Days 0-1: Just get me to SBH


SBH Insider
When you plan a trip for about a year it's a bit surreal when it finally arrives. All the research and endless hours poring over satellite images of the island were finally about to (hopefully) pay off. We started our trip by driving up to Dallas and spending the night at the DFW hotel for an early flight Monday morning - a restless night for a number of reasons, so when morning came we were pretty happy. The way airline travel goes now you really can't be too sure of anything, and couple that with really looking forward to a trip, it makes for some anxiety to say the least.

We had originally booked direct from DFW to SJU with a subsequent Tradewinds flight on to SBH but AA decided to route us through Miami, truly making moot any gains we thought we were achieving by going through San Juan and Tradewinds. Relatively easy two flights on Monday from DFW-MIA-SJU. Got bags and checked with Tradewinds counter just to make sure all was well with our reservation. They said they had room on the 5pm flight out that evening but we demurred, citing no plans for lodging on island that night and having already booked a room in Old San Juan that evening, and wanting to experience OSJ. In full retrospect, probably a mistake, but who can say.

OSJ - stayed at El Colonial, wonderful reviews on TA, quaint little boutique-style hotel where they welcome you with a passion fruit cocktail on arrival and there are no elevators. I had booked a room in the middle of the hotel with no street windows after hearing the noise could be bad in those rooms that had windows to the street. Room was simple but fine for our short stay purposes, until we found that the a/c didn't work. They promised to fix it or send us to a partner hotel, so we went out to dinner. Great meal at Cayo Caribe, I had the grouper in coconut sauce and it was truly wonderful. The beer, too, was as cold as possible and somehow stayed cold - witchcraft. Got back to hotel to find a/c "working" but shortly went out again. They "fixed" it again, then went out again. Moved us to different room, a corner room with two windows to street. The noise was bad. Thumping music outside the window until 1230. The a/c worked though, and I think we got a few hours of sleep? Needless to say, we were ready for morning and our flight to SBH.

Tradewinds was great - seamless, professional, quick, cool. Really enjoyed it. The gentleman sitting in front of me was (I think) wearing a yellow gold Daytona 6265 - wicked. IYKYK. Bose noise-cancelling headphones were a nice thing to have for this flight. Very easy landing. Off to the villa.

Villa - ALO. High in the hills. Quite the drive to get there though due to road closures, but scenic nonetheless and really a great spot for a couple to spend a private vacation. 1 BR, great pool, great views, Sonos sound system - what more do you need? Wimco villa rep wonderful. Dropped the bags and made our way down to Sand Bar to kick off the trip. Great lunch, couple glasses of champagne, mahi burger for me and prosciutto and arugula pizza for my wife. Immediately thrust into island living. When we went to get our car the valet man asked if everything had been okay since we hadn't been there too long - I had to chuckle, I guess the result of fast-eating due to having two kids under 5?

On to the grocery store to stock up a bit and then back to the villa for some pool time. Patron didn't hurt this activity. We then got ready and left to stop by La Cave du Port Franc prior to dinner - prices truly outrageously better than Marche U. Couldn't believe it. Very helpful fella behind the counter - maybe his place? That shop is quite the establishment.

Dinner that night at Eddy's after numerous recs here that it gets the trip started right. Great setting, great meal. I had the wahoo and my wife the tuna platter after starting with some cod fritters. They made a good margarita and had a good Sancerre by the glass. Use bug spray if susceptible - though they graciously provided me a bottle of OFF for which my ankles were grateful. Ended with lava cake and chocolate egg rolls. Excellent meal. Back to the villa to catch up on a couple nights of sleep deficit and slept like babies.

In the words of QAB (Queen Amy B): "Ahhhh, St. Barths."

Song of the day (starts around 1:10):
Meant to post some pictures . . . If you see us around, say hi!

Nice report. Maybe try SWA out of Love. We have a direct flight to SJU from Houston. Speaking of Texas, I assume the "e' is east? My wife is from near Tyler/Longview.
Welcome. If you enjoyed the cod fritters at Eddy’s you will love them at Le Rivage if they are open.
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Nice report! Enjoy! Nice watch, can't make out the model.
It's a Baltic, a small French brand. I thought it appropriate to bring to the island. Great watchmaker!
Nice report. Maybe try SWA out of Love. We have a direct flight to SJU from Houston. Speaking of Texas, I assume the "e' is east? My wife is from near Tyler/Longview.
We might have to do this next time - certainly considering our options. We've got friends in Houston, would be a great excuse to drive down to see them and fly out in the morning to make the afternoon Tradewinds flight. And yes, you're spot on regarding my username. I'm constantly reminded how small the world is.