Day 4 | Touring the French Side of the Island
We always like to plan a little adventure day where we explore the island. We usually do it in the afternoon and end with dinner, but this time we started early and it was much better. (It's hard to pull people away from relaxing by the pool in the afternoon.)
We took the bus from Simpson Bay to Grand Case. The bus was only $4/person to get to Grand Case and a taxi was going to be $8/person. Not a big difference, but I made everyone do it for blog research.
There are no real bus routes. You just flag down a bus going in the direction you are headed and it will drop you off where you want. The downside is that there may be detours to drop off other passengers, but there were six of us so we filled up the bus and didn't pick up any other passengers. There was one lady on the bus when we got on and we did have to stop to drop her off, but it wasn't a big deal. Also, the buses are just vans and look exactly like the taxis except for the sign that said "bus" in the windshield. If you are in a big group and will easily fill up a bus it's a great cost-saving strategy. Here's some more info on taking the bus.
Grand Case is essentially restaurant row in St. Maarten. When we were dropped off on the main road, I was a little scared because it was very run-down looking compared to the Dutch side of the island. I think it is just because the building are a lot older. Once you start going inside restaurants and stores, you will see that everything is so cute and French.
We had lunch at Le Soleil and it was amazing. I hear every restaurant on this strip is amazing, however, and I wish we could have eaten at more of them. Here are some pictures from our meal.
I had the duck and mahi mahi skewers and my friend had the lobster risotto.
Loved this little nugget of French parenting wisdom on the menu. Amen! (My favorite parenting book, FYI.)
The view from my seat at lunch. Not bad.
You can also dine on the beach in front of the restaurant.
The waiter was super nice and offered to take our picture on the beach while we waited for our food.
From Grand Case we took a $4 cab ride to Orient Bay. Some random person on the beach told us the Good Time Charlie drink at Good Time Charlie's bar was the best, so we headed there to grab one and then Charlie let us have two beach chairs with our purchase. There are tons of beach bars on this strip where you can rent a chair. We only had about an hour and a half before Willy was going to come and pick us up so we took turns swimming, walking the beach, and sitting on the chairs. It was very crowded here - lots of cruise shippers...
And we had to get a picture in our matching tank tops my friend gave us for Christmas for the trip. Sometimes we forget we are in public...
We got Willy to drop us off at Skip Jack's on the way home for an early seafood dinner and then we walked home for the sunset and relaxing by the pool.
Day 5 | House Day + Night Out
Since we were out and about for most of the day Friday, we planned a house day for Saturday. A few of us went for an early morning walk to get coffee at Bon Appetit. I don't drink coffee, so I talked them into walking another half mile with me to the top of the hill to the juice bar Top Carrot. I had the Awakening juice with apple, carrot, and ginger. Loved it!
I made a spinach, cheese, and onion frittata for breakfast which was yummy. Someone else made a fruit salad to go along with it. We spent the rest of the day alternating between lounging at the house and going on walks down the beach to the non-rocky swimming area in the ocean.
I made them take a picture in our cool water shoes! We did a little snorkeling this day as well.
We had planned a fancy dinner out, but we had spotted Shiv Shakti, an Indian restaurant, on the way home from Top Carrot and decided we really wanted Indian food for dinner. It was an easy walk from our house. I stuffed myself. I have a weakness for Indian food. How do you stop, it's so tasty? IDK.
After dinner, we stepped outside and followed the sound of the music to Topper's where the karaoke had just started. It was a fun night. My photography really went downhill. This is all I got.
Day 6 | Travel Home
Our flight home wasn't until 4 p.m. and we had to get out of the house by 11 a.m. They were very nice and let us keep our suitcases at the house, so we spent the morning packing up and then headed out for a leisurely lunch. We started at Buccaneer Beach Bar but everything on the menu was super heavy and fried.
We decided to walk down the street a little back towards the house to La Patrona. I shared shrimp ceviche and fish tacos with a friend and it was yummy and light.
We then headed back to the house and Willy picked us up and drove us the 8 minutes back to the airport. We were so sad to leave, but so excited to get back home!