St Barths

Speeding around St. Barths

St. Barths was exactly what I expected, and yet nothing like I thought it would be. Does that make sense?

St BarthsThat’s to say the island was beautiful, vibrant, upscale, pricey and possibly even snobby in parts. But at the same time, it was quiet and wild and inspired, and I completely understand why the rich and famous flock there. That said, other than a day trip on a cruise ship, I could definitely not afford to be one of those people.

St BarthsThus, St. Barths (or Saint Barthélemy, as is its formal name) was the perfect port for us to go on a field excursion with the Star Clippers seeing as exploring left to our own devices might have resulted in a significant drain of the bank account. And knowing us like you do, I’m sure you’re not at all surprised that we opted for the ATV tour of the island through St. Barth Adventure.

St BarthsWe docked in Gustavia, which is the island’s biggest town, but found ourselves covering every last road on the island. The day was a bit hazy to start off, which was probably a blessing given that we were out underneath the beating Caribbean sun for hours.

St. BarthsOur guide, Tom, was this charming native of St. Barths with a thick French accent who gave us a great informational tour of his home turf. We came to the famous airport first—known for being one of the most dangerous runways in the world—and he let us stop and snap some photos of the planes as they took off. Often, I didn’t think they were going to make it, given the tarmac only stretched to the water for a mere 650 meters!

St. BarthsWe were following all the main roads of the island, so it wasn’t your typical ATV tour in which you’re bumping along dirt paths and fighting against the brush. I let this guy drive the whole time, as I much prefer the role of passenger and photographer. Plus, there’s no one who I trust more with my life than him. (I only wish I trusted him with his own life as much, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, see: all the injuries he’s sustained from motorcycle riding in the Mojave Desert!)

St. BarthsThe south side of the island was quite busy—it’s where all the big yachts and cruise ships dock—but once we reached the north, it was an oasis of quiet.

St. BarthsI could have been content sitting on the back of this ATV all day long, as the combination of the helmet and the wind from the sea whipped my hair into one big rat’s nest.

St. BarthsOnce we reached the top of the island, the views were incomparable. Tom pointed out where people like Mark Zuckerberg had homes; I can see why, given that the terrain would make it difficult just to pop in and say “hello” (or rather, stalk them from a nearby tree).

St. BarthsI only wish we’d had time (and access) to pay a visit to Eden Rock, the place to stay if you’re a celebrity! One day…

St. BarthsAfter we were finished, we returned to Gustavia and found a quaint cafe, Bagatelle, along the waterfront that was still serving lunch. (Many places around these islands shut down for a “siesta” of sorts every afternoon during a certain time frame. And because we were still a few weeks from the start of high season, others weren’t open, period.)

St. BarthsI had the croque Monsieur and a Diet Coke; SVV had the tuna tartar and two beers. So imagine our surprise when our check came, and the total was…77 €. Whew! I told you I couldn’t afford St. Barths for longer than a day!

St. Barths

  • February 1, 2013

    Ugh take me there now please! What a paradise!!!

    • February 1, 2013

      Is it snowing in Charlotte, too? Miserable here! Tornadoes two days ago, snow today.

  • February 1, 2013

    I love SVV’s Rocky and Bullwinkle shirt. 🙂

    heidikins recently posted..Confessions of a Bookaholic: 2013 JanuaryMy Profile

    • February 1, 2013

      He shops in the kids’ section at Target and Wal-Mart and sometimes Old Navy. Not even kidding.

  • February 1, 2013

    I love all the panoramic shots- adds so much! I wouldn’t mind being one of the rich and elite who could vacation there but for now, I’ll just dream about it from your photos. (crossing fingers that Bob strikes it rich with this whole acting thing!)
    jade recently posted..North Shore, OahuMy Profile

    • February 1, 2013

      Or you in your social media prowess!

  • February 1, 2013

    Well it may be out of your price range for a long term visit but how wonderful you got to see it for a day, especially on the back of an ATV.
    Gaelyn recently posted..Return to South AfricaMy Profile

    • February 1, 2013

      I guess that’s the beauty of cruises–right?–that you can get a taste of somewhere you normally wouldn’t be able to go.

  • February 1, 2013

    a hundred bucks for two meals and 3 drinks? LOL! Absolutely ridic. but sometimes during our adventures we just need to shell over some ridic prices to relish the moment. Now you will always remember St. B for once and for all! ATV has SVV written all over it…or perhaps it’s the other way around (SVV has ATV written all over him). Glad you got to see another beautiful island! Really envious that youre checking off ONE Eastern C. island at a time! Yeeeeehaw!

  • February 2, 2013

    Holy ball sacks, $77?! (I know that 77 euros isn’t the same as 77 dollars but I don’t know how to make the little euro symbol on my keyboard, so, you know, bare with me.) Does it come with a foot rub? What a rip!

    In other news, I love the concept of an ATV tour of the island. I feel like that would be the best way ever to see a new place. (Especially if you’re riding behind a hottie. I mean, what?)
    Monster recently posted..We Absolutely Probably Almost Never Want Kids Ever (We Think)My Profile

  • February 2, 2013

    Looks heavenly! The scenes are so pretty, wish I could be there in person someday. Till then I can soak in the beauty on your blog 🙂
    Arti recently posted..Heian Jingu Shrine and Garden in Kyoto, JapanMy Profile

  • February 4, 2013

    Been once, spent a luxurious afternoon on the beach and loved it!
    Andi recently posted..Backstage Pass at the San Diego ZooMy Profile

  • February 4, 2013

    The tour looks perfect and holy hell that’s an expensive lunch! I guess paradise sometimes comes with a hefty price tag…
    terra recently posted..{5 Points} The coolest parts about being on duty for the Presidential InaugurationMy Profile

  • February 5, 2013
    Phyllis York

    I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoy your posts! I am So happy that my daughter Krista recommended I subscribe to your website. I also wanted to share ,Knowing you’re a past SAS alum that Krista is now on the spring 2013 world voyage! She’s en route to Hong Kong and has enjoyed this amazing journey thus far.

    Looking forward to your next post:-)

  • February 6, 2013

    (Beside Bermuda) St Barths is my favorite island! I love that dangerous runway- I love laying in La Plage St Jean and watching the planes take off just feet over your head!
    Danee Sarman recently posted..Victorian Long Island City QueensMy Profile

  • February 7, 2013

    Wonderful place.. Can’t wait to go there right now. 🙂
    exotic travels and vacations recently posted..Travel Plan This FebruaryMy Profile

  • February 8, 2013

    Your photos are beautiful!
    Meagan @MommyTravels recently posted..Voula’s Offshore Cafe – SeattleMy Profile

  • February 12, 2013

    Nice Photography…:) 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • February 20, 2013


    These are absolutely beautiful shots – it just strengthens my desire to head to St. Barth’s. It’s been on my list of “must visits” forever – France (croissants, bread, fashion, etc) and the carribean (warm temp, clear water, etc) all in one place just seems too good to be true!

    Jenn recently posted..A good read is a recipe for good eats at Kong YijiMy Profile

  • February 25, 2013

    I love St. Barths. Phenomenal photos, I can’t wait for warmer weather.

  • February 28, 2013

    I love these pics! Sunny all the way…why can’t we have this here?
    Charu recently posted..Aquatic Acrobatics: SUP on The Big Island, Hawai’iMy Profile

  • March 4, 2013

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful place. Can’t ever disagree with an ATV tour – seems like they always work out for a great and fun adventure.

    I love the way you described St. Barths as “Quiet and wild and inspired” Just got me, ya know

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