Staycation Week 2
We kicked off week two of our staycation on Monday morning, by going on the hike we had initially wanted to do Sunday morning. This morning the weather was perfect. Almost no clouds in the sky. At 08:00, Chris and Mom picked up Rowena and me and we headed to our starting point of the hike, all the way above Colombier beach. We’d head downhill, coming across many tortoises, big and small, on the way down, and enjoyed a swim in the insanely clear and wonderful water. It was amazing. After drying up and having the wind cover us in sand, we hiked back up the hill, driving back to drop of Rowena and me so that we could shower, while Mom and Chris headed home to shower there.
After no longer being covered in sand, Rowena and I drove to mom’s where we enjoyed cake and coffee, followed by a game of Harten Jagen. After that, Mom, Rowena, and I headed out, first dropping by a friend’s store, before heading to Arawak, another favourite cafe of ours in Gustavia. Here I worked on my latest Medium article (Creating Your Freelance Website: Advertising Yourself 101). After heading home, I finished my article and enjoyed the rest of the relaxed, calm evening.
Tuesday morning I spend writing and hanging around the apartment, with Rowena, before heading out to Gustavia to have brunch at Arawak! Although the weather was super rainy, we managed to stay dry and have a good conversation about life and what next. After we headed back to the apartment to pick up our stuff before heading over to mom’s place. We spend all afternoon relaxing, every one doing their own thing, the atmosphere was calm. That evening we looked at photos from previous trips to St. Barth, which was awesome because we could see how things on the island have changed since 2013. Then we all stayed the night at mom’s, a little slumber party.
Wednesday morning, since we were all at mom’s, we enjoyed breakfast on the terrace, with fruits and croissants, while enjoying a good and intense conversation about making choices and moving forward in life. It was mainly about me and some of the crossroads I’m currently on. The border to New Zealand looks to remain closed for longer than I need it to, putting me in a position to reflect on what I want and where I want to go. Somewhat scary and confronting, but also exciting because of the possibilities that it can bring.
After breakfast we started our intro to poker, reviewing the rules and how to play. We all have some basic knowledge but it was good to refresh our memory so that we can play in the upcoming days. Following that we headed to Gustavia for coffee at Oubli, before heading home again. The afternoon I walked to the shops in St. Jean as I had to exchange something, and after spend my afternoon reading, baking banana brownie/muffins and writing on here. We ended the day watching Inferno, which Chris had never seen and the rest of us had somewhat forgotten. At one point in the middle of the night I woke up from my dreams, which were definitely influenced by the movie. Nothing scary but I just remember running around a lot, the same way it happens in the movie.
That morning I woke up and Having gone to bed kind of late, all sleeping over again at mom’s, we somewhat slept in, until 08:30, and spend the first few hours of the morning relaxing, everyone enjoying their own thing. Chris was writing, Mom was just relaxing, I was reading, and Rowena was reading my book! Which she finished reading! This felt awesome and really fun. She was super enthusiastic and loved it, which made me feel very happy. Even though I wrote my book for me and shared it because I wanted to, I love it when others enjoy it as well.
Around 11:00 we headed out and went to Gustavia for coffee. We weren’t sure yet if we wanted to go to Oubli or Arawak, but when we arrived and Oubli was completely full, we simply walked onwards to Arawak, where our favourite table was still available. We enjoyed coffee, followed by a juice, which was then continued with lunch. Their food is really tasty and most of the options on the menu are healthy too.
After lunch we headed home to spend the afternoon relaxing. That evening we went out again, to Isoletta for pizza. We were lucky to get a table, as it had been booked almost to full capacity already, but Viviana made sure that we had a spot. We came earlier than we normally would so that we could afterwards head home and watch a movie – we were planning to watch the Courrier (a great movie I definitely recommend!).
Friday morning we decided to go for an early morning swim at Shell Beach in Gustavia, which we follwed up with coffee at Oubli and walking around some of the shops. After our morning out and about, we spend the rest of the day relaxing at home. For dinner I made a salad for everyone, before Rowena and I headed back to the other apartment where we watched the Kissing Booth 3, a movie we’d been waiting for a long time to come out.
The next morning, on Saturday, Rowena and I showed up early at Mom’s so that we could eat breakfast together before heading out for our morning hike. We went from St. Jean to Lorient, where we walked on the beach and observed some giant capers swimming right near the shore, before heading in the direction of Saline and back up and over the hill towards home. The 5 KM hike, which always feels somewhat longer due to the fact that you’re hiking up and down hills, was great. It wasn’t too sunny most of the walk and it felt great to do something active early in the morning. After returning home and getting changed, we headed out to Oubli where we enjoyed our usual noissette and a chat with Barbera, one of the friendly girls that works there.
Saturday evening we had initially planned to go to Arawak for live music, tapas, and drinks. But there was a tropical storm that was passing by, potentially hitting St. Barth too, and right as we were about to leave, all dressed up and ready, it started pouring rain. We made a switch in plans. I went to the supermarket to get some extra things for the evening, while Rowena, Christiaan, and Mom organised some things downstairs to make sure the things in the garage were safe. With a tropical storm you never know whether it’ll simply be a bit of thunder and heavy or rain, or whether it’ll be a full-blown storm. Often St. Barth is a little too far off the storm path. When I got back, I prepped our dinner, which consisted of a cheese plate, some bread, guacamole, tomatos, olives, vegetable chips and wine. We chatted about our personal challenges, frustrations and places for growth, and when we were all talked out with our bellies filled, we watched yet another movie, crowding on the couch while the beamer showed The Descendants. I really liked this movie. It’s a family drama comedy kind of movie, and it takes on a really honest perspective about death. The wife/mother is in a coma the whole movie, and it takes a look at how the dad/husband and the two daguthers cope their possible upcoming loss and navigate the hardships and joys together. It really reminded me of my own experience with my dad’s death, and how my siblings and I, as well as the rest of our family, found ways to live life, to feel daily joys, even when we felt sad or angry. Life and death are beautiful things that are intertwined, they provide opportunity for growth, love, and rebirth.
Sunday morning, upon waking up, it turned out that the tropical storm had mostly passed by and it hadn’t rained all that much. We spend the morning relaxing, everyone doing their own thing, which included a bit of reading, writing, and eventually coming to the conclusion that as it was Sunday and the last day of vacation, we needed cake. Around 11:00 Rowena went to get cake while I prepared the coffee. After our ‘snack break’ we played “shell”-poker with our own fabulous poker set. Rowena had taken the time to collect shells from Shell Beach, in different sizes, and coloured them with four different colours so that we would have our very own, personalised poker set. It’s absolutely great.
That evening we enjoyed another cheese and bites assortment, and afterwards settled ourselves on the couch and watched a French movie called “Populaire“, which I definitely recommend to others! A real feel good and fun movie.
The next morning (today!), after making my morning coffee, the vacation was officially over and it was time to work again. I feel good, excited for some upcoming projects and what these next four months of work will bring!