Where did we leave off? Oh yes, we had visited Puerto Rico and Tortola, had formal night and gone to bed.
The next morning we woke bright and early in beautiful St. Maarten. St. Maarten is both a Dutch and French island. We stayed on the Dutch side of this island this time around. Last time we ventured to the French side of the island and, well, it was very....French. Not our style.
Chris actually had booked a diving trip on St. Maarten so from the pier we hopped in a cab that took us through town to the dive shop. He was excited and a little nervous. We got him all checked in and then I headed across the street to a little French cafe. I know...French cafe on the Dutch side of the island, whatever. The coffee on the ship absolutely sucked. They serve Seattle's Best Coffee, which I don't care for at all. It is so bitter. Anyway, I hit up the cafe for a real cup of coffee and a danish. I read in there and enjoyed my coffee for about an hour before I headed down to the beach.
St. Maarten is really beautiful, with the gorgeous white sand beaches (and lots of them), crystal blue water, amazing sunshine and the people (for the most part) are very friendly and welcoming. This beach was not at all crowded and the little bar next to the dive shop let me use this beach chair without having to rent it. So great!
As I was laying there soaking up the sun this woman came and asked if I wanted a beach massage with aloe. Uhm....hell yes! It was wonderful! She did a full body massage (she was really good) using fresh aloe right out of the leaves. My skin was so soft after that. Plus, I had gotten a couple of bug bites from somewhere and they healed up super quick after that and stopped itching. Bonus! Getting a massage on the beach in the Caribbean is pretty much my idea of vacation perfection.
After a few hours, Chris was back from his dive. He had a great time and saw lots of cool stuff. He is so glad he got certified to dive when we were in Jamaica a few years ago.
There he is (in the water) after the dive.
We hung out there a bit longer until our cab came back to pick us up (one of the great things about cabs in other countries, they will come back to get you whenever you ask them to!) We headed back over to the boardwalk near the pier to get some lunch at one of the many restaurants along there. We went to Captain Jack's (OF COURSE!!) and had a very lovely lunch and some beverages. It was time to get a little party on.
I had to get a Captain Jack's tank top...for those who might not know I LOVE the Pirate movies with Johnny Depp (except the fourth one which was just dumb). After lunch, some beverages and a little shopping it was time to head back to the ship. We had a nap and then went out for a pre-dinner cocktail.
Next morning we arrived in another new to us island, St. Kitts. We decided to take a half day taxi tour of the island, which turned out to be a really great way to see a lot of the island and learn some of the history. St. Kitts used to be a sugar cane island, but when the price of sugar changed the cane growers quit growing. The main industry on St. Kitts now is tourism.
St. Kitts is a very poor island in most places. I was so surprised at some of the "houses" that people actually lived in. Little more than falling down shacks. It is a beautiful island with a Volcano, so the soil and the beaches are volcanic. Here are some of the beautiful things we saw in St. Kitts.
Of course, we did a bit of shopping and eating after the tour, then back to the boat where we had a bottle of wine and a bowl of fresh fruit waiting for us. Lovely!
Another nap, some dinner and then to bed for tomorrow we awake in Guadalupe!