June Trip Report – Family Style!
Lisa and I just got back from a week in St. Barth with our 2 children, Jessica and Jonathan. They each also brought a friend. Everyone had a great time and it was a lot of fun introducing our children’s friends to the beauty and culture that makes St. Barth so special. We stayed in the Avenstar villa located in Camaruche overlooking Lorient Bay. We had seen Avenstar before, but never actually stayed there. Wow, what a great villa for either a family trip or a group of couples looking for a great place to enjoy a vacation. Avenstar has 5 bedrooms, 2 pools, plenty of deck space for catching some sun (sunbathing), and a view that just won’t quit. Each night, we sat on the deck and watched the sun go down as the children played in the upper pool. What a perfect way to relax before the evening festivities.
This trip was all about the kids. Each day we visited a different beach, but always started the day figuring out what was on the agenda for both lunch and dinner. We also had a couple of surprises up our sleeves to make sure the trip was a hit. Our children love St. Barth, but we were not sure how their friends would view it. As usual, St. Barth was an absolute hit, and both friends cannot wait to come back.
In order to insure a good time was had by all, we had a few pre-planned activities – (1) Sunday night at the Hideaway for sing-along with Andy – he even agreed to play Sweet Caroline twice; (2) Jet ski island tour with JC in Grand Cul de Sac; (3) Tuesday night Fashion show at Isle de France (the boys fell in love with one of the models – Barbara; and (4) Are you ready for this, we took them to Le Ti. Yes, you read that correctly, we took the children to Le Ti. We took them on Tuesday for the Cabaret show so it was definitely more tame than a Saturday night show. The kids had an absolute blast! They were really just enjoying the show, but before we knew it, the staff decided the boys were ready to be part of the show. They provided the boys with wigs and costumes and then it was time to hit the stage! Based on all accounts, it was a night they will not soon forget.
Each day we would ask the kids what had been their favorite St. Barth beach so far. It seemed to change each day. At first they really liked St. Jean because they met some local children and enjoyed a pick up soccer game. They also liked watching the planes take off and land. Then it was Governeur for the big waves. However, I believe they all changed their minds once we took them on the hike to Colombier and then spent the afternoon snorkeling and seeing huge starfish.
We also spent one morning looking for the natural pools at Grand Fond. The hike is a bit more strenuous than the Colombier trail, but the views are one of a kind. We came across a few goats along our hike and one seemed to follow us. The kids decided to name him Gilbert. Still don’t know where that came from, but the pools were a lot of fun and the kids enjoyed snorkeling.
While the beaches and food were a big part of the trip, exposing these children to the culture of St Barth is the highlight for Lisa and I. Our son’s friend, Robert, has taken a few years of French at school, but had never had an opportunity to actually use it other than in the classroom. We dubbed Robert our official translator for the trip. It was such a joy to watch him try to pick up what the locals were saying and see if he could make it all out. By the end of the week, all the children were greeting everyone with “Bon Jour” or Bon Soir”. In addition, I have never heard that them say “thank you” as much as I heard “Merci”!!!
To Lisa and I, St. Barth is a perfect location for a family vacation. There is so much natural beauty and culture that you find yourself in conversations with your children about how the world is much bigger than just the United States. The simplicity is what makes it so perfect. St. Barth will keep your children as entertained, if not more, than some large resort with water slides, and lazy rivers, etc. Can’t wait until the next time we get to enjoy St. Barth through the eyes of our children. Thanks for a great trip guys!