Sunday, January 31, 2016

St Martin

We flew into St Martin and I was looking forward to our "girls trip". Brad's such a trooper and becomes one of "the girls" in the most hilarious way when we get together. I had 3 of my girlfriends who were joining us and 2 were coming in from Chicago. My friend Debbie came from LA and beat us here by an hour...that speed demon. Bish met us with Debbie at the airport in our rental car. And off we went. 
Since Brad and I had already spent time on St Martin during our last trip, we took Debbie around to see the sights. All of us had a ball driving around the island even though we found everything to be closed as it was Sunday. Skanki's included. 
We ended up having an early dinner and margaritas at Jimbos in the marina. Constance and Angela had their Chicago flights cancelled due to "snowmageddon" on the east coast, so they would be arriving the following afternoon. We will be packing in as much as we can of this island before we head to St Barths.

The next day Brad, Deb and I drove to Orient beach on the French side of the island. (There's a French side and a Dutch side) 

We went to the same beach club we had previously been to with Kat & Matt, and the people watching once again didn't disappoint.
 You can't make up this kind of outfit! He was wearing a woman's sarong with nothing underneath...As if the nip-slip top wasn't enough of a shocker!
This Frenchie was busy jogging and getting her exercise in...good for her! 
Deb & I took a walk and ended up walking down to the NUDE beach. Who knew?! Ok-we did know about it, but had to see it for ourselves. What a sight we saw!! It's interesting how you never see anyone under 50 at a nude beach. "Gravity" is also interesting to observe here. Haha!!  We should have been tipped off when we walked into this beach boutique along the way and spotted these...
Yes, a MAN STRING! Awesome. Why Brad doesn't want to sport one is beyond me. 
We then walked by a beach bar and noticed this signage on the "nudie" side..
Notice how someone wrote in, "but please, sit on a towel!"  
We knew we were back in the "safety zone" when we spotted this sign...funny how there wasn't one walking toward the nude beach. 
The three of us enjoyed a great lunch that afternoon. 
Our fave Rastafarian came by and Brad stumped him by saying, "Jah Jah gives me everything" which are lyrics from one of his songs. We had previously bought a CD from him on the last trip, and after he got over the shock of Brad possibly being a fellow Rastafarian...he sang the entire song to us. Then, he was on his way as he knew he couldn't make another sale to us. What a character!
Meanwhile, back at the beach turns out that water is a precious commodity. Haha!
They may have been making subtle suggestions around this place. 
Constance and Angela arrived later that afternoon, so it was time to leave the beach and head to the airport. As soon as we scooped them up, we went to Sunset Beach Bar to watch the airplanes land and take off. This place is one of those rare locations where the planes look like they are about to land on top of you. (you can see it to the extreme far the right on the beach, in the photo below)
  This bar was also famous for their token topless woman, but she hasn't been seen there in quite sometime. Maybe because they won't give her a frozen drink? That could be the reason this is called the #3 beach bar in the world and not #1 Brad tells me.
We had fun staging this photo nugget...
then back to boat to unpack and relax. 
Brad got a great shot of the megayacht masts between these sailboat masts. 
Bish had afternoon appetizers & rosé at the ready!
 We headed to the  La Samanna resort for dinner. We had liked it so much on our previous trip (thanks for the tip Missy!) that I thought it was the perfect spot to start the girls off with.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Years Week Part II- BVIs

Since I've lost track of time and place by now (that's what I get for waiting to post 2 weeks after we got home & are already back in islands), it may have been the next day that we headed over to Jost Van Dyke. 

That beautiful bay awaited and we were all too happy to explore it once again. 
Kat & Matt ready for action as we headed over to Foxys. 
We then grabbed a cab at Foxys and headed over to the Soggy Dollar Bar for lunch. 
Our fancy cab awaits!
We went in their back entrance this time. 
After lunch we headed back in the taxi, and caught a glimpse of this gorgeous view. 
When we arrived at the dock, the local fishermen had just dropped off their catch which was available to purchase. 
I had to investigate further. These looked like the sweet reef fish that I'd seen snorkeling. The only popular ones that the locals purchased were the orange ones. They told me they were delish on the grill. 
Meanwhile, Katrina was busy keeping an eye on this guy...
He was a dirty bird who might have had island mange, but was cute in a "poor puppy" sort of way.  
We headed back to the boat and departed for St Martin the next morning. We saw quite the cruise line behemoth pass by. 
We had an 8 hour cruise that was quite rough, but second to our roughest ever which was off the coast of Panama last year with the whole fam and the grandkids. That one was a doozy. 
Kat & I both had to take some Bonine for this run, but we made it to St Martin late that afternoon without incident. We even left a day early as the seas were going to be too rough the following day. E-gads. 

Upon arrival we awaited the 3pm bridge opening. 
We were first in line due to Brad's expert planning. 
We were welcomed by a pilot boat from the marina who was going to lead us past the bridge and toward our dock. Such service!
This was quite the super yacht harbor. 
Our boat neighbor was this guy however. I'm sure the owner was a colorful character. 
The next day we had a rental car and headed out on a beach adventure. 
We spotted this biker hitching a ride on the back of this truck as we ascended a steep hill. 
And the requisite goats were roaming the streets. 
We arrived at Orient beach which was quite the popular beach destination. Beach clubs lined the shore, and there were hordes of tourists everywhere. We found a chic beach club and staked our claim. 
Brad found us the perfect spot. 
The locals were busy peddling their wares along the beach...

We all enjoyed our afternoon of beach action. 
Literally, the people watching on Orient Beach was epic! I was too embarrassed to snap pix of all the crazies in case one of them objected and decided to wrestle me to the ground. 

We enjoyed watching this Rastafarian peddling his coconut water. 
Fresh as can be! 
They even had a "jet pack" guy. 
We left the beach later that afternoon and cruised over to Grand Case which is known as the epicurean center of the Caribbean. 
A view of their Main Street. 
We stumbled upon the cutest boutique hotel...
It looked like a must stop for lunch and turns out it had just opened two weeks prior. It was run by some fun Frenchies and the food was fantastic! It was filled with locals, so I knew this must be the "it" spot. 
Then it was time for a sojourn to Sunset Beach bar & grill to see the...dun dun dun...
What's that in the sky?
And what's with all these people lined up along the road?? It's not a bird..
Shazaam!! It's a plane!
Flying right over everyone's heads. We watched those brave few who hung onto the fence along the runway and they held on to see if the burst of the jets would blow them over. It was hysterical and quite the sight! We watched some of them get blown into the ocean, hats, glasses, everything blowing everywhere. 
Here I found a brave few huddled next to the DANGER sign on the fence side of the runway. 
Later that night we headed over to La Sammana resort for dinner with our neighbors from Newport. Turns out that they were on a cruise and our timing was perfect so we could get together for dinner that night. 
This was a stunning resort!
Missy and I found trouble while we waited for our table and sourced some day old French baguettes. They made great microphones!
Kat & Matt are one happy couple and ready for our sunset festivities to begin. 
We sat outside enjoying an appetizer while we waited for our table. I kept watching the bats circling us at poolside. Yikes! At least they stayed within ten feet of us. 
Here's Denise, myself, Missy and Katrina. 
And all of us with our hubby's at dinner. 
What a trip we had!!