Wednesday, September 5, 2012

St. Maarten - Making Friends on Happy Harold's Island Tour


The first time you go on a real vacation with your significant other, you are able to learn a LOT about each other. Even if you have been living under the same roof, there are new details that you can only learn when you are on vacation together. For me, I learned just how friendly my fiancé is.

I have always known that Dan was friendly; however, I did not learn the extent of this until our trip to St. Maarten. Because of my wonderful, accepting fiancĂ©, we made friends with at least 30 people during our stay (no, I am not exaggerating). It was fantastic. What’s even more fun is that we got to hang out with some of them on multiple occasions, and I still keep in touch with a few of them on Facebook. :)

Monday:
One place where we met some of these wonderful people was at Happy Harold’s island tour. Now, most hotels and resorts offer island tours, but an old co-worker told me that the best tour on St. Maarten is Happy Harold’s. And it’s true!

Happy Harold is a mid-to-late sixty year old St. Maarten native. He has worked countless jobs around the island and currently makes a living as a taxi driver and tour guide. His tours are the best because he takes you on the “country” tour that includes a rum stop and the best BBQ restaurant. If you are ever in St. Maarten on a Monday, you have to go on Happy Harold’s tour! :)

Dan and I with Happy Harold

Traveling around the island with us were 13 other people who were staying at the Sea Palace hotel, a cozy hotel located right on the boardwalk in Philipsburg. We drove to dozens of locations around the island, taking in the sites, learning history and economy tips from Harold, and snapping TONS of pictures. Because it would take a book for me to describe all the places we saw, I will give you a picture tour:

Guana Bay

Hotel at Guana Bay that was destroyed by a hurricane

The view from Busby's Bar at Oyster Bay

Oyster Bay

Iguana on the side of the road

Stopping at Lolo's BBQ restaurant in Grand Case

An wonderful couple we made friends with

More friends that we made on the tour

Jump!

Dan and I on a dock at Grand Case

Cool sunken ship sitting in a hidden bay

After the tour was finished, Dan and I caught a cab to the Grand Marche, the biggest local grocery store. It was well stocked with everything you could need, and we spent a half an hour picking up breakfast and lunch supplies. I also had a lot of fun looking at all the Dutch food products and pointing out the exorbitant prices ($7 for a bag of chips!).

Dinner ended up being a stove top meal of fresh cooked plantains and spicy sausage. Yum! We munched happily on our balcony and sipped glasses of Guavaberry rum (locally made), while watching the sun set.

Dinner! Yum!!

Why is rum gone? Because Dan drank it all!

Beautiful sunset

Read about the other Parts of our St. Maarten trip: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6,Part 7

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