Sunday, January 03, 2016

Vacation-ville Part 3a: The Ports St. Maarten and St. Thomas

I love visiting new places. And I was so excited to get off the ship and see some awesome new locations!

Our first port of call was St. Maarten. I was so excited to be off the boat that I got up early and went up on deck to get my first view. And it didn't disappoint. 

Looking back out to sea - lovely double rainbow.

Looking towards the port and the town area. We took a water taxi over to the beach and hung out with family on the beach most of the morning. 

See the lizard? 

Close up - the kids were freaked out at the number and size of lizards around. 

Beach girl. This lucky girl ended up with her dad's skin tone and manages to tan right up in the sun. We loved the beaches. Warm water beaches are an unknown to us all. 

I had a massage on the beach, bought a few trinkets off vendors strolling by, and played in the water with the kids. Mid-day on St. Maarten AB and I decided we needed to see something of the island. We loaded our kids up, dragged a cousin along with us and went and ate a Caribbean lunch - the chicken curry was delicious and wandered some towns. AB bought some rum that is super delicious. Skadi scored free necklaces and charms off a variety of vendors misinterpreting us as people with cash to spend on jewelry in the tropics. Ha ha ha! 

Before long we were hurrying back to the water taxi and to the ship.

The next day we docked in St. Thomas. We were determined to get away from the immediate port. We had checked out a few locations of interest. We wanted snorkeling and Coki Beach was high on the list. We found a private car and took off snorkel gear in hand!

Coki Beach was a fabulous selection. We got there early, secured a spot and headed into the water. Soon after Skadi headed in she came tearing out! THERE ARE FISH IN THERE! AND THEY ARE SWIMMING BY ME!

It took a lot of convincing to get her back into the water. We had dog biscuits to feed to the fish - they came right up to us!

This was one of my favorite experiences, snorkeling right off the beach, Skadi and I sharing a pool noodle to float with our faces in the water and pointing at beautiful fish around us. 

Leif found snorkeling to be an activity he really enjoyed. His little observed swimming skills suddenly made an appearance and the kid was swimming all over the bay with his dad. 

We caught a taxi back to the port - tourists being a serious competition for the taxi drivers. We tried to be fair with going with who we made arrangements with, but I know we ticked off at least one person. 

Once back at the port we made a quick stop at the Butterfly house. That was so awesome. In Seattle at the Pacific Science Center they issue stern warnings about interacting with the butterflies. Here they just want to make sure no one walks out with them on their clothes or belongings. I was a bit paranoid about Silas - worried he was going to try and smash them. He didn't.

Huge blue butterflies!

Butterflies loved Skadi!

I am not a fan of flying things. One landed on me. I didn't scream. 

Castaway Cay is next... But I am tired. And I also need to figure out how to get those snorkeling fish pictures off the camera.... 

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