72 Hours in St. Barthelemy
By Darcy Mayfair
1pm: I land at Princess Juliana airport in St. Maarten. An expertly packed carry-on bag means that I quickly exit the terminal to find a taxi to Bobby’s Marina where I will catch the ferry.
1:45pm: A little traffic, but I’ve arrived. I hang out at The Greenhouse Restaurant where I eat my usual jerk chicken salad, drink a few mango mojitos and bust out my laptop so I can post on Facebook how much fun I’m having in the sunshine while people are freezing back at home.
5pm: We’re about to begin boarding. The ocean spray leaves me feeling invigorating, while a bit of choppiness leaves a couple of passengers feeling queasy. Luckily, despite numerous trips, I haven’t gotten sick yet.
6pm: Gustavia (St. Barth’s port) glistens in the distance as the street lights grow brighter against the impending nightfall. My heart quickens; I’m almost there.
6:15pm: I collect my luggage and go through customs, trying to say “Bon Soir” and “Merci” in my best French accent. The customs agent responds by bidding me goodbye in English (is my accent that bad?). My boyfriend picks me up and we head to our weekend digs at Tom Beach Hotel, roughly seven minutes away in St. Jean.
9pm: After a refreshing nap (wink), we get ready for sushi and live music at the perennially popular Bêtes a Z’Ailes, also known as BAZ Bar. Located on the waterfront, it’s one of our favorite places on the island. The nighttime vibes are easy and a soft breeze blows off the harbor.
11:30pm: We decide to call it quits after a wonderful evening and head back to the hotel.
9:00am: Breakfast at the beachside hotel restaurant La Plage.
10:00am: We hit the supermarket to buy food for a picnic on the beach.
11:00am: We begin our mountainside hike to the glorious beach at Colombier, with its sugar white sand and clear blue water. Strangely empty, we take full advantage of the relative seclusion. After a few hours in the sun, we need a nap.
5:30pm: Up and off to Do Brasil at Shell Beach in Gustavia to have a few drinks and watch the sunset.
7:00pm: Next stop – La Santoise in Corrossol, home of the best cheeseburgers on the island (EXACTLY what I need to fuel up for a night out on the town).
10:30pm: We drive to Pointe Milou for drinks at Le ‘Ti St. Barth. Hoping to see the owner Carole Gruson, who is one of the coolest people ever, but she’s not there.
12:30am: A few hours later, we head over to Le Yacht Club, Carole’s other night. I try to dance myself into some version of sobriety (failing miserably, of course, because I don’t actually stop drinking). We get back to the hotel safely; I just can’t remember how.
10:45am: My boyfriend has gone to work; I wake up just in time to catch breakfast. I have a shot ofw heatgrass juice to help energize me after a brutal night. It tastes like punishment. Then I fall asleep listening to the hum of the planes landing and departing from the airport nearby. Thank God for sunscreen.
12:30: After waking up, I wander in and out of the shops that line the main road in St. Jean such as The Rock Shop at Eden Rock and Lili Belle.
1:30pm: On to Nikki Beach to have a couple of drinks and watch the Hamptons transplants who overrun the island during peak season. The picturesque strip of beach right in front beckons me to take a dip. I stop by the gift shop before leaving for a Nikki Beach t-shirt. Touristy, I know, but it seemed like the right thing to do.
3:30pm: I drive into Gustavia, for more window shopping, avoiding Hermès and Cartier like the plague (no sense in torturing myself). I snag a Missoni bikini in Calypso St. Barth, and then pop into Roberto Cavalli next door before heading to Human Steps to check out their latest collections of handbags and shoes. I’m tempted to raid a part of my savings for a bag, but the urge soon passes.
4:30pm: I down a few piña coladas at Le Select (Michel makes them the best). I avoid the “Town Driver,” a local favorite known for its mighty kick. My boyfriend meets me there and we return to the hotel.
8:30pm: We have dinner at Isola – my favorite restaurant in St. Barth. The Italian cuisine is AMAZING! It’s my last night, so we opt for an early evening to spend quality time together.
9am: Last breakfast on the beach before I leave.
10:30am: The boat is ready to depart; I’m not. He wants me to stay. We hug tightly. It will be another couple of months before I see him again.
11:15am: After watching all I love fade into the distance like a ghost, I arrive in beautiful St. Maarten.
Even with its own unique charm, it will never bewitch my soul like the enchanting isle of St. Barthélemy. I feel a part of me is left behind. I race to the airport to catch a mid-afternoon flight back home.