Anguilla –> St. Maarten

 

Goodbye, Anguilla!

After packing our bags on Monday, we said goodbye to Anguilla at around noon and boarded the boat to St. Maarten. With Boat Shoes’ flight leaving early on Tuesday, he needed to spend the night in St Maarten to make it out in time. Seeing as how I’ve never actually been to St. Martin/St. Maarten, I thought it would be the perfect excuse to spend a solid day there exploring!

El capitan leading the way to St. Maarten.

En route to St. Maarten

Heading to Marina Royale for lunch & shopping. :)

With the whole crew in tow, we posted up on the French side where we did a bit of shopping and grabbed lunch at La Belle Epoque. While there are a few shops that are reasonably priced, my general conclusion was that the shopping wasn’t really intended for travelers on a budget (but then again, is traveling in the Caribbean really intended for the money-conscious at all?). Still, I always find it fun to peruse and get a feel for local style. No surprise here, but St. Martin definitely reminded me a ton of being in France!

Mojitos at La Belle Epoque

After our lunch with the fam, we said our goodbyes and headed over to the Dutch side of the island, where we posted up at the Sonesta Maho for the evening. After exploring the area and taking a dip in the pool, we got cleaned up for our last night in the Caribbean.

Ze French side -- St. Martin

The beach + our hotel, St. Maarten

Our hotel couldn’t have been more convenient. It’s a mere $5-7 cab fare to the airport (less than a 10 minute drive) and it sits across the street from Tantra and next to a number of fun eateries. After a bit of indecisiveness, we ended up eating at Cheri’s Cafe where we ended up with entirely too much food and a Reno-style singing/dancing act.

Cheri's Cafe

Grabbing dinner in St. Maarten.

Entertainers at Cheri's

Watch a small clip here:

[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFS1GJWsHcE]

Despite the fact that it was a bit on the cheesy side, the performers were actually pretty good and it made for an entertaining final evening. After dinner, we made our way to Soprano’s, an awesome piano bar right across the street. The music was awesome (I forgot how much I love piano bars!) and made for a perfect ‘name that tune’ venue.  After a few drinks, we made our way back to the hotel to say goodbye to the Caribbean for good.

Despite the fact that the flight home the following day was long (10ish hours in total + layovers), it was a smooth journey and I was safely back at home and sleeping by 1230A. All in all, I was happy that we decided to spend the last day in St. Martin. I was able to see a different facet of the Caribbean and decide for myself the vibe that I enjoy most. Granted, I didn’t spend a great deal of time in St. Martin/St. Maarten so it’s not fair to make a real judgement call here, but from what I was able to experience, I would take Anguilla over St. Martin any day! Anguilla definitely tops my ‘Prettiest Places in the World’ list. I’m just crossing my fingers that I can make it back there one day for round two!

Lots of love from US soil,