03 December 2013

Let's travel back

I started this little blog back in July of this year.  Funny thing...I was talking with Eric about blogging earlier today and I said that I figured I had started blogging in September...oops!  Anyways, shortly before I started this blog, Eric and I took a little break.  We left the country. And left BMan here. I had SUCH mixed feelings.  I was happy to be getting away and spending some quality time just the hubby and I.  At the same time, leaving my little baby...my baby boy that no one could take care of quite like Mama?  So what did I do?  What any sane, normal and clearly stable mom would do.  Type up a 10 page document full of instructions as to what Brady eats, bedtime, bath time...how to make a bottle with formula...and then, to top it off...I printed it out, and yes, I emailed it to my in-laws. Don't believe me? Here's a quick screenshot from my email from July 5th...my sent items, to my inlaws:

Yep, no shame. I printed it out...and then emailed it, just in case they lost the printed copy. Anyways, an over-protective crazy mom wasn't quite the point of this post.  The point was, we left Brady with Eric's parents for a week and he had a great time, and so did we.  I was so nervous about leaving him for a whole week...but it was great that we did.  Eric and I had time to relax, gamble a little, wine and dine, hit the beach, explore and just be adults again.

We bought a timeshare a few years ago. With that, we're able to exchange it anywhere in the world within the hotels that are part of the timeshare. Now, I don't even remember exactly where we actually wanted to go this past year, but I feel like we kind of got "stuck" going to St. Maarten.  I know, I know...we're going to the Caribbean, how can we be complaining?  Because last year we got to go to Aruba...and it was a great hotel on a great island.  It was fabulous! So there were only a handful of places available in the Caribbean that were even available when we were looking to book and St Maarten was one of them, and within that, there were only a couple of resorts available.  Clearly we didn't have a whole lot to choose from, but we ended up settling on Oyster Bay Beach Resort which is technically on the Dutch side of the island, but about 30 seconds away from the French side.  Let's just say that it wasn't quite like Aruba (we stayed here in Aruba).  The hotel itself wasn't anything to write home about.  It looked like it had been updated in the 80's and hadn't been touched all too much since then. It was clean enough, but just kind of...bleh. Turns out I never even took pictures of the room itself...just of around the hotel.




Any time there's an ocean as gorgeous as that, it can't be a terrible trip! We actually didn't even spend all too much time around the hotel during the days.  But there were a few days where we drank wine, ate pancetta, cheese and crackers and just hung out in the room or on our balcony.  It was nice to have pretty much 0 responsibility for a week!

So the hotel itself wasn't great, and admittedly in Aruba we ate some of the BEST food we've ever had. But St. Maarten did have some pretty darn good food.  Luckily, we rented a car and explored the island...in this little thing! You can't really tell from the photo, but that's a Hyundai i10....and it's probably the smallest car I've ever been in.
Anyways, we explored the island and ate some really really good food. 




On our first day there we actually found a public beach near a big hotel that was virtually deserted...there was one other person on the beach with us. We had probably 300 feet of beachfront pretty much to ourselves...pretty nice way to start a vaca!


A few more scenes from the hotel...


 We were actually lucky enough to take a day trip to Anguilla, which was my favorite part of the vacation!

 Our lunch time restaurant...

 Our beach chairs
 


We also took a couple of drives around the island.  We went to Orient Beach, which is actually known for being a topless  beach.  I think we only saw one topless lady...until we walked down to the southern end of the beach...where we saw bunches of ladies with there tops of...but they were all probably in their 60's...maybe 70's.  Probably not quite what Eric had in mind when I told him we could go to a topless beach (hehe) but also not exactly what I expected either!  We also took a day trip to Marigot, which was about an hour away (on the opposite side of the island) and is the French capital of St. Martin.  There was lots of high end shopping, and we had a pretty good burger there.  Other than that, there wasn't a whole lot going on (I mean, we're excluding some of the near-death driving experiences...drivers there are crazy on the windy roads!).




It was definitely a pretty area..just not a whole lot to do unless you were looking to spend bundles of money on stuff that you can get in the States (we weren't...). But, another great part of the trip was that on the way back from Marigot, we stopped at a conservation area that we had seen when we were coming back from Orient Beach. The shallow waters and the tides were absolutely amazing.





 We walked across a large span of very shallow water to climb a mini hill.  It was beautiful and it was amazing to take our time and just relax and take in the scenery.  We also were able to hit several casinos while we were out there.  We drove to the Princess casino (also on the opposite side of the island, but still on the Dutch side) and Eric hit a jackpot there on a slot machine...we left as some pretty happy campers!  The Westin was also super close to where we were staying and they had a casino (and it was a GORGEOUS hotel...) so we ended up there most nights to play a few hands of Blackjack.  It was definitely a much-needed vacation and we have some great memories and gorgeous photos...I'm just not sure that I would go back.  I'll catch you all up some other time on my favorite vacations (Costa Rica & Aruba)!  However, if you're ever headed to St. Maarten let me know (and don't fly Spirit Air...which is yet another story for another day!!) because I'd be happy to provide recommendations!

1 comment:

Lauren Higgins said...

This trip was so much fun!