Our day started out at Mullet Bay Beach and we walked from there over to Maho to watch the planes for the second half of the day. It was a fairly short and easy walk and we arrived.
We arrived at Maho with no problems and immediately found the Driftwood Bar. Before we had went over to Sunset, in 2010, and really enjoyed it over there. But I have been reminded several times over the years from threads that there was another bar on the opposite side of Maho Beach and I figured since it would be the first place we came to along our route that we would just try that place out instead this time.
Now Sunset is very nice. It has a wonderful deck with chairs and umbrellas to eat at as you have a spectacular view of the planes coming in while you're eating. They have nice bathroom facilities to use and also provide you with a hose to get the sand off of you.
Driftwood is a small bar with not much there other than a place to get drinks and food. It's made out of an old boat, but it looked like a fun place and atmosphere. Just not as nice as you will get over at Sunset. Since I'm not the type of person that will spend time hanging around at the bar, it didn't bother me one bit. I would be hanging out at the beach!
The one nice thing about this place is they did have lounge chairs there for you to use. There were plenty of them too for the small crowd that was there. Maho Beach is not really much of a "beach" and it's mainly for crowds to come and watch the low flying airplanes to come in. It's a different kind of experience. The "beach" is just an added extra to cool off in while you are waiting for the next plane to come in on a hot day.
The waves can get extremely high and forceful there. The sand in the water is a quick drop off from ankle deep to neck deep. Then factor in the waves coming in forcefully then sometimes you can't reach the bottom. You really have to watch your young children here, but ours did pretty good with staying along the beach and just getting wet when the waves came in.
Immediately there were planes taking off from the airport. They went out one after another. I don't recall last time I was there having so many take off around the same time.
Then the big boy decided to leave. You know, the one I missed coming in? I was standing on the wall dividing the beach from the street (you know, the one that I fell on last time I was there and broke my hand?). We were all the way at the end on the side by Driftwood. I watched the idiots lining up along the fence and wondered if they had any idea what this plane was capable of and what they were in store for. I had previously stood on the beach behind one of the small planes taking off the last time I was there. You get pelted with the sand and feel like you have been sand blasted with a machine gun. It's not fun. This huge plane was not something to mess with.
As I stood on the wall, I started remembering how I shouldn't really be standing on it and my husband demanded that I stay away from it this trip. (He was off getting drinks and had no idea I was actually standing on the forbidden wall).
The big plane turned around and as it turned, you could feel the hot blast of the jet engine and it was only at "idle" Lol I looked down and decided to spread my feet out far to gain a wide stance in order to prepare myself for balance a little better. I impatiently waited, gathering both excitement and nervousness. The more I thought about it, the more anxious I got. I'm looking around in back of me and beside me. I'm preplanning where I might go if the air gets too forceful. I would need a back up plan to jump down if needed. This jumbo plane was not going to get the best of me and I was not going to get hurt this time around.
Ok, plan in motion and I'm filming. The engines start to go faster, the wind starts to blow and before it even makes it to full throttle just seconds to take off the sand starts blowing...then, BAM...the worse sand blasting experience ever. How can this be? I'm all the way at the very end and not even in back of the plane. OUCH!!! Man that hurt. I quickly covered my eyes and turned around and my second plan sprung into action and I jumped down in to the sand. I see sand flying and poor Sakari laying on the ground covering herself. Immediately Courtney grabbed a towel, cover Sakari up with it and laid over top of her to protect her.
So much for my awesome video of it taking off. I was too busy trying to save myself. But, here's what I did get. At the end of this video (below) you'll see just how the blast of the engine creates a huge sand tornado on the beach. It hurts! It hurts bad! (and we were to the side and not directly behind it.
Finally some of the big planes started arriving (not as big as the jumbo KLM, but still big enough I guess).
I captured every picture that I could. I won't share then all since I got a lot of them.
The kids and the munchkins were enjoying the water and would pop their heads up in order to watch a plane coming in and then back under they went.
The waves were pretty strong and Sakari would sit down at the end of it and when the wave came in, it would carry her all the way up the beach to the chairs.
There was a grassy area in the water and the kids kept diving under to it. I'm really not sure what was so fascinating to them. They stayed here most of the day. I had to go out and check it out.
I guess they were trying to collect some sea shells as the waves brought them in and it was their goal to try to grab it before it went back out. Hey, whatever kept them busy and not arguing (yes, I'm talking about the big kids).
Kendra was discovering I was taking pictures as the planes were coming in and of course is yelling "Mom, take one with me in it" while throwing her arms in the air.
The hubby and Kendra's bf decided they were hungry and headed for some food. I think the hubby got the cheeseburger platter and said it was pretty good. For $11 it came with a huge burger and fries "he said". I never did see it since I was back at the beach. He did manage to bring me back a "drink". Although it was yummy, it was so hot out that the "slush" melted quickly and it turned into something that looked like cool-aide. So, I didn't get to take a picture.
At one point I was standing on the wall watching a plane come in and I hear a familiar voice yell in a scolding way "GET DOWN FROM THERE RIGHT NOW!" and for some reason I immediately jumped down. I've heard this voice before, but usually it's said to Sakari. I don't know what made me jump like a kid in trouble. Here come the hubby walking down the road from one of his many trips to the bar saying "I can't believe you are anywhere near that wall. No know better! I won't be having you break any more bones this cruise." LOL (Anyone who knows us, knows that we are constantly joking around and it was just a hilarious moment as I jumped down quickly).
Kolin caught on to Kendra's hand signal and when the next plane was coming in, they both had their arms up. As you can see in the picture above, the people on the beach were following her lead as well. hehe She always has been a leader and not a follower...just a slow one, never on time one.
This is what you'll see in the water at Maho...
Me and the hubby enjoying some salt water time in between planes.
Just smile and be happy. You're in the Caribbean after all...and dive for shells.
So remember those waves I told you about that are pretty strong and would carry Sakari and Brayden up really far? One came along and carried Sakari pretty far and pretty hard. Also remember the day before and her sliding across the pool on the Getaway in the kids water park and getting red? Yep, all those red areas busted open and were now bleeding. Four different spots and I'm not talking about a little itty bitty amount of blood. I'm talking a lot. You would have thought she was bitten by a shark.
This is about 15 minutes after I got
her calmed down.
She was still pouting and I knew
she was in a lot of pain.
She was covered in sand from head to toe. It took me 4 shampoos to wash "most" of
the sand out of her hair. I think we continued
to work on the rest ofthe sand a good 2 days
later as well.
She decided to stay on the lounge chair the rest of the day. Being wrapped up in a towel so that you can't see any bleeding boo-boo's makes everything all better. As long as she can't see the blood, she's fine. The minute that she does, she lets out a blood curdling scream like someone had stabbed her. Yea, we made sure her legs stayed covered as much as possible.
We were in port in St Maarten for a pretty long time. I really like this. It really did feel like a long day (compared to most). All aboard was at 5:30pm and it was only about 1:30pm. However, watching the planes and battling the waves was getting a little tiring. I knew from my research that I wanted to start heading back at least by 3pm.
A guy in a van with rims on it kept coming by saying he would take us to the port. We kept telling him we were not ready to leave. He said he would come back. At one point when he came back, he parked and got out and started talking to us. He was a really nice guy and he offered to take us back for $8 per adult and $7 per kid. Granted we only had 2 kids so this was only a savings of $2 total, but whatever....why not. Everyone kept pointing and me and saying "You have to ask the tour guide/boss over there what we're doing." LOL
Kendra had said that she wanted to go back into the little town we had passed on the way to Maho to see if there was anything she wanted to buy and her boyfriend was wanting to look for a pair of sunglasses. So we made a deal with the cab driver to pick us up at 2:30pm in front of the Subway. I had not eaten at all since breakfast and figured we could take a look around in town and then head to subway to eat a bite before heading back to the port.
Along the way we stopped at a sunglasses store. Yes, they were very expensive sunglasses, but that's what Kendra's boyfriend was looking for. The lady working at the store looked us over and shook her head a few times and glared at us like we shouldn't be in there and there was no way we could afford these special sunglasses. It made me feel real uncomfortable the way she was acting. I just kept saying "Let's go." Yes, we had been swimming all day, yes we were a mess, but we had cover up's on and was dry and we had shoes on. This is a tourist area, what do you expect?
Then we walked to the next store. I was trying to find a tee shirt that appealed to me. At one point Brayden picked up and looked at a watch (now mind you I have a watch just like this at home that I used for Nursing and at work. It has the rubber band around it and they are cheap). The lady at the counter yelled at him "Put that down! You break that and you'll be buying it!" Um ok, he was only looking at it and it's a piece of rubber with a cheap watch attached to it. At another point Sakari was looking at some magnets (we always collect magnets when we are in port) and the lady come running around the counter and stood beside her. Ok, what the heck is wrong with this town????? Have they never seen kids before? Have they never had tourist walk into their stores before? I'm really confused but they really put me on edge at this point. I decided I had been in this godforsaken area long enough and I would take my business somewhere else...like the port. I didn't care what type of prices I had to pay if it meant friendly people and good service.
We walked out with me glaring back at her and rolling my eyes. Yea, at this point I was pretty fed up with trying to just do a little bit of shopping.
We headed out to Subway.
Now I did not notice until I got home that once again, I had my camera on the wrong settings. But after seeing a lot of them, they actually started to grow on me.
Prices at Driftwood Bar were as follows:
Cheeseburger & Fries $11.00
We went in and proceeded to order. I have to say that the service we received there was not friendly either. The lady behind the counter acted agitated and was really rude. I ordered a "BLT" (which I meant BMT) by mistake and when she ask me what type of bread and I told her, her reply was "We don't have that kind". Um ok, there's a picture right here on the glass with it. "We still don't have it." I order a different kind. "We don't have that either." Me-"Ok, why don't you tell me what you DO have and I'll let you know what I want." I picked my bread and she started getting out the bacon. That's when I noticed my mistake and told her "I'm sorry, I meant BMT". She actually argued with me for awhile about how I had said BLT. I appologized over and over and told her I had just said the wrong thing. I mean geesh. She just kept going until I finally had to blow up and say "Ok, so I said BLT, but meant BMT. You haven't started making it yet, so what's the problem???" Her reply "Because that's not what you said." REALLY???? OMG. I'm so frustrated at this point. Seriously, why are the people here so rude?
She finally made my sandwich and moved on to the rest of the clan. Meanwhile Kolin had to use the restroom really bad and ask if they had a bathroom. "Nope" she replied. He ask "Is there one anywhere around here?" Her reply "We don't have one here." Me-"He ask if there was one near by and heard you the first time when you said you didn't have one here!" At least she proceeded to tell him to walk down the street and there was one in front of the casino somewhere. Geesh. If you can tell by the look on Courtney's face, she was a little fed up with this lady's attitude as well. I ask her what happened and she had a story, but I don't remember what it was.
We all decided to eat outside because we no longer wanted to stay inside where the unfriendly people existed.
Kolin had done a little bit of drinking today at Maho. Well, lets just say it wasn't beer. Kendra's bf was giving him Crown and Coke and all of a sudden it hit him.
He turned pale white at one point and I thought he was going to pass out. I warned him that I wouldn't be carrying him back to the cab when it arrived. I got a grin out of him.
After we finished eating and a few of us headed back down to a little restaurant in front of the casino to use the restroom, our cab/baller van pulled up at 2:30pm just as he said he would. Kolin felt a little better by this time and managed to make it across the street and into the van.
Our driver was super nice and talked a lot. We were joking around with him. He was telling us he was from Jamaica and his life since he moved to St Maarten. He seems to be doing well. He told us the other vehicles he owned in his fleet and what he paid for them. He showed us a picture of his nice Mustang at home. Told us how they ship car from over seas and a little bit of everything. We really enjoyed the ride and the conversation. He knew a lot about cars and we are car freaks.
We arrived back in port safely with no incidents (and no vomit coming from the rear seat section).
They had a display out in front when we first got out of the van. Our last name is Baker, so it was appropriate.
It was time to get my shopping on. I sat out to try to find friendly people.
I managed to find some magnets and surprised Sakari with the 2 that popped and moved. She had no idea that I had bought them and was excited when I gave them to her.
I found the perfect shirt I wanted. Did I find friendly service? Not really, but I didn't find rude or mean people either. So I was good.
We all took our pictures at the St Maarten sign. Then we started to head back toward the ship. They skies were getting a little gray and it looked like we might get a shower.
More pictures along the way back to the ship.
This is where we found Kendra and the rest of the family waiting for us when we got off the ship.
There was a pretty little bird that was just singing his heart out in the bushes.
Here's the funny thing...Kendra is always late and always dragging behind. For some reason she managed to get way ahead of us. It was if she was in some race to get back to the ship. It was still very early and we didn't even need to get back to the ship quite yet. So it was weird. I figured she would have stopped at every shop along the way but she didn't.
We found her waiting on us by the rocks waiting to get some pictures of the ship in the background.
Notice her new zebra wrap and matching bag? There was a lady that was selling these along the beach at Mullet and she ended up buying one. It was a pretty nice sized bag with a matching bag inside, pockets on both the inside and the outside and the wrap as well. All for $20. She decided she would no longer have to carry her "luggage" in to port with her. (She had forgotten her beach bag at home....you know, since she wasn't even packed or anything when it was actually time to leave for our flight).
And Yep, Kolin has recovered.
As you can tell, Brayden sat down and decided he wanted to be in every picture and there was no moving him.
We acted like pictures were done and started walking so he moved. Sakari whispered for me to get a picture of her alone real quick and I did before Brayden could notice.
We did end up getting a bit of a sprinkle, but nothing major. It lasted a good 2 minutes if that and then the sun shined again.
We were welcomed back with cold washcloths and a drink and it felt so good.
Miss washy washy was standing at the entrance to hose us down of all the bad germs and parasites we might have picked up during our stay at St Maarten.
We headed out and across the new crossway they built around the airport to cut down on traffic jams during the opening of the bridge. We were lucky and didn't encounter any bridge openings or traffic.
I snapped pictures along the way back to the cruise port. I always get so caught up in the moment and forget to change settings on my camera. So, these may not be the best of pictures because we were moving.
We had a great time in St Maarten, and always do. Even though I had said, in the past, that I wouldn't go back to Maho Beach because once is really enough, I'm glad I got to take my kids there to experience it.
It's definitely a place you do once and that's it. It's a great experience for all, but not the type of beach you want to hang out at all day.
Once again, we will probably not return here. Twice is enough.