The Blog

St Barth Chatter

I am here on the spectacular island of St Barth.  Getting here was quite the adventure since I left my house at 4 in the morning right after an ice storm.  Since I live way out in a rural area it was a wild ride to the airport.  Nothing much happened along the way until the final flight…a tiny plane (held 10) for the 10 minute flight from St Maarten to St Barth.  Here’s the St Barth airport:

Yup, it does dump you right in the water if you don’t stop where you’re supposed to.  But that’s not the interesting thing about the short flight.

Sidebar: I was standing right at the end of the runway when I took that picture up there. It’s the top of a hill and the planes come over the hill and brush the ground there as they land…going down the hill towards the water.  Quite amazing.

During the flight I chatted with the lady next to me.  For some reason Africa came up.  After we landed we walked thru immigration…12 seconds…and out the front door of the airport together.  She was immediately greeted by a woman, introduced me as the Africa expert (!),  and then we stood talking while they waited for the lady’s husband to pick them up and I scanned the area for Larry O’Donnell who was perhaps going to pick me up.  No Larry.

So I asked my new friends if they were going my way, but no, they were actually going in the opposite direction.  Notwithstanding this, they said they would be happy to drop me off where I was going.  So…reason number one for always talking to your seatmate: free rides.

Off to the Normandie Hotel…it’s really a small and wonderful Bed & Breakfast.  No one is there but there is an envelope with my name on it and a key inside.  While I’m looking at this, someone comes in.  She turns out to be Eula Prada, the manager.  She offers me wine and we have a nice conversation for an hour or so.  Seems that they have just been judged the Best B&B in the Caribbean for 2010 by Caribbean Travel & Leisure!

Still no Larry. 

So I drink wine with Eula and then wander off to check my email.  Of course, you know what happens…I can’t connect.  Damn Blackberry is getting it all but can’t get the computer to work so I can actually answer some emails that require real paragraphs.  And no Web Ogres around!  So Eula drags over another guest with the words “he’s always looking at his computer so must know what he’s doing.”

After a bit, we actually get it to work!  We are both amazed since he knows no more than I do about these things. I was anxious about this since I got a request to drop in on Microsoft in Redmond Washington and talk to 150 managers.  Yikes!  Don’t want to miss that because I’m on St Barth and technologically challenged.

Still no Larry.

So I wander down the road to the K’fe Massai Restaurant.  It is almost empty.  I sit at the small bar.  I recognize the bartender and wonder if he will remember me.  He stares for a minute, comes over, and says “you are Larry O’Donnell’s friend. You were here a year ago.”  I am in awe.  He remembered me sitting at this very bar a whole year ago…when we talked quite a bit, but still.

We have a nice chat while I drink a glass of wine…notice a theme here? He recommends a tapas which is spectacular.  I hear about St Barth and his young child as we natter on about this and that.  Finally I have dinner…also wonderful. 

Then he comes over with this little tiny bottle and a shot glass.  He fills the glass and hands it to me.  It is some delicious rhum, ginger, and secret spices drink that he makes.  He leaves me the bottle which turns out to hold exactly 3 shots. I leave you figure out how I know this.

I’ve had it. Left my house at 4AM and it’s now 10 at night. So I get the check and find…he gave me the rhum.  So reason number two to talk to everyone: they remember you and you get…free drinks.

I overtip dramatically and wander back. 

Still no Larry.

Travel tip: Talk to everyone, who knows what will result.

Leave a Comment

Let us know your thoughts on this post but remember to place nicely folks!