When we got off the Freedom of the Seas with our group of friends, my dear wife Karen and I were in St. Maarten.
How could we not feel welcome with the colorful splash that we all saw just off the dock as we walked to where they pointed us?
The line of people were headed to big, modern, air-conditioned tour buses. Our group of 20 or so managed to get on the same bus, thankfully. The schedule had us together for about three hours.
Hover over a gallery photo for a description. Click on an image for an enlarged slideshow.
We went past water, and land, and more water.
When we crossed over a border, we were in St. Martin, under French rule.
Both sides, this was a diverse island.
We saw rich segments. We saw poor segments.
At one point, our tour guide – she looked sort of like Wanda Sykes and told a lot of jokes, too – broke into Day-Oh by Harry Belafonte. That was when we were passing a more run-down section. I took photos, just as I did in the more affluent sections.
On the French side, the driver parked and the guide let us off the bus, giving us 45 minutes to shop and take in the sights. Karen and I did both.
It was hotter than 90º F and humid, too. We were glad to get back on the bus.
They placed the proper jewelry store for me to get the right charm for Karen’s bracelet in the cluster of shops just outside the ship. Now she had one from each island.
And we felt right at home.
Tomorrow: Dinners on the ship
Which side do you think you’d like better, the Dutch or the French? What would you buy on this island? Which is your favorite photo, and why?</em?