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Read the Book

If you've ever harbored thoughts about building your dream home in paradise or simply want to appreciate the finer points of Fleur de Sel, one of the owner's has chronicled the efforts involved in her book titled, "No Expectations, Mon". Written in the style of "A Year In Provence," "Under The Tuscan Sun," and "Don't Stop The Carnival" you can download a copy at http://www.scribd.com/doc/16497998/No-Expectations-Mon

The purchase price is only $5.00 of which $3.75 is donated to the Jeremiah Program, a favorite charity of the villa's owners. You can learn more about this wonderful organization at: www.jeremiahprogram.org

So off we went to a little neighborhood just south and east of the island's capital, The Valley. Many of the residents had recently built or were in the process of building lovely homes on the small hill overlooking St. Martin. We learned that the owners of this half-acre property, the Highs, had returned to England when the husband became ill, and had been trying to sell the property.

We approached the property from the north, and all that could be seen of the house was a flat cement roof with lots of rebar. (This is a frequent sight on the island as families construct homes to a point where they run out of money; they then let the house sit in that condition until they save enough money to continue construction.) We got out of the car and walked onto the roof. The 180-degree view of the ocean, blue sky, French St. Martin and St. Bart's, was magnificent! We were sold already!

We walked through the surrounding gardens to the south side of the house. The lower, built out level of the house consisted of an open living, dining and kitchen area, two bedrooms, two baths, a storeroom and a laundry. Unfortunately we couldn't get into the house because the owners were away, and since Roy did not have the "contract" to sell the property, he didn't have a key. Never mind the inside — the view from the outside was even better than we could possibly have dreamed. Between this half built gem and the ocean was a salt pond, where at one time, shrimp and subsequently salt, were harvested. We could call the house Fleur de Sel!

We'll take it!

Sallie Lilienthal – No Expectations, Mon!