Day 5: We started our day with a hike to the Grand Fond natural pools. They were really beautiful and our early start meant we were the only ones there to enjoy them. There are multiple natural pools on the island, this is not the deep, super secret one. The one you see most pictures of is on private property and is not marked and can not be seen when you're hiking so you have to know exactly where it is - a guide is recommended for that hike as it is also dangerous depending on the tides. (Getting to Grand Fond natural pools: drive from Toiny to Grand Fond. You will drive right along the coast, and right before the road begins to bend right you will see a path on your left that goes between stone walls. Just past the path, on the left, you will see a small 4 car parking area. Follow the path down to the beach, turn right when you get there and walk the beach all the way to the rock hill at the end of it. You will see a path that climbs these rocks and you will follow the goat path along the coast for 20 minutes. These pools you are able to see from the path, so carefully climb down once they come into sight. Watch out for urchins, they're everywhere!). We worked up an appetite and headed to O'Corail to try lunch (the fish sandwich is ah-mazing). Pool + windsurfing is how we spend our afternoon before heading out for dinner at Eden Rock's Sand Bar. The food here really was great, and sinking your feet into the sand while you enjoyed dinner was pretty nice (another great spot for kids).
Day 6: Another adventurous day. Hunt, Cari, E and I headed to check out Gouverneur Beach (smaller, but equally as beautiful as Saline) -- the drive here is amazing. Afterwards we grabbed a drink at Santa Fe, on top of the hill above the beach, a great spot to stop by for a beautiful view and cocktail. Our next stop was another beach -- Shell Beach. We met A+S for lunch at Do Brazil, a spot I would definitely recommend checking out. Right on the beach, sink your toes in the sand, eat ceviche and sip their house-named cocktail. A bonus of visiting shell beach is the cliff jumping you can do -- swim all the way out around the point at the far left end of the beach (it's a swim). Just around the corner of the rocks, out of sight from the beach, is a rope you can climb up to get to the rock platforms for jumping. They are all marked with heights -- 7, 8, 10+. After getting our heart rates up a bit, we hoped in the cars, headed back to the hotel (got to watch a plane land while in the round about on the way), then got ready for round 2 at Bonito. Yes, we went again. We loved it so much the first time (that lychee cocktail in a copper pineapple was to die for) we reorganized our dinner schedule so we could go again. It was equally as good the second time, but wish we would have checked out something else looking back on it -- you can't beat the initial surprise and awe experience. Other places we wish we could have tried: L'Esprit, L'Isola.
Day 7: Our final morning was spent boating, snorkling and cliff jumping. We had the most wonderful captain who made our trip exceptional. It sure was beautiful - so many stunning fish and loads of sea turtles. We ported in Gustavia, where we grabbed a bite to eat at L'Isoletta before getting back to the hotel for an afternoon of paddle boarding and hiking. Sea turtles were everywhere in the cul-de-sac our hotel was on, which made paddle boarding really fun. At the far end of the beach there was a nature preserve and some incredible views, making for a great afternoon walk. The kids headed in town for dinner on our last night, at Baz Bar (heard amazing things, but we were not impressed and actually left before dinner). Bellies still hungry, we stopped by Eden Rock for a quick bite before heading home for our last sleep in paradise.
Serious blues this week. Can we go back!?