Wanderlusts, Vol. 10: Jennifer Fisher’s St. Barths

by Kristen Heinzinger
"This is at St. Barths at Selene Beach. Paddleboarding is one of those things I want to get better at. We like to do body surfing too. It’s so mellow...it’s not like we go there to be active. We do a little bit of sailing. We kind of do anything we want!"

“This is at St. Barths at Selene Beach. Paddleboarding is one of those things I want to get better at. We like to do body surfing, too. It’s so mellow…it’s not like we go there to be active. We do a little bit of sailing. We kind of do anything we want!”

For Jennifer Fisher, naming a vacation tradition was simple. The jewelry designer and her family take off to St. Barths at least once every year, drawn by the paddleboard-friendly beaches, shopping, lentil salad, friends, and rose—in short, the good life.

What’s your family’s summer tradition?
We go to St. Barths every Memorial Day weekend. We used to go to Anguilla a lot to The Viceroy when the kids were younger, and as they started getting older, we wanted it to feel less like a hotel vacation. We wanted to go somewhere where we could drive around. In St. Barths we rent Mini Coopers, go to the bakery in the morning, to Nikki Beach for sushi for lunch. The kids love it because the beach is small and confined, and there’s shopping right around there. It’s a really fun town, and it feels like you’re in Europe. It feels like it’s a vacation that’s farther away, when it’s really super local. The beach in front of Hotel Taiwana is really fun, too, and we paddleboard there a lot. Many times, we have other friends there at the same time, so we’ll meet up with all of the kids and do big lunches at Taiwana. Lentil salad and rose! It’s more about the day than it is the nights out.

What was one of your most memorable trips?
The first time I ever went, we were staying in Anguila at The Viceroy, and we had friends in St Barths just for the afternoon, so we flew over with the kids. It was pouring rain and it was a terrifying plane ride…we had to have Bloody Marys before we left! They were like, we don’t know if the plane can actually make it there. It was a crazy ride in the rain, but we ended up in St. Barths and went to Taiwana for lunch for the first time. It was this huge table of 30 people. The kids were all playing, we had magnum bottles of rose. It was one of those afternoons that I’ll never forget. Suddenly someone got a call from the airport that we had to get off the island immediately! So we grabbed the kids and ran to the airport and went back. That was when we really fell in love with St Barths.

Do you have any standing traditions in St. Barths?
Right across the street from the airport is a great French pharmacy that everyone knows about. We stock up for the trip and for home. There’s all kinds of stuff you can’t get in the US, like this amazing lotion. There’s always random candy that my kids want. They always have good tweezers and strange hairbrushes and things.

Do you have any favorite vacations from your childhood?
When I got to go to Antibes, which is right next to Nice. One of my friends’ parents had a house there. My freshman year of high school, I went for a few weeks. Her parents, I have to say, were not around a lot, so we had a lot of freedom in the south of France at that young age. It was a very fun few weeks. I went to boarding school in Europe, so I had freedom out there, too. And also, when I went to Europe with my parents for the first time. My dad made sure he always planned family trips the right way, at amazing hotels and restaurants. At a young age, I remember vividly going to Lugano on Lake Como…that vacation was incredible. We were in France, in Italy, in England. One of my brothers had just started college, and my other brother was just graduating, and it was sort of the last time we all traveled as a family before my brothers were really out of the house. They were older, so it was fun…going to Germany and staying in crazy places, eating strange blood sausage, watching my brothers raid the mini bars. It was this crazy fun family trip.

Did you have any traditions when it came to family  vacations?
I grew up in California, so I didn’t go to sleep-away camp like most of my friends in New York. We traveled a lot. My dad liked Europe, but it wasn’t a standard vacation every year. We did a lot of cool different things. My dad owned a farm up in Montana at one point, and we went there, we drove through Montana, through New Mexico. My dad is an adventurist, so he loved going on fun trips. He always made sure they were done the right way. I was very lucky to have that growing up.

What’d you do in Montana?
Montana is cool! My dad had a little lodge on the water in Big Fork Montana, which is this tiny town. He’s an outdoorsman in a weird way too, and would garden, so there were huckleberry bushes, so we’d pick berries and then have crazy adventures every day.

Did you inherit your dad’s adventurous side?
I’m not an adventurist, but I definitely got the travel gene from my dad. I love to travel to different places, except St. Barths…I love going back there! My husband and I have different travel styles and travel wants, but it’s one trip that both of us look forward to every year. In October, our friend is turning 40, so we’re going to India for two weeks. I’ve never been before, so that will be super interesting and fun.

JENNIFER & DREW_2_1

Jennifer Fisher and her daughter Drew in matching Mara Hoffman suits in St. Barths. “We don’t always match, but for mom and daughter sort of things, Mara’s stuff is the best. She always makes a mini version.”

 

JENNIFER & SHANE_2_1

Jennifer Fisher and her son Shane. “The nice thing about St. Barths is lots of beaches are flat and it’s super safe for the kids. My son was tired at the point [this photo was taken]…he’s at that age now where he doesn’t ever sit with me. It was one of those moments, so I had to take a bunch of photos. He only does that when he’s tired or doesn’t feel well!”

JENNIFER & DREW BEACH_2_1

“My husband is athletic, so he gets the kids out in the water and involved. They have very different likes. When we’re on vacation, they’re sort of each other’s playmates, so they get along pretty well. There are times when we’re traveling with friends and they splinter off. We don’t take help with us on the trip ever, because we’re just not that family. When I’m on vacation, I like to spend time with them.”

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