Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Honeymoon ... that took 9 months to happen ...

When we got married, we had a destination wedding so we weren't too concerned about taking a honeymoon right away because, after all, we just spent a week in Vegas. Which is exhausting. We finally decided to start planning a special trip (slash) honeymoon for our spring break week. Being teachers, we had a whole week off during a time in school that is really busy with state testing, end of the year activities, track meets, professional development, you name it we were doing it. We needed a vacation. Badly. We started looking online at resorts and hotels and tropical islands and cruises and finally went to a travel website and found our destination- Sint Maarten. SM is an island in the Caribbean where one side is French and the other is Dutch. We found an all-inclusive resort on the Dutch side in an area called Great Bay. Words can't describe how beautiful this place was.
We started or trip March 9, 2012 very bright and early! Our flight left from Houston's international airport (which is easy to get to when it's 4am and no one is on the road!) We flew from Houston to Philadelphia because it was a US Airways hub and them from Philly to Princess Juliana Airport in Sint Maarten. We always have a great time traveling together- we had cheese steaks in Philly, bought some alcohol from duty free AND

saw this guy in the SkyMall magazine (everything we travel we try and find this guy in the magazine!)
When we were landing, I was able to partially cross something off my bucket list. For the longest time I have watched the travel channel, and every now and then there are special about the best beaches to travel to, we landed over one of those beaches! This beach is famous because of "jet blasting" the beach is at the end of THE ONLY AIRPORT RUNWAY in Sint Maarten. Meaning every plane that lands and takes off comes from that one runway- which cases people to be tossed around on the beach! Super cool and very beautiful! Here are some shots from us landing.

We landed in SM at about 6pm their time and took a 20 minute drive to our resort, which was East of the airport. We we arrived, we were greeted with this view: 
The hotel lobby was on the second floor- and there were no windows! Everything was open and breezy ... we were greeted with run punch and led to our room! Our room was nice for SM standards- all white tile, nice big bed and a huge bathroom complete what a bidet, which I had to explain to D what that was and that "we don't use bidets". The best part of our room was the view. HOLY COW. We were at the end, all by ourselves- you could see to the right to the cruise port, to the left mountains, and below waves crashing on the rocks. We slept like babies listening to the water crashing on the rocks.

Saturday night we unpacked, hit the bar and grabbed a nice dinner at one of the restaurants at the resort. We sat on the beach for a bit, then sat on the patio in our room. We were tired so we headed to bed early, excited to see what the resort was like during the day!
Sunday morning we grabbed breakfast (like we did every morning we were there- breakfast was sooo yummy there) and them we hit the beach. The water was calm, clear, very salty and so beautiful! The resort had chairs and umbrellas so we camped there all day- switching from the beach to the infinity bar pool every now and then.

Sunday we peeled ourselves from the pool and beach and walked "into town"- Phillipsburg. The town is a hub for the cruise ships, and follows the cruise ship schedules so it's open early and everything is closed around 5 or 6pm. To get there was walked about 15 minutes down the beach, which was pretty cool! The town was very cute, with a mix of tourist-y stores and high end clothing stores. It was weird seeing this country being ran from a wooden "courthouse" a block from the beach. But nothing was really open, so we stopped intot eh tourist shop, grabbed some cigars and we headed back to the resort.

Derick REALLY loved the  Cuban cigars.I really loved the patio in our room!

Monday we an exciting day for me! We walked to town (because I accidentally bought D the wrong contact solution) then we headed to Maho Beach! The cool thing about our resort is that it had two on the island, and you could go between both of them as you pleased. Maho was on the west side of the island, and very beautiful! The only down side to that resort in Maho is that there was no beach access, the closest beach you could get to was very dangerous- it was the one at the end of the airport runway!
 Iguana sunbathing!

 Tons of iguanas!
 Lunch view!
Derick got bit by a mosquito! But this was no normal mosquito- the bite was huge and D said it hurt. The bartender saw his bite and suggested we rub some lime on it. Literally 10 minutes later the swelling was gone and it wasn't itchy anymore. I have lived in Texas my whole life and been bit (and almost carried off) by thousands of mosquitoes and NEVER heard of this trick, but it worked! so I'm stealing it!

We finally headed to the coolest place I have EVER been. Bucket list item for sure. 

Maho Beach and the Sunset bar were so much fun! The water though was really dangerous. The waves were huge and the rip currents were strong, but a wonderful place! We spent the rest of our Monday sightseeing, swimming, tanning and dreaming of living there full time :)

Tuesday we hung out all day at our resort- we hung out at the beach and pool ALL DAY LONG! It was nice and relaxing.For dinner we walked into town and ate at Taloula Mango's and their Blue Bitch Bar- it was the cutest restaurant/bar- super clean and the best decor! D of course found tons of stray dogs and of course pet every single one. Oh Derick, the dog whisperer.

On Wednesday we went to another country for the day- Anguilla. In Anguilla, the goats out number people- 2 to 1. It was very empty, except for goats. We took a boat ride to Anguilla, went through a very rustic "customs" and then entered the country! We traveled with 5 other couples from our resort, which was nice! First we drove to this place called Shoal Bay- it was a beautiful beach, but unfortunately when we got there the water was rough and it was cloudy. Thankfully, the clouds cleared out! We all ate lunch at the tiki bar then we headed to another beach where there was also a dolphin enclosure. You could pay to swim with the dolphins, but we didn't like the idea of swimming with the trapped animals- so we took pictures from the pier with them and even threw them a soccer ball to play with! Anguilla was AMAZING. It was only a 15 minute boat ride from SM, but the sand was completely different- very powdery where the SM sand was white and shell-y.

We headed back to SM ... in a Gilligan's Island sort of way ... and were back to our resort by dinner time! We had dinner (twice) and called it a night. We were exhausted. Thursday morning, we packed aate breakfast, hung out at the pool then headed to the airport. We didn't want to leave. But in true SM fashion, even the airport was amazing.

We flew back to Charlotte (which is LITERALLY THE WORST AIRPORT EVER) and then to Houston. In Houston we got int he truck, headed home and slept until Friday afternoon. It was a great trip- Can't wait to go back!