up the hill to Santa Fe. Wonderful views and breezes. With a chilled rose to enjoy, we could sit there the rest of the day. But I have a mission, which is to try the Sole Meuniere. Absolutely wonderful. Hard to compare with the one I had at La Langouste. David's is richer, while La Langouste is bit more citrusy. Fortunately there are enough days to enjoy both.

    Two hours later, we head back to villa for some poolside reading and then a pre-dinner race down past the Cheval Blanc to catch the sunset. Quick change of clothes and we are headed up the hill to Les Bananiers for Fermiere pizza - Goat cheese, lardons and honey. Bites were taken before pictures, so excuse us.

    Satiated, we head back down the hill for the first VC toast of the vacation, including one to Rosemond's recovery.

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  14. #14
    Tiffany is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jun 2014 Virginia Beach, VA Posts: 623

    Re: May visit 2019

    These pics make me a little jealous. Sounds like a great day! I remember reading about that umbrella...what brand is it? Thanks! Have a great time in paradise.

  15. #15
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 300

    Re: May visit 2019

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
    I remember reading about that umbrella...what brand is it?
    Too tired to run out to the Jimny last night. It's a PortaBrella. They have a new version, but they were out of stock, so I ordered the original. Had to get the anchor sandbags (absolutely necessary) and the folding table.

  16. #16
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,295

    Re: May visit 2019

    Love the sunset. Well, the Dover Sole too!
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  17. #17
    GMP62 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Feb 2015 Martinsville, NJ Posts: 1,372

    Re: May visit 2019

    Wonderful photos and reporting. Keep enjoying and posting. It gets those of us not on the island through our work day!

  18. #18
    GramChop is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2007 Austin, Texas Posts: 17,011

    Re: May visit 2019

    Y'all have this vacation thing down PAT! Great photos and enjoyable reads. I'm so happy you share this with us back home.
    The waves of the sea bring me back to me.

  19. #19
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,154

    Re: May visit 2019

    Great photos & great reporting! It's fun to be part of your trip.

  20. #20
    sbhlvr is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Sep 2009 Dunes of Cape Cod Posts: 1,757

    Re: May visit 2019

    Love your reports. We arrive on the 26th. Maybe we will see you out and about on the island. I will definitely check out that umbrella as it is a necesscity for us
    There's no dumb a$$ vaccine

  21. #21
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 300

    Re: May visit 2019

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments.

    Tuesday was a mostly villa day. Morning run to the March turned into a tour of the east side of the island. Drove to the end of the Flamands road and checked out the lower trail to Columbier. Have yet to do the hike and considered it, but alas don't have proper shoes. L'annee prochaine, peut-etre. Driving up from Flamands, decided to turn right and head up the point overlooking Columbier. Definitely not trying the high trail. After taking in the views, contemplated the "death road" again (quite the thrill last year), but swung down into Corossol instead. Over the hill into Public, up around the Tourmente and then pulled into the Marche parking lot. A quick stroll along St Jean to check out Lil Rock, as it was totally forgotten the other day. Looks interesting. Jack-hammering at Eden Rock caught our attention, so decided to see how it is progressing. So much work going on across the entire complex. Can't imagine it being completely ready in six months, nor imagine anyone wanting to "relax" on the loungers set up on the narrow strip of sand. Back at the villa, the femme de menage has come and gone, so rather than setting up nearby on the beach, we spread out poolside.

    Dinner at Orega tonight, and with the sunset looks promising, we get ready to head up to the lighthouse. About six, the skies open up and it's one of those 10 minute downpours. Not enough to fill the cistern, but enough to put the Jimny into FWD. A bit early for our reservation, so we decide to climb up the hill for cocktails at Bonito. Wife isn't much of a seafood eater, so we've never been, but such a beautiful restaurant. Enjoyed a tropical concoction and a ti punch as evening settled in over the harbor below. Contemplated another round, but decided against it and strolled down the hill and around the corner. Were met by Greg and Tuti with warms hugs and bissous. They are such amazing hosts. They started us off with a small sample of tuna topped with fois gras and a teriyaki reduction. yum. Next an amouse bouche vegetable soup dumpling (liquid inside, so to be eaten in a single bite). Our entrée is wagyu dumplings and St Jacques carpaccio with shiso sorbet. For our plat, my wife had duck two ways - confit and breast - and I the Chilean Sea Bass. Desert is a "free fall berry" creation and the Yuzu Tarte. Truly amazing creations and the most creative presentations. Friday is their last night, Tuti and Clement and getting married next week, so we have been invited back for a cocktail or two. Love, love Orega.

    Some photos:

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  22. #22
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,295

    Re: May visit 2019

    Great photo and please offer my best wishes to the bride and groom.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  23. #23
    stbartshopper is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Dec 2013 Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. Posts: 7,953

    Re: May visit 2019

    Peterlynn-
    Thanks to you, we are living your dreams!

  24. #24
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 300

    Re: May visit 2019

    Saline Wednesday

    After some back and forth this morning, we headed out the long way to Saline - Flamands to Tourmente to St Jean to Lorient around Pt Milou through the cul-de-sacs, along Grand Fond, up the long hill, left on the correct road, another left along the other correct road, left at Tamarin, a stop at Grain de Sel for lunch reservations, into the parking lot, unload the Jimny, trudge up the trail, climb the hill and then THAT VIEW!

    Beach fairly occupied on the right, so we head left. Lot's of sargassum beginning about halfway, while none on the right, which is probably why it's "crowded". We are more beach than surf people, so it's good. Fancy travel umbrella survived Gouverneurs, but can it withstand Saline? Answer is a resounding YES!

    Couple of hours later, our lunch reservation nears, so we pack up as the rain appears off shore. Been caught before, so we hurry through the unbearably hot sand (note to selves - wear shoes). Saline does extract a certain price, which is probably why we prefer Gouverneurs.

    Surprisingly, the parking lot is completely full, which is unlike previous years. Maybe it's timing. Other beaches were probably empty. Drive the short distance to Grain de Sel where we are promptly seated. Been hit and miss in previous visits, so it has fallen out of the rotation. Usually the food has been fantastic, while the service lags or vice-versa. This year the service was good, considering they appeared short handed and a fairly full restaurant of mostly locals. I had the Durade with creole sauce, which was as fantastic as ever, but the wife's Thai chicken salad was over salted chicken. Dessert was skipped and we departed, "boite" of salad "sans poulet" in hand.

    Quick stop at the Marche for Rose in anticipation of a poolside afternoon, except the rains arrive. Island needs it, so back at the villa we unload and sit back for some light reading. Restless, and with the rain stopping, decide to stop at the wine shop in public for the Japanese whiskey we had at Orega last night before heading into Gustavia for a little shopping and a glass of rose at Le Select. Find ourselves next to an adult family of daytrippers from St Martin, who peppered us with questions about Texas, the island and life in general. Enjoyable conversation despite one of the party's neon thong being distracting enough to attract the attention of the gendarmes, who told her to cover up. Always a fun time at Le Select.

    Evening was spent enjoying grilled entrecotes, potatoes au gratin (thanks Google for helping us decipher the oven's graphics) and leftover chicken-less thai salad. After finishing a bottle of bourgogne, we took the chairs and a VC out to the beach with an almost black sky. Along the horizon, storm clouds appeared to be sliding along toward St Martin, while breaks in the clouds revealed several constellations. Today was a good day.

    Some photos:

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  25. #25
    amyb is online now
    SBH Insider Joined: Apr 2008 Glen Cove,L. I., NY Posts: 25,295

    Re: May visit 2019

    Definitely another good day.
    Remember Yesterday, Dream About Tomorrow, But Live Today.

  26. #26

    Re: May visit 2019

    Those day trippers must have been the intelligent bunch of folks we saw earlier on St. Jean beach who thought it would be fun to stand at the end of the runway and wave to the landing plane...they were then scattered by what is now a loud speaker set up at end of runway with a most urgent message warning them to leave..never heard that before...quite effective
    Steve and Aimee

  27. #27
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,154

    Re: May visit 2019

    Very interesting: “Enjoyable conversation despite one of the party's neon thong being distracting enough to attract the attention of the gendarmes, who told her to cover up.” Sounds like the visitor was demonstrating poor judgment, but it hasn’t been long since women AND men could be found eating at several beachfront restaurants in incredibly immodest thong beachwear. Probably more tolerance for “distraction” at a beach venue.

  28. #28
    PeterLynn is offline
    SBH Member Joined: Mar 2014 Houston Posts: 300

    Re: May visit 2019

    Think they had come from Nikki Beach where that was more normal, but in the heart of Gustavia apparently not so. I didn't witness the scolding, but my wife said it was a female Gendarme and she was very clear in her instructions.

  29. #29
    cec1 is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: Jul 2008 Posts: 5,154

    Re: May visit 2019

    Yes . . . anything goes at Nikki — not so much in “the city.”

  30. #30
    Hawke is offline
    SBH Insider Joined: May 2011 Posts: 606

    Re: May visit 2019

    Are you a professional photographer? Those are incredibly sharp pictures.

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