St. Jean Beach
Bethany had the pleasure of returning to one of her favorite places in the world… the casually chic Caribbean island of St. Barths. After eating exquisite meals and enjoying one of her favorite hobbies- people watching- Bethany returned home to New England with sweet island memories and the hope to return soon to her old friend, St. Barths.
“St. Barths is like an old friend that, even though you don’t see one another often, once you’re back together, it’s like you’ve never been apart. The plane touches down on the small runway, a rush of excitement hits and I think, “I’m back.” I look enviously at the sunbathers and swimmers on St Jean beach. Gone are the previous events of the day – the 3:00 am wake up call, standing in security lines amazed that people still have to give up their water and $4.50 Starbucks coffees, waiting with mild angst for our small plane to make the final 10 minutes of the trip. I’m back to one of my favorites places on earth.
The Many Personalities of St. Barths
I think the island takes on many different personalities each day. In the morning, there is a certain serenity complimented by warm ocean breezes softly rustling the palms trees and long grass. Driving to the bakery before going to the office would lead you to believe that the island must be slow, with few visitors. A quick stop for café au lait and a “jambon et fromage” begs the question, “How do the French do it?”. A steaming cup of coffee in the early morning tasted like nirvana, and a little puff pastry that is not your mother’s ham and cheese!
The day starts to get busy, the shops open up, motor bikes and small dump trucks erase the peace and quiet, and the island suddenly comes alive. At lunch time, the restaurants fill up with people who’ve been at the beach all morning, business owners, friends meeting friends, and plenty of children who are simply “along for the ride.” Sunday lunch at Le Sereno is a treat, and I think one of the best beach-side restaurants. Aside from the crisp service, appealing menu, and delicious food, there’s always entertainment from the families where half of the diners are at the table, and the other half are with barefooted little ones on the beach.
Evenings on the island suggests cocktail hour and another ritual – dinner. People watching in the restaurants is a great part of the evening, trying to figure out where the people are from, “Are they American or European?”, “Where do you think they are staying?”, “Is that his wife or his daughter?”. Dining on the island is a special treat and a large part of what makes St. Barths special, still asking the question, “How do they do it?”. A simple grilled fish, a chilled glass of rose and you just know it would never taste the same back home.
Reflections of a Great Trip
Back in the states now, my coffee au lait is replaced by a single K cup from Keurig, the lovely puff pastry with the jambon et fromage is now a yogurt, and the warm ocean breezes are a raw, wet wind. Regardless, it’s good to be home, as I know that my long time friend, the tropical paradise called St. Barths, will be there waiting for my return, welcoming me as though I’d never left.”