Well, it is about 6:30 AM on a Sunday. Of course, we are up already. There are no divers this morning and normally (when I say “normally” what I really mean is before we had a baby) I would still be in blissful slumber dreaming about all the wonderful things that happened this week… Instead, my lovely little alarm clock (AKA Keiran) was shouting “MAMA!” from the top of his lungs at 6:20. Then silence. Perhaps he’s gone back to sleep, I think hopefully. Then I hear a pulsing, squeaking noise and again “Mama!” I know that he is jumping up and down in his crib. At this point I’m sure that I sighed, or something of the sort, and I go to get him.
“Maaaaaamaaaaa!” He smiles when I go in, all the toys from his crib, including his blanket are on the floor. Seeing his little smiling face makes it all worth it.
Anyway… I”m sure you are all thinking “what’s the point of this blog?” Well, I thought I would take this time to write a blog about Sundays in St Martin. Everyone is always asking me what it is like to live here? Do I miss living in the States? What are the hospitals like? What are the schools like? And sometimes, what do you do on your day off?
Well, first of all, as most business owners know, there is never really a day off. Even when we are on vacation I will be checking my emails every day and making sure things are running smoothly at the center. It is the life that we chose. Like right now, it’s my Sunday off, but what am I doing? Well, I don’t want you to feel guilty about reading this, so I will tell you that I like writing, so this doesn’t fall directly in the category of work.
So, Sundays in St Martin, what will we do? We won’t be doing anything administrative, especially on the French side, as everything is shut – the banks, post office, office buildings, same as the US really. The supermarkets will be open until about 2 pm on the Dutch side – “Le Grand Marche”, and the big one on the French side – “Simply” will close at 1 PM. Actually, that makes me think, why does the supermarket on the French side have an English name and the supermarket on the Dutch side have a French name? This island is so confusing!
Of course, we can go to any beach we want to, but that is what everyone else is doing. Sundays are HUGE beach days for all the locals that live here, and going to a beach crowded with people isn’t really our thing, so we normally don’t go to the beach on a Sunday. We may just go for a swim at the beach in front of our house, but I guess I don’t really consider that a beach day, as it is literally just there and we normally go for a swim at some point every day.
Sunday seems to be a big day for pool parties (which we are always game for.) There is nothing better than seeing our friends and Keiran loves to jump in and out of the pool!
We could also go out for lunch somewhere. Places we like to go to lunch would be the Simpson Bay Yacht Club, the Taste Factory (although we haven’t been in awhile because the last few times their coffee has been really bad, which is normal here, but it is also expensive – not a good combination). Or Chesterfields on the Dutch side, or Tropical Wave at Galleon Beach on the French Side. We normally eat on the Dutch side, just because it is nice to get away from the French Side, where we live. We often take the boat to Pinel Island for lunch, but you do need to make a reservation as they also get really busy with locals on a Sunday.
We could go for a hike, Chris and I like to hike, but it can be difficult now that Keiran is so big. He is just at the point where he can walk completely by himself (which is great as he is over 30 lbs now) but it takes him forever if he is just left to his own devices. Plus, if it is rocky or there are any cliffs, we can’t let him walk solo. So, then we pick him up, and that gets real old, real fast in this heat with a 30 lbs lump of fat and muscle attached to your hip! If we do hike, we love to hike at Wilderness and also Guana Bay. Just message me for more details and I can explain exactly where to go.
Last Sunday we went up to Pic Paradis to check out the view. We would normally walk, but with Keiran (and the fact that Chris has a truck) we drove all the way to the top. Which made me nervous, but Chris assured me that there was absolutely no problem taking the truck up this small path that was allegedly a road!
Of course, sometimes on a Sunday, we will go diving. In fact, I am thinking about joining the trip this afternoon and taking my camera. I need to get some photos of some dive sites for the website. Is that working? Going out for a fun dive, on my own boat, when the weather is great, I don’t have to put any tanks on the boat (because my staff took care of it), I don’t have to drive my boat (because we have a boat captain) and I don’t have to take any tanks off the boat (because my staff will take care of it) is when I feel the most awesome about owning my own diving center.
Other things to do on a Sunday. We have been taking Keiran to the Blue Mall on the Dutch side. On the fourth floor they have a play area for kids with toys, an obstacle course, a ball pool, a giant trampoline, slides, and more. It is $10 for Keiran (adults go free!) and he LOVES it! Plus, after 2 hours here he falls asleep in the car almost instantly and we can leave him to nap in the car once we get home, giving us some time for ourselves.
If you are so inclined to go to church on Sunday, there are lots of churches to go to for many different denominations. There is a Catholic one in Grand Case just down the road.
Then, there are the Sundays that are for chores. Gardening, housekeeping, laundry, grouting the shower, or building some shelves. Sometimes a day off can be harder work than a day at work, depending on what chores need doing.
Anyway… it is time to stop this work, and get on with my Sunday. You should do the same, get off the computer and enjoy the last of the northern summer!
(Sally wrote this blog 🙂 )