Monday, June 22, 2015

Back to Reality | St Maarten Recap

Happy Monday sweet friends.  I hope you all had a great week and Father's Day weekend.  It was so nice to take some time off and relax.  I feel refreshed but man it is hard to get back in the swing of things after vacation. 
 We had the absolute best time ever in St Maarten.  What a gorgeous island.
  We are so lucky to have such great friends, the four of us just get along so well.  It was a perfect week.  We truly enjoyed our rest and relaxation.  Time with friends and away from the kids is a good thing!  Although by day 5, our last day, we were so ready to see our babies.

 I know several of you wanted recommendations.  Truth be told we were quite lazy and only ventured out to explore 2 days.  I will share where we went and then at the bottom of the post I will share other recs from the places we didn't make it to.

We stayed at Oyster Bay in a condo. We wanted a condo vs a hotel room because we wanted a shared living space and kitchen.  I was not familiar with the island before we arrived but we liked our location.  We were right on the Dutch/ French boarder.  We were technically on the Dutch side but could see the French side from our room.  Our room over looked the harbor and had an awesome infinity pool.  There were also 4 restaurants we could easily walk to plus a grocery, so that was nice as well.

The people of St Maarten are the nicest people you will ever meet.  Everyone was so friendly and eager to help. 

I wanted to share some pictures- so get ready for picture overload. This is more pictures than you probably care to see.  I am doing this more for me as a way to go back and view our week so if you get bored skip on over this post!

The night before we left Sterling mysteriously found this travel angel.  It was brand new and said "let this angel accompany you wherever your travels take you."  God has a funny way of sending signs and putting us at ease.  I carried this in my purse the whole vacation.

Saturday morning we arrived at the airport.  Like I said I am nervous flyer.  Nothing a screwdriver (or two) couldn't help.  I boarded the plane so calm and totally unfreaked out.  No panic attack either way:) It was nice flying out of Charlotte because we had a direct flight, it was a little over 3 hours and so smooth.
The Gigi New York Wallet/phone case below was so perfect for traveling.  It was helpful to have everything in one spot.  It is currently on sale now too:)

Erin traded seats with Matt so we could sit together and we had a blast on the flight.

Once we arrived we stopped at the grocery store and then headed to the resort.

On our balcony

Picture perfect view.

The guys of course had to test out the pool immediately.
The first night we at Daniels.  We actually ate there several times during our stay.  It was right on the beach and the food was pretty good.  During the day it changed to a more casual spot called Mr.  Busbys.

The plants and window box decorations were so pretty around the resort.

Our second day we spent at the large pool at the resort. It overlooked the beach.

 Lunch at Mr. Busbys.  They had the best club sandwich.

Did I mention how much we loved our infinity pool??  Spent so much time cooling off here.

We loved having happy hour by the water everyday on our deck.

This is one of my favorite dresses I own, the back is the best part. The palm print is no longer available but it is available in this Rainbow Print.

Dinner was at Beau Beaus.
Food was not bad but not great.  I had the fish tacos. Atmosphere was fun thought they had a band playing that we enjoyed.
Ended with some arm wrestling.

 The next day may have been my favorite day. We chartered a boat with Captain Alan- he is located in the marina right near Oyster Bay.  You choose a 4 or 6 hour excursion and they take you to a few different islands to snorkel and have lunch.  The crew was fabulous.
Picking out our snorkeling gear, trying to decide if we will really get in the water- shark terrfied.
Matt wore his "tux" for the boat ride:)  Dress is from Scout and Mollys in Charlotte.
The boat ride was super rough getting to the first island.  The harbor was smooth but the ocean was really rough.   My poor friend Erin got so sick 10 minutes into the ride.

It was totally worth it though.  This view.  The stuff dreams are made of.

The last island we stopped at,  Pinel was our favorite.  The first two islands were deserted but had great snorkeling.  We docked at Pinel and swam to shore and ate lunch.  They had a really fun bar with tables in the water and the best pina colada I have ever tasted.

These drinks were made with local guava and so good. 
We thought this tree was so cool.

 After that we were spent for the day and went to bed early.  
But we did enjoy some amazing fresh caught lobsters for dinner at Daniels.

The next day we headed to Orient Beach for the day.  We loved this beach!!  Right around the corner was a nude beach- pure entertainment but no cameras allowed.

We had the most insane mojtos at Bikini Beach, our lunch here was really good too.
This Gigi New York Uber clutch always comes with me when I travel.  I can toss it in my beach bag or carry on.  It is an easy size to pack and you can fit so much inside it.

For lunch Erin and I shared the antipasta platter and appetizer platter.  Both were great.  I have to say the food on the French side is way better.

The water was just picture perfect.  We had the best time strolling the beach after lunch.
 Bathing suit is old Mara Hoffman similar here

We grabbed some beers at this beach bar.  

Dinner + Drinks later that day.

This is kind of random but the grocery store near our hotel had fresh baked croissants every morning and they were so good!  I loved to walk down there and get a croissant and coffee to go.

Our last night we headed back over to the French side to a waterside dive bar called Dinghy Dock that we heard was fun.  Our driver for the week recommended it.  It did not disappoint.  It was right on the water and we had a blast.  These were pics before dinner.
Dress on sale | Ring I bought in St Maarten
 Erin did my hair before dinner and taught me how to use a curling wand.  I loved the results. 
Ignore my tan lines, I obviously did not partake in the nude beach.

All in all an amazing 5 days!  Picture overload right??  and I had actually had way more pictures than I posted this was the edited version. Such amazing memories.
Best part was coming back home to these precious faces.  I swear they grew so much in 5 days!  If you need to find gifts for your kids stop in the airport gift store, so random but they had the cutest instruments and woven purses for kids.

 St Maarten is only 37 miles but seemed so much bigger.  It is very hilly so it takes longer to get to everywhere.  We used a local driver to drive us, although renting a car was pretty inexpensive.  We were just worried we would get lost.   You really need 2 weeks there to see everything.  Just means we need to go back!

 A few recommendations we did not get to:
Lotterie Farms- zipline and treetop bar
Simpson Bay
Ferry to St Barths or Anguilla - after Erin got so sick on our chartered boat, boat rides were out.
Ti Bouchon for Dinner
Marcel Beach

My Beach Looks:


Cas said...

So fun to see your pictures. My first visit was in 2001. I fell in love with the island and bought a timeshare. Thankfully I go once a year.

Kristen Betts said...

Looks like you had such a wonderful trip! Glad everything turned out fine with flying. That Angel was looking out for you :) I got sea sick going offshore fishing so I feel for your friend. I luckily turned around from it but going out and not seeing land and not taking my sea sick medicine soon enough did me in.

Brooklyngal said...

It looks like you had a blast! I love all of your fun outfits. Your photos make me want to plan a vacation with one of our couple friends!

That travel angel is so sweet, I can see how it would've brought you comfort.


Morgan Smith said...

Makes me want to go again! I saw Pinel and Orient while I was there too. Glad you had an amazing time - it's always nice to get away!

Taylor said...

SO JEALOUS OF YOUR TRIP! looks amazing and so glad you had such a great time! loved all of your cute outfits!!

Holy City Chic | Megan said...

Looks like an amazing vacation! I think Matt's tux t-shirt was the best part. :)

Leigh said...

It looks like you had a wonderful week! So fun. I feel for your friend Erin. I get sick on boats, cruises, rides that spin, riding in the backseat of a car too long, you name it. It didn't start until I was over 30 oddly enough. I grew up on the water and going out on the boat was a common occurrence. Not sure what changed.

Renee said...

One of my friends is convinced that Mara Hoffman dress is cannabis leaves!

Serena said...

Great pictures! We stayed at the same resort for 2 weeks. One of those weeks we got the penthouse and it has a pool. We love it there! Glad you had a great trip :-)

Nathalia Washington said...

Hi Natalie! Did you have a travel agent book your flight and hotel together? if so, do you mind sharing her info please? Or did you book it all on your own? We are trying to decide where we want to go for our 5 yr! : )

xo- Nat