Island Adventures PT1. In A Foreign Land… Well Technically… Two Foreign Lands


Our wedding happened in a storm…. Literally… a blizzard. Most airports and roads were shut down in New York so our honeymoon was going back to his small basement room on his twin bed (1/2 bunk bed he shared with his brothers before) and going to sleep. No Caesar’s Pocono Resorts (back then the commercials with the champagne glass tub was all we dreamed about). As the years go by we went on many trips but never got around to a honey moon so we decided on our 25th wedding anniversary we would take that trip. In December, we realized it was Christmas (we typically host an open house at The Sunshine House, our sons’ 21st birthday, our daughters’ wedding was coming up in two months, work schedule in December and a few other things keeping us busy we decided to let that idea go also so I was pleasantly surprised when shortly after Valentine’s day, wedding successfully behind us, he said… “Let’s take a weekend getaway” Adventure??? Now you know, I live for this!!! A little research later we settled on St. Martin/St. Marteen. 1. We’ve never visited there before and it definitely was on the list to go. 2. The plane ticket prices were surprisingly not as expensive as they were when he had researched going before. 3. it’s always interesting to visit a place where English is not the native language – the island is part Dutch, part French.

Years of staying in resorts and big chain hotels, we decided to try something different and settled on a small hotel on the French Side. The reviews were decent, there was no website or social media page so that was concerning but we figured we were renting a car and could definitely change our minds when we get there and find somewhere else but let’s do this as if it was 25 years ago and this was the best we could afford… Adventure right? Because of the time difference, we got to the island in the peak of their rush hour traffic. A shuttle from the plane to the terminal, then one to the rental car company, we were finally on our way and found ourselves smack in the middle of their rush hour traffic. A thirty minute ride turned into almost two hours and we quickly realized as I scanned the information about the hotel that we were looking at a potential problem. The booking information said “Check in ends at 6PM… If you are planning to arrive after 6PM please contact the property at least 72 hours in advance…” and proceeded with an international number that when I tired from my cellphone, did not work. Oh well, we laughed at the idea of possibly having to sleep in our rental car on a strange island…


Finally at the hotel, which was in a remote dark area, he went to check in and came back with a note (see photo) I mean literally the apartment was just opened with the keys in the door (I can’t tell you when the last time was that I actually used a physical key to open a hotel door). At first we couldn’t even figure out how to lock the door. A quick look around the apartment, bags unpacked, we went to find dinner. A short ride into “town” we happened upon a restaurant (lolo – I will explain this later) and a sign claiming vegetable roti so we stopped for dinner. Scanning the menu, seeing items like pholourie and channa, we realized that this was an actual Guyanese restaurant – yes, the first people we meet on this Dutch/French Island were Guyanese.  After dinner, we drove back to the hotel and I poured myself a glass of the “lemonade cocktail” mentioned in the note and sat out on our patio overlooking the ocean and the pool. I thought about a dip in the pool but it was a cool night and we were tired. We decided to call it a night and went inside to plug in our devices and get some rest.

electric plug in

What in the holy hell is this??? I’ve traveled to many places but have never seen outlets that looked like these! There was absolutely no conversion devices in this apartment. How was I supposed to survive this night? Those of you who know me well know I LIVE on my phone! This was definitely catastrophic! I reminded myself that 25 years ago when we got married, cell phones was a luxury and even if I owned one (I did) it definitely would not have worked in a foreign country and had a data plan or even WIFI (did that even exist back then?) I was forced to literally sit with myself.
At 5am, the time I normally wake up, in an apartment with no electronics and all the reading materials in a foreign language, no coffee (a few teabags but no kettle) I found myself boiling water for tea in a pot on the stove, sitting quietly… thinking…
This is going to be an adventure… STAY TUNED.

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