Wednesday was Grammy Janet's birthday and we were headed shopping. We had decided that since we wanted to be out and about for the next two days that we would just rent a vehicle and find our way around the island again.
The trip to Phillipsburg was easy, we had been there the day before but parking, well that was another story. When we were there the day before the parking didn't really look like an issue but boy were we wrong. We drove around for awhile before we found parking, it was cheap, $1 per hour but still, it took forever. The streets were narrow, some one ways and some people just parked wherever they could fit their car but we were a little scared to do that.
While in Phillipsburg we perused the shops looking for any good deal we could find. Justin was a winner and walked away with a new pair of sunglasses and I picked up a few souvenirs for the kids at daycare. On our way out we found this nice little pier that took us out over the water and we thought it would be a great place to take a few pictures-sleeping kid and all!
After an afternoon of shopping and getting the kids down for their naps (during which I blogged from the pool-it was nice to get away and relax on my own and do something that I oh so enjoy) we headed back to the pool for the rest of the evening where happy hour got the best of us and the boys! They couldn't be left out when it came to the fruity drinks and the swim up bar. And since we let time get away from us we ended up ordering in for dinner---so to speak.
We put a to go order in at the Waterfront Cabana for 3 lobsters, a couple chicken nugget meals and a grilled cheese. As the boys waited for our food to be done Becky and I raced back to the room, got the boys changed and managed to set up our patio table and chairs on the beach. Grammy Janet got her dinner on the beach while watching the sun set. We ate and the boys played. Pretty good place to end the night...
Thursday brought another birthday and this time it was Aunt Becky's. She had been talking about visiting another island that was kid friendly and it seemed like a great day to do it since we still had the car. But first, I had to get a little mini-photo shoot in for my mom. They went to Hawaii earlier in the year and brought back these very cute but extremely LOUD outfits. When she gave them to the boys she stated how she thought we could take them with us on our trip for the boys to wear. And wear they did…for about 5 minutes and then they came off. Oh wait, they did nap in them! :0)
We were loaded up and left before 9 arriving just in time to take the first ferry to Pinel Island. We were literally the first people to step foot on the island for the day. We quickly found our place on the beach and Justin and his mom went out for a snorkel adventure as I hung back with Adam, Becky and the boys. Pinel Island had the most beautiful views that I have seen. It was quiet and the water was so clear that we could see all the little fish swimming around us. Kaden even tried feeding a few and then freaked out when he realized they would come swarming.
We got back pretty late that afternoon so when the boys woke up it was time to get dressed for a few pictures and then it was off to dinner. Crab legs were on the menu for Justin and Becky.
Later that evening I spent about 30 minutes blowing up about 30 balloons for our little guy. He was turning 3 and what kind of mom would I be if I didn't have a few balloons to say Happy Birthday??
Rise and shine birthday boy. On this day you turn 3!
It's not everyday that you get to spend your birthday on a beach--unless you're Grammy Janet and Aunt Becky--and although we love you more than you will ever know, the chances of being in paradise on your birthday again is slim. Unless, I guess you pay for it!
This day was bittersweet. Kaden was not only turning 3 but it was also our very last day at the resort. We spent the morning at the beach and headed out to the pool for the afternoon where about 25 people joined in and sang happy birthday to our little guy. He was super shy while all the attention was on him but as soon as it was over he jumped back up on the bar for his birthday drink. We met some very fun families and couples that were just arriving that were so excited to be in paradise and here we were saying our good-byes to the island. Bittersweet.
So that's it-in a nutshell. A vacation that created so many memories for each one of us. A vacation where we were able to spend 7 non-stop days with family. A vacation where I didn't have to worry about anything besides being with my boys, all three of them. A vacation that was very much needed for so many different reasons. A vacation that was 10 months in the making and a vacation that had its fare share of mishaps and travel issues but a vacation that was worth every single one of them. Pretty sure I speak for all of us when I say, we will certainly be doing this again next year. Maybe not in St. Maarten but some place, any place, where we can unplug from reality and just be--A Family.