Caribbean Adventure, Part Three

After nine or ten days aboard Star Flyer, stopping at little, out-of-the way places, we disembarked in St. Maarten (the Dutch side), which shares an island with St. Martin (the French side). Again, we stayed a night to explore and learn more about the island before heading home.

At the beach resort, again we were fortunate to have a ground-floor room. This was the view from our patio. We played in the sea, the pool, and the hot tub; we enjoyed a Dutch food called bitterballen that was odd and yummy.

The first afternoon we went to downtown Phillipsburg, a shopping mecca, with many upscale stores along with more local-appeal shops that were more to our taste. Still, we didn't do a lot of shopping. We enjoyed a block-long open-air market of local specialties, where we bought just a few things.

We found the taxi drivers in St. Maarten to be amiable, helpful, and entertaining. I figured they would know where to get good local food, so I asked the man who took us back to the resort from downtown. He recommended Lee's, a place close to the French side, and we discovered that he did know where to get good local food. Lee's was an open-air place with island specialties. I enjoyed a dinner of a fish that was new to me, swai, along with fried plantains (yum) and rice. For dessert, of course, we shared key lime pie.

Another taxi driver was exceptionally helpful. We had heard that on the French side there was a "butterfly farm." I'd never heard of such a thing, and we had a cabby take us out there. He accompanied us on the tour and took our picture inside.

The butterfly farm was a large area completely encased in screen. The guide told me that at the peak they have 55 different species of butterflies and moths, but presently -- due to a hurricane -- they have only 35 species, though they are rebuilding. The butterfly farm was a highlight of our trip for me; I was fascinated by being up close and personal (yes, they would land on our hands and arms if we had butterfly food available) with these beautiful creatures.

And so the report of our Caribbean Adventure comes to a close. It was, as I said, not the kind of vacation where we exulted in the various ports, where we brought home all kinds of souvenirs, where we did a lot of touristy things. It was, instead, a vacation of relaxation, being warm, reading, watching the sea go by, and meeting absolutely delightful fellow travelers.


stitchinpenny said…
I feel the same way about the butterfly rainforest at the University of Florida. There is something very freeing to me about butterflies all around
AnnieO said…
Fantastic that you got just what you wanted out of your vacation dollars! Congrats
Janet O. said…
Reminds me of the butterfly house at a zoo about an hour away. I LOVE it. Wonderful photo of you with your butterfly friend--and the one with Himself, of course!
Barbara Anne said…
What a truly awesome place to be! Butterflies are whisper-soft when they land on you.

Love the pictures! The things you mentioned about your kind of vacation are just the things we love about being home - with the exception of the water going by, of course. :)

Lori said…
I loved St Maarten and would love to go back and stay for several days. It is a beautiful island.