Travels
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St. Maarten – Part 1

It was a hell of a vacation!  For a busy family like mine, it’s hard to get everyone together even for a dinner so the fact that all five of us are in one place for an entire week is pretty hard to believe.  It was also our first time in St. Maarten so we really tried to take advantage of what the island has to offer!  While we were staying on the Dutch side, we probably spent the majority of our time on the French side (the border is very close to our hotel) but both have ample things to do.

Every morning I started the day off with a run.  Although the heat first thing in the morning far exceeds what I’m used to, running along the waterfront brought along cool breezes to make it a little more refreshing.  The gorgeous views also help!

Monday was more of an exploration day; we drove around almost the entire island and making stops along the way to walk along various beaches, jump in, or grab a bite to eat!  This is also when we visited Grand-Case which is known as the foodie area of the island (although I only found this out afterwards).  The little restaurants lined up along the beaches provided gorgeous views of the ocean and Anguilla, located off in the distance, while chowing down on delicious food!  There were multiple barbeque places serving tons of jerk food but the heat was too much for us to sit next to a barbeque so we opted for a quieter place at the end of the beach where I had a delicious Caesar salad but with island flair; topped with local shrimps and sardines.

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A Carib beer rounded it all out and gave us that refreshing kick we needed for the rest of the afternoon.  After downing our delicious meals, we went swimming in the ocean and jumped off the docks!

After having spent so much time travelling around, we decided that Tuesday needed to be a beach day!  Countless hours spent swimming, snorkeling, and jumping through the waves at Orient Beach made me sleep better than I had in a long time!

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We were finally starting to better plan our schedule now that we had been on the island for a few days, so Wednesday called for another action packed outing to Loterie Farms.  My brother found out about this place on a blog he had read online that provides a bunch of pools and activities like ziplining.  We started off by taking the extreme ziplining tour which took us about 2 hours through the canopy where we saw more iguanas and even a few monkeys!  With about 25-30 ziplines, the first few just get you used to the motion while near the end they crossed much larger expanses overlooking the valley and the ocean.  On a couple of the longer ones, we even had the chance to let go and flip upside down!  Although my first time trying wasn’t the most successful (I hit my head on the way back up), I gave it another try and successfully flew across the valley without further damage.  To be honest, the burn on my head came out as a funnier story than a painful one that I will definitely be bugged about that in the future.  To finish off the day, we hiked the mountain behind Loterie Farms which leads to the highest peak on the island.  It was a two hour round-trip with many ups and downs (both for us and the terrain) but well worth seeing those views!

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Although our busy schedule might not seem like a vacation, our hectic and energetic lives back home work along the same lines as we are always looking for fun and different things to do; the added adrenaline hype is also a bonus!

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