Tuesday, December 2, 2008

So Much Fun....So Little Time

On Wednesday, November 26th, I was like a kid in a candy store! I was so excited and giddy at school that all the kids were wondering what was going on. My sister, brother-in-law, and niece were coming to St. Maarten to spend a few days, including Thanksgiving, with us. Their flight got in at 3:00pm, so I rushed home after school to change and then hurried to the airport. We were so excited to see them! When we got there, they were exiting the terminal so we got to see them right away. It was so good to see a familiar face...I'm not sure we stopped talking long enough to breathe! We threw their bags in our apartment and took off towards the beach. Since Mullet Beach is right by our house, we just walked down there for a little bit before dinner. Ana loved looking for seashells and running through the waves, she could definitely be a beach girl!
There is a point on Mullet Beach where a restaurant used to be built (before Hurricane Lewis-in 1995), so we walked out to the point to explore a little.
After exploring and playing in the waves at Mullet Beach, we decided we were getting hungry. Ana had already decided where she wanted to go for her first dinner on the island...The Stone. The Stone is a restaurant where the food comes out on a hot brick that has been baking in the oven for 15+ hours. Your food comes out raw on the brick and you get to cook the meal, just the way you like it. Ana said it was as good as she remembers...I'm not sure she left one thing on her plate!Thursday was Thanksgiving and diving day! Ana got scuba certified on their last vacation, so diving in St. Maarten was a MUST on her list. We woke up early, threw on our swimsuits, and drove to Grand Case. After we got all of our diving stuff and got to Creole Rock, the dive site, we realized that the water was pretty rough and the visibility might not be the best. We all fell in and headed down to 30 feet. The visibility was horrible--I could barely see everyone and the only way I knew where our dive instructor was because of his yellow flippers. We stayed down for about 5 minutes and after checking with everyone, swam up to the dive instructor and signaled that we wanted to surface. It was a little intimidating to be underwater and not know your surroundings or where you are going. We didn't have the best day for diving, but we realized that we can't control Mother Nature. Oh well...maybe another day!
Thursday night we went to a potluck out at Brian and Melinda's house....we had about 30 people and the food was amazing. We had the traditional food, plus a few new dishes! It was great to spend Thanksgiving with some great friends...and it was even better that we had our family there!
Friday was our day to explore the French side of the island. We decided that we were going to go to Pinel Island for the day and then that evening we were going to pick Jason up from school and head over to Sunset Beach to watch the airplanes fly in. Pinel is a tiny island right off of St. Maarten. We had to take a ferry to get to the island, which is chaos in itself. The ferry got us safely to Pinel Island! We got some chairs and an umbrella and unloaded all of our goodies.
We ate some lunch, built a sandcastle, buried Ana in the sand, and then decided that we were going to hike over to the other side of Pinel. I had never been hiking on Pinel and I'm glad that we decided to do it! The view was amazing--we could see a few of the surrounding islands from the top. We made it back from the hike just in time to catch the next ferry that was leaving the island. We knew when the planes come in and when they leave so we wanted to make sure that we made it back to see them land and takeoff. Watching the planes come in is actually pretty neat. The planes get so low that at one point we felt like we could touch them. After the planes land and board new passengers, they have to takeoff. They back up to the fence, turn on their boosters, and off they go. Well--someone figured out that you could stand behind these massive planes and get pelted with sand and hot plane fumes. We couldn't go to Sunset Beach and not stand behind one of the biggest planes....stupid idea!
After Sunset Beach, we decided to go home and get ready for dinner. We agreed on Cheri's Cafe in Maho. Cheri's Cafe is an outdoor restaurant that puts on a singing/comedy type show while you eat. We tried to stay as long as possible, but we were exhausted. We made it through a few songs and then decided to call it a night!

Saturday was Jason's designated day off! He decided that he would take Saturday off and we would hang out at the beach. He wanted to go and hang out at Orient, order lunch, sit in chairs, and act like tourist. We headed out early so we could get a full day of fun in the sun! Orient Beach is the most 'touristy' beach because there is parasailing, banana boats, tons of umbrellas and chairs, and a lot of little beach restaurants. We made ourselves comfy at 'Kokomarina' and decided to walk the beach a little bit.
We started walking up and down the beach and noticed tons of jellyfish laying on the sand. They were everywhere....they didn't have tentacles so they didn't sting us. It was kind of cool to be able to pick them up and throw them back into the water. At one point, we were swimming and the jellyfish were all around us!
Not only were there jellyfish that day, but we also had baby sea turtles. I don't know how many times I've been to the beach and been diving and I've never seen a baby sea turtle. Ana couldn't wait to go diving and see the sea turtles and because of the weather that didn't work out. She still got to see her sea turtles, just in a different way!
Orient was so much fun! We even swam out to the trampoline (it was free for the day) and jumped and just acted like kids again. We had a great day...besides getting a little sunburnt!
Sunday was back to the books for Jason and back to the beach for us! It was the last full day that they would be here so we wanted to live it to the fullest. We headed out early to Loterie Farm, which is the zipling through the trees. We got there right when they opened so it was really quiet. We had heard that there were monkeys, but we had never physically seen them. We started just walking up the path and there they were. There were about 10-15 monkeys...some were babies and there were even a few big ones. I didn't have my camera...but Chris did so when I get those pictures I'll try and post them. Ziplinging was a great time as always! After ziplining we decided to head to a new beach...Friar's Bay. Friar's Bay is a great beach and it even has a hike that we did to another beach...Happy Bay. We had a great time...I stayed in the shade and slept most of the day. It was a great day to relax! I didn't want to get anymore sun, considering that I got a lot of sun at Orient! That night we all went to a little restaurant by our house and enjoyed some crepes for dessert. We even brought the dogs along...they love crepes too!
We had such an amazing time exploring the island with our family. We didn't realize how much we missed them! The house is much quieter and we are trying to get back in our old routines.... school, homework, studying, cooking, and working. We have 13 more days until we'll be back home to see the rest of our family.


Tom, Laura & Ella said...

Oh my gosh! How fun!! :) That is cool you saw little sea turtles!

camillestuartbeau said...

So cute! Looks like you guys had a blast!