Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Hello friendly readers. Time for my overdue vacation recollections.

Man, coming back to single digit temperatures from being in the 80s all week suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. Would someone please remind me why I live somewhere that's so cold in the wintertime? Though there are others who have it worse. Did you watch the Green Bay-NY game on Sunday? Those guys looked truly miserable. I felt especially bad for the benchwarmers. Some of those fellas make less than I do (OK, but I don't get 6 months off a year), and the bench heaters were said to be broken.

Now...Sint Maarten/Saint-Martin.

Not a particularly large island, but big enough to explore. It's half Dutch, where they speak English and spend US dollars, and half French, where they speak French and English and spend euros. Lucky for us, many of the businesses on the French side offered a 1/1 euro to dollar exchange rate.

The Dutch side was being heavily developed. Lots of hotels, condos, and multimillion dollar homes going up. Our hotel, on the Dutch side but just a stone's throw away from the French border, was brand new.

The French side was much more rural. Its towns were more quaint. All the topless sunbathers were on the French side too. We spent an afternoon at Orient Beach, which is what I picture St. Barth's to look like (sorry Chelene, we didn't make it over :( ) with its colorful houses. we got the best service of the trip at one of the restaurants on this side, belying the French waiter stereotype. I think if we go back, we'll stay on the French side. Perhaps here?

Big disappointment? The casinos. We like to play poker, and we couldn't find a decent game. Aruba's casinos were much more fun.

We had great fun driving around the island in our rented beat-up Jeep Wrangler. I'm still fighting with Hertz about paying to replace a bald tire that blew out when we hit a pothole.

While dining one night, we were privvy to some details in a missing persons case. More about that next post.

And finally - scuba. I'm a certified open water diver! It was so much fun. Makes the whole not getting pregnant thing much less of a bummer. We saw eels, octopi, stingrays, and lots of gorgeous fish. The spousal unit is totally hooked - he wants to take classes to become a divemaster. Perhaps he could support us in a move to the islands?


chelene said...

Sorry you didn't make it to St. Barth's but sounds like you had a wonderful time.

I would love to be somewhere warm right now...

justacoolcat said...

I am always way freaked out when I see a giant eel wile snorkeling.

Sounds like a great time. I've seen travel channel stuff on the island and I've always wanted to visit.

Slave to the dogs said...

Chel - I figure St. Barth's is worth its own trip!

Cat - you see giant eels? These were just little morays. It was a really interesting island and I'd surely go back.