How Famous People Ruin Vacations

My husband, Mike, and I went to the Caribbean island of St. Barth’s for our honeymoon, because we wanted to start out life together completely broke. St. Barth’s is the perfect place to rid yourself of pesky money. Playground to the stars, St. Barth’s has a high season, where you might see such A-list favorites as Jennifer Aniston lounging on the beach, and a low season, where the actors might run a little more “B.” We went during the low season. We went as low as we could go. If the season had been a limbo contest, we would have been entirely bent in half crawling in on only our toes.

st barth's photo

Photo by a mildly famous person. If you look close, you can see the horror in Mike’s eyes.

Our first morning at the hotel’s “free” breakfast I noticed one of the other hotel guests seemed familiar.

“Does that guy look like somebody?” I asked Mike.

Mike pretended to drop his napkin and as he reached to retrieve it, glanced in the direction to which I had just pointed with my eyes. We’re very cool.

“YES,” said Mike, nodding as he replaced his napkin. “pss pss mumble psst.”

What?” I asked. Mike thinks if he doesn’t want to be overheard he has to whisper so quietly that not even he can hear him. It might be in my top ten things I’d like to change about him, right under “don’t make me change if I happen to put on the same color shirt as you.”

“He’s an actor,” said Mike. Or, at least that’s what I thought he said. He might have said “Bees like nectar.”

“That’s what I thought!” I said (correct answer to either choice).

The actor was recognizable, but his name didn’t readily come to either of us. We knew he’d been a few movies, and every few minutes one of us would whisper “wasn’t he the guy in…”

Back at the room, we Googled our famous friend to find he often played the role of a sidekick or brother to bigger movie stars. Wikipedia let us know that the woman with him was his girlfriend, and that she herself had been a lead in a kid program I’d never seen. She was an adult now. I should probably make that clear.

That’s where the star stalking was supposed to end. We weren’t star struck. Sure, we Wiki’d him, but I Wikipedia everything from constellations to types of apples, because I’m the kind of person who likes to say things like “did you know the genus of apples is ‘Malus’ which sounds like ‘mal’ which is Latin for ‘bad’ like maybe due to the story of Adam and Eve?” This behavior is probably in Mike’s top five things he’d like to change about me.

It was fun to tell our friends there was a famous person staying in our hotel, but we had no interest in an autograph or taking pictures to sell to TMZ.

That night we went to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

The hostess sat us right next to the movie star.

We were mortified.

“He’s going to think we’re following him,” I hissed at Mike.

“Pie glow!” Mike mumbled back. I think. I dunno.

We tried so hard not to look at the famous couple next to us that we had cricks in our necks by the time we were done our salad.

It was the height of conceit to think Famous Guy even recognized us from breakfast, but at the time, we were sure we’d return to our room to find a restraining order nailed to the door.

When it came time to leave, I stopped at the ladies’ room. When I came out, Mike was sitting on a nearby bench waiting for me. He told me to sit so he could take a picture.

A woman walked by as he snapped the shot.

“Do you want me to take your picture together?” she asked us. “I’m kind of a photographer.”

“Sure, thanks!” I said, thinking this might be the one vacation where Mike and I actually had a picture together.

The woman took a photo of us, handed back the camera, and continued on to the ladies’ room.

“That was nice of her,” I said as we left.

“That was the girlfriend,” said Mike.


“The famous dude’s girlfriend,” Mike repeated.

“It was?” I had tried so hard not to look at the famous couple, that I hadn’t even recognized her. “Now they’re really going to think we’re stalking them!”

We laughed, realizing that the famous people had taken a picture of us (oh the irony!), but that evening we made a silent blood oath.

We would avoid that couple like they were ebola monkies.

The next morning, we went out to the breakfast again. I immediately spotted the famous couple already seated.  The best available seat was right next to them.

I sighed and whirled around to pretend I was taking in the breathtaking view of the pool.

“Bogey at 12 o’clock,” I mumbled to Mike touching his arm to stop him from entering the breakfast porch. We really should have been spies.

“I have no idea what that means,” said Mike stopping. Then, after scanning the restaurant, I heard him sigh “oh.”

“Mm hm,” I agreed, pretending to point at the beach. If the spy gig hadn’t worked out, I could have been a ‘B’ actor myself.

“Let’s go into town for breakfast today,” said Mike.

“Yep,” I said.

And that, my friends, is how famous people go around willy-nilly ruining vacations.

Amy Vansant

20 Responses

  1. Abby

    You should be relieved he was so humble. I was thinking Lindsay Lohan had taken over your hotel bar and was throwing shot glasses at the bartenders trying to cut her off or something.


  2. Damien

    Nothing like rubbing elbows with the quasi-famous. I once got bumped to business class and ended up sitting next to (you put it perfectly) a not totally famous, but definitely recognizable actor.

    He was really tall and he woke up as I was straddling him in order to sneak off to the bathroom. I am pretty sure I was drunk. I did not ask him for an autograph.


  3. Irene

    Jesus, I love you – I laugh out loud every time I read your stuff. I’d totally stalk you on an island. I feel it’s only fair to warn you of that right now.


  4. Tiffany N. York

    The best way to avoid all this, of course, is to never go anywhere. Ever. Like me.

    (Geez, did that come out sounding as pathetic and sad as I think it did?)


    • Amy Vansant

      Not at all. I’ve had strangers on Twitter say “You left the house??” when I posted something about Mike and I going somewhere so… I’m right there with you in the boat! (in the middle of my living room)


  5. kirby

    My daughter (a grown-up, sorta) texted me the other day to let me know she was standing RIGHT IN FRONT OF RYAN GOSLING (caps are hers, not mine) at the restaurant. The most famous celebrity encounter I’ve had was Red Skelton. FML.


  6. Jen Anderson

    Oh man, here in NYC we’ve raised ignoring anyone famous to an art form. But to have to interact with them repeatedly like they’re normal people who just happen to staying at the same resort as you? Ugh! Do they not realize that we need our space?


  7. Lisa Newlin

    I would totally stalk you and Mike and then we could try to interpret both of our husbands mumbling. Half the time I swear my hubby says random crap just to screw with me.



    • Amy Vansant

      I’m the mumbler in the family, but Mike gets me back doing that “suggesting I said something something ridiculous” bit, which drives me CRAZY.

      Me: Open the door.
      Mike: You did dope with a whore?

      Me: AAAAAAH!


  8. cj

    Pie Glow and Bees like nectar were alone well worth the read. Funny as a mofo. Tammy does the mumble thing where not even she can hear herself too. Great stuff;)


  9. Charlotte

    Oh my gosh I’m laughing so hard I have tears in my eyes. “bees like nector” hahahaha lord this made my day.


  10. Cristina Sierra

    This is the truest blog post ever – celebrities make you watch such a line because you can’t be perceived as stalking!

    On a slightly different twist, a friend of mine went down to Mexico on a much needed vacation and was totally crushed when Sophia Vargara showed up celebrating her 40th. So much for feeling gorgeous and pampered next to that vixen….she spent the whole time sucking in her gut!


  11. Marie from Rock The Kasbah

    Who the crap was it? It’s killing me. It’s also killing me that I couldn’t go to freakin’ St Barths without 4 spykids who would totally give away the covert mission. So jealous!


  12. Megly Mc

    LOL…I have totally been in that situation, or worse, had to interact with someone, and in my head, I think, “Are they going to be insulted if you don’t know them, or do you think that they’ll be relieved you’re not bothering them?” Ugh…


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