Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cruise Journal: Day 6: Wednesday, October 1, 2008

*****Again, pictures aren't working. Boo hooo! Help!!!!!*****

Today we arrived in St. Maarten. But before arriving, Katy woke up SICK! She woke up about 5:30 to get a drink. While getting a drink, she pottied. While sitting on the potty, she puked. Everywhere. Keith got her off the potty so she could puke in the toilet. Then he called me. I came in and helped get Katy into the shower. After cleaning her up, we re-dressed her in a fresh shirt and panties. I got dressed and took Katy and my book and a Sprite on deck. The time was 5:40. As we came out on deck 9 we saw the sun was coming up. We took a bench seat in the 9 Aft Port restaurant near the window. Katy laid down and I read my book. Every so often I had her sip Sprite. After an hour or so, Katy wanted to come back to the cabin. We knocked and Keith let us in. Katy went back to bed, Keith got up and left, and I fell back asleep too.

The Cruise Director, Butch, came on at 7:30 (!) and announced that we were docked in St. Maarten and anyone who wanted could go ashore. Soon, Keith came back and asked if he should go rent a car. I said, “Ok.” He came back at about 8:20 and we were all still snoozing. He had rented a car for about $45, which, with taxes etc. came to a total of $72 at the end of the day. We all got up and dressed. Katy was dragging but a dose of ibuprofen stayed down. She ate some dry Cheerios and drank some water. I had my usual of 2 croissants and a bowl of Froot Loops. Erin had Frosted Flakes: 2 boxes! Keith had a greasy breakfast, as usual. After eating, we packed up and departed. We brought suits, floaties, Charles, the small cooler, the lunch box of snacks, the beach blanket, and 2 towels. I wish we had taken all 4 towels. Oh well.

Keith had a (really crappy) map. After loading the car, which was nicely close to the dock (thank you!), we used said crappy map to navigate our way through Phillipsburg. We got twisted around a couple times but managed. We found a nice (surprisingly) American-style grocery store. We got canned drinks, some chips, a foam cooler, ice, and puddings. The total was about $45 FIS which we believe was about $25 American. After that, we were on the road. We left Phillipsburg and drove around the Great Salt Pond. We headed toward the Middle Region and then to Quartier D’Orleans. We wanted to go to Orient Beach. It was very confusing because streets were not signed well. And did I mention, the map was crap? After some navigator trouble, we found what we thought was Orient Beach. We had followed signs for it, but ended up somewhere called Baie L’Embouchure. When we finally found it on the map, we realized we had gotten twisted. The road to B L’E was absolutely terrible! That should have been our first clue that something wasn’t right. We passed the Butterfly Farm, Club Orient (the nudie beach), and Le Galion beach club. The park/area around where we ended up was just nasty. Trash EVERYWHERE. There was a stray dog wandering too. We saw a crew of workers attempting to clean up the area, but it was slow going. You name it, it was there in the grass or sand. We finally left to try to find Orient Beach.

We drove on up the main road and finally found signs. We went through a private community to find the public beach access. Keith walked out and immediately we noticed that this was a more liberal beach: the first woman we saw was topless – and very tan! It all looked wonderful… until Erin said, “Mom, where are my glasses?” We all looked at each other and piled back into the car. We went back to B. L’E and, sitting on the picnic table were Erin’s glasses. We decided to stop and stay and have a good snack. This ended up being lunch. We feasted on chips, pop, and crackers. yum. The girls and Keith played in the sand and water. After about an hour we decided to leave. We were getting into the heat of the day and were afraid to get burned.

As we had enjoyed the view we noticed a point in the distance with many breakers and a nice view. We got in the car and headed out. Keith really wanted to find that point. After a false start we finally got there. We drove through some really poor parts of the island. We saw many children walking home from school. We finally got on the right road to the point. When we arrived, it was incredible. The whole area was submerged under a few feet of water. There were several islands within walking distance. You just got in and walked around. Keith is the only one of us to go. The pictures are amazing.

After spending some time here, we continued around the bend. We saw some amazing scenery. I wish we had been able to get better pictures, but there was no where to stop along the way. We climbed a huge mountain/hill. The view from there was extraordinary. At one point, the pavement again ran out. We picked our way through and kept going. Once we got on pavement again, we went downhill. We found the main road and headed back toward Phillipsburg. We were heading for the post office and souvenir store. We gave up because traffic was bad and there was no parking. We decided to head for Little Bay to swim. We originally thought about going to Simpson Bay. Little Bay was closer though. We drove around the point of Great Bay and began looking for signs. We didn’t see any – but we found Belair Beach. In the parking lot, there was a dirt road toward the beach. We initially left, but realized the road headed inland. We used a roundabout and came back. Keith was daring and drove down the narrow path. It worked out well – we were dumped out right on a beautiful beach!

When we first arrived, there was a taxi driver eating his lunch in his cab. The girls got slathered with sunscreen and began playing in the sand and rocks. Keith went in straight away while I sat and enjoyed the scenery. After the taxi man left, I went in the water with Keith. There were some NASTY rocks right at the breakline. Keith helped me over them and we went out a little deeper. It was lovely. The water was so blue, the plants so green – just beautiful. It was our own private beach! Eventually, I wanted to go back in. Keith was going to pick me up and help me when – bam! A wave threw him off balance and he dropped me. I fell on my back, into the water, right over the rocks. I got water in my nose, but didn’t swallow any and didn’t loose my hat or glasses. Keith got me a towel and some water. All was better. It came time to leave. The girls each choose a couple stones to keep. We packed up and headed back to Philipsburg. We found a parking space this time, but the post office was too busy. Keith said we should just buy souvenirs at the port. We stopped for gas - $5 a gallon, cash only – and headed for the port. We unloaded the car and while Keith returned it, I packed things up. Katy was crashing fast by this time. I got things squared away by the time Keith came back. He offered to take Katy and the stuff and wait on a bench. But Katy wanted to shop too.

So I took Katy and Erin to the Duty Free World. We managed to find a few things. I got pencils for my kids (a whole buck each!), a penny bank, 2 decals, and a license plate for each of the girls. Erin got a little ceramic jewelry box and a few pencils. Katy got a pen. We retrieved our stuff and Keith and made our way onto the boat. No problems getting on or through security.

We arrived in our room and dumped our load. Waiting for us were invitations to a reception for past guests tomorrow night. Also waiting were Carnival Glory pins for each of us. The girls were overjoyed. We tossed Katy in the shower and then dosed her with medicine. She got tucked into bed while the rest of us showered. While Erin and Keith showered, I super quick wrote postcards to the girls’ classes, Lulu, and my class. After his shower, Keith dressed and took all the post cards and headed off the ship. He was able to buy stamps and mail them at the pharmacy in the dock area. Sweet. I showered and got dressed. Katy fell asleep for about 30 minutes. Erin had a snack and I looked at pictures. There are some really good ones! Keith came back and Katy woke up soon after. We decided that we would go on deck and take pictures. Then we went to the lounge area on deck 5 near the casino. We hadn’t expected to, but we did get to see cast-off and departure. Then we went to dinner.

The girls came with us to the dining room. I ordered the Farfalle with Turkey and Peas in Cream sauce. I had Fried Mozzarella as a starter. And of course, I had Chocolate Melting Cake for Dessert. Keith had a Caesar Salad and the Grilled Salmon with a baked potato. He loved it. The girls and Keith had their usual ice cream for dessert. Katy didn’t eat hers. Both girls had nuggets and fries for dinner. Both ate well. After dinner we went to deck 9 because Keith wanted some apple pie. There wasn’t any. The girls sat and drew pictures, Keith digested, and I read my book. It was quite nice. We finally headed back to the cabin when Katy needed to potty. We all made guesses about what the towel animal would be. When we first came in, we didn’t see it on the bed. Then Erin spotted it hanging – a monkey! We should be able to leave it up until Saturday. It is very cute. We hung out in the room for a while. I started the journal and Keith rested. Then the girls started asking for pudding – after I read the grocery part of the journal. They got a serving each to take upstairs. We got spoons (and I got more chocolatey goodness) and enjoyed our snack by the windows.

Before heading back to the cabin, we stopped by deck 4 to search for photos. No luck. We returned to the cabin and began getting ready for bed. We brushed teeth, tucky wucked, and finished the journal. Katy had been pretty perky but was now feeling bad again. We didn’t give her the antibiotic this morning – I was afraid of making her puke again. And this evening, I forgot until after she brushed her teeth. She is now complaining of a hurting stomach, sore throat, and _____(choose an ailment). Hopefully she will fall asleep soon and won’t get up until morning. *Yawn* That’s it for today, I’m pooped. This has been the craziest day yet!

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