Just before I start this post, the commenting issue has apparently been fixed – if anyone is still unable to comment, please take a print screen of what your commenting area looks like, or of what comes up if you press comment, send it email@example.com and I will forward it on to the blogging consultancy to try and fix it 🙂
This is the second last instalment to my ‘Party in the USA’ series, but I promise you my friends, it will be not be boring, and definitely full of good foodieness 😉
Despite what you may think, I am not done with the Caribbean yet, not at all! One post would definitely not be enough to capture the absolute gorgeousness of the islands, and I have not even shown you the local food.
Shame on me, shame on me, shame on me 😛
But that’s ok!
I think perhaps my favourite island from all the wonderful islands we set foot on was the magnificent St Maartens. And yes, that is not a misspell. You see, this particular island is seriously weird in that it is split between Dutch and French ownership.
I know. It is so small and neither nation can be magnanimous enough to say ‘Oh, it’s fine, you go ahead and take it, I have already conquered X, Y and Z.’
But such is the way of the world, and no one can change how petty it can get, but we can laugh at it right? 😛
Now, put on Hermione’s Leviosa voice if you are a die hard HP fan, and then imagine a snooty Dutch owner saying to the French one ‘It’s St Maarten, not St Marten!’ – yes. One ‘a’. And there is barely even a boundary crossing over from the Dutch to the French side.
Makes the head a wee bit soft doesn’t it? 😛
Regardless however, I must say, this island has a lot going for it! You know those magazines you tear through, imagining you are far from home and relaxing on sandy beaches, with a multicoloured town behind you with the continuous rhythm of reggae music resonating through the air? St Maartens has pinpointed that look 😀
Perhaps I was a bit partial to St Maartens as well because my brother and I decided to lose the Cruise food, and indulge in a local cafe. It had a cooler name than most. No, wait, everything is the cooler in the Caribbean.
My brother and I dined at Taloula Mangoes. I don’t know how, why, when, what but I LOVE that name! 😀
We were taken up to the balcony seating, and this place was bustling! But what a gorgeous view at our disposal, with a Bob Marley style singer working his reggae magic on a makeshift stage below to entertain the masses of tourists around!
My brother, her ordered a freshly made Passionfruit Juice, while I fancied the Pineapple Juice.
Tell me if you can tell the difference in colour? 😛
We then got all classy and went for an entree first, because you only come to the Caribbean once in a while no? 😛
We ordered chips and dip. Now, you would think San Juan would have prepared us for the colourful nature of nacho chips in the US, but we still had quite a shock to see blacks and reds on our plate.
It looked as if these chips had been soaked in a volcanic explosion!
With two delicious salsa and sour cream dips to the side, we were set! A lovely earthiness to the chips and authentic flavour, a far cry thankfully, from the packaged Dorito chips I am used to!
Next came out our meals, with pretty good speed too! I was surprised at the variety for vegetarian as well, but I opted for a Falafel Filled Pita. I love their trend of serving their mains with red salad to the side and a watermelon piece.
Such a refreshing change from the usual grease fried chips!!!
The pita was delicious, the salad super fresh, and as you can obviously tell by my tone, I enjoyed it very much! Unfortunately, the second half got very soggy by the time I had finished my first half, so maybe they should dry their veges more thoroughly, spread the yoghurt sauce evenly? Because it fell out the bottom of the second pit when I picked it up 😛
My brother, he decided to have the Caribbean take on a Chicken Schnitzel Burger! Well sauced, and I love how the cheese being all melted and all, looks so inviting when the burger comes, deliberately opened. 🙂
Of course, it was delicious. You could eat it with your eyes off this screen and still say it was awesome!
St Maartens is actually also very famous, because of its Star Wars Museum! Ok, stop judging me, I am proud to love Star Wars ok? No geek faced shame here, it is an awesome movie!!!! 😀
But seems a bit random right? A Star Wars museum you would expect in some Western hub of a city no? But actually, it was started by Nick Maley, also known as the ‘Yoda Guy’ – he was a special effects master in Hollywood and on his retirement, actually moved to this Caribbean island!
Good taste this man… good taste! 🙂
But though most famous for Star Wars, his works range from Highlander to Terminator and all the in-between – it was so cool to check out the props and special effects he had created!
And obviously, a little scary too 😉
But I digress. Obviously you can tell I was in love with St Maarten, but that certainly does not mean the other islands were not spectacular! Let me share more about them now, shall I?
Before any adventure however, a good breakfast is necessary. What am I, your mothers? Nope, just someone who is a big believer in eating breakfast every morning, unless you stayed up all night… eating. Surely, you have all been to a sleepover like that? 😛
So before quad-biking in Antigua or scuba diving in St. Thomas, Celebrity Cruises really got our engines running with the breakfast choices they offered. Here is a mix of basically all the buffet breakfasts we enjoyed and the breakfast we munched on at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant 😀
What tastes like off-Cheerios which have been coloured and slightly sugared to taste like frootloops. Now, if this cereal is like this everywhere in the Caribbean, or even in the US, I strongly urge you to visit Australia. Because we know how to sugar our frootloops. Eep.
Buuuuut, the cereal was the only one off putting in the whole breakfast selection enjoyed!
Pastries. Pastries, pastries, pastries. Now, I know these were not as good as Europe, but regardless, they were delicious! And the variety, oh my gosh! My brother and daddy, they favoured this lemon jam filled danish in particular.
Personally, I was a more pineapple filled pastry girl myself (perhaps pineapple and I bonded over this trip!) – it was soft on the inside, had that deliciously glazed flakiness on the outside. Yes. A BIG Yes.
Need I mention the fruit variety? I loved waking up to eating great, chunky pieces of melons and pineapples in the morning.
Of course, accompanied by the occasional (very frequent occasional :D) waffle. No one says no to waffles.
Though I will say no to Banana Foster next time. It was a cream cheese filled log bathed in orange syrup. Ummm… no.
Now, back to the activities no? Ok, so quad-biking. In Antigua. I do not actually know how to ride a normal bike. Yes, two wheelers are lost on me, I have no idea.
But I feel quite boss when you add too more wheels and an engine 😉 – You speed up, your body is actually being shaken like crazy as you fly over rocks in the mountains, weaving in-between trees and pretending you are on some escape mission through the jungle.
And then look at the view. Isn’t it gorgeous?
But a tip. Do not wear good shoes – mine were muddy, dusty and basically, more disgusting than anything I have ever seen in my life. And my legs were caked with mud as well 😛
OH, and fun fact for any cricket fans! Viv Richards is from Antigua! And his great niece or just niece was a guide for the tour my parents did on the island – talk about coincidence right!?
On St. Thomas, we went scuba diving perhaps in the most beautiful of all the waters surrounding us! Look at the aquamarine colour fading into blues and rich turquoises!
Surrounded by native, cute, fat ducks on land, and by baby fish and coral reefs in water, this was a wonderful experience! And my finger was snap happy on my underwater camera!
And thus, ends the Caribbean adventure of my trip. I know, I know, there is so much I may have forgotten to tell you, because it was a whirlwind time, but maybe its a good thing, because it can entice you to visit the beautiful islands yourself? 😉
But was this the end of the holiday? I certainly don’t think so… because… I was just wondering…
Till next time mes cheris!