Welcome to paradise! After months of hard work going to grad school, serving as editor of the Weddzilla Blog and making the adjustment to working from home, I couldn’t wait to head out of town last month for a couple weeks of R&R with family, friends, and of course, my husband.
First stop, California, where we spent a restful week in my hometown visiting, sightseeing and stopping in at some of our favorite local haunts. Recaps of that trip are on the way soon, but for now, I just can’t wait any longer to share all the fun details about our trip to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, which I won last year through a giveaway by one of my all-time favorite bloggers, The Relentless Bride. (Check out her new blog, Fry, the Baby!)
Since Stephen and I were flying out from the West Coast, we left early in the morning, arriving in St. Maarten late that evening after a brief delay in Miami. Because it was dark already, we couldn’t see much during our landing at the infamous seaside Juliana Airport, where misguided tourists often try to jump up and touch the planes as they land or take off right over the beach.
|Image Source: curiousphotos.blogspot.com|
We were so tired by that point, however, that after we'd passed through customs, we were more than happy to snag a cab and head to our resort for a good night’s sleep. On the drive there, our cab driver explained that the island of St. Maarten is split into two enclaves – St. Maarten under Dutch control and St. Martin under French control. However, due to the open-border agreement between both governments, travelers are able to pass seamlessly from one side to the other without showing passports or being otherwise delayed, which would definitely come in handy throughout our weeklong trip.
|Image Source: cbt.cc|
We were staying on the Dutch side, also where the airport is located, so after a 40-minute ride through both some shady local areas and past several other grandiose resorts, we arrived at the Westin Dawn Beach, where we had a complimentary reservation for the next seven days. After checking in, we headed upstairs to our ocean-front room, which was incredibly spacious, overlooked the beach, and came complete with a complimentary bottle of champagne and platter of canapés, which we snacked on right away (although we left the shrimp and fish untouched, since we weren’t sure how long they’d been sitting out).
After a late dinner at the resort’s main restaurant, Ocean, we collapsed exhausted, ready to get some rest and wake up to these gorgeous views!
Up Next… Bargain jewelry shopping in Phillipsburg
Travel Tip of the Day: If at all possible, make your travel arrangements so that you arrive at your destination while it's still light outside, which will make it much easier to get your bearings and become familiar with your surroundings, especially if you're new to the area and concerned about safety.
Have you ever traveled to the Caribbean, and if so, what's your favorite island?