Friday, February 12, 2016

St. Martin: Beach Tour

Friday, Day 36

After last night, I slept IN.  I mean until like 8:30!  That's late!!  No chickens or dogs or sun to wake me up.  Aaahhh...

Olivier got back from the gym at 9:30 and I was just getting around downstairs.  As soon as he walked in, he asked me if I wanted a croissant (in his very French accent) for breakfast.  I said sure, so off he went, to the bakery down below his flat, and came back with one.  AND he made me scrambled eggs and an orange watermelon smoothie.  I thought I died and went to heaven. ;)

As soon as I was done eating, Laura and Rinaldo showed up and we left to go beach hopping for the day!  Everyone commented on how much "stuff" Americans come with...and I was living up to that.  I had a big bag packed with everything I could possibly need for a day at the beach.  I'm well prepared, what can I say! ;)

Up first, Baie Rouge on the Dutch side of the island, one of Olivier's favorites on the island.  We stayed for awhile, but they all really like to swim, and the water was too rough for that.  Big waves!

OH - and the Dutch side.  Talk about a world of a difference between sides.  The French side is much more chill.  The Dutch side is all high rises and resorts and hotels and tourist stuff...and brothels.  Prostitution is legal!  {But cock fighting is legal on the French side!}

Anyways, beach number two:  Mullet Bay.  Another of Olivier's favorites.  Same story as the last.  Stayed for awhile, but the waves were not good for swimming.

So, beach number three, at my request:  Maho Beach, the one where the airplanes land right over you.  Talk about a tourist nightmare.  It was jam packed with tourists.  As bad as I wanted to see an airplane, it was all I could stomach to stand there in that madness.  We didn't stay long.  Long enough to see two land and one take off.  The take off was actually more exciting!  That jet blast is no joke!

Anyways, it was cool, but we were out of there around noon.  Three beaches under our belt before noon!  That's pretty good!

I guess if the waves are rough on the Dutch side, then you go to the French side for calm water.  So that's what we did, after a tour of the entire island.  All the way around Saint Martin / Sint Marteen, with stops at a few more beaches, each just as gorgeous as the last.


We ended up back in Grand Case, but at the very end, kind of behind some rocks and secluded.  We only got to go there because Olivier knew someone -- it was at a private resort.

Just a small beach but clear turquoise water, white sand...just perfect to spend the afternoon.  And I was glad I had packed that big beach bag because my fruit and veggies for lunch/snack came in handy! ;)

Laura and I decided to walk back so we could check out all the shops along the main road in Grand Case.  But they were all closed!  I guess they only open in the evenings.  So that was a waste.

She wanted to stop by her friend Francisco's house to see if he needed help with his jewelry sales.  And I of course wanted to see the jewelry!  And what a treat.  This guy is SO talented.  He is from Argentina and just here to work and sell his all hand-made necklaces.  I fell in love with several of them, but narrowed it down to this one.

He makes everything by hand.  The wood is local, the rock is local, he crushes it up.  He showed me his tools he uses to cut out the designs.  I was just amazed.  So, so talented!

From there, I needed to figure out the ferry to Anguilla tomorrow.  Laura did not want to go all the way to Marigot (a whole 10 minutes away), because she said traffic would be bad.  So I hitch hiked.  Got picked up by two young French guys after a couple of blocks.  They were hilarious and dropped me off right at the ferry terminal.

The trip was a waste because you can't buy the ferry ticket ahead of time.  He showed me the times and told me to come 15 minutes before I want to go.

Hitch hiking back was just as easy.  After a block, two older local men picked me up:  George and Felipe.  George said, "I knew you looked good from the back, and now I can see you look good from the font, too!" when I got in and sat down, hahaha!  I think he meant it in the nicest, non-creepy way possible, but it was still too funny.  They told me all about the history of the island and it was actually a very interesting ride!  And they, too, dropped me off exactly where I needed to go, right in front of Olivier's flat.  I know hitch hiking is not safe or the norm in the US, but here - and most of the Caribbean - it is so easy and fun!

Back at Olivier's, I ate some of the leftover tuna pasta from yesterday (very late lunch?  early dinner?), threw in a load of laundry, and showered.  Aaaahhh the shower here has been fantastic.  Okay, everything about here has been fantastic!  Olivier and Laura and I sat around and went through his pictures from his time teaching English in the Amazon rainforest last year.  So cool!

Around 6, we walked down the main road in Grand Case (basically across the street from his house) and went to dinner at Lolo's.  Oh and I wore a dress tonight!  I brought so many clothes on this trip and it's about time I started wearing them.  Plus Olivier always looks so fancy and we go nice places, so I wore my new long black strappy dress -- and no bra.  I can't stand straps showing, and the back of the dress is all scrappy, so a bra just wasn't happening.  Either way, it was kind of fun to dress up and wear my hair down - and not look like a traveling scrubby girl for once. ;)

I ordered conch for dinner!  You know those giant seashells?  Yeah, the creature that lives in there, that's what I had.  Never had it before, so why not!  The food took forever to come, but the conch was good!  Kind of tough and chewy, but the flavor was good.  And now I can check it off the list.  ;)

Next stop was another restaurant/bar to watch Rinaldo play.  They hired him for the night to play his saxophone.  He was so good!  We weren't the only ones who loved listening to him.  The whole restaurant did.  (Rinaldo is from Italy but lives in Mallorca {off the coast of Spain} and is here in St. Martin making money with his music.)

When he was done playing around 10pm, we went to the Dutch side to party it up.  Olivier loves to party and dance, and I wanted to see a club on the Dutch side.

The place was on the beach - like most places in St. Martin - and was lined with giant yachts and sailboats.  Bigger than any I've seen up close!  And there were kids on them!  I mean teenagers, but still.  How!?   How do they get that kind of money to rent a huge fancy yacht and come down to St. Martin to just drink their faces off!?

We stayed there for awhile.  A few drinks (them, not me).  It was funny to be surrounded by Dutch men -- all in bright colored skinny jeans and some sort of striped shirt with the collar popped.  All of them.  Seriously.

Somehow we were hungry again, so we ordered a pizza from Olivier's favorite Italian midnight.  Definitely not on the approved diet.  Pizza OR eating that late, haha.  But these two were just too much fun.  They're older than me, but they certainly don't act it!  Oh and the pizza was just amazing!  So so so good! My stomach might not like it later, but I sure did in the moment.


I don't know what time we got home.  Late.  And I definitely went straight to bed.  This going out thing is hard on me! ;)

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