We've been going to this place, our home away from home for 10 years now, therefore, I have lots of photos! I thought I'd show you my
Here's a shot of the small resort where we stay. It's one of only a couple on the French side. We'll be in one of those 3 buildings on the right with the red roofs. This is a view from the beach side of "downtown" of the small village of Grand Case where we stay.
The resort is sort of V-shaped with most of the living quarters on one side with Grand Case Beach, and a beach called Petite Plage on the other. This photo of the sign at the gate when you enter the resort shows the property layout really well.
An interesting fact about beaches in St. Martin: even when they are on a resort, all beaches are open to the public and FREE to get into! Love that. This is Petite Plage and the downtown area of the village in the background across the bay:
Mr. Helen and I spend a lot of time captivated by sand gravity. Even when we go visit one of the other gorgeous beaches on the island we always come back to Petite Plage for our last swim of the day. That is Mr. Helen there on the left of this photo. See the flag just behind him? When you pull that flag up, someone comes out onto the beach from the Sunset Cafe (in the background) and takes your order for food and/or drinks. Perfect for when you feel spectacularly lazy!
There's a reason the Sunset Cafe is named what it is. I'm not sure all the various photos I've taken over the years can convey how gorgeous it is and what it's like to watch the sun literally sink away.
While we generally have found May to be our favorite time of year to go, this year we delayed our trip so that we could be part of our friend Nick's memorial. Nick is Mr. Helen's best friend's dad who passed awy last fall. He was born and raised in Grand Case and on July 24th the entire the entire village will participate and celebrate his life. Before Nick got a bit older and came to the USA, he was a fisherman like many used to be in Grand Case. His ashes are going to be spread at Creole Rock which is a well known landmark to the fishermen of St. Martin.
No explanation needed, other than to tell you that's Sandra in the background. We love her and hope she's still working there! And maybe I'll mention that both drinks cost us $5. They charge the same for adult beverages as they do for "virgin." Seriously, in downtown Phillipsburg (the capital of the Dutch side) there are Heineken Beer machines right next to the Coke machines! Last time we were there I think it cost $1.
Then of course, there's the food. Grand Case is known as the Gourmet Capital of the Caribbean. For good reason. There are fancy French restaurants and locally owned places. No matter where you go the food is just beautifully presented. It's like artwork!
As I've looked through these photos, I've realized how good this vacation is for each of us as individuals and for us as a couple. How do I know? Because I can't find one single photo - even in the candids, where we look stressed, disgruntled or unhappy. St. Martin really is our happy place (and not because of the three flavored sharing this photo with us!).
With apologies to The Terminator.... (unless I win the lottery) I'll be back!