Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Brunswick Stew/Neighborhood gathering

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, our lovely neighbors, Barney and Jackie, always invite the neighborhood and their families up for an outdoor gathering.  We've had pretty good weather over the years for this event - sometimes it's quite chilly, but never has it been raining or worse.  This year, if not for all the fallen leaves, you would have thought it was spring!! 

I couldn't have any of the Brunswick Stew because it had beef and pork in it.....but someone had set aside a wonderful pot of vegetarian stew this year!!!!  It was fabulous (I'm sure the high-octane variety was equally yummy!)

Barney was frying the hushpuppies all morning - I never have seen him take the time to eat!  And they were fabulous also!  Fun gathering.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

St. Martin mini-vacation

We spent a little over a week in St. Martin with Sharon and Buddy - lots of relaxing and not much else!!!

This was the view every morning from our little apartment overlooking Oyster Pond on French St. Martin.

Breakfast started out simple and got a lot more complicated and yummy as time flew by.  Always breakfast on the deck in the beautiful sunshine!

Our little apartment.  There was a loft overhead that we never used, but a couple or kids could sleep up there.

Lots of beautiful beaches!

Sharon surprised us by getting her hair braided!!

Cool  "island girl"  for a while!!

Lots of eating was accomplished!! This was a shrimp/goat cheese pizza - and a fabulous salad that had honey drizzled over a calzone.  All the food we had was wonderful and fairly inexpensive. 

Obviously, this is a different meal.....wonderful seared fresh tuna.....

Before breakfast one morning....lots of reading was accomplished by all of us this trip.

See, breakfast got more complicated....leftover pizza and salami were added in for some variety!

Pretty view of Marigot harbor

Our swimming pool at sunset

Our really, really tiny rental car.

We spent a while at the Sunset Beach Bar - which is famous because it is literally right beside the approach end of the SXM runway.  You actually get blasted by the sand from the jetblast if you stand in line with the runway.

An American Airlines jet approaching.  We were actually there during the KLM 747 arrival but the photos were not good.  It only arrives two times per week so a lot of people actually come out to see it.  Quite interesting to see once, not sure I'd do that again.

One morning we spent time at Dawn Beach - the chairs we picked out were right beside a volleyball court (which was not in use when we sat down in the shade of a palm tree).  But soon a big group of guys came over to play - we chatted with them - they were a family of 22 from a cruise ship and had rented 1 room at the nearby hotel for the day so they could use the amenities.  One of the guys got called away by his wife and they asked us for a player......nobody else wanted to, so I volunteered.  I am NOT a volleyball player - but they were good sports.  My team lost.....good fun.

Pretty beach....

Had lunch at a neat restaurant - the Boathouse.

Yummy seafood wrap - lots of calamari - which I didn't realize was so tender and good!

Sorry for the weird order of photos - I didn't actually take as many as I usually do....breakfast was the next photo I took - fresh croissants from the little corner grocery (1 euro each - $1.40)  and some tasty caviar ($4 for a little jar).  Sliced red onions to add some zip!

Sharon pointed out some iguanas - just sunning themselves in some trees.  Ugly things, aren't they??

Pretty flowers abound, of course!

We spent a day at Anse Marcel - a beautiful little beach on the French side - this is a small resort that you can walk thru to get to the beach.

Some fruit hanging from a palm tree...

Some green ones on the other side of the tree....

We stopped at an overlook leaving Anse Marcel - a couple was there taking photos and asked for us to take their photo....and they did the same for us!!

The photo I took by turning around from the previous photo!!

We ate a couple of meals at the "LoLo's" - which are open air restaurants that serve up all kinds of barbequed food in great quantities for low prices.  Lots of locals eat there as well.....this dish cost $8 US and the beer is $1.   Yum....

See  -  pretty beaches everywhere!!

Outside Busby's Beach Bar - another nice meal.

Traffic on the island is a bit of a problem - so we didn't go to the "city" Phillipsburg very much.   It's more of a cruise ship passenger place anyway.

We did a lot of lazing around under beach umbrellas....plenty of time to "people watch".....I snapped this photo because I looked up and saw a pair of swim trunks that rival my son, Robert's swim trunks that I do believe are the ugliest in the world!!! (I think Robert likes them just for that very reason!)

Orient Beach

Complimentary rum drinks (came with renting a beach lounger for the day)....

More food - Duane's burger with French Camembert cheese

We rented chairs for several days from the same fellow - who appeared to run the Orange Fever restaurant.  He was very nice to us - cheerful and gave us some "special drinks".....

Ah, the vacation is coming to a close....because US Air cancelled our flight on Thanksgiving day, we were forced to stay another day......but our little apartment was not available the extra day.  So, we had to pack up and move to a different one.  This one was equally neat - but did not have the beautiful view!

Off to the airport - caught this Piper on takeoff (actually from the smaller airport on the island, not the international one).

One last photo on our way back to the airport!!!

I saved these photos to the end - hope you don't think I'm making fun..... St. Martin is pretty well known for it's tolerance for nude and topless sunbathing.  No, I didn't take any nude photos!!!  But, while people watching, I did spy an interesting couple.  We saw them several times - walking up and down the beach, hand-in-hand.  What was cute was that they were wearing matching bathing suits.  Each day a different suit - and one day we saw them in one color suit in the morning, and a different color suit in the evening.  Just page down, you'll get the idea. 

Saved this one to the last. Enjoy.....