Extraordinary Stories

Act of kindness (3) Acting (2) Adoption (3) Adventure (762) Advertisement (5) Aging (9) Agriculture (41) Airplanes (6) Alphabet (5) Americana (88) Amish (20) Ancestry (2) Ancesty (2) Animals (31) Antiques (5) Architecture (26) Art (151) Art? (5) Arts and Crafts (66) Athletics (4) Automobiles (29) Awards (1) Banking (2) Barn raising (1) Baseball (68) Basketball (2) Beaches (85) Bed & Breakfast (1) Bee Keeping (4) Beer & Breweries (1) Bikes (1) Birds (3) Birthdays (30) Bookbinding (4) Books (7) Boxing (1) Brother Steve (8) Buisiness (1) Business (3) Canals (1) Cancer (11) Candy (24) Caribbean Islands (2) Caribbean Villas (15) Cats (1) Chesapeake Bay (59) Children (22) Chocolate (2) Christmas (41) Church Adventures (113) Cigars (1) Circus (2) Civil Rights (4) Civil War (4) Classic Cars (6) Climate Change (3) Coin club (2) Coins (1) Collections (67) Comedy (2) Comic Books (2) Commercials (1) Comnservation (2) Conservation (33) Craftsmanship (10) Creamsicle the Cat (11) Crime (10) Crisis (277) Cruise Travel (6) Crying (1) Culture (1) Danger (12) Daughter Brynn (50) Daughter-In-Law Barb (7) Death (4) Death and Dying (40) Downsizing (2) Dunking (3) Easter (2) Education (36) Energy (13) Entertainment (156) Entrepreneurial (61) Etchings (1) Eternal Life (4) Facebook (5) Factories (3) Fads (6) Family (243) Farming (26) Father (40) Father Time (65) Favorites (61) Firefighting (1) Flora and Fauna (24) Fond Memories (459) Food and Cooking (148) Food and Drink (80) Football (10) Forgetfullness (3) Former Students (5) Framing (17) Friends (332) Fun (2) Fundraiser (6) Games (3) Gingerbread houses (1) Giving (5) Golf (3) Grandkids (121) Grandparents (2) Grandview Heights (28) Great service (2) Growing Old (5) Growing Up (176) Guns (1) Handwriting (3) Hat Making (2) Hawaii (45) Health and Well Being (19) Health Care (1) Health Hazards (83) Heartbreak (4) Heroes (13) High School (130) History (557) HO Railroading (2) Hockey (1) Holidays (111) Home construction (7) Horses (2) Humorous (69) Hurricanes (1) Ice Cream (3) Inventions (27) Islands (3) Italy (12) Jewelry (3) Job Related (60) Just Bloggin' (54) Just Wondering (11) Juvenile Diabetes (5) Labor (3) Lancaster County (419) Law Breakers (3) LDubs In-Laws (3) Lefties (1) Life's Lessons (157) Lists (69) Lititz (16) Love (4) Magazines (1) Magic (1) Maps (1) Marching (1) Market (3) Medical (140) Memories (9) Middle School (3) Mother (50) Movies (3) Music (94) My Brother (16) My Wife (256) Neighbors (6) New Year's Day (2) Nuisance (3) Obsolescence (4) Occupations (1) Old Age (1) Pain and Suffering (8) Panama Canal Cruise (13) Parish Resource Center (14) Patriotism (2) Penmanship (1) Pets and Animals (98) Photography (199) Playing Trains (2) Poetry (2) Politics (27) Polution (1) Postal Service (2) Presidents (7) Pride (3) Printing (66) Protesting (2) Public Service (63) Questionnaire (1) Race relations (3) Reading (3) Religion (1) Revolutionary War (3) Rock & Roll (1) Rodents (2) Saints (1) Sand (1) Scouting (2) Shakespeare (1) Shelling (1) Shopping (20) Simple Pleasures (119) Slavery (4) Small Towns (3) Snickedoodle (1) Snow (1) Son Derek (26) Son Tad (30) Son-In-Law Dave (24) Soup (1) Sports (133) St. Martin/Sint Maarten (253) Stained Glass (1) Story-Telling (22) Stragers (2) Strangers (1) Stress (3) Stuff (3) Surfing (1) Tattoos (1) Teaching (45) Technology (80) The Arts (3) The Beach House (62) The Flag (1) The Future (4) The Shore (78) This and That (15) Timekeeping (3) Tools and Machines (25) Tours (1) Toys and Games (30) Track & Field (1) Tragedy (2) Trains (13) Transportation (10) Travel (3) Trending (2) TV Favorites (20) Underground Railroad (3) USA (1) Vacation and Travel (538) Vehicles (80) War (7) Watches and Watchmaking (4) Weather (47) Weddings (1) Wisdom (3) Yearbooks (9) York County (1)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The "St. Martin Alphabet: Part III" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Posting part three of my story dealing with words that fit into the alphabet.  Today's story will take you through the letter "S". Enjoy following with me through my journeys as they relate to the English alphabet.
  • N: Nutmeg naturally is a spice which is very aromatic as well as tasty.  
    Spice barrels in Marigot market.
    It makes my list since it is one of the main spices that always draws me toward the stand in the Marigot market that has barrels of spices for sale.  The stand has large barrels of just about any spice in the world and the multitude of smells is at some times overpowering.  Nutmeg is not native to the Caribbean, but many seem to buy the spice from the market stand.  It is used primarily in powdered form for herbal teas, as an oil in aromatherapy or as an extract.  We usually make our yearly purchase before we depart and it lasts until we return the following year.  Novels are an important part of our vacation.  Carol can read over a dozen novels in a three week vacation while I might be able to reach half a dozen in the same time frame.  While on the beach I have trouble at time concentrating on my Kindle.  You know ... with all the other activity taking place on the beach.  And my last "N" is a good one to follow my last one.  
    Club "O" beach on
    Orient Bay. 
    Nude Beaches can be found on both sides of the dual-country island of Sint Maarten/St. Martin.  On the French side of the island (St. Martin), topless bathing occurs at just about every beach and every resort pool while on the Dutch side is more infrequent.  Cupecoy Beach on the Dutch side is a nudist beach, but very few beaches follow suite, even with topless bathing, on the Dutch side of the island.  On Orient Beach, Club "O" at the south end of the beach is a Naturist Resort which is usually the busiest beach on Orient Bay.  
  • O: Ocean is a natural here.  
    The Atlantic Ocean can be seen here.
    One side of St. Martin is located on the Atlantic Ocean while the other side is bordered by the Caribbean Sea.  Can you tell the difference?  Nah!  During the time of the year when we travel to the island both the air and water temperatures are about 85 degrees.  And the ocean, whether it be the actual ocean or the sea, is an amazing 50 shades of blue.  If you have ever been to any island in the Caribbean, you know what I am talking about.  And I have to list Orient Beach as another "O" word, since it is usually ranked as one of the "Top 10" beaches in most beach surveys.  
    Carol relaxing on Orient Beach.
    It is a busy beach with water sports of all kind taking place and beach umbrellas of all colors lining the beach in front of a large variety of beach bars.  The main beach bars are Kontiti, Kakao, Bikini Beach, Waikiki and Coco Beach.  They are referred to as the "5 Stars of Orient Bay", but they are only a few of the many that dot the coast along Orient Bay.  A trip to St. Martin is not complete if you haven't made a stop at Orient Beach.   
  • P: Philipsburg is the capital of the Dutch side of the island.  It to was at one time protected by a fort: Fort Amsterdam.  
    Fisheye view of the Boardwalk
    at Philipsburg.
    The fort was at one time a great tourist attraction, but over time has been neglected and is not longer a big draw.  The town has two main streets; Front Street, which runs along the Great Bay waterfront, and Back Street which runs parallel to Front, but one block away from the water. On the other side of Back Street is the Great Salt Pond.  More shopping takes place in this town than in any other town I have ever been to in the Caribbean. And, Carol and I have been part of that shopping extravaganza.  Pinel Island is a short ferry ride from French Cul De Sac.  It is a beautiful island with no running water or electricity.  
    From the top of beautiful Pinel Island
    looking toward St. Martin.
    The island is uninhabited except for the very large iguanas which wait by the two beach bars for scraps to be thrown to them.  A small gift shop sells some great products and the bathing here is remarkable.  Their are no waves at all and the sandy beach is only waist deep 30 feet into the ocean.  Another must trip for vacationers.  
    A Pareo on display at Pinel Island.
    A Pareo is a wraparound skirt.  It was originally used only to refer to woman's skirts, but today it is used as a term for any piece of cloth worn wrapped around the body whether it be a man or a woman. There are many times made of silk in bright colors featuring beach scenes or animal scenes.
  • Q: Quiet time is always appreciated while on vacation.  Relieving stress is important to all and what better way to do that then to go on vacation.  Carol and I love the beach and all that goes with it, and our stress level while on vacation is at a minimum, but for many others on vacation, quiet time is achieved in a variety of other ways.  
  • R: Ravioli is one of my favorite meals.  
    My favorite meal.
    Being that we travel to one of the best islands in the Caribbean for food connoisseurs, I can find my favorite many places on the island.  Il Netuno has the best butter sage ravioli on earth, but there are many others that come close with a variety of different sauces on the ravioli.  Round-a-bouts are a real challenge, but a pretty neat way to alleviate traffic problems at intersections.  Luckily in St. Martin you drive on the right side of the road as you do in the U.S.  The real challenge comes when a country, such as Barbados or St. Thomas, has round-a-bouts and you have to try your luck with them.  The U.S. should have more of them and traffic would proceed through busy intersections much quicker.  Rhino Boats are one of the tourist attractions that Carol and I tried a few years ago.  
    Carol and I on our Rhino Boat.
    The boats are big rectangular inter tubes with a solid bottom and a outboard motor at the rear.  It is meant for two people, I believe, and you sit on a center seat with your legs straddling the seat.  At times you take flight after hitting a wave.  Flying across the water in one of these Rhino Boats is a thrill of a lifetime.  
    Roland signing our print.
    Carol and I took the Rhino Safari Excursion and had fun in the boat as well as snorkeling at various spots on our excursion.  Roland Richardson, knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 2007, was born on St. Martin to a family whose French Caribbean heritage dates back to the 1700s.  He paints "en plein air", working in the field, always from a living subject.  This quirky artist has a gallery/home in Marigot where he paints many days so you can view him at his work.  Carol and I purchased one of his canvas prints a few years ago which we prize as one of our favorites.  Meeting him and talking with his was as much fun as buying the canvas.  
  • S: The Sugar Bird, also known as the Bananaquit, is a species of passerine bird.  
    Sugar birds eating our sugar.
    It is about the size of a finch and has a black head with white stripes, black wings and a yellow body.  When we shop at the grocery story after we arrive in St. Martin, we always buy a box of granulated sugar to feed the sugar birds.  They are a nectar eating bird, but do love to eat the sugar.  A bowl of sugar will find a gathering of sugar birds as long as it is filled with sugar.  They also enjoy a cup of water which they will drink, but will also use to take a bath.  Oh, the things that can entertain a couple of old folks is unlimited.  Sunglasses and Suntanning Lotion are necessary items in the Carribean.  
    The sun's rays can be very damaging to skin as well as eyes.  Since I wear glasses for my vision, I have glasses that tint when subjected to sunlight.  They work very well to protect my eyes as well as to make it easier to see.  Carol uses sunglasses at all times as well as tinted reading glasses for the beach.  We used a very high SPF when we travel to St. Martin since it is closer to the equator and the sun's rays are more intense than at the New Jersey Shore where we travel in the summer with our family.   The Swing Bridge is a new addition to the island two years ago.  
    The Swing Bridge.
    It crosses Simpson Bay and helps funnel the traffic away from the busy Dutch side of the island.  It cuts the time for us from the airport to the Orient Beach vicinity by at least 15 minutes or more.  It also relieves the stress that goes along with driving in another country.  
    St. Maarten of Tours Catholic Chruch.
    The St. Maarten of Tours Catholic Church sits between Front Street and the Boardwalk in Philipsburg.  It is the most beautiful church on the island with its bright yellow stucco walls and impressive statues that stand in their courtyard.  I have taken a multitude of photos of this church over the years.  A few years ago, when they rebuilt the Boardwalk entrance to the church, I took a series of photos showing how it was completed.  
    Shirt designs at Secret Spot.
    Secret Spot is a stand in the Marigot market.  Carol and I have been visiting it every year and making purchases for ourselves and friends.  Secret Spot sells hand printed silk-screened T-shirts that are designed and printed on the island.  Really neat designs that you won't find elsewhere on the island.  I enjoy talking to the owner about their procedures in printing since I too used the same procedures when I taught graphic arts in high school.  
Well, today's alphabet is finished.  There were so many items I could have listed for each of the letters, but I decided on those that would show you both sides of the island as seen through a traveler's eyes.  Tomorrow will complete the alphabet and hopefully give you most of the ABC's of the island.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

No comments:

Post a Comment