Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tis the Season

Like everything else here, time of year very different from what I am used to "back home." I have actually been waiting for the next two weeks here for a very a long time because from what I hear it's something to see and experience. I have to admit, it's been very hard for me to get into the "Holiday Spirit" this year. Maybe it's the 80 degree temperatures or the lack of constant Christmas music or the barrage of Christmas ads on TV. But it definitely feels like there is something in the air. It's not exactly a Christmas spirit but it's no less alive and very very obvious.

Here the words "The Season" while its very related to Christmas & New Years on the calendar means something completely different. When the rest of the world is celebrating the end of the year, here it's essentially the beginning. The big boats started to arrive a couple of weeks ago but as of this morning, the harbor is almost full. The world largest yacht The Eclipse is here and you hear more English and Russian being spoken than French. "The Season" has officially started - which means this is the St Barth you read about.

It's been amazing to watch the slow transformation from small local community to an island filled with tourists. Most of these tourists aren't your typical tourist, this isn't their first holiday in St Barth and they like to make it clear that they know the Island. When I arrived in early November it was quiet - really really quiet. Not even all the folks that live here had returned from the mass exodus that happens in September & October - the height of hurricane season here. There was Thanksgiving week where we got a sneak peak at what was about to happen, but I can already see it doesn't compare to the next two weeks. Where everything is elevated - there is a "buzz" in the air.

The staffs at restaurants and hotels are increased and the level of service is raised everywhere. I have been watching my husband and his business partner slowly gearing up waiting for what's about to happen. They are already getting the private dives - and have more than one booking a day and the emails and calls are coming in at a quicker pace. For me this is fun to witness as it's the opposite of what I am used to. I'm used to coasting through these two weeks, doing a little work but really catching up on the news and some good books. This year though I am looking forward to making myself useful, if possible, with their business. Whether it's to help them get ready for large groups, answer some emails or just be an extra pair of hands when possible. I will work this holiday season in one way shape or form if I can.

But what's happen around the island, well, it really is something to see. The wealthiest of the wealthy will be here - forget the 1% this is the .001%. To give you context - I said something about Romney and his yacht the other day and the comment I got back was "He's not SO wealthy." Yep, a world where one of the symbols of wealth isn't considered wealthy - that kind of wealth. There are some of the yachts in the harbor cost more than $500 m to build - and they only represent one of the owners toys.  Of course not everyone that comes is on a yacht - most rent villas or stay in hotels. But they are still spend a pretty penny to be here these two weeks and it becomes a bit of a playground.

It's such a contrast to my holidays back home. I miss the holiday parties and will certainly miss Christmas Eve at my parents. I won't however miss New Year's Eve in NYC - never was a fan. It's very different, not bad just different. I don't have a Christmas Tree and all my decorations are in a storage unit. And while I used to dream of a "White Christmas" well the white sand beaches are a perfectly acceptable substitute. I am however looking forward to living it as a local, that's what I am now and I think I am finally feeling like one!

Happy Holidays all!!!!!

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