Wednesday, July 10, 2013

St. Martin Honeymoon: Days 3-5

The last time I left off,  we were enjoying the sunshine in Cupecoy, Sint-Maarten (the Dutch side). We had an adventurous next 3 days!

Thursday

Keeping with our tradition, we had an eclair and passion fruit for breakfast on our rooftop pool deck. We were enjoying the lazy, island life.
We then decided to take a tour of the entire island. We rented a little Hyundai i-10, which is basically a golf cart. St. Martin is quite mountainous, so driving around was interesting to say the least.
 
We drove about an hour to the Dutch capital of Phillipsburg. It has lots of shopping, but is packed with tourists. What? We were tourists, too? Well, my idea of a vacation involves pretending like I'm not one and living like a local.
 
Exhibit A: Roadside food

That, my friends, is called a Johnny Cake. It is fried dough with saltfish salad inside. I know it sounds kinda gross but it was one of the most satisfying meals I've had. The salty fish salad with a little bit of the island's hot sauce paired so nicely with the warm bread. It was delicious!
 
Let's call that meal "mid-morning snack". Because then we kept driving around, stopping to look at different beaches, and made it all the way back to Marigot (French side capital, our favorite).
 
We were "famished" (if you really can be when all you do is eat) so we stopped at a little place called Chez Coco. We were roped in by the hilarious hostess/waitress named Lucy. She took very good care of us!
 
We ordered way too much food, not realizing that for $8 all of this came on the plate. We got a goat stew and conch & shrimp "creole style".
Also on our platters: Rice/beans, salad, plantains, & potato salad. Those are all traditional island sides, and come with almost everything you order from this type of restaurant.
 
We walked around Marigot a bit to burn off the food, and of course stopped back at our Coconut stand. Connor got another coconut, but I wised up and got a pina colada (with rum of course). YUM.
We then headed back to our house to relax. I made us some pineapple & rum drinks, and we read on one of our porches.
It was hot & sunny that day, so escaping the sun was a must!
Showing off my new bling!
Here is a little photo of the balcony off our kitchen. It was so pretty! Beyond those blue roofs is the ocean.
I'm going to be perfectly honest. I don't remember what we did for dinner that night! I'm pretty sure it just involved cheese, meat, & a baguette. We weren't really hungry from all of the food we consumed at lunch.
 
We did enjoy the sunset from our rooftop. It was gorgeous!

Friday

The next morning we had to get up early for our only planned excursion: a "Friday Fun Sail" aboard the Celine. {NOTE: I don't have any pictures that we took that day because we LOST Connor's phone somewhere. That's right. His new iPhone is in the bottom of the ocean. Luckily we made friends with a woman aboard and she shared her photos with me}

We met at a place in Simpson Bay at 7:30 (about a 20 minute drive for us, thank goodness!) and left at 8. We sailed for 2 hours to a remote island called Tintamarre. There, they brought a cooler full of beer and rum punch, and we relaxed on the beach and floated in the gorgeous, clear water.
After a lazy morning on the beach, our Captain cooked us a hearty meal of grilled fish, paella, chicken, and lots of sides.
We then sailed to Creole Rock, and snorkeled for the first time. It was really scary at first, because we had to jump into pretty deep water (open water = one of my biggest fears!). We used fins to help us swim much easier, and went over by the rock. We saw lots of gorgeous fish and sea urchins. It was a lot of fun! We even saw a sting ray way down below. I hustled real fast back to the boat after that.

Our final stop of the day was to Happy Bay, which is a beach on the French Side that you can't drive to. You have to hike there from Friar's Bay or get there by boat. We swam ashore, and one of the first mates came with us with a big bucket of French mud. They used to take people to a mud bath place, but it has become a protected piece on the island so they bring in their own mud and we covered ourselves! It was so much fun
  Teaching island boys how to "Little Monster". Gaga-style.
We did a sunset sail back to Simpson Bay, and were so sad to get off the boat. It was one of the best things we did, so much fun! Captain Neil took great care of us.
 
We needed a little food to soak up the booze, so we stopped at a roadside Lolo (named after the type of grill used, which is a converted oil drum) for some whole snapper and a Johnny Cake
We then crashed HARD...it was a long day!!

Saturday

We woke up around 6:30 on Saturday, I guess because we went to bed around 9:30. We knew it was a fish day at the market in Marigot, so we got up and hustled over before all the fish was picked over. It was a good idea because it was really busy that early!

We parked near the cemetery, right on the water. The morning was gorgeous
There were lots of locals haggling over fresh caught snapper
This was a line for some type of sausages and meats
And finally, we found caribbean Lobster! We decided to get just one to share. It was feisty
We also got our favorite dolphin/Mahi Mahi steak
After we got our fish and veggies for the day (of course, visiting my friend Olive at her stall), we stopped at Le Sucriere for pastries and coffee. YUM.
We then headed back home to get ready for a beach day. We read about Baie Rouge, so we headed there! We actually parked in the wrong place originally, but it was so beautiful that we stayed for about an hour enjoying the morning sunshine
Then we left our little private spot and headed to the place where you rent chairs and an umbrella. It is much nicer sitting under an umbrella! The water was just gorgeous
There was a cool beach shack where they had a Lolo and served stronggggg drinks.
I started with a rum punch, and Connor got a mango rum daiquiri.
My happy hubby!
After a round of drinks and some more sunshine, we ordered some lunch:
 Grilled chicken and grilled ribs platters. Again, it came with plantains (THE BEST EVERRRR), salad, beans, rice, & potato salad. The chicken was charred, juicy, and so tender, and the ribs were smoky and hearty. We doused everything with hot sauce and dug in! It was delicious
It was getting quite warm, so we headed back to our pool for more drinks.
 
I could get used to this....
We read even more ( I think we read about 4 books each!) and then started to get ready for dinner.
  
We decided to cook the lobster first, as a little snack. Here's how we did it:

Take a portrait of it before you do anything else
 Par-boil it for about 10 minutes, as you will finish it on the grill 
Then you cut it in half length-ways. Use a sharp knife for this!
Take it over to your HOT grill, and baste it with a little butter. Or a lot, we obviously used a lot. We sprinkled fish spice we got at the market on top, it was a great idea!   
I think those puppies cooked for about 5-8 minutes.

Look how it turned out! YUM

After our snack, I finished working on the side. Olive suggested yams, so I made mashed yams with caramelized onions and a little milk. Connor manned the grill again and cooked our Mahi Mahi perfectly. It was quite a meal!
We then cleaned up and sat on our rooftop to watch another beautiful sunset. Rum drinks were obviously consumed.  
More to come next week!

xoxo
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2 comments:

Life with Elizabeth said...

This looks like absolute paradise! I'm dying over that rooftop pool and all of that delicious food! Yum!

megan said...

What a beautiful place! I don't know if I would be as "brave" as you to try out all of the local food. I'm a wuss.