Friday, January 16, 2015

Vacation Reflections

What a great vacation! The week we spent at St. Martin was truly a vacation from our "normal" life, and it was wonderful. I was ready to get back to the routine of everyday life, however, which makes me realize how really blessed I really am.

What made it so great: 
1. The beauty of the island. Each day is warm and breezy, the beaches are perfect, the water color of the Caribbean is spectacular, the sky is always changing, the sunsets are breathtaking.

2. Our villa. We rented through VRBO and we were not disappointed. Although the villa had a few "rough spots" it was right on the ocean so our views were perfect and every night we slept to the sound of crashing waves. Our pool was clean and beautiful, and the pool bar "The Green Monkey"had great drinks and food. See photos of our villa here.

3. The people. Everyone we met was very friendly and fun. The people who we met at our pool and "The Green Monkey" were a blast to hang out with, and the pool bar owner Sal was a character. Servers and snorkel people were great, too. We really loved our "gate guy" - he was sweet :) Finally, there was "chocolate man" - an extremely dark gentleman in excellent shape and without tan lines that paraded up and down Cupecoy beach right beneath our balcony. 

4. No technology. Instead of looking at facebook and twitter and instagram, I read several books (albeit on a kindle). It was a refreshing change of pace, and one that I would like to continue to some degree. Since my return home I have tried to limit my social media time and read more. So far so good. I didn't take very many photos, either, which is kind of a shame, but both my son and my sister-in-law did so hopefully they will share.

Other notes: 
-- We missed our animals terribly.
-- I avoided any sunburn so my dermatologist will be proud of me.
-- The mosquitos were tiny, silent and hungry. Always. I still have marks where they bit me.
-- UNO can be a very competitive card game - we played nearly every night (don't play on a glass-top table)
-- I gained five pounds because I ate anything I wanted to, and it was worth it.
-- There is a black bird species on the island that sounds like a creaky screen door when it sings.
-- Avoid flying Air Transat.
-- The snorkeling was jellyfish sting-free, so it was very pleasant but not as nice as the Keys (which was very sting-y but much more beautiful)
-- The alcohol is so freakin' cheap. My liver would not have allowed me to stay any longer.
-- I had a delicious curry and seafood dish at a lovely french restaurant - I must try and find a similar recipe so I can make it at home.
-- Did I mention we missed our animals??

Philipsburg, for a morning of shopping
brother and sister
the view from our first floor veranda
two of the fuzzy faces we missed