Monday, March 21, 2011

Island Time: I'm Baaaaaaaack!

Let me first get this out of the way by saying, "St. Maarten is AMAZING!!!!!!"  If you ever get the opportunity to go, GO!  If you get to stay at the Westin, even better!
Our flight left Houston International at 6:00am, which means Steve and I had to head to the airport at 4:15.  I choose to look somewhat presentable when I travel, which required a 3:45 wake-up, and since I couldn't fall asleep until 2:30, I was a very tired girl.  God Bless my iced venti green tea.

The flight to Miami was uneventful and when we got to Miami, the first people we ran into were our great friends, Jacques and Barb.  How lucky to not have to look for them!  We were all running on about the same amount of sleep, so naturally, we decided to have a quick drink while waiting for the plane to paradise.  It did the trick and I fell asleep on the plane for a little bit. 

Once we landed, Steve and I lucked out and our bags came out right away.  Ready to kick off this vacay the right way, we went into the airport store and bought a 40 of Presidente (a great beer made in the Dominican Republic).  As I was walking out of the airport with my bags and 40 in tow, one of the airport employees yelled, "Good for you girl!  I hope you finish the whole thing."  Guess it wasn't obvious we were sharing. 

With every sip Jacques would wipe off the mouth of the bottle with his dirty airport hand...I am offended that he thinks we have cooties.  Barb thought she would be helpful and rinse off the new cooties Jacques had put on the bottle by tipping it upside down...forgetting that beer fizzes when moved around excessively.  Next thing we know, beer is SPRAYING all over the van.  Jacques was drenched, the ceiling was soaked, and there was a puddle of delicious Presidente in the seat.  In an attempt at payback, Jacques got out of the van and proceeded to shake the bottle and try to spray Barb.  All this did was give Steve a nice beer bath, and add more destruction to this poor van.  5 minutes in a new country and they are already out of control.  I realized at this point who the adult was going to be on this trip.

The Westin is on the opposite side of the island from the airport so we braved the drive through several towns and very windy, hilly roads.  Can I just tell you how beautiful the water is?????  I have been to the Caribbean several times, yet this seemed more beautiful than I ever remembered.  We were greeted at the hotel with a delicious fruit drink by the most friendly staff I have ever had at a hotel, EVER!  Whenever you saw a Westin employee, no matter what they were doing, they would smile and say hello.

First things first, we ran to our room (which seemed like it was about 1/4 mile from the elevator), put on our suits, and headed out to the pool.  Half of the people who arrived that day were on a flight from Charlotte that got in an hour earlier.  Buddy was on that flight, so when I saw her out by the pool, I RAN over to give her a great big squeeze.  Next, Steve and I worked our way around the pool visiting with all of the fabulous Tom James peeps.  Even though we just saw them in January, it was so great to see them!  Always a little awkward to hug your former boss, boss' boss, etc in a bathing suit...but I powered through.  :) 

Steve and I ate dinner at the hotel bar that night which gave me a chance to interrogate the bartender about the island hotspots.  Steve played a little bit of black jack and I enjoyed the free drinks that come along with gambling.  After a bit too much to drink (on my part at least), we headed up to the room and were asleep before our heads hit the pillow. 

First day was a great success!  I think I love this place.
Westin St. Maarten - A Little Slice of Heaven

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