[UPDATE] I have lots of pictures up now on Flickr. Check them out.
Lots of stuff happened this week while we were in Sint Maarten (they spell stuff oddly there), so let’s get right to it:
- Extremely warm and beautiful weather
- Had no part to play in the Midwest Snowpocalypse
- Delicious seafood everywhere I went
- A rockin’ speedboat day tour of the island, including visits to a topless beach and Stacy whipping my sunglasses to the bottom of the ocean
- Blackjack (boo!) and roulette (yeah!) situated 10 feet from the lobby of our hotel
- I proudly and excitedly purchased a bottle of Macallan 12yr Fine Oak (see right) which I did not know existed. I have brought home with me 2/3 of a bottle for y’all to enjoy.
- Disturbingly low-priced jewelry
- All the Canadians (the good ones)
- Weirdly, when you’re all-inclusive (including booze) they make the drinks 10 times stronger. For about half the trip I would wake up with a oh-shit-I’m-late-for-school start and wonder how I got there, then think about the numerous rum goblets I drank by the pool, as well as the half dozen Carib beers I had with dinner and at the casino.
- We met (maybe) five service workers in our hotel and surrounding restaurants that weren’t outright rude, hostile, or indifferent to us. Bar none, it was the worst collective service I have ever had in my entire life.
- We stayed in Phillipsburg, which is the port where the cruise ships come in. Very, very big con: the entirety of the town runs on the Cruise Ship Clock. Cruise ships leave port around 5pm, at which point Phillipsburg becomes a scary ghost town filled with packs of stray dogs. None of what I just said is an exaggeration or lie. The night we got there, we figured we’d stroll into town and get some dinner at around 6pm. We walked, and walked, and walked and only saw shuttered doors like the ones you see in real bad parts of Market St in SF. Like, we had no idea what these stores were because it wasn’t bars or a steel chain curtain. There were Star Wars blast doors that covered the whole front of the building. We hesitantly made our way deeper into the area and found nothing but wandering stray dogs and people yelling at us from porches. We headed a block over to the boardwalk (hoping to find jamming beachside bars or restaurants) and literally the only thing we found was a deserted Hard Rock Cafe where the few workers unlucky enough to be stuck on a night shift paid us little to no mind.
- Do not, under any circumstances, assume that just because a place says it has ‘wi-fi’ that it actually does or that you can use it. I paid $73 for eight days of wifi access at the hotel, and as Stacy can attest I spent most of that swearing at my iPad and threatening to throw it out a window. Their scheme is brilliant: have too little area coverage, and then hire someone to power cycle the wireless access point approximately once every two minutes. Also, hook your access point up to the internet with a 1600 baud modem and let your entire guest list share that bandwidth. Loading whazzmaster.com took, on average, 10 tries and 15 minutes (to see one page).
- All the Canadians (the rude and boorish ones)
- The heat pump in our apartment failed sometime when we were gone, so we got in late Saturday evening to a freezing house and a pissed-off cat.
Phillipsburg is actually really banging during the day. All those scary deserted streets are actually filled with Cartier, Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, and a quadrillion jewelry stores during the day. And there are three dozen jamming beach-side bars whose happy hour runs from 11am-noon. On the other side of the island
The fact that, even with enragingly bad customer service, I still had the time of my life says something about the place. I’d definitely go back, but probably wouldn’t stay in the same place. I’d probably try to catch a joint down in Simpson Bay, where there actually is a ton of nightlife and stuff to do outside the hotel after 5pm.
That’s about all I’ve got for now- I’m going to rest my weary, travelin’ bones and then cheer my ass off for the Super Bowl this evening. Once we get all the pictures we took uploaded from Spacebee’s camera then I’ll get some links up. There. Are. Some. Good-uns.
Did Michigan Springer really throw his blackberry into an icehole? Was it really gravy? Go Packers.