St Maarten! Part 1

On our way! See ya suckers! 
I hate it here.
Piper & Pirate Roberts
Reagan found a friend, too
Just dippin’ my feet in
Daily pain au chocolate
Child friendly home my butt!
Actual avocados!  Huge!
Deep conversations w/ Grammy
Popsicles always taste best when you’re on vacation
Little Chef & Big Chef

Grammy turned Reagan on to laughing babies on Youtube
Spaghetti for you?
She sleeps like a teenager already
Wake up Sissy!

If the first 48 hrs of this vacation are any indicator of the 10 day trip, I will never travel with my children again.

We started Friday evening on the airplane to Charlotte. Overall, the first flight went well.   When we told Piper that our luggage would not be with us, and we would have to sleep in our clothes, she had a total meltdown screaming “I want to go home!”
We got to the Hampton Inn, and were greeted by wonderful nice people. Another rookie mistake was not bringing Piper’s minky binky.  She screamed and wailed for it for the entire week.  Ugh.  We had maybe 30 minutes of sleep –not consistent minutes- the first night. Needless to say, all 5 of us were exhausted. Saturday morning, Greg realized we needed to get the 5 AM shuttle to the airport because every other one was full. So, on the bright side, we didn’t have any clothes that we needed to change into or toiletries we needed to do, so we were ready to go pretty quickly.
The flight from Charlotte to St. Maarten was rough. All of us were exhausted, and no one could sleep.
Once our plane landed, it all seem to get a little better. Sunshine and Blue waters make everything better.
Mom and dad picked us up at the airport, and amazingly, we fit seven people AND luggage in a Corolla!
The second we stepped outside, I realized I should’ve packed more tank tops and shorts and left everything else at home.
We drove around the island, and had lunch at Mr. Busby’s. $1 Amstel beer is just what we needed. Papa and Piper spent a lot of time walking the beach, playing in the sand, and seeing if the sand tasted different than in the US.
We were able to get into the house around 4, and we checked out every nook and cranny. It took us a while to figure out how to turn the lights on, how to open the doors, and how to find hot water (still searching.)
After a 3yo meltdown and nap, we went to the beach and played in the waves. Piper was initially scared to the ocean because of the noise, but I think she’ll get used to it.
2nd night: Greg on the twin mattress we pulled into our bedroom, Piper and I in the king bed, Reagan in the pnp w/ Grammy and Papa.

Poor Piper is so clumsy. She’s hit her head on everything, and stubbed her toes on anything not flush w/ the ground. Poor kid!
Pain au chocolate was a wonderful start to the day.  Dad and Greg were able to get fresh baguettes each morning, and they were delicious!
We spent the day at Orient Beach which turned out to be our favorite beach. Lunch at Kakao bar, and rented an umbrella and chairs. Watching Piper and Reagan splash, laugh, and play made it the most spectacular day.
We returned home to learn we didn’t have water AT ALL. We were all in desperate need of a shower, but we had to wait until after 7 for the system to be fixed (only for it to break at 9.)
We played Cards Against Humanity, and I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in ages!
Woke up on Tuesday to no water again.
“Nothing says fun on vacation like getting a bucket of water when you poop.” ~Megan
We took the girls to the butterfly farm and to see some horses. Piper wasn’t a fan of butterflies touching her, but liked pointing them out. She loved seeing the horses up close! There was a small class of students taking lessons, so we just looked and pet the horses.
When we returned home, still no water and the power was going in and out. Tyson, the property manager, was lost for ideas, so he and an electrician played with the house. I figured the pool was better than nothing, so I spent ~1hr swimming.
Eventually we left and headed to Grand Case for their weekly street fair. We dined in a lovely French restaurant, Chateau Neuf de Pape wine, and creme brûlée. Papa bought Piper a zipper purse, and we were able to find our waiter from the beach and he gave Piper a balloon butterfly.

The novelty of being dirty and roughing it w/ minimal water has worn off by Wednesday. We can do minimal showers, but my children are so filthy, their hair doesn’t need anything but grease to hold it together.
Today, we went to the reserve to search for shells w/ Piper. She loved looking for sealife!  We saw starfish, sea urchins, and a few shells. We did find some neat rocks, and helped a gentleman get get going kitesurfing. Busby’s beach again in the afternoon.

Thursday was Philipsburg shopping. It’s where many cruise ships drop passengers off, so there was a lot of pushy tactics by salespeople. We saw lots of jewelry and tchotchkes, but Grammy bought Piper a bag w/ a bunch of hair accessories. Piper wasn’t feeling well and had a fever, and so we came home early to rest in the AC.
Later, Meggy, Piper, Greg and Papa went on an adventure to find shells, and saw donkeys.
We got Mama’s pizza, but decided Orient Bay’s pizza was better.

Friday, Papa, Greg and T went to get Greg signed up on the car rental, and stopped at Maho beach to watch the airplanes land. Then the rain came…it rained most of the day, but we were able to finally get to Orient Beach by 3. We had our last splashes in the ocean, and a wave toppled Greg, Papa and Piper.  She kept saying “Daddy, those waves are a Grammy killer!” 
For dinner, we cleaned out the fridge and pantry, and had a hodge podge of Brie, hot dogs, and cereal.

Traveling home Saturday and Sunday, once again, proved to me to never take my children anywhere.  Poor things were so restless on the plane, and just being out of their element.  Piper was so tired on Saturday night, she fell asleep on Greg’s shoulders and didn’t wake up until 5:30am the next day!  THAT NEVER HAPPENS!!!

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