SXM 2011: Recap

Ok, super boring post take 25,019. Sorry.

AO and I were talking through how we have spent our St Maarten/ St Martin days and I felt compelled to write it down. So, here goes.

Wed. 3/2. Plane lands in St Maarten. We catch a minivan ride to our reserved rental car (Alamo) and jump in our tiny (super cute) Kia and head towards Oyster Pond where we have rented a cottage for our stay. Approximately thirty minutes later, we arrive at our place and quickly make ourselves at home. The property owners, who live in the house ‘next door’ are super nice and have provided us with beer and wine and soda. So nice. We take a short nap before venturing out for a drive on the French Side. Fun! We find a market, buy French groceries — cheese, bread, apples, gin, club soda, whisky, the basics — and drive back ‘home.’ We drink, we watch tv — Ugly Betty seems to be on all the time, but we still manage to avoid it — and we sleep.

Thurs. 3/3. Maho Beach. Drive around the Dutch Side of the island and park in Maho. Walk down Maho Beach and have a beer at the quieter of the two Maho Beach bars. We watch some flights come in and then walk up and down the main street in Maho. After exploring the Dutch market in Maho, we head back to the bigger of the two airport beach bars, Sunset Beach Bar, which has a surfboard planted in the sand on which declares the arrivals.  There can be no doubt that Sunsent Beach Bar has the better spot from which to view the arrivals and departures, but the bar on the opposite side of the beach is certainly more tranquil — though you probably don’t come to this stretch of beach for peace.

Fri. 3/4. Orient Beach. We head out from Oyster Pond in search of Orient Bay. We discover, mostly by accident, that if we head towards the Orient Bay Beach Club (or something like that), we can eventually find the public entrance to this huge beach. We park and venture into the beach area and find a million and one spots that sell beach chairs and umbrellas … Some for $5 a chair, some for $7, some for $10. We eventually settle upon Orange Fever, which rents us two chairs and an umbrella for $14 total. They throw in the use of their bathroom and two free rum punches to boot! Hooray! Shortly after noon, a large rainstorm set in, which left us running for Orange Fever’s shelter, which was kinda fun. The rain let up and we had another great day.

Sat. 3/5. Because AO was pretty red, and because I was really interested in doing this hike, we thought we’d take Saturday to take a break from the sun. We drove from home base to a spot between Grand Case and Marigot called Loterie Farms, which is inland. We paid $7 a piece to go on a self-guided hike that felt as though it were straight-up the mountains of St Martin. After about 30 minutes of crazy-hiking up the mountain, we reached the ‘Chewbacca’ vista and took some great pics of the view — we could see Marigot, Grand Case and Anguilla all from one point. Phew. Down the mountain. We drove away and had lunch at a lolo in Grand Case. We then walked around Grand Case and headed home. After changing into our swim wear, we went out to Dawn Beach, which is about a 5 minute drive from our home,  and rented some chairs ($5 each) to enjoy the end of the day’s sunshine.

Sun. 3/6. We drove off to Cul de Sac and caught the 10:30 ferry from there to Pinel Island. Landing on Pinel Island shortly before 11, we chose some chairs at Up on the Key and settled in for the day. We lunched, though, at Yellow Beach, which was next door (there are only three restaurants on Pinel). Super expensive, but pretty yumsville.

Mon. 3/7. We drove to Phillipsburg and walked around Front Street and the boardwalk for a couple of hours. We had a late breakfast/early lunch in the shadow of the cruiseships, but truly enjoyed our time. I’m not a shopper, really, but had fun strolling Front Street. We wandered into the old, and wholly operational, courthouse. We walked into two casinos and watched peeps playing roulette. We walked into jewelry stores and, well, pretty much did nothing. After driving around some more, we stopped for lunch in belle Marigot.

Tues. 3/8. Anguilla. See earlier post. On our way home, we stopped in Grand Case for the town’s festive Tuesday nights. We ate at another lolo and it was delicious. Driving home in the dark made me happy we had not done that often.

Wed. 3/9. Orient Beach. We decided to spend another day at the fun Orient Beach. We arrived around 11:20 or so, which I think was slightly later than the first time we went. Most beach-front chairs were taken, so we walked around a bit. Finally, we settled upon chairs at Sunset Beach Bar (or something like that). The chairs were brown and $8 a piece. The umbrella, two rum punches and toilet access came with the chairs, too. The catch? The drinks and food were about a million times more than at Orange Fever! And there were about a million more people on the beach! That, though, is probably more a product of a Wednesday. Anyway, after leaving the beach around 4, we drove to this bar-type spot to have a beer to wait for Poulet d’Orleans to open to have dinner. We had to wait two hours (which made the one beer turn into three beers, mostly because the bar did not have change for a $10 and the beers were only $1.50) and pretty much just chatted in French to a Spanish-speaking 5-year-old who took a million and one pictures with my camera while we waited But dinner? Divine.

[And the only other couple at Poulet d’Orleans were Donald and Nancy of NY who seemed very sympathetic to, and knowledgeable about, our current plight in Wisconsin. They also highly recommended Yvette’s Restaurant, which I hope we are fortunate enough to try some day.]

I just really heart St Maarten/St Martin.


7 Responses to “SXM 2011: Recap”

  1. 1 Terry March 10, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Ok, I want to and will visit there. But. Must say. Culebra. Sometimes this kind of conversation seems like one non-profit vying for funds over another….still. Culebra.

  2. 2 kateandgracie March 10, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Understood. Completely.

  3. 3 Raoser March 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Super not boring. I wish I were there. You are going to come back, right? I can imagine by this time you’d be questioning it. I would be.

  4. 4 Heather March 10, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Okay. just catching up, because i didn’t know that you were going to break the rule about blogging during the honeymoon. but i am super glad you did! it sounds amazing. are you heading home now? luckily, the snow is all gone, the trees are green, flowers have bloomed, it’s 60 degrees, and walker has resigned, so it will be great to be home.

  5. 5 Raoser March 11, 2011 at 11:38 am

    HC- just know if I could “like” your comment, I would. It would be officially “liked.”

  6. 6 kateandgracie March 11, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Um, I do not like that comment because I feel completely misled. Based on Heather’s words, we endured almost 24 hours of travel yesterday to get back here and not only is Walker still governor, but I don’t think any snow has melted from our backyard. Drat.

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March 2011

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