From my earliest memories on, St. Barth has always been a magical place. As a little kid, I remember excitedly dropping loose change into our big vacation savings jar, eager for the day we’d get to return to our little piece of heaven. I remember collecting the most perfect shells on Shell Beach and making jars filled with sand, shells and smoothed-over glass to bring home as keepsakes. I remember thinking myself a Indiana Jones-type, as we hiked the vast hills and valleys, speckled with wild goats, towards our “secret beach,” Columbier. I remember sitting around Le Select, with owner, local legend and my grandfather’s best friend, Sir Marius Stakelborough, as musicians sat around us, playing favorite island tunes. I remember a lot about the feel of the place, and I have to admit, I’m fairly certain it’s a romanticized version that my brain defaults to. That being said, there’s no where quite like St. Barth.
Future Husband and I are still considering our options for a honeymoon, but this island, which holds so much of my child nostalgia along with a monster-sized reputation, is our front runner. My grandfather built our beautiful villa on St. Jean, just down the beach a bit from Eden Rock, in the early 1950s. With a plenitude of coral reefs, windsurfing lessons next door and little nearby beachside restaurants, there’s little left to desire. We’re aspiring to become better chefs too, so we can take advantage of the fresh ingredients and cook up freshly caught fish, as we listen to the gently lapping waves of the beach on quiet nights.
Someday, if not for our honeymoon, I can’t wait to walk back to the local patisserie and pick up freshly made chocolate croissants and Swiss mocha coffee, along with fluffy baguettes and tasty strawberry tarts for later, of course. My French is pretty rusty, but I’ll learn. I’ll learn for this place.
I don’t know if it’s the fact that I haven’t been back to the tropical island of lore in a decade, or that my next trip will in essence be a homecoming, or that I’m, again, guilty of romanticizing the place in my head, but something about going back to St. Barth makes me want to become the best person I can be. We’re always in the process of becoming, and evolving, and hopefully growing, but imagining this Cheeseburger Paradise (Jimmy Buffet wrote the famed song about Marius’s place) makes me feel calm and giddy all at once. It’s somehow liberating to identify a place, a goal, a future to aspire to. Is that a weird thing to think? Probably. Will I continue to dream about spending our honeymoon on a reclusive island paradise? Absolutely.