I can’t believe January is almost over already! It’s been a busy month…boy how time flies! Didn’t want too much time to pass before I shared some photos and memories from my family’s holiday vacation.  Mario, Avery, and I flew down to the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Martin.  We took a break from chilly New York City and for the first time in as long as I can remember, we spent Christmas away from home.  Normally, I prepare a big dinner at our home in Southampton so I did miss our traditions, but it was a different kind of special being away with my family in someplace distant and tropical, detached from work and school.

It was a hectic but rewarding fall 2011! Avery completed her busiest high school semester yet.  She took the most challenging courses that her school has to offer – honors physics, calculus, you name it.  And, just last week we received her report card and guess what? She got STRAIGHT A’s!! My girl is such a work horse.  On top of that, she’s also studying for the ACT which she takes in February.  Is my daughter really beginning the whole college process already?! I know how much pressure there is around this time in a teenager’s life, so we’re just trying to keep Avery grounded and not stress so much.  My New Year’s resolution was to de-stress too!

Well, needless to say, a break was calling our names, so we took ten days to relax and unwind on the French side of the island (there’s a Dutch side too).  On our last trip we stayed on the Dutch side so we thought we would change it up!  We love wandering through the outdoor markets which are just so rich in local crafts, exotic foods, colorful jewelry and artwork.  But, we spent most of the afternoons lounging on the beaches and by our hotel pool.  The water is crystal clear blue and just irresistible.  The weather was not consistent the whole time though, we did have some overcast days and a bit of rain, but towards the end of the trip it was just picture perfect. And to prove it, here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip!

Me and my husband Mario

Avery and her daddy

What's a little fun in the sun without some Pinot Grigio?

Mario, Avery, and I ate at a different restaurant each night.  The cuisine on the island is mostly French, with some Indian Caribbean.  I think Avery really discovered her love of food on the trip — she was in charge of doing the research to pick out the restaurants and the role suited her well! I think I have a little foodie on my hands.  She asked me on the plane ride home, “can we eat out like that every night when we get back to New York?”
Here are a few of the restaurants we ate at on the island:
Le Tastevin
Le Ti Provencal
Mario’s Bistro
L’Auberge Gourmande
La Villa
Le Cottage

Enjoying that crystal clear blue water!