Wednesday, May 24, 2006

St. Barts: Looking back at our trip

We are home now and I still feel as though someone has me hooked up to a slow Valium drip. Back at the office I'm still on "island time". I wonder how long I can hang onto this. Permanently? Wouldn't that we nice.

Let's see, where did I leave off? Friday, we decided we should do some shopping in Gustavia to appease our friends back home, who probably hate us for being so lucky to be able to have such a wonderful vacation. Not finding any "My friends visited St. Barts and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" shops, we bought a ton of small bottles of Ligne St. Barts products and the famous vanilla rum. We did find the prices to be very high for everything, so we wouldn't be bringing back too much stuff. Dinner that evening was at the water's edge in Gustavia at Route des Boucaniers. We drank Caribes beer and had the Creole appetiser platter, while trying to get a glimpse into the mega-yacht in the harbor, Gallant Lady with our binoculars. It was the biggest yacht I have ever seen. Googled it and found out it is owned by Jim Moran, the first US Toyota importer. We saw only chefs and waitstaff milling around inside.

Saturday, our last day we decided to spend at St. Jean Beach. While we still looked semi-decent and unsweaty, we splurged on lunch at Eden Rock. I was delighted by the decor: all the tables were covered in red with red and yellow striped napkins. The brilliant turquoise of the ocean as a backdrop was breathtaking. The china was imaginative and enhanced the experience: perhaps lessening the blow of $120 for lunch, which included lobster salad (for me), pasta (for Georg), a drink for each of us and one dessert. Well, it's our last day (sigh). We left the car at Eden Rock valet parking and settled on the beach. It was a picture perfect day, as every day had been this week. There had been a few showers but they were very fast and furious and dried up as quickly as they came.

People watching and plane watching makes the time pass quickly and before we knew it, it was time to wrap it up and get back to the villa for dinner. We still had a lot in the fridge to finish up, and our meal consisted of a melange of cheeses, quiches, veggies, fruit and Nutella crepes, leaving only some juice, bread and eggs for breakfast. It took several hours to pack everything back into our suitcases and then we were able to relax and squeeze every last moment of enjoyment from the star-filled sky from the pool and hot tub. By now we were seriously discussing the possibility of returning next year.

In the morning, there was even time to swim again before we showered, dropped off our rental car, and got on the plane to St. Maarten. During the two hours we had before our flight to Atlanta, we took a cab to the Sunset Beach Bar on St. Maarten for Reggae music, drinks and a burger next to the airport. The flights were thankfully all on time and we made it to our door by 12:30am. We had come door-to-door in 15 hours. We certainly look as if we have been on vacation. Our dark brown tans, which looked de riguer on St. Barts, now looked ridiculously out of place back in Michigan where the temperature was still only 45 degrees.

We feel very grateful to have been able to make this journey. As always it has given Georg and I a chance to reconnect and enjoy each other and we intend to continue doing just that as long as we are able. Praise the Lord!

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