Day 1 – Thursday, February 29 (St. Maarten)

Our trip to St. Maarten started at 5:45 as we headed to the airport. We flew out at 8:30 a.m. to Miami and had about an hour layover. We got lucky as our gate was the one we arrived at, so we flew to St. Maarten on the same plane! Both flights were great; we splurged and flew business class on both flights. I’m definitely a fan but know it won’t be possible all of the time. I took a video as we were coming in over Maho beach, known for its views of the planes as they fly in. Do a search for it, it’s neat how close the plane looks like it comes to the sightseers on the beach! When we arrived in St. Maarten we deplaned on the tarmac and were escorted to a bus that takes us to where we go through customs and then get our luggage. We were packed like sardines and we went in a half circle and then were dropped off. We literally could have walked faster than waiting for the bus to load and drive in a circle. Not sure the reason for what they did, but whatever. We then got to stand in line for almost an hour waiting to get through customs as apparently, they had a bunch of flights come in at one time.

After getting our luggage, we hailed a taxi to drive us to our hotel, the Holland House Beach Hotel. We shared a van with three others and a normally 20-minute drive took us an hour due to traffic. There is a regatta going on over the weekend which has generated more than normal traffic.

By the time we checked in, got to our room and changed, it was 5:30 p.m. It was a long day. We headed downstairs for a drink at the bar and were able to sit outside as the sun was setting. We had dinner at the hotel restaurant, which was very good! We started with a crab lump cocktail, which was jumbo lump crab with apple, avocado foam, romaine salad, and topped with crispy wild rice. It was served in a big martini glass. I’m not a big avocado fan, but it was good! Unfortunately, we forgot to take a picture of it, as well as the grilled seafood platter we split which consisted of grilled tuna, salmon, shrimp, scallops, and vermouth sauce. Hey, we’d been up since 3 a.m., that’s our excuse. We finished with an espresso and petit fours gourmand, which was a selection of mini pastries. All in all, a great meal! We called it an early night and look forward to a great day tomorrow!

Happy people going to happy places!
Happy juice! We waited until the second flight to start, lol!
St. Maarten
Standing on the balcony of our room
Love this view!
On the left is the Bourbon Breeze, which became John’s favorite, and on the right is the Spice ’45.
Our crab lump cocktail
I forgot to take pictures of the room, but this is what ours looked like.
There is a partition that comes down from the ceiling to block the bedroom from the bathroom part of the room.
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