ST MARTIN ’02: Day 2

Sunday: We woke up and made coffee (necessary) got our collective acts together (only took 2 hours for 4 people-not bad) and got in the car to scope the island. We worked in the counter clockwise direction. Orient Bay is the local nude beach, though it was sparsely populated, and is completely beautiful. The sand is soft and fine. Apparently other islands’ sand isn’t so perfect and require Aqua Socks or the like to walk along the beach and shore.
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Grand Case is the next town along the way. It is what I think of when I think of a Caribbean vacation; brightly colored housed, narrow streets, a preponderance of tourists on scooters coming home after the morning shopping for fresh food. I’d probably try to stay there if I came back to this island.
Marigot, further along the Northwest side of the island, is a small French city. I felt like I was in a small French town when I saw the street signs, French traffic notes and the green cross denoting a pharmacy. I instantly homed in on a patisserie and nearly swooned when I had my first bite of a real pain au chocolat in about 3 years. A brioche and cafe creme later, I was fortified enough to get back in the car and ride back down into the Dutch part of the island and Phillipsburg again. One more pass at the supermarket to pick up some DIVINE Nutella gelato locally made (as well as other flavors-alas, they were out of the chocolate that we sampled the day before-but I can understand why there’s a chronic shortage of it.)
We played on Dawn beach in the afternoon and later on that night tested the hot tub at the resort’s pool area. It wasn’t hot, but it was warm enough to hang around for an hour or so before being ready for sleep.