We spent our entire vacation on the French side in a lovely little hotel (Bleu Emeraude) in Grand Case. Best.decision.ever.
Some useful things to know if you choose to do the same:
- Paying $1 to pee in a *clean* men’s room at the mall in Marigot = best money ever spent.
- Orient Beach is lovely and a great place to spend a day at the beach. Get there early. Park at the Club Orient end near Pedros. Be prepared to see a lot of old willies as apparently the demographic most likely to take advantage of the “clothing optional” end of the beach is 60+ year old men.
- Don’t forget your bikini. “Mom Suits” stick out like a sore thumb.
- Vibrams make decent beach shoes. You will get even more weird looks than you do in the U.S.
- Always have a water bottle with you. It’s easy to find a rum drink or beer anywhere. Water can sometimes cost more.
- The best sign to see anywhere is 1 euro = 1 dollar. Make sure you came with plenty of cash. If not, there are ATMs at the Westin in Dawn Beach and in Philipsburg where you can get dollars.
- The Lolos (barbecue huts) have the BEST Caribbean food for a reasonable price. Our favorite was Talk of the Town in Grand Case. Chez Coco in Marigot was pretty darn good too.
- When you are ready to blow the bank, however, dinner someplace like Le Tastevin where you get a dinner whose courses include lobster, escargot, scallops, and shrimp + a glass of wine with each course is worth every.single.penny. Even if it is a LOT of pennies.
- Even if you don’t like light lager type beers, a Carib with a lime on a hot day is awesome.
- Don’t stop for any of the people standing on the side of the road outside the resorts. They are just trying to scam you.
- Packing your loosest pair of pants for the flight home is a really good idea. They may not be so loose by the time you put them on.
We should be on our way home this evening. Any guesses on whether it will take less than the nearly 36 hours it took us to get from our house to our hotel in Grand Case? Closest guess wins a prize. ;o)