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April 30, 2005

aahhh St Barts - The Perfect Vacation

Christine and I took one of the most incredible vacations ever. We celebrated our 10th anniversary by going to the French West Indies - St Barts. It was great on a number of different levels. First and foremost I "checked out" of anything work related for a solid 8 days - the first time I've ever done this - and initially very hard to do so. One of the reasons we went to St Barts was that I knew it would be hard to communicate from there. It's pretty isolated - although I did find an occasion or two to browse through my email to see if there was anything urgent.

After a 5 hr flight from Chicago to St Martin we hopped on a 8 passenger puddle jumper over to St Barts. The runway is small, really small, and it ends on a white sandy beach just in case. After arriving we were picked up and driven to the Eden Rock resort which only has 20 or so suites. Ours was right on the ocean overlooking an adjacent beach. If you're going to St Barts and want to go first class there's really only three places to stay, Eden Rock, Hotel Carl Gustaf and the Guihanna Spa. Other than that there are huge villas that dot the landscape throughout the island to rent. There are a number of stars that live there on and off. Dave Letterman has a place there.

The island is idyllic. White, white fine sand beaches, clear blue water and quaint little villages around the island with the best restaurants in the world. The food is mostly french, and very expensive, but truly amazing. That was the hardest part - picking the restaurant for the evening. We were about 2 miles from the Gustavia port - the main town on the island. Loaded with mega yachts and some of the best high end shopping in the world. The island is 2 miles by about 10 miles long with about 6,000 permannet residents.

The vacationers were mostly European so that made the beaches even more enjoyable :-). About a 100 yards or so down the beach was one of our favorite local hangouts - Nikki Beach. It was a restaurant/bar with literally beds with canopies on the beach. About 3:00pm every day yachts would pull into our harbor and guests would be shuttled to and from in a dingy where they would hang out drinking champagne/wine, eating sushi to all hours of the night - what a scene.

We spent most days on the beach, under a tree with attendants running around to suit or every need - did some snorkeling, explored a bit, did a lot of reading, took a lot of naps. Like I said - perfect.

If you're looking for a high end vacation, without the crowds, small and quaint, great service, great food, great beaches, not a lot of nightlife (but just enough) - I'd highly recommend St Barts and the Eden Rock.

Oh yea, funny thing. We ran into a 3 other couples from Denver who had rented a large sailboat and were sailing the islands. They pulled into our harbor/cove area one night and low and behold - one of the couples was Kristi Kalizinsky and Eric Lamar who I worked with while I was with Qwest. Small world!

April 30, 2005 in Biographical, Travel, Weblogs | Permalink

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