Sunday, April 7, 2013

St. Martin: Part Deux

If you're just joining me, please check out the first part of my very long description of our trip to St. Martin, complete with lots of babble and pictures of everything we ate.

Wednesday, Day 4
We had a good late breakfast nearby at Mr. Busby's, and the setting is so gorgeous you almost forget about the slow service.  You're overlooking Dawn Beach under this set of trees, which kinda made me feel like we were on the set of Swiss Family Robinson.

The weather had been mostly sunny but pretty windy thus far, but this day the wind dropped down enough that we were able to go on a snorkeling excursion.  It was still like riding a roller coaster our way out to the first stop near Green Cay (in Orient Bay).  We saw lots of fish and coral, as well as two different types of sea urchins.  The guide dove down and gently pried a white sea urchin off the reef, and let it sit on my hand.  It had little suckers on the bottom that help it stick to things, kinda like a starfish. I had to fight the urge to pull it up out of the water to inspect it more closely.  (That's like inspecting a fish out of water).  The other kind of urchins had loooong black spines and you just don't want to mess with those.

At the second stop we spent a little while on Pinel Island just to hang out and have some lunch (sandwiches and beers provided by the guides).  I thought this was a neat place with its shallow little harbor where you just wade to shore.  After that we rode to Tintamarre, another island off of St. Martin where the sea turtles hang out.  From time to time they surface for air, so if you time it right you can swim near them.  So.  Cool.  And yes, in my head they had surfer voices like Crush on Finding Nemo.

When we got back to the hotel we sat on the beach for a while since we were already saltysandy.  That night for dinner we went back to Grand Case to check out Spiga for its "creative Italian" cuisine.  We sat on the porch and enjoyed the mild temperature.  (In general it was neither hot nor cold while we were there, but my curly hair told me just how humid it was!)  I ordered a pasta dish with shrimp, scallops, olives, and capers in a sweet tomato sauce.  Steve had osso bucco, which was also lovely to eat, but the biggest hit of the dinner was our dessert, a mascarpone cheesecake made with maple syrup and topped with crumbled toffee, ice cream, and a cape gooseberry.

Thursday, Day 5
The next morning we braved the cruise ship crowd near the port, stopping to people-watch and have a freshly made crepe.


Toward lunchtime we headed to Sunset Bar, which is on the beach at the end of the airport runway.  You may have seen pictures of planes taking off at this airport; people try to hold onto the fence while they get blasted by the jet engines.  And incoming planes fly *right* over you as they land.  It was awesome!

During a lull in arrivals/departures we sat down to order burgers at the bar and about two seconds later I see this gal smiling and calling my name from the next table.  It was my friend, Melissa, who grew up down the street from me and now lives in Atlanta.  Small world!  Melissa, I'll meet you in SXM anytime.  And your sweet girl is flipping adorable.

That night we went back to Grand Case for dinner and opted for a restaurant on the water so we could watch the sunset.  There are so many highly-rated restaurants, even narrowing it down to that side of the street, but we chose Le Tastevin.  The service was really good and the food was even better.  We had an amuse-bouche of chilled concombre soup, then duck spring rolls, roast chicken, and roast pork (with caramelized onions and a Reblochon-stuffed polenta cake).  I even liked their little butter dishes.

chilled butter - buerre!
Friday, Day 6
One last cup of coffee on the balcony, breakfast at Mr. Busby's, and then it was time to go home.


We LOVED St. Martin.  Of all the islands I've been to, this is my second favorite (behind Bermuda).  The food options were incredible, the beaches were clean, and the locals were friendly but didn't swarm around you.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Spence said...

Oh wow...that food and the island look beautiful! We may have to get more details from you...we're trying to figure out where to go for our 10 year anniversary in October (!!!).