1 We arrived on St. Bart's via St. Maarten's by small puddle jumper plane. We were staying in a beautiful villa not far from the airport in St. Jean. This was my first glimpse of the sea from our terrace.
2 The villas in St. Bart's range from modest to ultra luxurious. This villa is owned by a friend and was designed by the late architect, Charles Gwathmey, of Gwathmey Siegel. It took three years to build, and is situated high on a hill overlooking Colombier Beach.
3 At all times of day and night the views are unsurpassed and exciting- sunset is beautiful- on this evening the clouds were pink and grey.
4 Jude has always loved sunsets and watched the giant yellow sun set on the lovely ocean. The coconuts in the tall palm trees were picked and we drank a lot of coconut water.
5 The villa's pool is an "infinity" pool, meaning one edge has no coping and seems to blend seamlessly with the landscape.
6 The villa is made up of a series of small pavilions- bedrooms, living room, kitchen, dining room, gym and utility rooms. Very well done and very, very comfortable.
7 Local stone was used for retaining walls and for the houses themselves. Here is a better view of the infinity edged pool- the children loved saying "infinity."
8 I love to see how houses work and the basements of the villa were very interesting- wiring has to be off floors; plumbing is copper/plastic; and, under most houses are huge cement cisterns which hold rain water. This house has two cisterns- one for drinking/bathing, one for irrigation/toilets. There's no natural source for drinking water on St. Bart's, so populace depends on rain. Now there are desalination plants for water.
9 Another pool on the property has a double infinity edge- very beautiful.
10 The vegetation at the villa is very nice- a great mixture of palms, tropical plants and vines.
11 At night the children got to feed the island turtles, which live on the grounds, fresh fruits and vegetables. Turtles should be fed natural fruits and vegetables.
12 These are large, healthy turtles and they enjoyed their snacks.
13 Utterly spectacular. One night we were treated to this display of magnificence! Sunsets on St. Bart's can be breathtaking.
14 I always get up early on vacation- the clouds on this morning were pink and blue and grey, and the day cleared later into a bright sunshiny beach day.
15 The children were captivated by this herd of wild goats, which climbed a stone outcropping everyday at 11am. There were always 11-goats.
16 Jude was entrusted with the telescope to view not only the goats, but also the constellations at night.
17 The villa has lots of wonderful outdoor spaces and indeed, most of our time there was spent outdoors or by the poolside.
18 Views were carefully captured by the architect everywhere one looked or walked or swam, or slept.
19 One pavilion is completely devoted to workout equipment and yoga.
20 Showers are indoors/outdoors and the shower heads allow water to rain down on you!
21 This is an outdoor shower at the gym.
22 Despite comfortable seating everywhere, Alexis prefers, as I do, hard surfaces- notice how nicely the children's shoes are organized for easy access- and no shoes were worn indoors, anywhere!
23 This is the bar at Tamarin where delicious wines and drinks are poured.
24 We ate both at home and at restaurants- St. Bart's has many excellent dining spots- one of my favorites has always been Tamarin named for the largest Tamarin tree on the island. The gardens have been recently restored by new owners and lunch there is a delight. http://www.tamarinstbarth.com
25 Many lily ponds and palm gardens surround the restaurant.
26 This is Nikki Beach where the water is perfect, the swimming sublime, and the food lavish and delicious.
27 Our gang was invited to a six-year old's birthday lunch by Geoffrey Zakarian, restaurateur and TV food chef.
29 In the distance you can see (barely) a couple of the great sailing yachts that competed in a three-day "Bucket" regatta around St. Bart's. It was another wonderful sight.
30 A sand sculptor made a birthday cake right on the beach- it was wonderful.
31 At lunch we managed to imbibe three magnums of this delightful rose, "Garrus".
32 More contenders in the race...
33 First course- sushi, sashimi and all the fixings.
34 This is why the guys kept ordering magnums of rose- to see the gorgeous girls pour!!
35 Alexis never goes in the sun and always wears huge wonderful hats.
36 The birthday cake, the real cake, was more modest.