As soon as you exit through the doors, of the Princess Juliana Airport on the island of St. Maarten, the warm Caribbean breezes whip past your skin, and the golden sun shines brighter than you remember. To think that I have been visiting this gorgeous island, for almost two decades, still blows my mind. It is not only where my parents reside, but a rock that houses so many memories and adventures.
Travel inspires me. It’s where I find my passion to write these blurbs here, and even more so it’s the change of scenery, cuisine, and unforgettable experiences that leave me intrigued. It’s that moment when my toes hit the white sand, and my eyes become level with the pristine turquoise waters, that let’s me escape to a different mindset.
I love that on this little luscious island, you can be on the French side for a grilled to perfection lunch of conch, ribs, and airy Johnny Cakes at the Lolos, and then tucked away for a quaint dinner of fresh oysters, and curry roasted cauliflower at beautiful spots like Papia, on the Dutch side.The culinary gems continue to be ever changing, and each time we are back, we hit up classics, as well as new eateries. On the note of culinary creations, I live for grocery shopping. At home, it’s my time to meal plan, and ensure that we are eating the best that we can as a little family. Stepping into the markets on the island, are honestly joyous to me. Not only are there walls lined with pale pink hued bottles of rosé, but the butter section of the store will make you weep. Okay, so maybe that’s just me. I live for the fresh pastries, baguettes, and stinky, creamy cheeses that we eat when we are there. It’s a special occasion to eat like that in the states, and in all honesty it’s so difficult to find the quality in comparison.
Let’s re-visit the crusty baguettes, and salty French butter for a sec. Anse Marcel on St. Martin, is an absolute must. I can not speak highly enough of this cabana lined, place of tranquility. As you walk down towards, the beach, the cabanas will call your name, but just keep walking to meet the chairs and umbrellas set on the prettiest shore of the clearest of seas. The ombre pattern of blues travel out as far as the eye can see, and on a clear day you can see the neighboring island of Anguilla. Grab some beach chairs, set down your belongings, and take a dip into the ocean. Walking up and down the beaches are an experience of their own. I love to people watch, and with the littles in tow, we watch the water rush up to our shins, and in that moment, all is right with the world. So, the sun and salty air have left you with hunger pangs. Head back up to the cabanas, and order a glass of chilled rosé, and some lunch. Their specials of the day, have always been a hit with our group, and definitely try and leave some room for dessert. You will not regret it. Calories don’t count on vacation, right?
As much as we try to set out on little discovery jaunts on our trips, it’s such a comfort to come back to my parent’s house on the Dutch side, in Simpson Bay. The littles will more than agree, as they have swings at their disposal, and Grandpa even inflates a water slide on the beach for them. I mean, come on! It’s great to chat with friends, that we don’t see nearly often enough, and just take in the types of scenery, that have become part of my “happy place” in my mind, when back home in So Cal.
As I sit here writing this, the sounds of our favorite local St. Martin/St. Barth’s radio station, is coming through the speakers here at home. It takes us back to one of our favorite places in the world. Hope to see you sooner than later you lovely island, you! Until then, we will toast with glasses of rosé, and I will daydream of the unforgettable memories and meals that were had.