15 March 2012

Don't Hate Me - I Spent 3 Months in St. Barths

For 6 years in a row, I went to St. Barths every spring for 2 weeks.  That's 3 months of my life.

St. Barths is a teeny tiny French island in the Caribbean (near St. Maarten) where millionaires & billionaires vacation (back in the day, I had no idea where this was.)

Yes, I know......it sounds ridiculously glamorous.  And actually, it was...you have no idea.  The experience was so over the top that I have hardly even seen this kind of life in the movies.  Don't hate me!  :)  I just can't help but think of it this time of year, as we always went in March.

Here is where we stayed, on Flamands Beach: 

Where to stay in St. Barths
So - the reason I got to do this is I was a Personal Assistant to a CEO of a private equity firm in New York for 7 years.  And the job included traveling from time to time with the family.

It turns out I adored each of them.  And I actually felt like family with them, too, when I was traveling with them.  They were just some of the most gracious, wonderful, generous people I've ever known.  (They also always let me bring a companion to travel with us as well.)  Working with them was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life.  


Flamands Beach

We'd usually leave New York in the lightest coat we could bear (since it was always still cold here!) and then we'd board the private jet (ha!) and fly down.  We wanted to be just in airy sundresses as we stepped onto the runway.  (Note:  Always have sunglasses handy when exiting a private jet in the Caribbean!  :)    

 
Also - make sure you bring LOADS of swimming suits to St. Barths.  Little did I know that people vacationing in St. Barths don't ring out their swim suits and wear them more than once.  I had a lot to learn after my first year there when I took a measly TWO bathing suits.  I'm not kidding.....oops.  haha :) 


Rent a villa in St. Barths
Plan on spending a LOAD of money on creams and sunscreens and sunburn treatments while in St. Barths.  Budget a large portion of your funds, and enjoy every minute of the French pharmacies. Pick up some sunglasses while in the pharmacies, too.  Even the "cheap" French sunglasses are so cute.


Go to the bakeries for hot croissants every morning (I highly recommend the almond croissants).  Go to Maya's To Go for the BEST take-out of your life (& try every single one of their desserts).  Go to La Creperie for breakfast lunch and dinner.  And have the best meals of your life at pretty much ANY of the fine dining restaurants - they are all so amazing. 

 

Going to St. Barths was the perfect place to depart to during NY's last moments of winter.  When we returned, we were usually welcomed fully by spring, with New York in full bloom.  I don't think I'll ever be vacationing in St. Barths again, but...I do know that beach vacations in Feb./March are a very, very good idea.  I hope someday we can all swing that!

Have you guys ever had some awesome/fun perks from your jobs? It would be fun to hear.


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12 comments:

  1. Unreal! Wow. What an incredible experience for you Mara. When I was a nanny for a year and a half out of college I kind of thought I would be doing things like this but alas I got the family with a new lawyer dad and mom in grad school- no vacations!

    Since I'm a magazine photographer I get to eat the food I shoot, but only if I want to. It's a tough life.

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  2. Oh my goodness, I wanna go! How can I not be jealous?!? It's gorgeous! That and you lived in France, you live in NY, you owned your own fashion line and you have a great marriage!! Everytime I learn about the trials you overcame and the places you went and did, I think wow, my life is boring. You are living a glamorous life, and I come to here to dream. Maybe SOMEDAY the hubby and I will travel somewhere exotic. Until then, I come here to admire the cool stuff you two do in your lives.

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  3. Certainly the best perk of my husband's job is living in Paris; I left my very "unglamorous" job as a therapist to come here. And now of course I want to go to St. Barths

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  4. This is amazing! My coolest experience was landing a temporary consultant job in San Diego, doubling my income, and having a large new apartment in Del Mar paid for (just a mile from the beach), along with my rental car, gas/food money and weekly fancy dinners by the beach. It was a dream . . that only lasted 6 weeks. We accomplished our goal for the client too soon! The experience did land me a great job in D.C., though, and I have loved my 6 years here.

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  5. Awesome! I want to go! Here's a challenge...can you visit and NOT spend six kajillion dollars? If so, I'm happy to go and test it out, and will report back in!

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  6. Wow - St. Barth's looks absolutely stunning! I am so jealous! But, even though my bosses don't take me anywhere glamorous (apparently they think the Boston harbor is glamorous enough), I do get lots of leeway with vacation time! My boyfriend and I just took a week-long vacation to drive down to Miami and back - enjoying the most wonderful road trip together! It's not as glamorous as St. Barth's, but it was definitely as much fun! I'll actually be writing about on my blog next week (specifically, Monday afternoon), if you're interested in checking it out! In the meantime, I'll just be dreaming about the warming weather on this dreary Boston day!

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  7. That sounds amazing! I could always use a getaway from NYC during the winter/spring transition.

    I work for a couple wonderful women who often bring clothes they are getting rid of. No tropical vacation but perks nonetheless! I've gotten some great stuff!

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  8. I am so jealous! It looks so peaceful and perfect! Very glamorous:)

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  9. The perks of my job are hugs, kisses and the occasional "I love you, Mom". Long term very good (especially if they turn out right!). Short term, lots of cleaning, cooking and clothing care!

    Love the glimpse of glamour!

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  10. Uh, I do hate you! I actually......no, I LOVE you. Now please take me with you next time!

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  11. This looks absolutely amazing!

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  12. I don't think most people would consider it a perk but I love the fact that even though I am in the schoolroom every day at certain times of the year we get to break free, dump school and work cattle in the yards. Another is that we get to go spend a week in town for each child and then there is getting paid to go get groceries.

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