Vacation choices can be difficult to make, at least in my family’s case. First, it’s expensive, especially when you add in two little tax deductibles that now have to have their own seat. Second, because it’s expensive, you don’t want to get the choice wrong. Then there’s the fact that there are so many beautiful beaches to visit in the Caribbean – how do you choose? It’s a nearly impossible proposition but one that we are lucky to be able to consider.
For a long time, our spring break trip this year was going to be to Isla Mujeres or Anguilla. Trying to nail down accommodations became a bear, though, and thanks to a last minute discovery, a sort-of compromise was made. St. Maarten became the choice and with a day trip (or two) planned for Anguilla, everyone was happy.
When the final choice of St. Maarten/Anguilla was made, it felt right. While we would be spending more money than we would have if we had gone to Isla Mujeres, it felt good to be spending it in a region still recovering from a historic storm. Irma wasn’t just a horrible hurricane – it was a historically catastrophic category 5 hurricane that wrecked the islands it encountered.
We understand going in that St. Maarten won’t be in the same shape it was when we last visited in December of 2014. The condo complex that we’re staying at still doesn’t have their pool back in operation, reconstruction is still going on, many shops and restaurants are still closed and we’ll probably spot more boats where they aren’t supposed to be (land) than we ever have. What we will have, however, is a wonderful oceanfront view of the same water that devastated this island just 18 months prior to our vacation.
The wonderful people of St. Maarten and Anguilla will still be there, probably a little more resilient than before, thankful that as bad as Irma was, she couldn’t wipe away their spirit. At the end of the day, that’s what really draws us to the Caribbean year after year – the spirit of the people who call it home.
I’ll be posting on all of my social media channels because, well, that’s what I do. You’ll be able to easily follow along as I’ll be using the #BBBSXM and #BBBAXA hashtags. All of the related blog articles will carry those hashtags as well. If you’re interested in seeing what these islands look like post-Irma, follow along with me. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Oh yeah – the 2.5 in the article’s title? That stands for my third trip to Anguilla and second to St. Maarten. Aren’t you glad I cleared that up?