People told us not to go to St. Barths. “Why not?” –> It’s expensive. It’s pretentious. It’s hard to get to.
OK, I can attest to the third statement. It was in fact rather hard to get to. But with a screaming deal on flights, low season rates, and a first-class ferry ride that was 1/2 the cost of a private puddle jumper plane, we couldn’t resist. As soon as we landed in St. Jean beach at our villa, we knew everyone who told us not to go had been very wrong indeed.
It was remote. It was relaxing. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
We had rented a bungalow in Saint-Jean for the first half of our stay–4 days precisely. When our taxi arrived, we were greeted by Carine and her playful daughter, a girl nearly Hagan’s same age. My first thought was: what a magnificent childhood, roaming free on a gorgeous island surrounded by all of this wildlife. My second thought: this can’t possibly be our villa? Do we truly get this entire thing to ourselves? And you deliver fresh bread each morning? It was impossibly luxurious.
It was so quiet in St. Jean, we could hear every bird’s chirp and each wave’s crash. The property managers were sweet, lending us plenty of beach toys to keep the boys occupied. They even had a little library of Disney movies if we needed to entertain them in the evenings. Hagan has been a total beach boy from birth and soaked up every minute of our time in St. Jean. Dorian was getting exhausted quite easily each day, however, so we were sure to take a siesta each afternoon. The sun and the sand made him extra hungry and extra tired.
It’s important to know that St. Jean is very secluded and St. Barths is not accessible by foot. If you’re like us and want to pop into town each afternoon, find a local playground, or just to go out to eat, getting a rental car is a must. We know better for next time, as we had only booked a car for the second half of our stay. We managed to trek down the beach before crossing the road, but the boys weren’t fans of all the walking we did.
We enjoyed dinner at The Pearl on our first night there. The kids played in the sand just steps from our table; we were able to enjoy our food long enough to taste it. It’s true, French cuisine on the island is very expensive, but it’s also very delicious. This ended up being the best meal we had our entire trip!
Our four days in St. Jean were a blur of laid-back bliss. We snorkeled, we swam, we fed the resident turtles, we got too much sun, we snacked to our heart’s content, we sipped coffee and watched the kids swim at the pool, we happily hand-washed our linen tops and dresses and hung them in the windows to dry… We didn’t turn on a television or a radio. We didn’t worry about the bad wi-fi connection. We just enjoyed each other. We enjoyed the nature and the sea and all the creatures. Most of all, we enjoyed each other. This is why we travel.