I’m admitting to booking a 5 day TNT vacation to St. Maarten on a spontaneous, spur of the moment reaction to some unpleasant news from a now, ex – male “friend” who really didn’t add anything positive to my life . It was August 2007 and my youngest was visiting his family in Georgia and my other “children” were adults who could fend for themselves, so after doing a bit of research, I chose Sint Maarten-St. Martin. I was visiting TWO countries, France and the Netherlands with an added island flavor for the price of one. My research shows it’s the world’s smallest landmass to be shared by two separate governments and it’s only one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. It was time to Pursue a Personal Positive Path.
Packing my laptop and camera equipment first, clothes second, I headed off to Logan Airport. For some reason, I was stopped by screener in Logan, as well as at my connecting flight and then a 3rd time when I landed in at my destination. I’m guessing a single woman traveling alone with a bright yellow rolling bag of camera equipment was worthy of being stopped 3x or maybe it was my newly colored red curls.
Finally, I was outside the airport enjoying the sights, sounds and colors of Sint Maarten! and after spotting my shuttle bus and boarding, we were off to my hotel. All the passengers disembarked in the Dutch side of Sint Maarten, nightclubs, casinos and bars while I headed to the apparently quieter French side of St. Martin.
The hotel was fabulous! it had an indoor Atrium with hundreds of brightly, colorful noisy, birds flying about. You walk in the lobby and see the beach and the ocean directly out the back. My room was on the 3rd floor and was large, airy, clean and I couldn’t wait to freshen up, change and go exploring. The moment I stepped out of my room I started snapping the tropical turquoise ocean view from the veranda, the brightly plummaged birds, it was amazingly what I needed, sensory overload.
Second order of business was visiting the front desk clerk again. I wanted to arrange a personal tour of the island requesting a preference for a woman who had her own transportation company. The clerk said that my request was a first for her but she had the perfect person in mind for me and would let me know when I returned if she was available. Then she admitted curiosity with my request and I stated, I wanted to enjoy the tour and not be distracted by decoding any male vibes and I wanted to do business with a woman owned company. She laughed, said she liked that and said ok.
So I did what I love best, we, my camera and I went exploring. While the front of the hotel faced the street with a boatyard on the other side, the private rear entry was right on the ocean where I was mildly surprised to see a woman bathing topless with her teenage son. Oh well I thought, my first topless sunbather, wow, lol, I’m really am in another country.
Once I figured out how to set my Nikon D40 for self timer photos it was time for a few hours of fun. Heading back to the front desk clerk, she greeted me with a smile. Great news, I had a woman driver for tomorrow for a four hour flat rate visiting the entire island. Fabulous, we agreed on a time for the following day which gave me a chance to enjoy my included “complimentary” breakfast.
TOUR DAY! all I’m going to say is wow- what a fantastic day, my tour guide was the, nicest, warm-hearted, coolest woman to be blessed with as a guide. During our travels in Sint Maarten, I spotted a place to have dinner which was near a tour company featuring an 8 hour, full day, island cruise including lunch and snorkling.
ISLAND CRUISE DAY! lol, yes, the cruise was a photographer’s dream day trip. The craft held a mix of about 20 adults, children and crew. Free drinks, sodas and a tasty lunch on the island. My 70-300 Nikkor lens and I worked it. I had a few people ask me about the number of images I’d taken which was well over 500.
The collage featured here above represents my trip to a lovely little island with a wonderful European flavor. To be honest there was only two minor negatives to my entire trip, the little bitting sand gnats ? and the hotel didn’t have free Wi-Fi when I visited.
I hope my YouTube photo-video make you feel as if you were there and can briefly enjoy the trip as much as I.
Sint Maarten-St. Martin photo compilation video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOqP5oizqO8
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